Oil Cleansing

Just yesterday I received this question on Facebook: “It was recommended using organic cold pressed sesame seed oil as a cleanser at night without water and wiping off with alcohol free witch hazel, any thoughts?”

I thought this would be an opportune time to discuss the oil cleansing method (which I personally love). I admit I use water and I do not use witch hazel but I have heard of others using witch hazel after the oil is removed as a toner to close and minimize pores. I would caution about the drying effects of witch hazel, so monitor your skin.

The Oil Cleansing Method

I will admit I am do not have fond memories of my chemistry classes (which seems ironic now somehow) but I do remember that like dissolves like. This is the premise of The Oil Cleansing Method.  I know cleansing your face with oil is counter-intuitive but oil is not responsible for acne or other skin ailments – these are a result of numerous factors including hormones, bacteria and other environmental influences.  Our skin needs oil and produces it based on need. By using natural oils you can cleanse, heal, protect and moisturize your skin.


Regardless of skin type, a key oil in the Oil Cleansing Method is Castor Oil. It is cleansing and healing with anti-inflammatory properties. Because Castor Oil can be drying, It is important to mix it with a thinner oil. Here are some oil choices:

  • Olive (all skin types)
  • Jojoba (acne-prone skin plus all skin types)
  • Sweet Almond (oily skin)
  • Sunflower (all skin types)
  • Sesame (all skin types)
  • Grapeseed (oily skin)
  • Avocado (dry and aging skin)
  • Apricot Kernel (dry and aging skin)
Creating Your Own Blend
You will need to know your general skin type before creating your own blend. If you have dry skin you will want to use less castor oil and you will want to use more if you have oily skin. You can vary the suggested ratios and adjust them to accommodate your own skin needs.
  • Oily skin: Use 2 parts castor oil to 1 part carrier oil.
  • Normal skin: Use equal parts castor oil and carrier oil.
  • Dry skin: Use one part castor oil and two parts carrier oil.
Oil Cleansing
  1. No need to take off makeup or pre-clean your face.
  2. Pour some oil in the palm of your hand and apply all over your face.
  3. Massage into your skin for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Take a wet, hot/warm washcloth and place over your face.
  5. Steam your face with the hot/warm washcloth for 30 seconds.
  6. Slowly begin to wipe off. Rinse your washcloth and repeat until the oil is completely removed.

Note: As mentioned at the beginning of this post, some people follow with a witch hazel toner – I do not. If you choose to make sure and use a natural moisturizer. It may take a week or two before your skin adjusts. Mine adjusted almost immediately. You may not need to moisturize following – I do not except for a little eye balm around my eyes. Some people use the oil cleansing method every night – I use it 3-4 times a week. Listen to your skin, it will tell you what you need.

When you try it – and you should, let me know how you like it.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Renae
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 14:45:57

    Okay, I admit, I’m intrigued by this (had never even heard of this cleaning process until I read this post). Is there a place that you know of in town where I could find castor, avocado or apricot kernel oils? New Frontiers maybe?


    • fizzbathshop
      Dec 07, 2011 @ 11:42:23

      New Frontiers should have them. I haven’t looked recently but I remember when I was trying this out a while back before I had these oils and I bought mine there. I think I initially used avocado and castor, but I like apricot kernel too.


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