Instructables
On a fairly regular basis, particularly when someone learns my age, I am asked how I keep my skin so young and healthy-looking. What's my secret, what products do I use?

Since 2003, I have not put any soap, cleanser, or moisturizer on my face. The only thing I do put on it is pure, organic plant oils. If I wear makeup, which is rare these days, I use the oil as a makeup remover.

My skin has never been softer. It is neither dry nor oily, and before it was both. While I still have the occasional mild acne breakout at specific points in my menstrual cycle, it tends to be fairly mild and heals quickly. And I am regularly mistaken for 15 or more years younger than I actually am. (I'm 41.)

Ready to re-think everything you know about cleaning your skin?

The thing is, when you use soap or cleanser on your skin, you are stripping your skin of its natural oils. But those oils have a purpose - they make your skin softer and more supple and they provide a protective layer to keep dirt out of your pores. When you strip the natural oils off your skin, your skin responds in the only fashion it can: it produces more oil. So a few hours after you've stripped your skin down to [what feels like] super-clean, it's an oil slick again. You probably either re-"clean" it, blot the oil, or cake the oil with powder to absorb it. And the process begins again.

In reality, when your skin has that "super-clean" feeling, it is unprotected and vulnerable. After a while, you will learn to feel comfortable with a natural amount of oil on your face... it will not be nearly as oily as the bounce-back oiliness you probably have now.

According to instructables user @tigator, "...I used to have rosacea, and not even those prescription creams helped.   However (and you rosacea sufferers may be happy to hear this), since doing oil cleansing my rosacea is GONE - completely.  :)  I highly recommend those with mild to moderate rosacea to give this a try.  I'm not promising it will work for you, but it certainly took my rosacea away."



DISCLAIMER: The information shared here is based on the experiences and research of the author and other healers known to her. This information is shared with the understanding that you accept complete responsibility for your own health and well-being. You have a unique body, the action of each remedy is unique, and health care is full of variables. The results of any treatment suggested herein cannot always be anticipated and never guaranteed. The author is not responsible for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any remedies, procedures, or preparations included here. Consult your inner guidance, knowledgeable friends, and trained healers in addition to the words written here.

 
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hotgurl726 months ago

I've been using olive oil on my lashes to make them grow thicker. I apply with old mascara brush every night, and it works like a charm. Everyone asks me where i get my oh so effective mascara, and severly doubt the fact I'm not using any. However, I get a large amount in my eye every night. Is this bad for me?

hello! I know this is a bit late but I was wondering if you should do this twice a day or just once? I read that you usually did this in the shower, do you take a shower at night or during the day? I take a shower at night and usually wake up with oil all over my face, what do you do with the oil on your face in the morning? Please let me know, thanks!

Typogoddess10 months ago
I tried the OCM for a while, seven months to be exact, and it just didn't work. My normally dry, peeling skin with few breakouts and the occasional blackhead turned in to a problematic, oily mess. I used EVOO and castor and together they just didn't work at all. I did a ratio of 1 part castor to 10 parts EVOO and then switched to 1:9, 1:8, 1:5 1:3 and 1:1. They all failed. It didn't work for me at all, and I've switched back to my Dr Bronners and glycerine technique with little or no breakouts ever. It isn't for everybody and if someone could tell me what I did 'wrong' I'd love to know.
Loads of people swear by the EVOO but I can't use it either. I use a mix of castor oil and hazelnut oil or sunflower oil, around 5 parts hazelnut to 1 part castor for cleansing, then a mix of aloe oil and hazelnut oil if any areas are dry or tight after wiping off the oils.

If you have heavy scarring, (stretch marks, acne scars, etc) flax oil or macadamia oil can help with that (warning ! They are VERY viscous (thick and sticky) oils, so they are best used at a ratio of around 5 to 10 drops per 1 oz bottle. More make it harder to get off and you don't want to leave too much of them on your skin.)

I don't steam at all tho, or use "hot" cloths, they can lead to broken capillaries (red spiderlike veins that don't go away). I generally use a soft cloth soaked in lukewarm water instead.

