Is It Time To Rethink Our Face Wash Routine?
When it comes to a natural skincare routine, what we put in our bodies, through a healthy diet, contains everything we should be putting on our bodies, and nothing more. Our skin absorbs substances much the same way as our intestines absorb foods. For anyone with any kind of skincare routine nothing is more essential than face wash. If you have ever suffered from acne, oily skin or eczema you probably cling to face wash like a lifeline at the start and end of the day. The thought of a change going wrong is daunting. With all things body care related, personal preferences and requirements will differ. But, I have yet to come across anyone who moved to oil cleansing as a natural face wash that regretted it. We certainly love it …
What is Oil Cleansing Natural Face Wash...
Oil cleansing is simply applying specific oils directly to your skin as a cleanser instead of using soaps. You are probably gasping at how counter-intuitive and crazy that sounds. Our whole lives we are told that soap cleans off dirt and oil causes breakouts, right? Well, that is only partially true.
Why Oil Cleansing As A Natural Face Wash works...
The real deal with soaps
All soaps are made from oils, so it is not that far-fetched to consider straight oil as a cleanser. Even makeup removers are mostly oil. But, what soaps and washes also contain is chemical lye and detergents. If you are interested in why so many people are becoming more cautious about chemical skincare products check our article on why we think all natural skin care products are important.
What results when you use soaps and chemical washes is a stripping of all oil from your skin and an altering of the skin PH, leaving a very drying effect. This stimulates the skin to produce more oil to rebalance the PH and replace the skin's moisture. This is not an ideal result if you already struggle with oily skin or acne.
Oil cleansing mechanics
Some time ago we all learned that like dissolves like. Dirt and makeup sit on the surface of the oils of our skin. To remove it we only need to remove the surface oils. By putting oil on your skin you dissolve the surface oils with the dirt and make it easy to wipe off with a warm, damp cloth, leaving your skin feeling clean but moisturized. Unlike alkaline soaps and chemical washes this does not disturb the natural PH of the skin or the normal rate of the skin's oil production.
Oil Cleansing as a Natural Face Wash: How-To Guide
Oil cleansing is super easy.
- Scoop or pour a bit of oil onto your fingertips or palm of your hand
- Spread over your face until your whole face is well oiled (approximately a teaspoon of oil in total should do it).
- Run a facecloth under warm water and squeeze out excess water before using it to wipe away the oil from your face.
- Rinse facecloth thoroughly and repeat until you feel all the oil has been removed.
- Wash facecloth with soap and leave to dry.
- Moisturize as normal.
If you have applied heavy makeup or had a long day in the dirt repeat the oil cleansing process twice (or until you feel satisfactorily clean) before moisturizing. Your skin will feel silky smooth, clean and rejuvenated!
What Oils To Use
Most of your vegetable oils will work for oil cleansing. Each oil has it’s own benefits and characteristics but here are the top 5 things to consider when choosing the right oil for your skin:
- It’s ability to act as a carrier oil, meaning its ability to dissolve other oils.
- The oil’s comedogenic rating, meaning its rated risk of causing blocked pores. The lower the rating the lower the risk.
- If there are any practical considerations for working with a specific oil, like melting points.
- How quickly the oil goes rancid (for practical reasons)
- Any other benefits that you may specifically want or need for your skin type.
There are 4 most commonly used oils for Oil Cleansing:
- Almond Oil. A common oil used for skin applications with many skin related benefits and a low comedogenic rating. Rich in vitamins A, E, and D.
- Jojobo Oil. Used for generations for skin care applications. It contains vitamins A and E and is closest in composition to the skins natural oils.
- Olive Oil. A very moisturising oil, high in antioxidants and phenols. It is readily available and has a low comedogenic rating. Side note: Olive oil is often blended with low-quality oils, so stick with extra virgin olive oil to ensure good quality.
- Unrefined Coconut Oil. A thicker oil with higher saturated fat content and microbial properties, making it easy to work with, and an effective cleanser, great for bacterial control. But, it hovers between liquid and solid at room temperature, which can be tricky to manage. Although it has a high comedogenic rating this doesn’t seem to affect most people, so don’t let it deter you.
Other oils that can also be used:
- Avocado Oil
- Grapeseed Oil
- Argan Oil
The added benefits of switching to Oil Cleansing
On top of beautiful feeling skin there are also a few more benefits to making the switch:
- It’s one less product to keep around the house. All the oils listed above have additional purposes in skincare and or cooking. It simplifies your cupboards and your grocery shopping.
- You will never run out of face wash. If you are anywhere where you intend to cook you likely have an oil cleansing option available.
- It’s better for your peace of mind. No more undisclosed chemicals.
- It’s better for the environment. Skipping the resource-intensive manufacturing process and the unnecessary single-use plastic packaging (which often isn’t recyclable) of commercial face wash makes natural oil cleansing a more conscious consumption choice.
Our Personal Experience
We have found both coconut oil and olive oil to be incredible for oil cleansing. As someone who has suffered from acne for years, moving away from commercial face wash to oil cleansing made a noticeable difference to my skin. The coconut oil is thicker and feels more luxurious. It is also more effective at removing thicker dirt, like hardwearing makeup, and has been my personal preference. However, it does very inconveniently go solid when it’s cold, so I switch to using olive oil in the winter with equally great results. The two oils can be mixed to get the best of both BUT they do tend to go rancid quickly when mixed so only do small quantities at a time and replenish regularly.
Whatever your oil choice might be, changing something you have been doing for years will result in some adjustment period for your skin. Be patient for a week or two. The results are so worth it!
If you are interested in more natural personal care alternatives check out our section on all natural personal care recipes.