Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Trying the Oil Cleansing Method for Clear Skin

My skin kinda sucks. Somehow it manages to be both oily and dry. I have at least one little pimple a day and an impressive accumulation of little, dark acne scars. I'd like to improve it, but the problem is I'm cheap and lazy. I don't have interest in investing much time, money, or energy in improving my skin. I also don't want to change my lifestyle. This rules out buying fancy skin creams, getting regular facials, consulting a dermatologist, and eating completely clean. So what's left?

Oil Cleansing Method supplies: Shot glass, tea tree oil, castor oil from drug store laxative aisle, olive oil, spoons, and washcloth.
Last week, my friend Amy suggested something new to me: The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM), which basically means cleaning my face by rubbing oil into it. Rubbing oil into my already oily skin? Crazy! So crazy it just might work. Of course, I had to try it. Here's what I did:
  1. I mixed together 3/4 teaspoon castor oil, 1/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, and 1/16 teaspoon of tea tree oil in a shot glass.
  2. I wet a washcloth with lots of filtered water, but squeezed out the excess so that it wasn't dripping wet. I then placed it folded in a Pyrex baking dish and nuked it for three minutes.*
  3. I poured a bit of the oil into my palm and massaged it into my face while the washcloth heated up. OMG! It felt amazingly luxurious!
  4. I then draped the warm, damp washcloth over my face and took a welcomed rest on my sofa. 
  5. Once the washcloth was cool, I used it to gently wipe my face.
  6. I then splashed my face with cold water.
  7. If you can find a small, dark glass bottle, God bless you. I couldn't so I store my shot glass of oil covered with wax paper held on with a rubber band in my bathroom cabinet.
  8. I scrub my washcloth clean with a generous sprinkle of baking soda. I then soak it in boiling water (in the same Pyrex dish from earlier), rinse, and hang it to air dry.
*You may not need to heat your cloth in the microwave, but the water in my tap takes a while to heat up so this was helpful to me. If you do use your microwave, make sure you just get your cloth just hot enough to make steam. Obviously, you don't want it hot enough to burn your face.

According to TheOilCleansingMethod.com, this technique works because the oil used to massage skin will dissolve the oil that has hardened with impurities and found itself stuck in pores. Also, applied oil prevents the skin from over-compensating in oil production (as it would if oil-free, drying cleansers were used). The steam from the hot cloth opens pores, allowing the oil to be easily removed when wiped.

Goodbye blackheads? Adios acne? I don't know. I've only been doing it every day for a week. Thought my sweet boyfriend did say my skin looks great today, it's really too soon to tell. I'll follow-up with you on my progress in a month. Just so we know what I started with, here are some extreme close-ups in my terrible kitchen lighting. I think these pics show every premenstrual bump and blemish possible!

Before OCM, right
Before OCM, left
In the meantime, here's what some other bloggers (and their readers) think of it:

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

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