Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links (marked by *) to my favourite products, in which I can earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through my links.
Let’s talk about a skincare trend that’s been growing in popularity for a while now – oil cleansing!
One of my favourite parts of the makeup & beauty community is learning about new trends – something I haven’t been able to do much of since losing my eye sight. While my vision has thankfully improved enough for me to start playing with basic makeup again, my focus has been mainly on skincare. For any newcomers reading this post, I was diagnosed with MS in January 2019 (You can watch my MS story here.) I spent a few months in the hospital and had to be on a high dose of corticosteroids. This wreaked major havoc on my hormones and skin, and I’ve been struggling with mild acne ever since. Oil cleansing has quickly become a staple in my skincare routinend has helped my skin so much!
Cleansing is one of the most important skincare steps!
Cleansing is perhaps one of the most important steps in skincare. You’d be surprised by how much dirt, debris, bacteria, environmental pollutants and gunk accumulates on the skin throughout the day – especially in our heavily polluted modern-day environments. Washing your face before bed is particularly important, as we don’t want all that gunk from the day being spread around our face and clogging our pores while we sleep( most of our skin repair occurs during the night while we sleep). This is an important step for anyone, especially if you wear makeup. Not removing your makeup before sleeping is a great way to clog pores and spread bacteria leading to blackheads, acne and premature skin ageing.
So what is oil cleansing?
Oil cleansing is a method of double cleansing (using 2 steps or products to clean the skin more effectively, such as first using a makeup remover then following with a facial cleanser). With oil cleansing, the first step in this double-cleanse uses an oil massaged into dry skin for at least a couple of minutes, followed by a cleanser. (Now, oil cleansing doesn’t have to be followed by another cleanser, but it is recommended).
Why is oil cleansing beneficial?
The appeal of oil cleansing is based on the principle that oil attracts oil. Oil dissolves oil, which is a fact that is becoming more and more understood in skincare. Because oil attracts and dissolves oil, it can be very effective in breaking down sebum (oil) blockages, bacteria, dirt and makeup in a way that doesn’t strip the skin’s natural moisture barrier. Using oil is a great way to remove makeup, as oil is super effective at breaking down makeup particles, SPF and more. Massaging an oil all around the face for a few minutes helps the oil to bind to oils in the skin, loosen debris and break down waxy sebum blockages that can often lead to blocked pores, congested skin, blackheads and acne. Using an oil first helps to loosen and dislodge this gunk, allowing it to be better cleaned away when you wash your face. The act of massaging is also beneficial, as it promotes circulation, helping blood and oxygen to help promote the production of collagen and elastin (2 crucial proteins that are responsible for skin’s structure, repair, and youthful appearance.)
How To Oil Cleanse:
1.Pick an oil best suited to your skin type:
-Dry skins may benefit from oils like maracuja, Argan, Jojoba and rosehip, to name a few. Oils like these are high in Linoleic acid help to moisturize and protect the skin’s natural barrier.
My favourites are:
-Combination, oily and acne-prone skin may benefit most from jojoba, argan, marula, squalene and shea butter. Choosing an oil with a low comedogenic scale is extra important with oily or acne-prone skin to prevent breakouts. (Check out this site to see a list of oils and their comedogenic ratings.) The lower the rating, the less likely it will clog pores.
-Squalene * (Fun fact: make sure your squalene comes from plants! Some sources derive it from shark liver, though plant sources are becoming more widely-used.)
My favourites are:
If I’m wearing makeup (particularly waterproof mascara- anyone with allergies knows the struggle) I usually use this Chamomile Cleansing Butter* from The Body Shop. (review of that coming soon.)
2.Warm a few drops of your chosen oil in the palms of clean hands, then spread all over your face– don’t press it in, you will be massaging in the next step. You don’t need to remove makeup first, as the oil will break down makeup.
-You want to be able to feel the oil on your face, but it doesn’t need to be drenched. You just want a few drops or enough so that your hands are easily gliding across the skin. Not having enough oil will make it feel like you are pulling, dragging the skin which you definitely don’t want! (Think of it like getting a massage without massage oil – it would be a lot of pulling the skin and wouldn’t feel nearly as good.)
3. In gentle upwards and circular motions, massage the oil into your skin. Focus a little extra on areas with clogged pores, blackheads, whiteheads, blemishes etc. We always want to use upward motions, as repetitive downward or pulling motions can encourage skin sagging.
4. Using a damp, warm washcloth or towel, gently wipe away the oil. Follow with your regular cleanser, again massaging it gently around the face.
5. Follow with the rest of your skincare routine!
When should You Oil Cleanse?
Oil cleansing can be done daily, morning and night. I personally do it daily, but just at night. I don’t think it’s necessary to do in the morning, when all you need is to gently wash or rinse your face. Night time is much more important, as the oil breaks down the SPF (post on SPF coming soon) that I wear everyday as well as any makeup or gunk that’s accumulated throughout the day!
Oil cleansing has made such a huge difference in my skin, and I truly think has been one of the biggest factors in helping to clear my skin! When I do get breakouts, I find they heal faster and don’t seem to be as frequent.
Oil cleansing is a great technique to try, and is now a constant in my skincare routine.
Have you tried oil cleansing? What are your opinions and favourite products to use?