Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Adventures in Oil Cleansing

     Last week, I talked about the process of trying to switch to an all-natural approach to skincare with a DIY apple cider vinegar toner. To build on that step, I've begun oil cleansing. This means I've done away with my drugstore facial scrub/cleanser, and am using coconut oil to wash my face. This was a bit extremely terrifying because everything I've ever known about skincare or dealing with acne has been directed toward "oil-free" products. But, in my research leading up to making the transition to oil cleansing, I learned that oil-free products may actually be the cause, or at least a factor, as to why people have extra oily skin. These harsh washes strip your skin of the natural oil it has, and therefore it goes into overproduction to make up for the loss. This is where acne can pop up because the over production of oil causes your pores to clog. But, the idea with oil cleansing is that it brings back a balance to your skin. It's high in the good kinds of fats and proteins that can repair skin ailments like acne, scarring, or dryness. 
     There are many types of oils that people use for oil cleansing, like castor, olive, almond, jojoba, coconut; and so many others. I've even heard of people blending oils based on their individual benefits. I'm starting out with just coconut oil, but may eventually try to add castor oil to my routine. Whatever oil you chose, you just wan to make sure that it is cold-pressed, organic, non-GMO, and extra virgin. This basically shows that the oil is in it's most natural state, and hasn't had any of it's nutrients compromised in the extraction process.
When beginning a new regimen, it can take your body a month to recognize changes or see results. Here is my "before" photo, if you will. As you can see I struggle with acne and scarring. I'm hoping that when I do my review in a month, I'll be able to say otherwise. I'm only a few days in, but I've found a routine that is as follows: Morning: apply apple cider vinegar toner with a cotton ball, let soak in, and apply make-up as usual. Evening: remove make-up with my usual store-bought cleansing wipes, splash warm water on my face, rub a dime-sized amount of coconut oil into my hands, massage over face for up to a minute, gently rinse face with water, and pat dry with a washcloth. You never want to scrub your face afterwards with a cloth/towel because you don't want to wipe away the oil. Part of the "healing process" is letting the oil absorb as a moisturizer, almost.
     I think it's too early to say I've seen definite results, but my face does seem to be softer and slightly less oily than usual. I've noticed some of my existing pimples are healing faster than usual, too. So, hopefully the progress continues! Have any of you had luck with oil cleansing? I'd really love to hear any and all advice on this method!

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