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give oil a chance.

July 15, 2011

boy toddler playing in river. black and white.

washing in the river: keeps us youthful!

Recently, a dazzling beauty of a friend of mine (with perfect skin) asked me if I was planning on making any products to help sop up excess oils and combat the evils of facial shine. I said no, because I love oil, skin loves oil, and oil is not the enemy (I also recommend that she just get some rice blotting papers, to take off excess without adding anything yucky to her face or taking away too much of the good stuff).

We just so happened to be standing in a river in Hudson, Quebec, and I just so happened to be holding a pot of cleansing balm (oops, there’s a giveaway about what mysterious new products I’m about to release!) and so I demonstrated how clean and refreshed the oil cleansing method, when done right, can make your skin feel. Seriously, I can’t make a scenario like this one up. We washed our faces in the river, using my awesome blend of cleansing oils, toweled off (on a sweatshirt) and she said “Hey, that does feel nice!”

Granted, washing your face in your own bathroom, using non-river water and using a facecloth and/or towel does yield slightly nicer results, in my opinion, but the effects, no matter what body of water you’re using, is similar.

And yeah, I totally get that this method seems really odd, standing in a river notwithstanding, especially to us North American women who equate facial oils as “grease” and as being “dirty”. Well, that’s simply dead wrong. That idea is actually the result of years and years of marketing campaigns for chemically-laden companies trying to sell their harmful chemicals off as skin “care”. (For some reason this made me think of how Lysol once made it’s own brand of disinfecting vaginal douche. No kidding.)

Skin knows what it’s doing. If your skin tends to produce too much oil, it might be because it is reacting to a daily robbing of its own protective layer. Don’t forget that skin needs oil. Healthy skin is not free from oil, it has the right balance of it. Cleansing your face with a product that does NOT strip your face of oil, that does NOT use harsh chemical surfactants to dry up skin until it feel tight and uncomfortable, so much so that you must immediately pile on the moisturizer, is a good thing!

Sure, but just how does it work?

Vegetable oils work with your skin’s own chemistry, as they are actually quite similar in structure. Like dissolves like, so cleansing your skin with oil gentle removes the oil, mixed in with makeup, city grime, dirt and whatnot (in my case “whatnot” would be food…I always manage to get some on my face.), wiping it gently off your face while replenishing it with clean, nourishing oil.

See? It’s not rocket science. It just takes adjusting to what you believe “clean” truly means. Dry and scaly, robbed of natural oils and prone to freak outs, or radiant, soft and clear? That’s your choice.

So, here’s how you do it.

Use your oil cleanser of choice, and warm up a small 1-2 pea sized amount in the palm of your hand (and yes, straight up olive, coconut or almond oil will work. Caster oil is often recommended, but seems to be too harsh for most dry, sensitive skin types). Shortly, my own cleansing balm will be released, and naturally I do recommend it. I carefully chose a blend of oils and butter, including essential oils that help purify, detox and soothe skin. (HINT: EMAIL ME FOR A FREE TRIAL!!! Use the contact form on my site, please!).

Next, smooth the oil onto your pretty face. Massage it in there! Gently swipe over eyelids if you’re wearing mascara (you may need to do this twice to get it all off, but it’s super effective and gentle on eyes!). Give yourself a nice, 2 minute massage if you have time (you do, I’m sure of it). This will allow the old oil on your face to properly dissolve, and the cleansing, nourishing new plant oils to work their ma  gic. Let the oils sit there for another minute or so (maybe floss in the meantime?).

Run some warm tap water, and splash splash splash it onto your face! Or, you know, take a shower. Grab a facecloth and give yourself a nice invigorating exfoliation.

If you’re not a facecloth kinda person, then just be sure to towel your face off at the end. The idea is not to leave a thick film of the cleansing oil on your face at the end, it should be wiped clear.

What you’re left with is happy, healthy skin that may not even need any moisturizer!