I told you last week that a good friend asked me how my boys washed their faces. It was actually a two-part question and the first part was, “Is there something you use to wash faces?” So in reply I went into great detail describing my face-washing routine–only to realize later that she wasn’t asking me. She wanted a face washing method for her kids. But ever kind, she generously thanked me for sharing anyway. (I am so thankful for my grounding and caring friends.) For years I changed my face washing method like a fashionista changes her handbag. I’ve used Ivory soap, Noxema, Clinique soap, Kiss My Face olive oil soap (I still use this soap. Just not on my face. I love the smell.), and on and on. Now I either wash my face with warm water or I use oil to wash it. (Known as the Oil Cleansing Method.) I don’t wear make-up more days than I do. Many of those days I just use water to wash it. On make-up days and those days when I’ve been outside or out and about a lot I use oil. I started with a mixture of sunflower seed oil and castor oil with a ratio of 3:1. Then I got to thinking about the source of the castor oil that I was using–the inexpensive store brand–and decided to try another oil in it’s place the next time around. (You can get an organic castor oil from VitaCost here.) Now I’ve switched to sunflower seed oil and olive oil with the same 3:1 ratio. I pre-mix it measuring in tablespoons and place it in a plastic travel size squeeze bottle. I use just a few drops, smaller than a dime, to wash my face. (My face tends to be more dry than oily, but I do occasionally have blemishes pop up to keep me in check at 44. If your face tends to be more oily than dry you will want to play with the ratio some, increasing the sunflower oil and decreasing the olive oil. I recommend starting with teaspoons until you are satisfied with the ration that you use.) I gently rub it on my face, using coconut oil around my eyes to remove any eye makeup), then put a moist, very warm washcloth over my face to kind of steam it and open the pores. As it cools I gently wipe my face with the cloth, rinse it, and do it one more time. You can add essential oils to these or you can use them in your moisturizing routine. I choose to do the latter and will share that soon. In order to choose a mixture of oils that work for your skin and skin type, it helps to understand the comedogenic ratings of oils. Oils are rated from zero to five, zero not clogging pores at all and five being the highest for clogging pores. Below I listed some of the more “known” oils–those I’m most familiar with or use most–with their comedogenic ratings. If you want to find the ratings of other oils, charts are abundant when you do a search for “comedogenic rating.”
As you see, everyone’s latest rave, coconut oil, is a 4. So, while I love to use coconut oil to oil pull, as a carrier for lavender, in my coffee, and so on and so forth, it is a poor choice for face washing in many cases because it can clog the pores quite easily. If you have a nut allergy, you should certainly avoid almond oil. Grapeseed oil is a good candidate for part of the mix. It contains plenty of vitamin E, helps with cell regeneration, and can reduce the prominence of some blemishes. I don’t use jojoba oil, but I wanted to include it because it “helps unclog pores and. . .control the buildup of excess sebum” (which often is a source of acne) Olive oil contains plenty of great nutrients for the skin, as does almond oil–also known as sweet almond oil. (Johnson, 2014.) Castor oil is often used in this washing method because it is known to be cleansing and beneficial to the sking. It comes from the seeds of an herb that grows in Africa and India. With this information, you might better be able to choose what oils you would like to combine to try first. I recommend when first experimenting to measure in small amounts–maybe quarter teaspoons. And when your oil mixture runs out, be sure to clean the container thoroughly to keep bacteria out of the mix.
And let me know how you like to wash your face! Do you use the oil-cleansing method or want to try it? Do you prefer something that is already mixed for you? (Young Living has a popular and loved skin care line called ART. They make a gentle cleanser and other products to work with it. It is a great option for those not comfortable with DIY.)
Johnson, Dr. Scott A. (2014). Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails: A definitive guide to essential oils that could save your life during a crisis, 2nd ed. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.