I haven't had a breakout in a couple of years, except the ONE time I tried using my nieces face wash. It smelled great but within a day I had broken out and my skin felt like greasy sandpaper.
MonkiMan10 months ago
recently i've been using ultrabland from lush, and i was so paranoid about using oil to clean oily skin, but i am a convert. i wish more people understood that sterilizing your face with soap does nothing but aggravate your skin and make it worse.
Hey Makalove! I found your instrucable 3 years ago and I've been washing my face with oil ever since. 1) I want to thank you for posting about this!! 2) my skin is awesome. my skin used to be really blotchy and oily with lots of bad acne, and now my skin tone is even, i don't have any fine lines and its so smooth and clear looking.
I'll never stop using the oil and I tell all my friends about. This method seriously changed my skin
oh, i wanted to let you know th mixture I use: sesame seed with tea tree oil and carrot seed old, and then i put on lavender on problem spots when i get them.
I also now use oils in my hair to keep it soft and shiny and it works great!
parisusa1 year ago
Thanks for step by step. It actually makes sense. People think "tight" skin means clean. But it actually is very dry! We only have one face...gotta take care of it! :)
ashephard21 year ago
I did the 30 day challenge and I created a blog to document my process from start to finish. I have decided to continue using the oil cleansing method. I have been using apricot kernel oil/castor oil mix.

http://projectspopper.blogspot.com/
canucksgirl2 years ago
So excited to give this a try. My skin went a little crazy after I became a mom and its super sensitive, so I can't use most cleansers. I can't wait to see the results.

Thank you for sharing. :-)
Skeeloco2 years ago
Thank you so much for your step-by-step on the oil cleanse method! I just tried this for the first time this morning and have several questions for you.

1) How often do you wash your face like this? I'm tempted to wash twice a day due to habit, but don't want to overdo it with this new method. I've read SO many different ways of using the OCM and would like to hear from you on this. Do you wash morning and evening, or just at night to get the day off your face? If you only do this once a day, what do you do in the morning (assuming you oil cleanse at night)?

2) What do you use for sunscreen? I'm used to using an SPF moisturizer, but obviously trying to get away from that. My makeup has SPF 15, but that's not much protection, and I don't always want to wear makeup.

3) It seems like your instructions promote using just one oil (and adding a tiny bit of essential oil if you want). I've read many other accounts of OCM and the vast majority recommend mixing another oil, such as castor oil, with those you list. I've also read that many folks believe castor oil to be the culprit in breaking out from this method, so I am NOT gonna try it! At the moment, all I have around is jojoba oil, which is a great one for my skin's needs. Is that all I need to be successful with this method? I eventually intend to get some essential oils in the mix, but don't know if I also need to mix the jojoba with something else as a percentage of the oil I use (as so many recommend).

4) What about natural toner? I use pure witch hazel toner. Many reviews of OCM seem to conclude that people break out because they don't get all the oil off their face. I'm a bit paranoid about this and think using the toner afterward would ensure that all the dirty oil is washed off (and anti-microbial properties of witch hazel seem good for this), but would it defeat the purpose? I did this when I tried OCM today and it felt fine. I just added a little bit of oil afterward to prevent any dryness. Just want to make sure it wouldn't interfere. This will be the hardest part of my routine to give up!

Those are all the questions I can remember right now. Thanks for any additional direction on this!
maka Skeeloco2 years ago
1) As i mention in the instructable, i'm now only adding oil to my skin once every few days. i recommend starting with once a day - your face is going to seem like it's producing tons more oil when you stop stripping the oil off - and once your face has adjusted (give it a month) you'll have a better idea of whether your skin needs a second daily treatment. i don't ever wear makeup, and i generally clean my face in the morning while i'm in the shower. If i feel my face needs cleaning before bed, i'll do that, but it's pretty unusual.

2) i don't wear sunscreen on an everyday basis; i simply don't spend time outdoors every day, so i just wear an all-natural brand picked up at my local natural foods store on days that i need it. i DO properly oil-cleanse my face after wearing sunscreen, though - it feels gnarly on my skin, even the natural stuff... but i guess anything does after so many years of keeping my skin clean and clear of products.

