I am not talking about cleaning your natural wood furniture, I am talking about cleaning your face!
Back in 2009 I read something about the Oil-Cleaning Method (OCM) and it has been on my list of things to try. Sometimes these “things” on my list get done right away, sometimes they wait a few years. I decided enough time has passed on this one and It’s About Time.
The two oils you need for this are extra virgin olive oil and castor oil. I always have olive oil on hand and over a year ago I bought a bottle of castor oil just to do this. I do like to plan ahead!
In my teens I always categorized my skins as oily. In my 30’s it seemed to change to combination skin (oil in some areas and dry in others). I have also noticed changes based on the climate I live in. We spent 10 years living in the dry desert of Palm Springs, CA. Each winter I noticed my skin becoming more and more dry, not just the facial skin but the skin on the rest of my body too. Almost four years ago be moved to south Texas. We have hot summers here, some of those days are humid while others are dry like the desert.
During the summer I do not notice much dryness to my skin at all, but winter is finally here and almost overnight I noticed the dryness in my face and hands. Even though I relate some of these changes in my skin to climate and season based on geographic location, I can’t ignore the fact that I am growing older and my body is changing.
As I continue to replace the commercially made products in our home with home made ones, The OCM fits right in. I have been using my homemade soap on my face and in the shower for over two years and I have noticed a reduction in blemishes and my face has felt better all around. I still realized that even though I am making my soap with healthy oils and ingredients like olive oil, coconut oil and vitamin E, I am still washing away some of the good oils that are on my skin and face. With fall upon us, I am noticing extreme dryness in my face and that reminded me that I really need to move The Oil-Cleaning Method to the top of my list, because I don’t want to start reaching for a commercially made moisturizer and I still haven’t made the recipe for the one I mentioned here.
Before you mix up your oil mixture, there are a few things to know:
- The most used oils for OCM are castor oil and extra virgin olive oil. Castor Oil (CO) is used to draw out the dirt and gunk. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is used to help heal and nourish the skin and is also a great moisturizer too.
- Before you open the drawer and pull out the large measuring cup, think small. Start out by only making up a small amount until you get the ratio of oils right for you and your skin, so grab your teaspoon.
- If you have dry skin, start by using 1:3 ratio – 1 tsp CO to 3 tsp EVOO.
- If you have normal skin, start by using a 1:1 ratio – 1 tsp CO to 1 tsp EVOO.
- If you have oily skin / acne-prone? start with 3:1 ratio – 3 tsp CO tsp 1 EVOO
Start out by mixing a small amount and use it for a several days to a week and see how your skin feels and looks. When I started, I used a teaspoon for my measuring. Once I knew I liked the mixture, as well as the process, I bumped it up to using tablespoons.
Let’s get “washing:”
- Put a little of the oil in the palm of your hand – about the size of a quarter
- With your fingers gently work it into your dry skin. No scrubbing, just rubbing
- Continue rubbing for about 1 minute
- Take a wash cloth & wet it with hot water (or maybe I should say warm warm)
- Put washcloth on your face & let the steam clean out your pores
- Leave washcloth on until it has cooled (about minute)
- Remove and rinse washcloth
- Use washcloth to wipe remaining oil from your face
Since I have dry skin, I also read that almond oil is a good substitute for the olive oil (I have not tried this.)
I have been using this method for a few months now and really like how may face feels. The one thing I don’t like about it is letting the water run to get it warm enough. We are short on water here in South Texas and I am very conscious of our water usage. We use a bucket in the shower to collect the water as it warms. We use a bucket in the kitchen sink as well. All this extra collected water makes a big difference, especially with the water restrictions we had this past summer. I have been doing the OCM in the evening before bed. With water collection in mind I have been washing my face in the kitchen. I can have the big bucket there to collect the water as I wait for it to get warm enough. Another way to give this a try is to massage the oil into your face before you get in the shower. Even if you aren’t collecting your water like I am, I have been very pleased with the results of the OCM.
When summer returns and things start to heat up around here, my bottle of mixed oils will get put on the shelf ready to use again when the days turn colder and more dry. I am all set with another new face wash when the days turn longer and the air becomes hot. I will share that face wash with you when we get closer to that time.
Is the OCM something you might try or do you have a recipe for a face wash that you already use?
I am working on my “list” this year. All I can say is “It’s About Time” there are so many things I keep putting off or never seem to get around to. It is going to be a fun year. You can read about another item I checked off my list here.