I’ve been a sufferer of acne for seventeen years. In one quick swoop I went from teenage acne to cystic adult acne – no gaps in between.
Seeing other women with fresh, clear skin has always made me envious.
When I first read about oil cleansing, I screwed up my nose in disgust. Adding more oil to my face? You’ve got to be kidding!
It was probably sheer desperation that took me from that original gasp of horror to standing in the bathroom with a puddle of oil in each hand.
Four years on, I’m so glad I gave it a shot.
Sure, my skin still isn’t the dewy, glowing skin you see in magazines. But I have seen a marked improvement through oil cleansing.
The biggest and most immediate difference I noticed when I began oil cleansing was that my skin actually stopped being so oily. And this naturally resulted in less pimples.
I also often get told I look many years younger than I actually am (and that can never be a bad thing, can it?).
How the heck does it actually work?
Using harsh facial cleansers strips the skin of natural oils. To compensate, your skin then produces even more oil. In contrast, when cleansing with oil, dirt and impurities are gently drawn to the surface without over-cleansing. Over time, the oil production in your skin is able to rebalance.
You can read more about the oil cleansing method over here.
Let me share with you how I cleanse, tone and moisturise my face, and some tips on how I have managed my acne naturally over the years.
Blot a small amount of oil onto a makeup pad. Gently stroke over your eyes.
Cold-pressed castor oil
A secondary natural, cold-pressed oil of your choosing (olive oil, sunflower oil, argon oil)
A soft face cloth
1. Create your personal oil blend
Your personal oil blend is a combination of castor oil and a secondary oil of your choosing.
The ratio of oils used depends on the oiliness of your skin. If you have dry skin, you’ll use less castor oil. If you have oily skin, you’ll use more castor oil.
Play around with your ratios until you find a blend that is best suited to your skin type.
To cleanse with oil, pour a small amount of your oil blend into your hands then gently massage the oil into your face. Use gentle circular motions, paying particular attention to any problem areas. Continue to do this for about a minute.
Run your face cloth under hot water. Squeeze out excess water.
Place the hot cloth over your entire face for a few moments. I love this step! It feels amazing!
The combination of the oil blend and the steam will draw any impurities to the surface which can then be wiped away.
Gently wipe the cloth over your face to remove dirt and excess oil from your skin.
Rinse the cloth in hot running water, squeeze out excess water and repeat the steaming process again.
I use the oil cleansing method once or twice a week in the evening or whenever my face feels ultra-grotty.
For the other days and in the morning, I simply run a face cloth under hot water and place it over my face for a few minutes. The steam draws out any impurities and removes the makeup.
I know this sounds a little crazy but you have read this right. Most days I don’t use a cleanser at all.
My skin has never been better.
1 part apple cider vinegar
2 parts water
1. Create your toner
In a small bottle mix the apple cider vinegar into the water.
2. Toning your skin
After cleansing your skin, dampen a makeup pad with your toner.
Gently wipe the makeup pad over your face to remove excess dirt.
I only use this toner in the evenings on the days when I have not oil cleansed. I do not use toner at all in the mornings.
I’ve found apple cider vinegar useful for reducing redness on my skin and removing blackheads around my nose.
While oil works well for me as a cleanser, it’s definitely a no-go as a moisturiser. I’ve tried coconut oil, jojoba oil and argon oil as moisturisers. All three made my face break out badly.
Instead, I use an organic facial moisturiser from Sukin and I always say an affirmation while moisturising:
“Every day my skin is getting brighter, clearer, smoother, younger.”
My journey with adult acne
From very early on in my seventeen-year acne-ridden journey, I shunned suggestions for the birth control pill and roaccutane. I just knew that it was better to let my body rebalance naturally.
In this time, I’ve tried a whole range of different teas, potions, diets and skin-care products.
I’ve discovered that a simple, clean, vegan diet is the best for my skin (I believe this is because of the elimination of dairy).
I’ve also found four additional factors which influence the frequency and intensity of my breakouts:
- Going to bed with a clean face – I always cleanse using the method I described above.
- Drinking loads of water – I drink at least two cups of warm hot lemon water in the morning and an additional two litres of water a day.
- Limiting sugar intake
- Taking a good multi-vitamin and an omega 3 supplement – I use Nutriway Double X from Amway (and have done so for over 10 years) and Melrose organic flaxseed oil capsules.
If I follow these steps religiously, it’s not uncommon for me to go weeks without a breakout, and even then it’s just a few small spots. I always know when I haven’t been taking care of myself, as my skin is the first to show signs of distress.
Finding a skin-care regime that works for you
I want to finish by saying that while the above method works well for me, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will for you.
We all have different skin types and of course that means we all need different skin-care regimes. It may take a little time to find a regime that works best for you and your skin.
Be willing and open to experiment.
If I can help in any way, please pop your questions in the comments below.
12 steps to cosmetics so natural you can eat the ingredients
This little how-to is the third instalment in our series on how to green your bathroom by swapping to completely natural and cruelty-free cosmetics.
Cleansing your face with oils means you know exactly what’s inside the stuff you’re a-slathering all over your skin.
No more nasty chemicals. No testing on animals. Much less packaging. And, quite possibly, clearer skin.
Stay tuned for part four, where we’ll be sharing our own recipe for homemade organic chocolate body butter.
We’re also volunteering to be your human guinea pigs, so if there’s something natural cosmetics-related that you’ve been a-ponderin’, hit us up in the comments.
Check out the other steps via the links below:
- Step 1: Bathroom stocktake – get our handy free worksheet to help you work out how naughty or nice your current cosmetic brands are.
- Step 2: Homemade exfoliating coffee and cinnamon soap – how to recycle used coffee grounds into a luxuriously exfoliating and all-natural homemade soap.
- Step 3: How to cleanse your face with nothing more than oil (and a little apple cider vinegar) plus tips on dealing with adult acne
- Step 4: Whipped organic chocolate body butter – how to create an intensely moisturising body butter using only three-ingredients.
- Step 5: How to go no ‘poo – ditch store-bought shampoo and wash your hair using only bicarbonate soda and apple cider vinegar.
- Step 6: Menstrual cups – less wastage, less stink, less toxins. The better alternative to pads and tampons.
- Step 7: Natural homemade toothpaste – whip up your own toothpaste using everyday ingredients you probably already have floating around your pantry.
- Step 8: Oil pulling – swill a little oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes each day to improve dental health and a whole heap more.
- Step 10: Healing face and body butter – how to make your own naturally-scented and powerfully healing face and body moisturiser.