Like every woman I know, I can kill a productive evening with Pinterest. Of course I have the obligatory home , holidays, style, DIY/crafts, food, and humor boards. I also have a knitting board, but my most recent favorite is my Beauty, Bath, Hair, and Nails board. I am conservative pinner; I only pin things I think I can make/afford/get my husband to do (or things that make me laugh). Seldom do I pin things as a dream; at my core, I am a realist. I started seeing all these pins about homemade beauty products. I just kept dismissing the pins as “those crazy hippies who don’t shave and make their own soap”. But I just kept seeing them, and one piqued my interest. It was a pin about an oil based facial cleanser. I remember reading an article in a beauty magazine a while back about oil face cleansers and moisturizers, which helped to give the pin some credibility. I clicked on it and read the blog of someone who tried it. Her results were noticeable and what she said made sense (she has done her homework). It is supposed to help hormonal and cystic acne. I have noticed more cyst style acne on my face, and I never used to get that kind, so I decided to try it. What do I have to lose?
I’m here to report my experiences with the oil cleansing method.
First off, it is super cheap. I only needed three things (all of which I can pronounce, unlike the ingredients on my bottle of face wash):
1. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO),
2. cold pressed castor oil, and
3. a container to put it in.
I had the EVOO in my pantry, but I had to buy the cold pressed castor oil online. I found it through eBay and only bought a small container, just in case. They sell castor oil in the laxative section of most grocery/drug stores, but I wasn’t sure if it was cold pressed. Cold pressed is how it is processed, and I went with it because I couldn’t be sure how the other castor oil was processed (with chemicals? I’m not a chemist.).
There are three ways to mix the two.
1. Oily skin: 1 TBSP EVOO for every 3 TBSP Castor Oil
2. Normal/Combination skin: 1 TBSP EVOO for every 1 TBSP Castor Oil
3. Dry skin: 3 TBSP EVOO for every 1 TBPS Castor Oil
My skin tends to be drier, but I wanted to play it safe and did the 1:1 ratio. As soon as the castor oil came in the mail, I mixed it up! I put in 3 TBSP EVOO and 3 TBSP Castor Oil into my little 97 cent container from Target.
Here are the steps:
1. Put about a quarter size of the mixture in your clean hands and massage onto your face. I use it to remove my make-up, too. I just gently rub off the mascara (until I look like a raccoon). Oil is a great make-up remover.
2. Soak a washcloth in hot water (don’t burn yourself, duh), ring it out, and set it on your face. It needs to be HOT to open up your pores and steam out all the nasty gunk in there. Leave it on your face until it cools off (maybe a minute?), then gently wipe off the excess oil. I don’t try too hard to get it all off, because it soaks in and keeps my face moisturized. **BONUS: When I was sick, the steam opened up my nasal passages.
Voila! My skin is usually supple and rosy red from the heat. You can splash some cool water on your face to help with the redness, but mine goes away after a minute or two.
The oil cleansing works, because oil dissolves oil that has hardened throughout the day. The oil also encapsulates dirt/grime and gently removes it, while moisturizing. Skin needs oil, that’s why it produces it. Stripping/drying skin out with harsh chemicals only makes it produce more oil, so why fight it?
In addition to oil cleansing every night, a mask and exfoliation need to be done once a week. I do a mask/scrub all in one. I’ve read (again, in beauty magazines) that aspirin is good to put on pimples. I found a recipe for a honey aspirin mask, and I love it. Apparently, honey is a natural antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizer! Maybe it can even fix the rattling sound in my car. Aspirin has salicylic acid in it and will also reduce redness, since it also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Here is how I make my Aspirin Honey Face Mask:
1. Put 3 aspirin tablets (NOT the enteric coated kind) in a container, and drop 3 drops of water on them (I just run some water on my hand and use my fingers to drop a few drops on there). The water will slightly dissolve the aspirin. Mash up the aspirin with your fingers a bit.a **TIP: Not a fan of aspirin? Instead of aspirin, use a TSP of baking soda.
2. Add a small squirt of honey.
3. Mix it all together and rub on your face using circular motions.
4. Leave it on for 30 minutes (I’m wearing the mask as I write this!).
5. Wash it off slowly with warm water in circular motions. The circular motions help to exfoliate. Sometimes I shower after wearing the mask, letting the shower steam do some work on my face before I wash it off!
I’ve also read that honey can be put on a problematic spot to help it heal. A paste of 1 tablet of aspirin and 1 drop of water can also be put on problematic spots. I use the honey if I have pimples I have popped (I know, I know, MOM, I shouldn’t do that). I put the aspirin on troublesome areas I haven’t popped!
I wash my face before bed with the oil cleanser, following the steps. Nothing else needs to be done. In the morning I take a shower, and I use the warm water to get the sleep out of my eyes. A blog I read said to splash cold water on my face in the morning before putting on make-up, but I am a morning showerer, and I am not about to take a cold shower. Below are three pictures of me as I use the oil cleansing method. The first picture was taken after my first oil cleansing wash (I couldn’t use my old cleanser another day once the castor oil came in the mail!). I forgot to have my husband take a picture on week one and three, but I have weeks two and four. I noticed that the texture of my face feels much better. My face is smoother, and I have had no more painful under the skin cyst/pimples. Simply having no pain is worth it! I have noticed my acne scars fading (I still have a million light little freckles, but I love those). My make-up goes on smoother, too. Even without these good things, I would use the cleanser, because it is so cheap and it didn’t make my face worse! Why would I keep paying more money to have the same benefits? But in my case I got many more benefits. I think if I quit picking at my face (an anxious habit), I will have no more spots to worry about. Even the pimples I do get heal much faster and don’t scar. I’m impressed, although I know this won’t be for everyone.
Over the past few weeks I have been reading up on other remedies and trying some different things. Pure aloe is healing and moisturizing, and sometimes in the mornings I feel like I need a little moisturizer, especially when it’s cold. So I bought a small 100% Aloe Vera gel bottle at Target in the travel section. I put it on after I get out of the shower to lock in moisture. It’s very light and dries quickly. I have another heavier moisturizer trick up my sleeve, but this post is already so long; I will save it for another day! Here’s a hint: it comes from one of my favorite fruits!
I will update this and add more pictures as the weeks go by! Feel free to ask questions and leave tips in the comments!