About once a year I deviate from my beloved Mary Kay Timewise cleanser to experiment with a homemade or less expensive cleanser. And, sooner or later, I end up going back to Mary Kay because I see no improvement in my oily, acne prone skin, or it makes it worse. So, this year I saw a post on MoneySavingMom about one of her planned experiments for the year trying a homemade cleanser, and jumped at the opportunity. I was due for a new experiment with beauty products!
For those of you not familiar with the oil cleansing method, it is based on the chemistry principle of “like dissolves like”. Oil, a non-polar molecule, does not dissolve in water, a polar molecule. However, oils will dissolve in other oils. Since our faces produce oil, using another oil to dissolve the dirt trapped in the oil in our pores seems to make sense. It made sense to me anyway, so I tried it out.
After consulting a couple of sites, one of which is here on Simple Organized Living, I decided on a mixture of castor oil (which required a trip to the store) and extra virgin olive oil, which I happen to have in my pantry in large proportions. I shook about 2/3 evoo and about 1/3 castor oil together in a clean, travel container. (See update below, I switched to 50/50 mix of castor oil and jojoba oil)
I massaged a quarter sized dollop on dry skin in the evening for a few minutes to break up make-up and get the oil into my pores. I then put a washcloth damp with hot water on my face until it cooled, to “steam” open the pores. I repeated the washrag steam treatment. I then massaged what was left of the oil into my skin, wiped excess off with a tissue and finally rinsed with the warm washcloth. After blotting my skin dry, I was surprised at how clean and un-oily it felt!
I have been doing this method at night for over a week now with good results. I definitely see a reduction in clogged pores and blackheads, and have only had a few new eruptions (which is great considering this that week of the month when hormones cause my skin to erupt all over!).
After cleansing, I have used a drop of oil to moisturize on some nights, and my regular Mary Kay Timewise moisturizer on other nights, but cannot tell any difference between the two when I wake up the next morning.
So far, I really like this oil cleansing method for my oil skin! Now, I may have to revisit this post and update in the summer when my skin is not as dry as it is now. However, for now, I have decided that castor oil and jojoba oil is probably going to be a better combination than evoo because the jojoba is a little lighter.
UPDATE: I have been using my oil concoction for a few more weeks now, and still having great success. I have shortened the nightly routine a little: oil massage, hot washcloth on face, then rinse and gently wipe/wash oil off with washcloth using pretty warm water (you do not want to scald your skin!). I put vitamin e oil under my eyes, and Mary Kay Timewise on the rest of my skin if my skin feels dry. In the morning, I just use a warm water washcloth in the shower to cleanse my face and use my regular Mary Kay Timewise eye cream and tinted spf moisturizer, then follow with make-up. I have found the oil very effective at removing make-up, however I make sure to remove my contacts before (oil and contacts do not mix). I also have started using a 50/50 mix of castor oil and jojoba oil instead of the evoo, and I like it better. It is not as heavy, and my skin does not feel dry afterwards.
UPDATE #2: It has been about 2 months now. My skin is very soft, and I think this has a lot to do with the exfoliating action of the washcloth every morning (just with water in the shower) and night (to steam face and wipe off oil). I still broke out this month at “that time of the month” (3 along my jawline and 1 on forehead), but nothing else notable the rest of the month, so definitely hormone related. Not sure I can do anything about that! 🙂 I still have some blackheads on my nose and chin area, but fewer than before and less noticable, almost like they have been shrinking. My skin just seems smoother and “happier”. I do not use additional moisturizer at night, other than Vitamin E oil under my eyes, and then smooth excess down my cheek area. I am quite happy with this method of cleansing, even though it has not been a “miracle cure” for all my skin problems, I have seen improvement and continue to see progress.