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The Oil Cleansing Method 

by Susan Parker November 12, 2014

How it Works 

Oil is a gentle cleanser that works well for all skin types, even for oily skin. It dissolves dirt and makeup without stripping the skin. Using cleansers that contain drying soap and detergents strips the skin of natural oils. If you have oily skin this might sound like a benefit but it’s not. As you strip the skin, it stimulates oil production. Your skin knows it needs oil to protect itself so when you strip the natural oils away it goes into overdrive to produce more. Essentially your skin is overreacting making it even more oily that it would otherwise be. And anyone with dry skin knows that drying it out just makes the problem worse! 

The Method 

Put about half a teaspoon of oil in the palm of your hand and then massage it into your skin. You want a thick coat of oil all over your skin. Massage it in for a moment or two then heat up a washcloth under the tap — make it as hot as possible without burning yourself —  and press it over your face. Wipe off the excess oil gently. You can repeat the process for extra clean feeling if you want. 

Best Oils to Use 

Oil blends created for the oil cleansing method often have mix of oils that includes some percentage of castor oil. The castor oil feels thick but it also comes off easily and enhances the cleansing process but its not essential. You can start with a single oil to try it out. One of the best easy-to-find oils is grapeseed. It’s light, slightly astringent and has a mild to non-existent scent. A few more exotic oils to try are camellia seed oil or kukui nut oil. 

Other Oils that Work 

Really you can use any natural oil but some are heavier than others. Avocado oil, olive oil and sesame oil aren’t as light as grapeseed but they still work. Coconut oil is excellent for the skin and works well for cleansing though I don't love how it smells once it mixes with my skin chemistry. 

Make Your Own Blend 

You can make your own blend using 1/4 to 1/8 parts castor oil with a blend of other oils like grapeseed, camellia or avocado oil. Castor oil is really thick and sticky feeling straight so it’s best to use it in a blend. Note: Castor oil is somewhat drying so if you have very dry skin try leaving this one out of your blend. 

Adding Essential Oils

  • You can customize your cleansing oil with essential oils like lavender, rosemary and peppermint. 
  • A few things to keep in mind when using essential oils: 
  • You must dilute them using no more than 2 to 3% in your blend. Essential oils are strong and can cause irritation used straight or in too strong a dilution. 
  • Peppermint and some citrus essential oils can be very stimulating. Start with just a few drops and work up to higher dilutions. 


Use a few dedicated washcloths for this cleansing method — and not your good monogrammed set — as the oils can stain after a while. 

Give it Time 

Try this method for a week or two to give your skin time to adjust. If you are switching from a soap or detergent-based cleansing routine your skin will need a few days to readjust. We hope you love it as much as we do. 

After experimenting with a number of different natural oils for cleansing we created and perfected a blend that works wonderfully. Our Oil for Facial Cleansing is a combination of grapeseed seed oil, camellia seed oil, kukui nut oil and a touch of castor oil, gently scented with lemongrass and accented with subtle floral essential oils and a hint of peppermint for a refreshing cleansing experience. 

Susan Parker
Susan Parker


1 Response

JoAnn Lyons
JoAnn Lyons

October 06, 2015

I love this Oil for Facial Cleansing! It removes all makeup and leaves skin feeling so clean and soft.

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