Friday, March 28, 2014

The Great Oil Experiment (with DIYs) DIY Face Oil and Cleansing Oil
Don't forget to label your bottles with old publicity stickers! Or, you know, actual labels.

The concept of washing your face with oil sounds very strange, but it makes sense - the basic idea is that the oil dissolves the excess grease and grime on your face, without stripping it and drying out your skin the way soapy cleansers do. Moisturizing with oils seems similarly frightening, but most people report a decrease in breakouts rather than the expected increase- apparently not all oils are as comedogenic as our own delightful skin oil.

As a fan of skin oils in general, I've been meaning to try oil cleansing for awhile now. I'll admit my usual face-washing routine is pretty lax (I usually just splash some hot water on there in the shower, and occasionally use some Dr Hauschka's Cleansing Cream which I buy entirely because it smells AMAZING and for no other real reason.) I occasionally use coconut oil to remove make-up, but that's not quiiiite the same (though this method will remove make-up very well.) Likewise, I'll occasionally use coconut oil in lieu of lotion for moisturizing, but I've never tried actual "face oil."

Now, if you go out and buy face oils, for cleansing or (especially) moisturizing, they will run you into the realm of ridiculou$$. The ingredients are usually obscenely simple (sometimes, it's just a tiny fancy bottle of a pure oil that they're charging $50 for, when you could get twice as much for a third of the price at a hippie grocery store- looking at you, argan oil.)

Anyway, that makes them natural candidates for DIYing! Here are my very simple recipes for both- I recommend putting them in a little eyedropper bottle (which you can usually find at the sorts of hippie grocery stores that carry the oils- I got everything necessary at Whole Foods.)

Cleansing oil:

2 parts Grapeseed oil
1 part Jojoba oil
A few drops grapefruit essential oil (or EO of your choice)

Many people like to use castor oil for cleansing- apparently it works a little better than other sorts, but it can also be drying and since my skin veers towards dry, I went with gentler grapeseed (which is also good for balancing oily skin.) Jojoba is more moisturizing, but also usually pretty safe for oily skin. Depending on your skin, you can tweak the ratios of lighter and heavier oils (some Googling will give you waaaay more info about what different oils are good for than you ever wanted or needed.)

As far as EO's are concerned, you'll be washing it off so it's mostly about whatever you like. I love the smell of grapefruit EO but it's not one I necessarily want to leave on my skin all day, so this is a good chance to use it.

To use a cleansing oil, take a few drops and massage them thoroughly into your face (if you're wearing make-up, be sure to give those areas some extra attention). Grab a washcloth, run the tap water nice and hot (not burning, obviously, but good and cozy), soak the cloth, and press onto your face for a few seconds. Rinse the cloth, repeat. Try not to rub too hard- the hot water well melt the oils off, taking the dirt, grime, and skin oil with it.

Moisturizing Oil:

4 parts Jojoba oil
1 part Grapeseed oil
A few drops lavendar essential oil (or EO of your choice)

You'll notice I used the same oils- that is called "not spending a freaking insane amount of money at Whole Foods." I went heavier on the jojoba because I want this one to be more moisturizing than the cleansing oil was, but again, you can tweak this using whatever oils you need to for your skin type.

As for EOs, here's a quick and dirty guide*:

For dry/aging skin: Geranium, Lavendar, Neroli, Rose, Birch, Rosewood
For normal/combination skin: Lavendar, Rose, Sandalwood
For oily skin: Pachouli, Myrrh, Rosemary, Ylang Ylang
For acne-prone skin: Lavendar, Violet, Rosewood, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Chamomile
For sensitive/irritated skin: Lavendar, Chamomile, Ylang Ylang

Bergamot and some other citrus oils are useful for oily or acne-prone skin, but they can make your skin more sensitive to UV light, so I wouldn't recommend them for anything you're going to leave on your skin. Neroli is apparently an exception, and sweet orange and grapefruit may or may not be okay...but might as well play it safe. On the flip side, apparently some EOs like lavendar, Roman chamomile, and myrrh as well as sesame, coconut, and olive oil actually offer some UV protection.

Another note on EOs: Go easy!! A little goes a long way. 

*Disclaimer: I haven't used all, or even most of these. Please research whatever oil you want to use before committing, in case my ten minutes of Google research was mistaken.

To use the moisturizing oil, put a few drops (like, two) in your hands, rub them together, and then pat all over your still-damp face, aftershave style.

So how's it work?

One day later...
My face felt really soft when I went to bed last night. Skin looks pretty decent today- hard to tell after just one use though. One thing to note, if you're not extremely careful, the oil does tend to work it's way into your hair, especially if you have bangs- no big deal (it's probably really good for your hair) but you'll want to make sure you can shower before going out the next day.

Several days later...
So far so good! My face tends to get more or less moody depending on the time of month, but the oil doesn't seem to have made anything worse, and it's at least as moisturized as with the lotion I was using before. My pores seem cleaner than they did with normal facewash, possibly because I use the oil more often (I didn't want to overdry my skin with soap.) The biggest downside? The required washcloths. Normally I just wash my face in the shower and splash some water on there to rinse, but that doesn't work as well with the oil (I tried it, but it was much harder to get the oil off without a cloth.) I'll just have to be diligent about laundry and maybe buy a few extras.

In conclusion...

Totally worth a try. The ingredients aren't that pricey if you think of how far they go- the EOs are the priciest part, but they last a long time and have many applications... and honestly you could probably skip them if you wanted to, but they make the process rather nice. Keep your other oils in the fridge unless you're using one with a long shelf life- that way they'll stay good longer.

Would love to hear your guys's recipes and results- I'm a sucker for DIY skincare/beauty stuff!


  1. I slap straight up jojoba on my face sometimes, but I'm a sucker for Josie Moran argan oil and Olé Henrickson vitamin C oil. Expensive, totally.

    1. Oh man, skip the Josie Maran prices and just buy this stuff-

      It's identical (and organic! Not sure if JM's is), it just doesn't have a pretty bottle. I used it for awhile but I wasn't really into the "earthy" argan smell. I wonder if adding EOs to it works or if it just smells weird... I may switch back now that I'm all about not getting wrinkles ;-P

  2. Cool new blog! I make my own lip balm with bees wax, olive oil, and EO of peppermint (all organic of course). Made it for the first time at the beginning of cold weather and still have some left (used 2 oz of bees wax). SO much cheaper than buying it, plus bonus, I'm not allergic to any of the ingredients! Will definitely be whipping out the double boiler for this one again (when I run out that is).

  3. I've oil-cleansed (almost every night) for years, and do a raw honey/baking soda scrub in the shower in the morning, and follow up both times with a drop or two or facial oil. My oil recipe varies a bit and I always eyeball it, but it goes something like this:

    Cleansing oil:
    35%-ish Castor oil
    65%-ish grapeseed or jojoba (or a blend, I've also added a touch of rosehip oil and it's lovely)
    some drops of EO (usually lavender)

    Facial oil:
    about 50/50 Argan and Jojoba (with maybe a bit of that Rosehip oil if I have it on hand)

    My skin has been lightyears happier since I stopped ever touching it with soap, it feels so clean and elastic and downright dewy!

    1. I will verify for public record that Vivian does in fact look clean, elastic, and dewy.



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