3) these days i'm using coconut oil, although i . Feel free to play around with oils and blends all you like, although as i mentioned above, i do think you should give your skin a few weeks to adjust to any new routine. Which oil to use is very individual. You might find help choosing an oil from this article.

4) i do NOT think that people break out because they don't get all the oil off their face. i think some people may break out more than they are used to within the first few weeks using this method, not because they didn't get all the oil off, but because their skin is detoxing and adjusting. Be patient if your skin breaks out more than usual. DON'T SQUEEZE ZITS! i don't recommend toner or anything else that strips off oil. If you feel too much oil is left on your skin, use a plain wet or dry washcloth and blot/gently rub. i know it may be hard, but try - your skin will start to feel healthy and normal to you without toner. :)
charles912 years ago
really impressed by this post i haven't come across anyone who understands the benefits of putting oil on the face to keep it at its best.
Thanks so much for posting your story. I had beautiful skin until about 4 years ago (i'm 42 now). Now I have spots, break out, bags, it's the worst. Your skin looks awesome for 41 for any age for that matter.

what is the best oils to use for dry skin that breaks out. Will it also help with the lines and sagging around my eyes? Also, I have to wear mineral makeup during the day b/c I have a rare skin disorder that make me photosensitive to any type of light - indoor/outdoor. I can't use any sunscreen (except for titanium diioxide in mineral makeup, which makes me even drier.

last month I stopped using cetaphil - which I thought was mild - but after years it dried me out and aged me big time.

what do you recommend for me? thanks!!!!

I'm desperate to heal my skin. I shouldn't have aged this much is four years. I never go in the sun and eat healthy.
to tell you the truth dry skin never breaks out. your skin type is determined by the state of you cheeks. If you break out on your cheeks then you have oily skin if you don't then you have dry skin. look at it this way if everyone determined there skin type by the oiliness of their t-zone then everyone would have oily skin.

Oils like: almond oil (organic), geranium oil, coco nut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, lavender oil, rose oil, rosemary oil, chamomile oil and calendula (marigold) oil, are great for dry skin. Vitamin E is great for building collagen to get rid of lines and sagging around the eyes. I would apply Vitamin E on your problem area's at nigt and sleep with it.

Your probably breaking out because your not remove All of the make up off so this can be solved by removing it with any oil like say olive oil.

and lastly try using aloe vera oil,or gel ( just make sure there's no alcohol in it) as a sunscreen. Aloe vera is a natural sunscreen that won't dry you out.

all in all ( long post i know) putting oils on ones face is a great moisterizer.

i hope you take this advice into consideration. if you have any questions let me know!
I'm so sorry I have one more question - Do you use anything else beside these basic oils? The reason I ask i that I bought an organic balancing oil mixture o - that contains a bunch of different organic oils - most of which were not on your list. Like rose hip seed oil, pomegranate, borage oil, tamanu, argan, squalane, geranuim, EPO, shea butter, jojoba the kitchen sink of oils

I got it because I thought it woudl be good for anti-aging - and to fight the damage that has already been done to my skin. But unfortunately something in it is too strong and I can't use it.

Do you think the basic oils that you are recommending have healing properties like these oils - meaning that they might be able to hear my pigmentation, bags, and other things?

Also, do you use a new wash cloth every day or do you use one for a few days - just curious about the bacteria that might build if I use a washcloth for too many days. How hot is the water that you use - is is tap or filtered.

I'm sorry to bombard you but I have been battling this for so long.

