Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dealing with oily skin: Can oil cleansing really work?

I've had oily skin since high school and have been battling crazy acne, especially during both pregnancies. There are so many products on the market that treat acne; and I think I've tried most of them. Yes, I have to admit that I love the feeling of an oil-free face. There's nothing quite like putting on a mud mask and feeling the oils being drawn out of my skin. However, this relief was so very short-lived. By morning, the oil would be back. I would be counting the days until the next time I could apply the mask again. It seemed like this was a cycle. My face was just so oily ALL during the day.

I did start using some cream cleansers, and the production of oil did seem to drop. However, the acne was still there.

I heard about oil cleansing a little over a year ago on another blog (can't remember which now), and it sounded interesting. Oil could actually balance my skin? I mean, I know that I had a ton of oil on my face; and I had a feeling that the soaps, cleansers, and acne treatments could be part of the problem.

Then, enter Stephanie's vlog on oil cleansing. I was desperate to try anything. With oil cleansing, it's not just any oil. It's castor oil and either olive oil or sunflower oil. I chose sunflower oil. Now, for the perfectionist in me, finding the right mixture was a bit daunting. Stephanie links to a few other sources that give information about proportions of castor oil to olive oil, based on skin type. For my skin, I need mostly castor oil.

It's been just under a year, and I am still loving the oil cleansing method. I am no longer stripping my skin of ALL oils. Instead, I'm only taking out the bad oils and dirt that cause acne. When I finish cleansing my skin, it feels very soft. It doesn't feel too dry or too oily.

It feels so good to put something on my skin that doesn't have crazy chemicals and is SO cost effective. The cost savings is so awesome!! I've used the same large bottle of sunflower oil (about $12 for organic) for 10 months and still have so much left. I've only gone through two small-to-medium bottle of castor oil (average of $3 each). So that's less than $20 for facial cleansing for a year!

There are times when I don't think I have time to oil cleanse every night, and I'll use a gentle cleanser. Even then, I can feel the soap stripping my skin of oil. My skin gets so dry that I need to put straight sunflower oil on it. *Gasp* I never thought I'd ever need to add oil to my skin. So cool!

My monthly visits are no longer riddled with huge acne breakouts. The only physical sign now is that I might see an extra white head start forming. All I do is massage that part of my face with my oil cleanser a little more.

All in all, the overall complexion of my skin has improved; and I've seen a dramatic decrease of oil on my face. I just found out  from Simple Mom that adding a drop or two of tea tree oil can act as an antiseptic and will help even more. I'm trying that now to see if that blocks all breakouts. So far, it has been tackling the less-frequent blemishes with a knock-out punch. I really didn't think it would make a big difference, but it has. I don't use this new version (with tea tree oil) to remove eye makeup because I'm nervous about the tea tree oil. Instead, I just use the sunflower oil to dissolve the eye makeup — which is does so effortlessly.

Here's my concoction (for my very oily skin)...
You have to understand that it is a HUGE accomplishment for me to "eyeball" any measurements. I'm loving that I'm free enough to be OK that it's not exact!!
  • Small clear cosmetic bottle (found them in the travel section of Target for under $3 for a three pack)
  • Fill just over 1/2 bottle with castor oil
  • Fill 1/4 of bottle with sunflower oil
  • Leave remaining part of bottle empty to allow for mixing
Before each use, I shake it up and pour a quarter-size amount into my hand and gently rub into my skin — focusing on my problem spots (forehead, nose, and chin). Gently steam with a hot (not scalding), wet wash cloth. I'll steam twice and wipe off excess oil. I only have to do this in the evenings.

This winter, I found that I needed to add a little more sunflower oil; so I just added it after I put my mixture into my hand. That way, I don't have to make a separate batch.

My profile picture was taken at the end of the day with most of my makeup worn off. To even be OK with taking a picture with little make up is a HUGE deal for me!! It's so nice that my skin is not full of acne.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kristy! I, too, have always batted oil and acne and this sounds like an awesome solution. I love the ingredients and the cost!! Thanks so much for sharing this!