It's taken years of cleansing with harsh surfactants and sulfates, but it looks like the beauty world has finally found its way back to the oil cleansing ways of our ancestors. "Oil cleansing" sounds so luxurious. I like to imagine that it's how Cleopatra removed all of her eyeliner or how Marilyn Monroe took off her makeup before dousing herself in Chanel No. 5. It's like some cleansing fantasy. But unfortunately, in addition to sounding luxurious, to breakout-prone ladies like me, it sounds a little intimidating.
Ever since my first trip to the derm around age 12 (far too young, if you ask me), my cleansing and moisturizing routines have been chock-full of oil-free products. That was the norm for most people at the time, I think. Trying to convince me, or any other skin-conscious teenager for that matter, to cleanse with oil would have been a lost cause. We were too busy giving ourselves chemical burns with benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. However, I've finally made the leap from teenager to adulthood and my skin has really calmed down. With this change in my skin, I've also found that what used to work for my skin is now drying it out like no other. Even though I typically use the super mild Johnson & Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Wash as a cleanser/makeup remover, I still need to moisturize both morning and night. Anya's Herbals cleanser that I talked about here is amazing, but when used alone, it's not really a match for my Revlon Colorstay foundation. I figured if I wanted to combine makeup removal, cleansing and moisturizing into one easy step, trying the OCM, a.k.a. Oil Cleansing Method, was the only logical thing to do.
Before we get too far into this discussion, I need to say that this post is not about telling you that OCM is a miracle worker that will cure any and all skin ailments. I am still in the trial and error stages of using it myself. I am just here to tell you about the method I've been using as well as a great company that makes cleansing oils without essential oils. Essential oils may be great in small doses, but I've found that they too strong for everyday use, especially in a skincare routine.
Where to start... in my Etsy browsing days, I came across Pure Attitude, a Colorado-based skincare company that boasts products with only natural, skin-friendly ingredients. Colorado seems to be the hub of all things cool and natural, does it not? Anyways, before you know it I had purchased a bottle of Pure Attitude's Face Cleansing Camellia Oil in the Oily Skin Formula and Denise, the sweetest and most informative shop owner, was giving me the full rundown on oils. I was blown away by how much I still had to learn. I mean with words like linolenic and oleic being thrown around, I was feeling like a total oil cleansing noob. Apparently, oils high in oleic acid can exacerbate acne, but oils with higher linolenic and linoleic acid content help maintain the skin barrier, making them better for acne prone skin. That's a pretty short description of our discussion, but I think you get the idea.
Since receiving my oil a week ago, I've been using it every other day to ease my skin into the new routine. At first, the oil's texture totally threw me off. Pure Attitude's Oil Cleanser contains no unnatural ingredients, meaning no Polysorbate-20 to act as an emulsifier. You will probably spend a little more time rinsing this off than you would a typical store bought cleanser, but on the bright side, you're not dealing with any questionable chemicals. I simply apply the oil, massage for 30 seconds and finally, remove it with a warm washcloth. I am still using soap cleanser in the a.m., so I can't testify to it as being the best and my one and only, but I can tell you that it works wonders for removing makeup and that my skin feels extremely soft and clean after rinsing.
I've heard mixed reviews on the Oil Cleansing Method, ranging from "Wow, this has totally changed my skin for the better" to "Please stay FAR away from OCM", but I wanted to give it a try for myself before developing an opinion. I have been pleased so far, so I will continue on for a little longer. I have nothing to lose, but plenty to gain. If you are looking to try oil cleansing, check out Pure Attitude's website or their shop on Etsy. She has plenty of oil options for multiple skin types, so you're sure to find something you like.
Have you tried cleansing with oil? Do you love it? Hate it?