Thanks!!!!
p.s. what do you think of ACV toner diluted with water after doing the cleansing?
annaston2 years ago
Thank you for sharing! Excited to give this a go....hoping it will help with my eczema. I've been using oil to moisturize my body for a while but never knew I could also use it as a cleanser. Thanks!
htaylor73 years ago
Im really intrigued to see if this will work for me as at times my face can be pretty oily! Im just wondering about what type of oil to use though, as i dont think i have seen the sesame or almond oils in any shops near me. I noticed olive oil on the list though, which i have in my kitchen cupboard - extra virgin olive oil, is that the same sort of thing? i dont really know anything about oils! thanks!
makalove (author)  htaylor73 years ago
Yes, extra-virgin olive oil will work, although you may find it kind of heavy. i've recently started using coconut oil, even though for years i resisted it because it was on a bunch of lists as a pore-clogger. You may just have to experiment with oils. If there is a health food or natural food store near you, try looking there. There are so many possible oils, between nut oils, fruit oils, and vegetable oils.
thanks, i may try once i pluck up the guts! haha! ill have a look in the supermarket for other oils tomoro though, they maybe just arent where i usually look.
how is the coconut oil working for you? as i use alot of coconut based products (mainly for the smell) and love them, but unsure about putting it on my face since around my nose can be pretty oily as it is!
makalove (author)  htaylor73 years ago
i know it feels counterintuitive. Re-read what i said on Step 2. :)

If you buy refined coconut oil, it won't smell much like coconut, if at all. Unrefined coconut oil will, and will be better for you. i use it for most of my cooking, too. :)
theshipscat3 years ago
After spending oodles going to a dermatologist for my acne and buying prescriptions, I'm so tempted to go to the store tomorrow and buy what I need for this. This method makes perfect sense to me. I grew up in an extremely humid climate, which my oily skin thrived in, and now I live in one of the driest parts of US and I look like a pepperoni pizza.

I often use a steam room after I work out at my gym, which feels great on my skin and is a godsend in winter, but do you know if it would be detrimental to this method at all? And secondly, which of the "low pore clogging probability" oils would you say has the best overall success with the most people, in your experience?

Thanks! :)
I started using this method a year ago, and its worked fantastic for me. I used to have really really awful acne, and none of the prescriptions I got from the doctor ever really worked (hum...I wonder if they PLANNED it this way...).
I don't know about you, but I figured because I normally have very oily skin I would go with a light (low pore clogging prob) oil, sesame seed oil, and I think its great. At least for the face, I tried using it on my legs and it doesn't really make a big difference. So, from my experimentation, I think sesame seed oil would be most beneficial for the face.
Maka has saved us all with her fantastic instructable! Try it!
makalove (author)  theshipscat3 years ago
i don't think the steam room would be a problem at all. if your skin feels dry at any point, you can add a drop or so of oil to your skin as described in the instructable. if it feels oily you can blot with tissue or go through the full cleansing routine.

as for which one works for most people, i'm just one person, so i don't know that i could say. the folks i've talked with who enjoy using this method use so many different oils! one friend i know who used to have horrible breakouts now swears by coconut oil even though it's on the list of scary pore-cloggers! the best method is trial and error. :)
I have to say this is the most useful skin tip I have ever found. I have had oily skin since I was a teenager and have fought with it for 15 years. I have tried every drying/oil control product on the market. Some seem to work for a few days and then it turns into an oil slick all over again.

I "stumbled upon" this article (and have since fallen in love with Instructables.com) and it made sense. Eureka! Of course if I dry my skin out it's going to try to over compensate. I had sweet almond oil already and tried it that same night. I could immediately tell a difference within a few days.

I have been "washing with oil" for 3 weeks now and my pores are smaller, my skin texture is much more supple, I've even noticed some of the laugh lines aren't as noticeable. I only had a few small blemishes come up in the first few days, and I actually am feeling more comfortable going out in public without foundation on. I've been able to completely cut out all commercial facial products and most importantly my oily skin is finally under control!

For me, I have found that alternating a light mild sugar scrub (cane sugar / sweet almond oil) and the oil wash every other night gives me amazing results.

