Oil Cleansing Method

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Oil Cleansing Method

Sometimes I forget that not everyone has been on my natural health beauty journey for the last 4 years.

Because how is it that I’ve gone 4 years without talking about the Oil Cleansing Method?

This little gem (and internet cult sensation) is the cornerstone of my natural beauty routine.  But I’ve recently learned that not everyone knows what it is.  And this cleanser is just too good to keep to myself!

I started oil cleansing in the very early days of my natural beauty detox, and have stuck with it since.  Why?  Because it just works.

Everytime I change up my cleanser, my skin starts to complain.

Who knew – my oily skin actually loves oil!  What was I doing all those adolescent years stripping it away with grainy scrubs, foamy cleansers and harsh astringents?!

The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) is hardly even a recipe.  Just a few oils, blended for gentle or deep cleansing based on your skin type.  So whether you have oily, dry, normal or sensitive skin, there’s likely a OCM combination that can work for you.

Keep reading for my own OCM recipe and a video tutorial showing you how to make and use your own oil cleanser!

How does the Oil Cleansing Method work?

Oils have been used for thousands of years for cleansing the skin.  You’ve probably heard stories of the Ancient Greeks covering themselves in olive oil and scraping it off with metal utensils?  Or more recently, you might remember your Granny using a thick oily cold cream to cleanse her face every night?

Facial oils work because like attracts like.  Or in this case, like dissolves like.  So if you have oil or oily grime and makeup on your face (which happens as soon as your nice oil-free makeup touches your skin oils anyway!), the oil cleanser will dissolve it all away – without stripping or drying your skin.

Vintage Amanda’s Oil Cleansing Method Tutorial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjhFG_19uow

 

Oil Cleansing Method Ingredients

You can watch the video above for the full tutorial, but the basic ingredients in the Oil Cleansing Method are:

  • Castor Oil – a thick, sticky oil that draws impurities out of your skin.  This is the key to the OCM.  Use more castor oil for deeper cleansing, or less castor oil for dry or sensitive skin.
  • Almond Oil (or another oil – like grapeseed, olive etc.) – This is the majority of the OCM cleanser, and both cleanses and moisturizes your skin.
  • Essential Oil (optional – I like rosemary or lavender) – Makes the product smell nicer, and adds skin boosting benefits.  Rosemary is toning, cleansing and stimulating, so best for oily or acne prone skin.  Lavender is gentle and relaxing, so would work on all skin types.

Oil Cleansing Method Recipe

In a 100ml or 4 ounce bottle…

  • Oily Skin – approximately equal parts castor oil and your other oil
  • Normal Skin – approximately 1/3 castor oil, and 2/3 other oil
  • Dry Skin – approximately 1/4 castor oil and 3/4 other oil

If you want it more cleansing and drying, use a higher amount of castor oil.  If you want it more gentle and less-drying, use less castor oil.

If you’re using Essential Oil, use a maximum of 30 drops for a 100ml or 4 ounce bottle.    Never use more essential oil than indicated in your recipe, because essential oils are extremely concentrated!

Simply combine all of the oils in a bottle, cap and shake.

Shelf Life – 6 months or longer.  If the smell of the oil cleanser changes, throw it out and make fresh (likely your oils have gone rancid!)

How to travel with the Oil Cleansing Method

If you travel a lot like me, taking a bottle of oil in your luggage can be risky!

Instead, turn your OCM blend into a solid cleansing balm by following my Hot Cloth Cleanser Recipe here.

Do you use the Oil Cleansing Method?

I’d love to hear from you and your experience, so please leave a comment below.

What is your favorite combination of oils?

Any tips and tricks about OCM you’d like to share?

Loved this? Spread the word


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  1. What do you mean by drops? Should I be using a dropper if so a 1ml dropper is ok? And does the oil cleanser have to be in a glass bottle also? Anxious about trying this and the facial oil really don’t want to wait to order bottles online…..

    1. Hi Charlotte, essential oils come in bottles with dropper tops, because they are so strong. So if you buy any essential oil they should have a dropper lid built in.
      Just store the oil cleanser in whatever you have. Glass is best, just because it won’t ‘leech’ any chemicals that’s always a concern with some plastics – but certainly for short term storage it will be fine. Also, you can just use a well-cleaned glass jar from your kitchen etc. Good luck!

    1. Hi Jeanette, I just rinse my face with water in the morning. No I haven’t found the Oil cleanser to worsen blackheads, but of course everyone’s skin is different, so there’s always a chance with anything…

  2. This is the first time I watch your video. I like it! Do you use it on dry, or damp skin?

    Also, do you use another cleanser after this oil cleanser? Or are you done with washing the face after this oil cleanser? Thank you!

    1. Hi Margarete, thanks! I put the oil directly onto dry skin and massage it in. Then after removing it with a warm washcloth several times, my face feels very clean and all the makeup is removed, so I don’t use another cleanser after. Of course you should try it and see what works for your skin, since we’re all different!

  3. Is the castor good for deep cleansing? I can never seem to get the dust out of my skin from the amount of building work near me.

    1. Yep, castor oil is very drying/drawing. Don’t use too much though or your skin will feel dry afterwards.

  4. Great tutorial! I’m just running out of my store-bought cleanser and am all set to give this a try!

  5. I love your website Amanda, and all your tips for a healthy skin care routine! 🙂
    I have been using olive oil as a face cleansing product for some time now. I find it maybe a bit too greasy, so I will give your recipe a try. I’m looking forward to seeing how the castor oil changes how my skin feels.

    1. Thanks! Check back into the comments and let us know how it works for you. I’ve found the castor oil is much more drawing and cleansing than just using coconut or olive oil alone. You’ll probably have to experiment with the amount of castor oil though, so make a small amount to start.

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