Naked truth: I can be a lazy bum. Especially when it comes to skin, hair and other body care.
Maybe I focus my attention first and foremost on what’s happening inside the body, or maybe I just have no patience for beauty regimes. Either way, if it’s complicated I just won’t do it. Ask my hairdresser. No matter how beautifully she styles my hair, up it goes into my messy 2-second “mom bun” pretty much every morning.
This applies to just about everything that happens in the bathroom. I’ve always been lazy with this kind of stuff, and having a baby has exaggerated this tendency tenfold. I barely have time to shower let alone moisturize.
So imagine my sheer delight when I learned of a gentle, highly effective skin care regime for your face that is quite literally five steps in one:
- make-up remover
- fancy overnight serum
- And get this: you use oil.
Yes, I’m talking about the oil cleansing method. You clean, tone and moisturize your skin with oil.
Too good (or too weird!) to be true? I thought so. But it was one of those things that kept popping up until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Article after article expounded on the amazing benefits of this technique. I posted a question about it on facebook and the response was amazing. People are loving it!
So I tried it for myself.
Now if you’re like me, you don’t put the words “oil” and “cleansing” together unless you’re talking about cleaning the grill on your BBQ.
The idea of cleaning your precious face with oil is extremely counter-intuitive. Haven’t we all been trying to scrub our faces free of the stuff forever? (I can still remember how all my girlfriends and I carried around bottles of Sea Breeze in our backpacks way back in junior high, running into the bathroom at every opportunity to swab away any errant oil secretion.) Oil was the enemy and its eradication was the ticket to beautiful, clean skin.
Turns out we were wrong.
You see annihilating the oils in our skin actually does way more harm than good. When we strip the skin of oils, it goes into overdrive to repair the damage, and produces even more oil to compensate. This even applies to those with acne-prone skin. Using these harsh drying methods only to slather on moisturizer to counter the damage also speeds up aging, something none of us are keen to do. Seems like a lose-lose-lose proposition to me.
Some oils are astringent and others are moisturizing. Typically you’ll use a combination of two or more oils to find your perfect blend. Here’s the formula I use:
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
- 4 drops lavender essential oil
- 4 drops frankincense essential oil
In my formulation, the two essential oils are the astringents, and the others are moisturizing. This is a good blend for your basic combination skin. There’s a whole art to figuring out your perfect blend, which my friend Sherri at Overthrow Martha has done a great job of explaining.
Once you’ve found your perfect oil blend, simply wet your face with some nice warm water, and then pour a dollop of the oil blend into your palm (about the size of a quarter). Apply it to your face and rub in circles just like you would with a cleanser. Then, use a clean washcloth in very hot water (as hot as you can take it without burning yourself) and hold it over your face until it becomes room temperature. Wipe the oil off your face with the cloth, wet the washcloth again and repeat a second time.
Voila! You’re done! Your skin should feel silky smooth, clean and moisturized. I find when I do this at night, I wake up in the morning with the most glowing skin. If I shower in the morning I’ll sometimes add another dab of the oil blend as a moisturizer afterwards. But basically that’s it! Easy peasy.
Have you tried oil cleansing? What did you think?