Have you heard about the Oil Cleansing Method? It’s practically an internet cult.

The idea is that you wash your face with … wait for it … OIL!  Yes, oil.  When I first heard about the Oil Cleansing Method (or OCM, for short), I thought it was crazy.  That it would never, ever work for my oily, problematic skin.

I’m always up for a homemade beauty experiment, so I gave it a try.  And it’s actually really good.  Really good!  The theory is that like dissolves like, so if you want to dissolve oil from your face, use oil.  And not just any oil, but the classic Castor Oil which as deep cleansing properties.  Then you steam it off with a hot washcloth.  It leaves your skin with a lovely rosy glow and deeply cleaned.

Anyway, if you want to learn more about OCM, check out Crunchy Betty’s post on the Oil Cleansing Method.

My major problem with OCM is that I travel – a lot.  And oil is really messy.  Even in a tightly closed bottle and inside a ziploc bag, I seem to get oil everywhere.

Around the same, time I started noticing advertisements for expensive & upscale  ‘hot cloth cleansers’.  It seemed like pretty much the same idea – massage a cream cleanser into your face, then steam off with a hot washcloth.  All for $30 per bottle.

I knew I could come up with a better solution.

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you’ve learned the basic technique of turning any oil into a salve using beeswax.  Like this daisy salve.

Every handmade beauty fan should have some beeswax in the cupboard because it makes regular oils so much more useful!

My idea with this hot cloth cleanser was to use the right proportions of oil for your skin type (mine is oily, so I use more castor oil), add some skin-suitable essential oils, then enough beeswax to make it thick-ish.  Not as solid as most salves.  I wanted a consistency that I could carry in my suitcase and not stress about.  Something I could scoop out with my fingers and massage into my face.  It has to be smooth, thick and smell good.  Oh, and it has to work.

The oils I mention below are for oily skin.  If you’re already using the OCM, use your regular blend of oils.  If you’re new to OCM, either try my blend below, or give it a week or two using liquid oils to learn the proportions that work best – then use that blend in this recipe.

If you can’t be bothered turning on the stove to make face cleanser – try using honey as a face mask instead.  It’s easy and really works!

Hot Cloth Cleanser

makes 100 grams

  • 25 g Castor Oil
  • 25 g Olive Oil
  • 30 g Cocoa Butter (or Shea Butter, if you’re prone to pore-clogging!)
  • 20 g Beeswax
  • 7 drops Rosemary essential oil
  • 7 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
  • 6 drops Lavender essential oil
  1. In a bain-marie or double boiler, combine castor oil, olive oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax.  Stir until beeswax and cocoa butter are melted.
  2. Remove from the heat.
  3. Stir in essential oils.
  4. Pour into jars. Let cool. Then close with a lid, and label (product name, ingredients and date!)
  5. Each jar of cleanser should last for 1 year (of course, you’ll probably use it up before then!)

How to use:

Use your fingertip to scoop out some cleanser.  Rub it between your fingers and then onto your face to melt.  Massage it into your skin with circular motions.  You might want to massage it in for 2 minutes, concentrating on those areas which need deep cleansing (nose, forehead and chin!).  Now run the faucet to get hand-hot water, and soak your washcloth in hot water.  Wring out the washcloth, and place the hot cloth over your face for a couple of minutes.  If it cools off, just rinse it in additional hot water and place on your face again.  Gently wipe off the cleanser with the hot washcloth.  Finish with a splash of cool water.  All clean!

Have you tried the oil cleansing method or a hot cloth cleanser? How did it work for you?

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