A Beginners Guide To Oil Cleansing

What is Oil Cleansing?

Hello and welcome back, in this post I’ll be walking you through the Oil Cleaning method (OCM), and everything you need to know before embarking on this method of cleansing your skin.

We as cosmetic consumers are constantly told that aside from diet and water intake the best way to achieve good skin is to cleanse using only strong foam-based cleansers. Unfortunately, a lot of the products on the market contain drying agents such as sulphates and alcohols that strip the skin of its natural oils, exacerbating rather than helping most skin conditions. The OCM is beautifully unique in that it can be done by you, at home with oils you probably already have in your kitchen or bathroom cabinet.  

Originating from the East Asia, the OCM is a system of cleansing your skin using oils instead of traditional soap and water. It is both gentle and very effective on most skin types including oily and acne prone skin. It is usually used as the first step in a two-step cleansing process, first you oil cleanse, then you use a traditional cleanser. If you have extremely dry skin or are eczema prone, you may want to just use this as your only cleansing method.

Which skin types is it good for?

In short, all, all skin types can benefit from the oil cleansing method for different reasons. If, like me you have oily acne-prone skin, the OCM can help by deeply cleansing the skin without the thought adding oil to your already oily skin can be unappealing, but the OCM has been instrumental in helping me obtain and maintain clearer heather skin. For dry or mature skin types it helps you lock in moisture, whilst keeping your skin clear and healthy, and for combination skin, it can help you have a better-balanced skin. Everybody wins!

How does it work?

This system of cleansing works on basic chemistry, which dictates that like, dissolves like and the best way to dissolve “non-polar solvents like sebum/oil is by solvents similar in composition”. This means you use water to wash water and oil to wash oil. In this case, we use an oil blend to remove oil-based pollutants like environmental dirt and hardened sebum from your face. The right oils will leave your skin clean and clear without irritation and inflammation.

The method itself is pretty easy, all you need is a face cloth, running hot water and an oil blend. You apply the blend to your face and neck in circular motions for at least 60 seconds, (this allows the oils to warm up, penetrate your skin and do it’s job. After that, dampen you face cloth with tap hot water and wring out creating a steaming cloth, use said cloth to slather away all traces of the oil from your face and neck. At this point you can add your moisturiser and SPF or you can double cleanse and use a soap-based cleanser, which should be followed by your chosen moisturiser.

Castor is King

You’ll find that most OCM blends are made up of at least two oils, one that cleanses and one that replenishes. Most blends contain castor oil which acts as a very effective cleanser. It also has potent anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, making it great for all skin types. But don’t be tempted to use alone because it will be too cleansing, and will have a drying affect on the skin. Because Castor Oil is so cleansing, you will need to pair it with other more replenishing oils so we have a more balancing effect on the skin.  You can use Jamaican Black Castor Oil or even Haitian Black Castor oil because of their additional skincare benefits, but using regular ole castor oil from your local pharmacy is just as beneficial.

Fatty acids

The oil/s you choose to add to your blend depends on your skins needs. If like me, you have oiler/acne prone skin you’ll need oils higher in linoleic acid. This is because Linoleic acid helps the skin retain its natural moisture levels, by creating a barrier that seals in water and blocks out dirt and irritants. These oils are also usually have low comedogenic rating which means they’re unlikely to clog your pores, making them great for acne prone skin.

Top 5 Linolec Oils

  1. Grapeseed
  2. Meadowfoam
  3. Poppy seed
  4. Safflower
  5. Black cumin seed

If you are on the other side of the scale and have dry skin types, it’s better to blend your castor oil with more nourishing and replenishing oils such as olive, hemp and sunflower oil. These are all high in oleic acid which means they penetrate easily into the skin, coating it with a thin layer of oil, sealing in moisture and reducing irritation. They usually have a higher comedogenic rating but they are fantastic skin soothers and healers, making them perfect for dry skin types.  

Tops 5 Oleic oils.

  1. Apricot Kernel Oil
  2. Macadamia nut oil
  3. Avocado oil
  4. Sunflower oil
  5. Olive oil

For those that land in the middle and have normal/combination skin you are better off using more balanced oils such as Jojoba and Argan oil.

Create your own.

For those wanting to make their own blend, here is a little chart in the percentages needed of castor oil and nourishing oil depending on your skin type. These may not be the final oil blend you settle on, but it’s a great starting point.


Castor Oil (%)

Nourishing Oil (%)

Oily Skin



Combination Skin



Dry Skin



The trick to successful OCM is in the blend itself, too much castor oil will dry out your skin even if it’s naturally oily. On the other side, too much of the wrong oil may result in a break out, nether issue is appealing.

If you have absolutely no interest in creating your own, we have done the work for you and have created not one but two oil cleansers. They cater to oily/acne/normal skin and dry/mature/normal skin. Brimming with nutrient rich organic oils and active essential oils our oil blends effortlessly remove makeup, dirt and excess oil from the skin, leaving you with smoother, softer and better conditioned skin.

Be warned:

When you start OCM you may find that all the gunk, dirt and debris trapped just under the skins surface is drawn to the forefront, resulting in temporarily irritated, inflamed skin. This does not last more than a week or so don’t worry. Once the purging period is over, your skin will be brighter, clearer and definitely happier.

And there you have it, everything you need to know about the Oil Cleansing Method,

So, until next time,

Happy Cleansing


  1. admin
    3 November 2021

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  2. admin
    3 November 2021

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