Thursday, 27 November 2014

Essential Oils: The Oil Cleansing Method

As I have really sensitive skin along with eczema, I'm always looking for skin care products that have the least amount of ingredients. I definitely cannot use anything that is perfumed, or that has a large amount of chemicals in it. My skin just reacts so badly to it and gets all red and blotchy. Followed by itchiness and scales. 

I have really been struggling to find a cleanser that doesn't strip my skin, but not using a cleanser means that traces of my make up sits on my face and gets lodged in my pores, which are large and always open. 

So while I was reading around about using essential oils in beauty products, I came across the Oil Cleansing Method. 

In short, to cleanse your face, you massage a layer of oil onto your face (with or without essential oils, depending on your preference) and leave it on your skin for a few minutes to let the oil break down the skins natural oil that has gotten stuck in your pores. 

Then use a hand hot wash cloth (it must be clean, no reusing of washcloths) and place it over your face until it cools. This allows your pores to open further, so that the oil and impurities that are lodged within them can come out. Then clean away the layer of oil. 

Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat until your skin is clear. 

The idea with the Oil Cleansing Method is that our skin needs oil in order to function properly. Without it, skin takes on a dull appearance. So when you cleanse, you are not looking to strip the skin of all of it's oil, and therefore it's source of moisture, but to remove the impurities that have become stuck in your pores. 

Oil dissolves oil, so the oil that you apply to your face can dissolve the oils that has hardened with impurities and gotten stuck in your pores. 

I was really excited to try this, as I could use completely pure, natural oils, and add essential oils to it which would benefit my skin. I would know exactly what was in it, and I could adjust the type of oil I was using to suit my skin type. 

So I thought I would give it a go! 

I started with organic virgin coconut oil. It was what I had in the house, and I wanted to start immediately (I am not very patient). 

I decided to use the coconut oil for the first couple of weeks and then reassess whether I needed to add in a different oil (most websites suggest a mix of two oils). 

I decided to add Lemongrass and Ylang Ylang essential oils. Lemongress is supposed to help the body to close pores and Ylang Ylang was supposed to be soothing to the skin and helps the body to balance the production of oil. 

Apparently there is a detox period of about two weeks where the body adjusts to having oil added to your skin rather than being stripped away. So breakouts are common. 

Two Weeks In:

My skin is in a bit of a breakout phase, although the breakouts are all occurring around my chin, which is usually hormonal for me. This is normal for this phase of my cycle, so I'm going to continue and see if it evens out. 

I am definitely going to add in another oil to promote moisture. I have very dry patches of skin along my jaw line and across my eyelids, and the coconut oil doesn't seem to be moisturising enough. 

It has been recommended on various websites that everyone should use Castor Oil in their Oil Cleansing Method. It is supposed to be the best oil for cleansing and it is also antibacterial. However it can be drying, so you'll need to add in another oil to make sure your skin doesn't dry out. 

Here is a list of the different oils people use in the Oil Cleansing Method and what they are for:

Jojoba                          good for most skin types and work especially well on acne.
Sweet almond              oily skin
Grapeseed                   oily skin
Avocado                      dry and ageing skin
Sunflower Seed           all skin types
Apricot Kernel             dry and ageing skin
Argan                           all skin types, especially ageing skin, but it's really expensive! 

So I think I'm going to add some Apricot Kernel Oil to make sure my skin doesn't dry out, and add in a bit of Castor Oil to make sure my skin is properly cleansed. I'm going to use 2/3 Apricot Kernel Oil and 1/3 Castor Oil so that it's not too drying. 

Because so many websites are also suggesting that coconut oil may not be as good as the others and can cause breakouts, I'm going to swap it out completely for now and see whether that makes a difference. 

Four Weeks In: 

I'm two weeks into my new oil cleanser of Apricot Kernel Oil and Castor oil. I also got my new shipment of doTERRA essential oils, so I have added Lavender and Frankincense to the Lemongrass and Ylang Ylang. 

I have definitely noticed a difference in the quality of my skin. It is much softer, and the dry patches on my eyelids and on my jawline are so much better. I also feel like my skin is much clearer and looks fresher. 

I soon realised how moisturising the oil cleansing is, because I used face wipes one night, rather than take my make up off properly, and the next day my skin was parched and tight and dry. So I won't be making that mistake again!

My pores seem clearer, although they still look huge to me! I'm hoping that now they are not full of gunk that they will start to close a little bit. I also feel like the sun spot I have on my left cheek has faded a little (which is fabulous news!). 

I am really liking this cleanser and I think I'll stick with it and see what the next two weeks brings. 

Six Weeks In:

Six weeks in and I love my oil cleansing method! My skin is softer and I actually don't really need a separate moisturiser anymore. I've also been rinsing the cloth in cold water and laying that over my face, to try to close my pores a little, it seems to be helping. 

So I'm definitely sticking with this method. The oils are so soothing to my skin, and I really do feel the difference! 

All in all, a complete success! If you are interested in doTERRA essential oils, click here for details on how to get started!

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