It’s been almost five years since I first did the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM). It’s one of my favourites. I’ve customized it a lot over the years – experimenting with different bases, carrier oils and eliminated base oil altogether.
This DIY oil cleanser needs to be done with the Oil Cleansing Method. If this is a new notion, I suggest reading up more about oil cleansing in general and OCM, specifically. Crunchy Betty, Overthrow Martha and Makeup Alley are good references to start with.
What you will need
1. Castor oil, or another oil for your base
2. A carrier oil.* Use a good quality oil. Make sure your oil is expeller- or cold-pressed and organic, if possible. It’ll be less processed with these labels.
3. A towel or washcloth
4. A bowl of hot water, optional
5. Essential oils, optional
* This particular oil isn’t organic or expeller-/cold-pressed. I bought this ages ago during my early OCM days and have never used it.
Normally I wouldn’t use it, but it’s a tiny bottle and it’ll expire next month.
Buy expeller-/cold-pressed and organic if you do decide to DIY.
Caution: With all products, patch test first. Know what oils do and do not work for your skin to minimize any risk of irritation.
Making your oil cleanser
1. Decide whether you’re making your oil cleanser in advance or if you will mix on the spot. | If you’re planning to make a lot of oil cleanser in advance, prepare a bottle and ideally keep it somewhere dark to prevent the oils from degrading quickly. Travel bottles (ideally with a nozzle) or small jars work well.
If you go with this method, just make sure to give the oils a good shake before using it, to disrupt any settling or layers that the oils might have made while not in use.
If you’re planning to make the cleanser fresh, prepare a small bowl for mixing your oils and then cup the mixture and your hands and cleanse as normal.
2. Select a base oil. | When I first started OCM I used castor oil as my base. Five years ago, this worked well. Castor oil is incredibly thick and cleansing, but now too drying for me to handle, even with toning down its ratio.
If castor oil doesn’t work out for you, try using jojoba oil or sweet almond oil as a base.
3. Select a carrier oil. | There are many oils out there to choose from. I first started with olive oil (which I found a bit too rich), coconut oil (without a base oil), jojoba oil and sweet almond oil.
When I first started, olive oil and coconut oil were touted as good OCM alternatives. But a lot of people have little success with it. Avoid these if possible.
Do your homework and decide which oil is best for your skin type.
Generally jojoba oil, sweet almond oil and safflower oil are great for all skin types.
4. Decide on your ratio between base and carrier oils. | Decide what the ratio will be for your cleansing oil.
My combination skin likes 25 per cent base oil, 75 per cent carrier oil.
Some general guidelines:
For dry skin: 10 per cent base oil, 90 per cent carrier oil
For normal and combination skin: 20 per cent base oil, 80 per cent carrier oil
For oily skin: 30 per cent base oil, 70 per cent carrier oil
Experiment with the ratios. It takes a while to figure out what your skin likes. It took forever to figure out the ideal combination for me and it’s constantly changing.
5. If you feel adventurous, add in essential oils. | These aren’t necessary and to be honest, I’ve never used them when making my cleansers. It’s an added step and I’m quite lazy.
Research the type of essential oils you can use and see how it’ll react with the oils you have and in your skin.
My advice: do your research and patch-test before using.
6. Cleanse! | With all oil cleansing, start with a dry face and dry hands. Apply a quarter-sized amount of oil onto your face and a little more on your neck. Massage and relax.
Use your fingers to send some extra love onto the dry parts of your face and across the bridge of your nose or jaw. Little circles around the temples are incredibly relaxing. Light circles around your eyes can help drain puffy eyes and cleanse at the same time.
Spend about a minute doing this and then do the steam.
Whichever method you choose – washcloth or warm water with a bowl – try and stay at this step for at least a minute. With a washcloth, wring out the excess water and put a comfortably warm cloth on your face. Once it begins to cool down, reapply the washcloth and repeat a couple times.
With a bowl of hot water, prepare this before you start cleansing. Hold your face over it when you’re finished massaging on the oil. Cover your head with a towel to make this practice more effective.
7. Gently wipe off the cleanser from your face and neck. | Congratulations! You’re done!
Do you feel a lot more relaxed after OCM? Is it something you already do
or are willing to try? Let me know about your experiences with OCM.
Share your comments and questions with me in the
section below or via social media.