So a few weeks ago I had a bit of a mental melt-down about the amount of unknown (to me) chemicals we use in and on and around us on a daily basis. I’m working to eliminate preservatives from our diet, which is proving to be rather difficult; I’m trying to figure out if it’s possible to maintain anything that resembles a clean house without chemical cleaners; and I’m nearly convinced I should be trying to keep food separated from plastic at all costs.
Then, I attempted to read the ingredient list on the back of my face wash, and it threw me over the edge. I looked at a few “all natural” face cleaners at the store, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the per-ounce price is higher than gold. Ridiculous. So I started researching (as in, I googled) natural face wash alternatives, and I came across the Oil Cleansing Method. It looked interesting, and I decided to give it a try.
I guess I’ll give you the disappointing news first: The actual look of my skin — what you would be able to see in a picture — really hasn’t changed. Granted, it’s only been three weeks, and, also granted, nothing that I read about oil cleansing claimed to visibly improve the look of pores, but a girl can hope, right? Hope away, but pores are pores are pores and I don’t think any product out there really changes that.
But I do have a good report about the Oil Cleansing Method; two, actually:
1) Softy soft softness. From the first night I tried oil cleansing (I’m using a mixture of about 2/3 extra virgin olive oil and 1/3 castor oil, by the way), my skin has simply felt incredibly soft, softer than it has in… decades. It doesn’t feel oily or slimy at all, only soft.
2) Balance. I’m convinced that we’ve fallen into the trap of the endless loop with cleansers and moisturizers. I used to use an exfoliating cleanser every night to scrape that old, dull skin away, then would immediately have to apply a “good” moisturizer to replenish everything that was just stripped by cleansing. I think this system got my skin’s natural oil production so out of whack that if I fell asleep without scrubbing one night, in the morning my skin was covered in an oil slick layer. Yuck. After a couple weeks using the oil cleansing method and no moisturizers at all, my face is not dry or irritated or oily, whether it be morning, noon or night. It’s like it has found its own natural balance again and is quite happy. In fact, it’s not unusual for me to skip the honey wash in the mornings because my face looks and feels fine after a good oil cleanse the night before.
Neutral, natural, soft, happy skin (with pores). That works for me. I like that I know exactly what’s being absorbed into my face, and I feel a lot less anxious about putting something on my face when it came out of my kitchen.
I haven’t figured out exactly how much the Oil Cleansing Method costs and how it compares to store-bought facial cleansers. It depends on which oils you use and at what ratio, as well as how much you use for each cleanse, but I’m guessing the price is about middle-of-the-road, above a basic drug-store brand face wash but less than a “higher-end” brand or a “natural” brand. Of course, if you consider the fact that I’m no longer paying for moisturizer, then it is WAY cheaper.
I can’t commit to staying with this forever — seasons change and skin changes, maybe I’ll have a need to add a moisturizer back in later, etc — but for now, I’m totally convinced. No more face wash in my shower or medicine cabinet.
Next up: I evict my shampoo (but if my hair starts going the way of dreadlocks, I’m inviting it back in). (UPDATE: Shampoo is outta here! And there are no dreadlocks.)
Side note: It never occurred to me before that “dreadlocks” is actually spelled with the word “dread.”
“Dread – locks.”