Monday, 1 June 2009

The Oil Cleansing Method

While I was searching the net for information on the castor oil post, I happened across various websites discussing the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) which uses a blend of castor oil and sunflower oil to cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturise the skin on your face. It is the castor oil which does all the cleansing, while the sunflower oil does the moisturising.

The Oil Cleansing Method is suitable for all skin types but is especially beneficial for problematic skin including spots, blemishes, blackheads, whiteheads, and acne.

Making the Oil. You will need two cold pressed carrier oils – castor oil and sunflower oil, some hot water, and a clean flannel. The two oils are blended together to create the oil which you will use on your face. The amount of each oil you use will depend on which skin type you have. If you have oily skin, you will use more Castor oil than Sunflower oil and if you have dry skin it will be the other way round. Use the following ratios as a guide – you may find that you need to adjust the mix or perhaps you might like to add a different carrier oil instead of the sunflower oil. If your skin feels too dry after application, use less castor oil next time. For oily skin, mix 1 tsp of sunflower oil with 3 tsp of castor oil; for normal skin, mix 2 tsp each of castor and sunflower oil together; and for dry skin, mix 3 tsp of sunflower oil with 1 tsp of castor oil.

You can also add essential oils suitable for your skin type or a specific skin complaint. For acne, try adding tea tree, petitgrain, cedarwood, juniper, geranium, German chamomile, or sandalwood; for blackheads, use thyme, peppermint, or lemongrass; for dry and sensitive skin, try chamomile, lavender, neroli, petitgrain, rose, or geranium; for oily skin and open pores, try cypress, juniper, cedarwood, tea tree, or bergamot; and for wrinkles, try mandarin, neroli, rose, myrtle, geranium, or sandalwood.

Performing the Cleanse. Pour some of the oil (about a teaspoonful) into your hand and gently massage the oil into the face for at least two minutes ensuring that you work the oil into the skin well especially any problem areas. You can also include your neck if you wish. There is no need to remove make up or wash your face before performing the cleanse as the oil and steam is very effective at doing it for you. Pour a basin full of hot water and soak the flannel. Wring out and hold in place over your face. It needs to be hot but not so hot that it burns your face! Leave in place until it has cooled, gently wipe the face with the flannel, rinse it out, and reapply. Repeat this a couple times to ensure that all the oil and any dead skin and dirt has been removed from the face. After the cleanse, you can splash your face with cold water to close the pores.

As most people know, oil does not dissolve in water, so washing oily skin in water doesn’t get rid of any residual oil on the face. Most shop-bought products contain alcohol to get rid of the oil but this can often leave the skin feeling dry taking your skin from one extreme to the other. The best thing to dissolve oil is oil itself. By using the castor-sunflower oil blend on your face, it will dissolve the oils which have lodged in the pores of the skin, restoring the skins natural moisture balance. Using the hot flannel helps to open the pores allowing the oil to penetrate deeper in to the skin and draw out any impurities in the pores bringing it to the surface so that you can wipe it off with the flannel.

What I love about this method is its simplicity, making it an excellent addition to your skincare routine although I wouldn’t recommend doing it daily – perhaps once or twice a week. I also love the fact that the oils are natural and contain no harmful chemicals and they are cheap to buy too – a lot cheaper than any ready-made skincare product. As soon as I found out about the method, I headed straight for my oils and mixed up a blend for me to use. I have a combination skin with patches of dryness, open pores, blackheads and sensitive areas so I used the blend for dry skin and added 4 drops of neroli essential oil. My skin felt and looked amazing after the cleanse and smelt great from the neroli. As I didn’t use all the oil after one application, I poured the leftover in to a clean glass bottle with a screwcap to keep it ready for my next cleanse.

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