Skin is our largest organ; I’m sure you’ve heard this. It’s challenging, and quite frankly a little gross to consider that this versatile organ is accredited for protecting our bodies against the impurities of the outside world. Nevertheless, she remains unappreciated and ultimately undervalued; our skin is given a bad rap.
As human beings, most of us are typically only concerned with the external and as a result, we constantly complain about one problem or another relating to our skin. ‘My skin is too dry’, ‘my skin is too pale’, ‘my skin is too wrinkly’; you get the point.
In an effort to take some responsibility, I reflected and realised I don’t take entirely good care of my skin. When you have skin as oily as I do – you tend to opt for products which are oil free, oil absorbing and basically anything NOT oil, not even in the same street. So when a friend recommended I try oil cleansing, I nodded despite having zero intention of trying it. She didn’t have oily skin and I decided she had no idea what she was talking about living in her oil-free heaven. There was absolutely no way I was going to use oil to cleanse my face. No way in hell. I went right back to my mattifying, oil sucking gel cleanser and continued to dwell in the fact that I would just have to accept my oily fate.
Hemp to the rescue yet again
Months later, as I was buried in research about hemp oil for my upcoming hemp series on my blog, I came across a recommendation for oily skin sufferers: oil cleansing with hemp oil. Horrendous as it sounded, for lack of a better option and nothing to lose, I decided to give it a go. Initially I thought I’d give it 2 weeks, but it’s been over a month and there’s no end in sight.
For those who are interested, I documented my experience over 30 days and I’m so happy to share it with you!
30 days of hemp
Day 1-2: Well that was different. Immediately I noticed I didn’t like the smell so I made up a roller bottle with hemp oil, geranium and ylang ylang. I don’t know how well it worked in terms of cleansing because I didn’t wear make-up today but my skin feels soft and surprisingly not oily. I expected some sort of residue. scrubbed my face with a face washer to remove most of the makeup first then rolled on the oil, massaged my face and rinsed off under the shower.
Day 3-10: Hubby almost fell in the shower because it was so slippery! Okay, can’t wash my face with oil in the shower anymore. It leaves an oily film on the floor. Decided to switch over to a little spray bottle for easier application.
Day 11-21: Up until now I’ve been washing my face with a face washer prior to oil cleansing. However, I did some research today and oil cleansing works best used directly onto dry skin. I had a full face of makeup and applied the oil blend straight to my face then wiped off with face washer.
Day 22-26: I’ve learned about the importance of steaming your face prior to removing the oil with a face washer. I’ve just been using shower water temperature. I need to be using hotter water. Most of the oil residue was removed without having to ‘wipe’ it away. While my pores are open, I’ve been using the Foreo Luna to clean them out!
Day 27-30: I’ve been using my crystal face roller after my shower to tighten my pores. It feels so nice and refreshing too. Where was this method when I was suffering through my adolescence?
My Light Bulb Moment
Confused by the positive results I was seeing, I continued to read and read and read about HOW oil cleansing worked. The confusion came from the same place that my fear of flying comes from: I just don’t understand how planes work. How the heck does an 80,000kg aluminium death trap float so elegantly through the air? I knew oil cleansing was working; however, I had zero idea how or why it was working. Amidst my research, I came across a quote which consolidated everything I had read and I finally had my light bulb moment.
Oil dissolves oil. Of course!!! One of the most basic principles of chemistry is “like dissolves like.”
So gross but so satisfying
If you liken a single one of your pores to a bucket, it would be filled with hardened impurities, oil, dead skin cells, sweat, inorganic salts, bacteria as well as every day filth. We have approximately 20,000 of these buckets of filth taking up residence on our face, stretching and becoming larger as we continue to neglect them.
Basically, in using an oil cleanser, you are able to dissolve and replace the dirty oil with an oil which is beneficial and nourishing for your skin. For me, hemp oil was my oil of choice; however, a simple Google search will help you to determine the oil right for your skin type.
The Steam Train
This is a mistake I made early on. You need steam. Cleansing with an oil based serum will dissolve the hardened contents of your bucket; however, to effectively remove this mess, you need steam. Opening your pores, steam will allow for the dissolved gunk to naturally pack its bags, bid farewell and move out.
A note on cleaning your face washers
Maybe this is obvious, but it wasn’t immediately obvious to me. Your face washers will accumulate oil residue. A normal cycle in your washing machine won’t remove this. You need HOT water and I like to add half a cup of baking soda and vinegar in the softener section of my washing machine to rinse.
Blending up a storm
Perhaps the most exciting part of oil cleansing is making up and testing out your own blends! There are so many on the market – but if you’re keen on the low impact movement, making up your own can be cheaper and more personalised. As I said earlier, I am currently using a mixture of 4 tablespoons Hemple hemp oil, and 5 drops each of geranium and ylang ylang doTERRA essential oils. This lasts me about 2 weeks.
Tools of the Trade
I mentioned in my notes above that I purchased two tools to supplement my routine. These are absolutely not necessary, but an indulgent addition!
The first is a rose quartz crystal face roller. I purchased mine from The Lab Organics and LOVE it. Per the instructions, I use it to massage my face after my second oil cleanse, helping the remaining nutrients absorb into my skin. You can read up on the specific directions for anti-ageing benefits and lymphatic drainage – they have so many uses! I keep mine in the refrigerator so that it’s always cold. This helps to reduce puffiness and tighten pores. I take it with me to the couch after my shower, making my nightly Netflix binge much more luxurious.
The second tool was a little extra, but I’m a sucker for a gadget. The Foreo Luna is a battery powered silicone cleansing brush. It works effectively to unclog pores and it JUST. FEELS. NICE. I bought the men’s version. 1. because it’s black, and 2. because they designed it for a man’s skin type – thick skin and large pores. Yep. That’s me in a nutshell. Using this after the first cleanse, I feel, really cleans and opens my pores ready for the nourishing final cleanse.
The Final Process
I wish I had done my research prior to jumping in; however, I’ve learned so much over the last month and I can truly say that my skin and I have finally found a rhythm.
Give oil cleansing a go. Not only is it low impact and chemical free, the process is indulgent and a little bit luxe! It is a game changer.
Holly is a high school teacher, a mumma, coffee obsessed, amateur photographer, tree hugger, loves to read non-fiction, eats too much chocolate, wanderluster who is terrified of flying, an introvert pretending to be an extrovert, the planner of the group and trying to live a low impact lifestyle.
The Bush Collective is a collection of Holly’s experiences, memories, tips and tricks, recommendations and how-to’s. Say HI to Holly at The Bush Collective or @thebushcollective.