Learn How To Oil Cleanse - A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

young asian woman applying oil cleanser to face

Whether you have acne-prone skin and you’re desperate for a better cleanser, or you have dry skin needing a hydration boost, you may be surprised to find that oil cleansing can be a good solution for both such different complexion types. Have you been reluctant to give oil cleansing a try because you’ve always thought that putting oil-based products on your face would make you break out? The old thinking has changed.

Just as we’re learning more about the importance of beneficial bacteria in our gut biome, scientists are making new discoveries about the role that bacteria plays in creating a healthy environment on our face. Stripping our skin of beneficial bacteria can lead to an imbalance which allows acne to flourish. Likewise, removing too much of the natural oils on our skin can create dryness which makes it vulnerable to inflammation, harmful bacteria and other conditions.

What is the Best Facial Cleansing Oil for Me?

When choosing an oil cleanser, you’ll want to explore products that are specifically designed for your complexion. There are facial oils for oily skin, acne-prone skin, sensitive skin, and dry skin. Make sure you pick what’s right for your needs. You also want to use a facial oil that’s non-comedogenic, which means that it won’t clog your pores and lead to breakouts.

Before you begin any new cleansing routine, it’s a good idea to do your homework and to be cautious when trying a new product on your skin. Patch test a little bit of the product on the edge of your face to make sure that you have no adverse reaction. Most facial oil cleansers are a blend of several oils, and you’ll want to make sure that you’re not sensitive to the product before you use it all over your face.

Should I Cleanse Differently if I Have Acne-Prone Skin?

For those with severe cystic acne, always check with your dermatologist before making a change in your skincare routine. The oil cleansing method is not for everyone, and if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin, don’t hesitate to consult your doctor. Some dermatologists consider oil cleansing beneficial for those with acne. “In fact, oil dissolves oil, making cleansing oils ideal for a variety of skin types, including patients who have oily or acne-prone complexions,” Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a New York dermatologist, told Vogue.

That being said, if you have acne-prone skin and you’re ready to give the oil cleansing method a try, you can experiment with double cleansing. This approach has been popularized by aficionados of K-beauty (otherwise known as Korean beauty) lines. Double cleansing can also be useful if you have oily skin.

What is Skin Purging and Does it Happen with Oil Cleansing?

“’Purging’ is a term commonly used to describe an adjustment period when you start using a new product, when your skin gets worse before it gets better than before.  This is completely different from a reaction, when your skin is straight-up irritated or allergic to something in the product, and no amount of time will change that.” – from The Facts and Myths of Purging on theklog.co

According to the klog, acne has a life cycle of about 8 weeks. This means that acne is forming underneath the skin before it erupts and becomes visible on the surface. If you are using a product with ingredients that are able to speed up cell turnover and increase this life cycle, you may experience something like purging.

Though facial cleansing oils contain vitamins and antioxidants which nourish the skin, there’s no evidence that this cleansing method actually accelerates the life cycle of acne. For this reason, it’s unlikely that oil cleansing causes skin purging. However, using concentrated oils on their own that may be comedogenic, or skin clogging, can lead to a condition called milia. Similar-looking to acne, milia are actually tiny, white cysts formed of keratin which will not pop like a zit.

How to Oil Cleanse Your Face:

  1. Follow the proportions of product given by the manufacturer of your oil cleanser. Typically, 3-4 drops of oil is sufficient. This can be applied to dry skin. Gently massage oil all over face for a minute or two. This will allow the oil to seep into skin and remove impurities, makeup and pollution.
  2. Facial cleansing oil can also be used to as a makeup remover. It will even remove waterproof makeup. CAUTION: If you wear eyelash extensions, do not use oil cleansers on your face. It will also remove your extensions.
  3. Use a damp, warm washcloth to gently wipe off the oil and residue. Do not scrub at the skin. If you have not used an oil cleanser before, it will feel differently when you wipe it away. A thin film of oil will remain on your skin which will moisturize it.
  4. If you choose to double cleanse, then follow up your oil cleanser with your other cleanser.
  5. Gently pat your skin dry. Do not rub your towel roughly on your skin to dry.
  6. If you have dry skin, you can apply another few drops of oil on your skin to use as a moisturizer. Do not reapply if you have oily or acne-prone skin.

Do not oil cleanse your face more than once a day. It’s most beneficial to use this method at night so that your skin can best absorb the moisture.

BeautyGARDE Clean Cleansing Oil

Containing both astringent and nourishing ingredients, Clean Cleansing Oil includes a blend of geranium, olive, vitamin E, castor and rosemary oils. Tiny rosebuds infuse the oil with vitamin C and their calming, intoxicating aroma.

Castor oil has both astringent and hydrating properties, and paired with the astringency of geranium oil, this duo will help alleviate inflammation caused by acne. Rosemary oil also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, and it’s high in antioxidants and vitamin E. All three of these oils can be helpful for those with oily complexions by pulling excess sebum from the face to restore the skin’s natural balance.

Olive oil is full of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E to calm, soothe and nourish sensitive or dry skin. BeautyGARDE Clean Cleansing Oil is non-comedogenic, cruelty-free and vegan.

To learn more about oil cleansing, read these other articles in our series:

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