My journey with the Oil Cleansing Method

There are loads of articles online describing the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM), so I’m not going to re-invent the wheel, just give you another person’s experience with it!  Also after getting the hang of it, I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help guys and gals with the transition!  From a ex-acne sufferer, I really do believe this method of cleansing is the cat’s meow! If only I know about in it my acne days, instead of those cleansers that felt like paint stripper!

I stopped using any soap or foam based cleanser a good few years back, I’d say maybe 6 years ago.  I took a workshop with the amazing Alexandra Soveral, and I mean that! Alexandra and her story of organic skincare and family history is inspiring.  During her workshop, she explained to me for the first how cleansers work against our skin by removing oils that are produced naturally and reminded me that our skin is an organ vital to our bodies function.  The oils they produce are there for a reason.  So treat it right, with care, nourishment and respect! It was also through this workshop I discovered the use of facials oils instead of cream to moisturise the skin.

So from that day forward I cut out foaming cleansers and used a Micellar Cleansing Water to remove dirt and make-up and eventually a cream based cleanser.   Fast forward to 2011 and my journey into non-toxic cosmetics took off.  It was through one of my usually late night research stints that I came across the Oil Cleansing Method.  My knowledge of organic products at the time was very limited, so I wasn’t aware of Micellar Water from organic brands such as So’Bio or Edenens.  I haven’t tried either of these, so would be interested to hear from people who have! From what I learned at the Alexandra Soveral workshop and remembering a random comment from my history classes, an age ago, that the Romans used oils to cleanse their bodies, the Oil Cleansing Method clicked with me!

I can’t remember how exactly I found the OCM or which website I discovered it from but two websites, here & here,  have really helped me since! So after reading about it and after running out of my usual cleanser I decided to give it a go! Yep, that’s how it happened! So I grabbed my bottle of olive oil and thought, “Ah sure, here we go”!

Now, I’m going to say that I am unfortunate, yes unfortunate, that my skin and hair LOVE Olive Oil.  A many of you may know this oil is not known for its enticing floral scent! But, surprisingly I don’t go to bed smelling like salad (unless I’ve have to do a ACV rinse on my hair!).

I used about a good tablespoon of olive oil and warmed it in my hands and went straight to work on my face.  I had read that a good massage with this method really opens the pores and helps to clear out all the dirt.  I focused on my nose area as, my issue now is no longer acne but large pores (linked to my sweetish tooth). Pretty much straight away I saw it dissolved my make-up.  This was pre-organic make-up days so you can imagine the staying power of the products I was wearing! I then took a muslin cloth and as hot water I could stand, cleaned my face! One swipe thats all it took and all the make-up was taken off. I wanted to make sure my skin was deep cleaned so repeated the process until no make-up/dirt came off, about three times.

In the beginning of my oil cleansing days  I just stuck with Olive Oil, like I said my skin and hair love it! I used this method every night to remove make-up and even on my make-up free days.  I was lucky enough not to go through the transition phase, which can last up to 28 days,  but I wonder is that due to the fact that I have removed sulphates a few years before already?  I never felt I needed to moisturise after the cleanse but after a few weeks and through discovering new oils, decided to add Rosehip Oil after the water stage.  Hands down every time I demonstrate this method to someone, or if a guest was staying with me, it is commented how my skin glows once cleaned.  I never got his before!

In the beginning, Id be lying if I said that my skin didn’t feel oily! It never felt greasy but I could feel I had put a product on my skin.  However, this lasted only a few weeks and so now, literally a few minutes after, any trace of oil is absorbed, leaving a smooth non-greasy feel.  I never now have to exfoliate my skin to get a youthful glow and only get spots when I do DIY.  So I am convinced they are stress induced 🙂

ADVICE FOR OCM BEGINNERS

For those who are apprehensive about the OCM or who found that it wasn’t right for your skin, this is what I think and have found when recommending it to women.

Silicone Products: If you use a lot of silicone based products, like primers, certain moisturisers, make-ups, the “oily” feeling I described in the beginning lasts longer and some women have found that their skin did not absorb the oil at all, until they changed these products.  Whether it is the silicone or the petrochemicals in general that prevent the skin absorbing oils, I’m not sure and would love to hear from those in the know!

Transition Product: Try a transition product.  If you have used harsh cleansers containing sulphates, 9 times out of 10 you skin will have been producing to much sebum to compensate.  So the transition period could be a bit hairy.  Why not try the Micellar Water Cleanser? Or a a cream to water based Cleanser? A good friend of mine went to Content Beauty in London where she was advised to use OSIKA PERFECT CLEANSER and she loves it! I’ll get her to do a little review for the blog!

REASONS I STICK WITH OCM

  1. Olive Oil is cheap, even organic cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, is more reasonable than more harsh branded cleansers.  Recently however, on further reading,  adding a few drops of castor oil is recommended for more effective cleansing! So, I’ll add this to my cleansing blend!
  2. The logic behind the OCM – like cleans like (just like homeopaty, like cures like), oil will disolve oil, makes sense! Most make-ups are oil based as well! Respects ours skins natural oil balance.
  3. Appearance of my skin! My skin have never been so good! The next morning my complexion is clear and skin tone even, small wrinkles that had started to appear, have now disappeared.

I’d love to hear from people who have used this method! Has it worked for you? If not, what happended?