A resounding thank you for sharing this!
makalove (author)  circleofashe3 years ago
You're so welcome!
leesa4563 years ago
This is interesting. I struggled with acne throughout university (cystic - I would get at least 2 new ones every day) and it wasn't until later that I realized it was from the dry winter air combined with drying acne products (i.e. benzoyl peroxide). Anyways, after university I put a humidifier in my room, started using an oil-based cleanser (which is ridiculously expensive at makeup counters so this site has encouraged me to make my own), as well as neostrata products (10% glycolic acid). The combination of these things helped so much, now I'm just stuck with a ton of scars and small breakouts around that time of month. Recently though, I heard that tamanu oil is supposed to really help with breakouts and scars, so I've been using that as a moisturizer. Just 1 drop of the oil plus jojoba oil on top....I've only used it a few days now but so far I feel like my breakouts have stopped and from what I've heard, it should really help with scars after a few weeks. Sorry for the long post, I just had to share for anyone else with acne...
ourika3 years ago
I have been considering trying this method of face washing, but these are the most succinct instructions I have found (and I just "stumble!"ed upon them!). However, I use a face moisturizer that has SPF in it because I live in the desert and am exposed to quite a bit of sunlight everyday. Would it be a problem for me to use moisturizer if I used this method of face washing?
makalove (author)  ourika3 years ago
yes, it's fine. just use this cleansing method at the end of the day. like most everyone, your skin may seem a little overly oily until it adjusts to the new routine. blot the excess oil, or go through the cleansing routine again if you need to. it will adjust quickly.

you won't actually *need* a moisturizer with this method, though, so if you can find a sunblock product you like that isn't in a moisturizer, you might want to switch to that.
ourika makalove3 years ago
I've always had bad luck with sunblock for my face. Every sunblock that I have ever used caused pimples even though I have good skin (which is why folks I know think it's odd that I would be looking for a new way to wash my face). For some reason, the moisturizer doesn't.

The reason I'm looking to switch is that I can't use soap on large portions of my body due to the problem with dry skin, and even though my face is fine, I can't help but think that not having the soap pouring down my body would from my face would be helpful. A friend of mine stopped using shampoo on her hair, and the quality of her hair has improved greatly (she washes her hair with the conditioner and skips the shampoo completely).
makalove (author)  ourika3 years ago
yeah, i've known a number of people who stopped shampooing, either using conditioner alone or using baking soda to wash and vinegar to rinse, or borax to wash and citric acid to rinse. if you're interested in these, just google - there's good info on the web. i used the borax/citric acid combo for a while years ago, but these days i just use a baking soda paste on my hair, then rinse and follow with a spritz of apple cider vinegar. this same combination can be used on the body as well, and doesn't dry my skin.

if you've only found one sunblock that works for you, it'll be pretty tough to give it up! most of them do contain things that block pores and cause acne. ehow.com has some recipes for homemade sunblock, but i haven't tried them so i can't recommend one.

(p.s. do you have this same username on LJ?)
ourika makalove3 years ago
Thanks!
(and yes :-)
makalove (author)  ourika3 years ago
:) i'm one of krissi's oklahoma friends.
ourika makalove3 years ago
:-) Now I'm going to sing "It's a Small World" for ages!
makalove (author)  ourika3 years ago
::giggles::
amy213 years ago
hi makalove! im very excited to try out this method! i would like to ask if i can use this method for the body?
tnx!
makalove (author)  amy213 years ago
yes, definitely! i use it on the drier parts of my skin during the winter; the rest of the year my skin seems to balance its oil production pretty well. i never, ever use soap on any of my skin (well, only on the "smelly bits" as my son's dermatologist recommended to us years ago), so that helps prevent it from drying most of the year.
mherrera3 years ago
I started using this method about 2 weeks ago. I'm using a 70-30 blend of jojoba oil and castor oil. So far it is working well! My skin is a little dry sometimes after I wash it (I think from the steaming?) so I think I will change the mix to add more jojoba and see if that helps.

Other than that, it's working great so far! I haven't used my moisturizer since I started, and my skin feels sooo soft! I've been using the oil on my neck and shoulders too.

thanks for the great instructable!
makalove (author)  mherrera3 years ago
you're welcome!

you might want to lower the temperature of the water you're using. but also, if your skin feels dry after you wash it, you can just take one drop of your oil and pat it over the dry areas and massage it in gently.
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