Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fighting Oil with Oil

I've ditched my old skincare routine and gone crunchy. (Surprised, regular readers? No? I didn't think you would be...)

I first heard about the oil cleansing method from Simple Mom.

She writes:

"...good-quality oil is the perfect substance for cleaning sensitive skin, such as on our face, because it helps gently remove the dirty oil and replaces it with good, nourishing, healing oil."

The oil doesn't dry your skin like soaps or other cleaners can. Olive oil has been used throughout the ages in Greek, Roman and Turkish baths to anoint the skin to protect it and keep it supple, so it is kind of surprising it had fallen out of favour - so many cleansers are advertised as "oil free".

I figured that if I experimented, the worst that could happen was a shocking breakout, and since I have absolutely zero special occasions looming in the near future I have nothing to lose. Also, Mr Accident is away again, and you know how I love a good project! (The chickens arrive tomorrow, yay!)

The recipe is simple, it's just a castor oil and olive oil mix.

Simple Mom suggests a 1:3 ratio of castor oil to olive oil for dry skin, and a 1:1 ratio for normal skin. I hedged my bets and went for a 1:2 ratio, with one tablespoon of castor oil to two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. (Castor oil is NOT canola oil, ok? Don't forget to write it on the shopping list, and then just grab the one that happens to start with the same letter. Anyone want a spare bottle of canola oil? I don't have a clue what to do with it...)

The general idea is that you rub this mix onto your dry skin with dry fingers and give your face a good massage. Then get a hot wash cloth and steam off the oil and the impurities with it. I usually find I need to give my face a good rub to get all the oil off.

After a week I can happily report that my skin hasn't freaked out. In fact, it looks better than it did before. I have always battled blackheads on my nose, but they are getting smaller every time I wash with the oil. However, I am not sure if this is a result of the oil method or that my nose is getting a good washcloth scrub every day. Either way, I'm not complaining!

I keep my oil in a little recycled juice pop-top bottle in the shower. I am only going to make up a little at a time to stop it going off in the warm, moist shower stall. The smell of the castor oil is a little... oily, but it didn't take me long to become accustomed.

Here are some other related sites. I can't vouch for them, but it's a good a place as any to start your own research if you are interested.

Simple Mom Oil Cleansing Method

"The Oil Cleasing Method" website

If you use the oil cleansing method I'd love to hear from you, or if you give it a try let me know how you go!


  1. Hi,
    I use OMC too and yes my skin seems cleaner, softer and supple than my regular facewash (cetaphil). i started wih a 1:2 of castor oil to olive oil, but found it too dry for the indian summer. moved on to 1:3 mix, but that didn't work for me either. and now, my tried and tested mix is equal parts of castor oil, olive oil, sesame oil and coconut oil, stored in a re-purposed cetaphil bottle. Tried all sorts of combination to get to this stage. I don't have to grab a moisturizer everytime i wash/rinse my face now :)

  2. I did the OCM and really liked it; I'm not sure why I stopped. I did the basic 1:3 with castor and olive, and maybe I would tweak it by throwing some other oils in there if I start up again. My skin felt softer after washing, less dry, and no skin flakes. And no chemicals, which is a plus! You may have reinspired me; thanks!