Published: March 3, 2022.
Think about the skin’s daily duties - protecting you against the elements, regulating your internal temperature, and alerting you to sensations, both good and bad. It’s no wonder that the body’s largest organ needs oil to work properly. Natural oil keeps it hydrated and provides a protective barrier so the skin can do its jobs better.
To achieve the appearance of youthful skin, and a healthy, supple feel, oil is necessary. It provides a barrier that keeps healthful bacteria thriving on the skin biome while helping the skin heal from injuries. Many skin care tactics talk about oil as the root cause of all our skin issues, like cystic acne, pimples, and whiteheads. However, it’s usually an unbalanced pH that causes an overproduction of oil, which then leads to a host of skin problems.
Instead of thinking about stripping oil away, oil cleansing allows us to reintroduce healthy, natural oils back to the skin’s microbiome. Here’s what to know about this increasingly popular method.
"Often, the materials that we are trying to remove from the skin, such as sebum, SPF, or makeup, are themselves lipophilic, meaning that they are attracted to and bind to oils. This makes oil-based cleansers very effective. They are an important part of a double-cleansing ritual which leaves the skin deeply cleansed without overly stripping the skin of the hydration needed to maintain the barrier function." - Christine Lee,
Board Certified Esthetician and [ comfort zone ] Master Educator
The oil cleansing method, often abbreviated to OCM, uses natural oils instead of a soap based foaming facial cleanser to wash away dirt, grime, and makeup. The basic idea is that oil dissolves oil, so by replacing the dirty oil left on your face after a long day at work with a clean, refreshing oil, you are still gaining clean skin but without dehydrating it in the process.
The OCM method does work for all skin types, from dry to oily and anything in between. It is important to note that different skin types will have varying requirements and considerations.
Those with oily skin should consider using certain base oils that contain astringent ingredients like tea tree, rosehip, or peppermint oil. Diluted castor oil is great for this skin type as well.
Consult with a dermatologist or esthetician before embarking on your own OCM. Since combination skin can be both oily and dry at the same time or at different times, it takes extra caution to treat. Sunflower oil can be a wonderful tool in your skincare kit.
If you’re one of the lucky few with normal skin, then you can potentially opt for any oil that feels great on your skin. Think about the conditions you do experience from time to time, and choose a base oil that way.
Oil cleansing products work well with this skin type, especially for those in cold, arid climates. Skin is usually in desperate need of additional hydrating so using an ultra-moisturizing oil like sesame oil or black currant oil.
Olive oil can work really well for sensitive skin as it's thick, hydrating and easy to come by
Often, our skin doesn’t just occupy one category. It changes along with the seasons, meaning that you can switch up your oil cleanser as well. During the summer months, you may want to opt for a lighter-weight oil whereas winter weather requires a thicker, more nourishing oil.
Oil cleansing works similarly to regular washing but with a few key differences.
The benefits of oil cleansing are numerous and many beauty experts are opting to switch up their traditional cleansing methods for the OCM. The most important thing is to choose what works best for you. You can oil cleanse every day or when your skin feels extra dry. Some of the key benefits of oil cleansing are:
While you still can apply a moisturizer afterwards, your skin won’t feel dry, tight, or irritated like it so often can after using over-the-counter cleansers made with bottom-rung ingredients.
Some makeup removers are comedogenic, meaning they clog pores by using cheap oils like mineral oil.
Those struggling with acne may balk at the idea of introducing more oil to their already oily skin, however, balancing the skin’s pH may be the best step in combating stubborn acne.
Poorly concocted foaming face washes that use alcohol, synthetic fragrances, and sodium lauryl sulfate degrade the skin’s natural oil barrier, creating holes in your natural armor
Many cleansers on the market today can exacerbate sensitive skin issues like rosacea, eczema, or even hormonal breakouts. They operate with one mission - to remove oil. The OCM method promotes nourishment and hydration while cleansing so sensitive skin isn’t bombarded each morning and night by harsh irritants.
Choosing high quality products is essential to creating a healthy, glowing complexion, no matter the cleansing regimen one intends to implement.
[ comfort zone ] products choose high quality ingredients because we prioritize your skin’s overall health and wellbeing. We’re not just here to sell you a product but rather, provide the insight you need to make the best possible skin care decisions for your body.
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