The Big Idea:
Mother Nature’s Maid is taking on the Oil Cleansing Method! For one month – March 25, 2014 through April 25, 2014 – I’ll toss aside all of my favorite soaps, astringents, toners, moisturizers, and exfoliants in order to immerse myself in this alternative facial care routine. The cornerstone of the OCM is very simple; you use oil, rather than soap, to cleanse your face. Sound utterly ridiculous, like a one-way ticket to a greasy face? Yea, I think so, too…Wish me luck!! (Keep reading to learn more about the OCM technique!)
I’ve attacked challenges before where I absolutely bogged myself down with rules. So this time, we’re playing it très cool. Just two rules:
- No soap of any kind on the face during the one-month challenge
- No store-bought facial care products* on the face during the one-month challenge
*Facial care products include: cleanser, toner, exfoliant, and moisturizer. Make-up is NOT included in this challenge; if you want to see MNM cook up her own makeup, check out the Maid Up Challenge.
The Oil Cleansing Method:
The OCM revolves around a simple principle: using oil in place of conventional soap to clean your face. People who subscribe to this technique believe that traditional cleansers strip the skin of beneficial natural oils, causing the skin to then over-compensate and overproduce oil. So, in other words, according to the OCM, oil-free soaps send our faces into a vicious cycle of constantly trying to replenish moisture, which causes and exacerbates skin problems.
With OCM, we use light, nourishing oils to clean our faces and dissolve any oils or impurities that have hardened and gotten stuck in our pores throughout the day. If there’s a special secret recipe for an oil mix that works on all skin types, I don’t know it. Traditional oil cleansing uses Castor Oil diluted with a lighter “Secondary Oil” of your choice. But there is a lot of room for play here, and if you’re not interested in a skincare surprise, then I suggest you do a little bit of reading before you start slathering oils on your face. The good news is there’s a lot of information out there at your disposal. I, for example, read that Castor Oil is quite drying; so since I have issues with dry skin, I decided to leave it out completely.
The proper OCM technique is as follows:
- Pour a quarter-sized dollop of your oil mix into your palm
- Massage the oil into your skin thoroughly, for several minutes
- Run a washcloth under hot, steaming water and hold it over your face, allowing the steam to open your pores.
- Leave the cloth over your face until it cools (or for 1-2 minutes). Gently wipe your face. Rinse the cloth.
- Repeat steps #3 and #4 several more times.
- Dry your face, and carry on!
Tips & Tricks (that may or may not apply to you; remember, everyone’s skin is different!):
- It’s best to oil cleanse at night before bed; this way, you can remove everything that’s built up throughout the messy, hectic day.
- If you’re an evening showerer, you can streamline the OCM process by skipping the rag and steaming in the shower. Let the oil soak into your face while you do everything else, then rinse right before you get out. This works great for me and makes the process much easier!
- Keep the oil as far away from your hair as possible!! I cannot stress this enough. Put your hair up and use a headband to hold back flyaways when you’re applying the oil and rinsing it off (even if you’re rinsing in the shower!). If you’re cleansing in the shower, be careful that you wash your hands with real soap before you wash or touch your hair. Don’t risk an oil slick on your scalp!
- If you notice that your hair seems oilier than normal, even though you’re taking all the right pains to keep the OCM away from your scalp, try using a smaller amount of oil on your face.
I’m also adding to this challenge toner, exfoliant, and moisturizer. These elements are not part of the official Oil Cleansing Method, and we’ll discuss my recipes for them later in the blog.