The Complete Guide to Oil Cleansing

People are always searching for the best ways to cure acne. Recently, the idea of oil cleansing has become popular. It was popularized by the website, and the general concept is ‘like dissolves like’. Find out why this method is so popular and how you can use it to treat acne and oily skin.


What is Oil Cleansing?

Most people will try to remove oil altogether, which leaves the face dry and irritated. The problem is, the face does need oil to keep it protected, meaning that complete removal of oil from your face actually does more harm than good! The initial idea behind the oil cleansing method was that if you apply oil to your face, it will help to balance the oil that is already there. The oil you add dissolves the natural oil, so instead of completely removing facial oil, you’re simply reducing it so it can’t clog pores.

The tricky part is knowing how to do the method correctly and effectively. Too much oil and you’re going to actually cause more acne, because pores will get clogged. Use the wrong kind of oil, or an imbalanced formula, and you might end up damaging your face. So, we’re going to instruct you on the best way to perform an oil cleanse.

How to Perform an Oil Cleanse


To begin, the first thing we need to worry about is process. It’s pretty straightforward, but there’s a little more to it than slathering oil on your face every day. You’re going to need a towel, a wash cloth, and your oil.

Step One

The first step is to open up the pores, so the oil cleanse is able to get inside and displace acne-causing contaminates, and soothe the acne that has already formed. This is a process known as steaming, which is essentially taking a hot towel (but not too hot, because you don’t want to burn yourself or dry out your skin excessively) and using it to wash your face.

Step Two

Next you’re going to want to apply the oil mixture. We’ll get to oil mixtures in a moment, but for now we’re just focused on the process. When it comes to oil, a little bit goes a long way. You’re only going to want to put a couple of drops on your face, just enough to coat the areas you want to treat. Again, too much can actually cause more problems than it solves, so the key here is moderation. You’re going to want to gently massage the oil into your face with your fingers, concentrating especially on areas with thick acne.

Step Three

Now for the actual cleanse. Douse the washcloth in hot (but again, not too hot) water and wring it out. Tilt your head back and drape it over your face. Take the towel and drape it over the washcloth. This way, you’re keeping the steam from dissipating away from your face. You want it to linger around your skin, which will help to open the pores and let the oil penetrate.

This should only take a couple of minutes. Once the towel has gone to room temperature, repeat the process— wet the washcloth, apply to face, cover with towel. This time, however, when the washcloth is room temperature, use the towel to dry your face. You can even do this a third time if you’d like.

Ta da! You have officially oil cleansed. Do this every night and you should soon see a reduction in acne and oily skin. Plus your face will feel softer and smoother.

Choosing Your Oils

Now for the actual oil formula you’ll be using. The beautiful thing about oil cleanses is that it’s the natural alternative. You’re bypassing the harsh chemicals contained in the usual over-the-counter acne remedies and going the completely all-natural route.

The oil you use depends on what you’re trying to treat. If you have acne but not oily skin, you can stick to a simple Manuka oil without having to mix any formulas. If you’re looking to treat oily skin, with or without acne, you’re going to want to go the formula route.

Manuka Oil

Manuka Oil

Manuka oil only contains one ingredient — Manuka Oil — and it comes from the manuka plant, which grows in New Zealand. You can’t get much more natural than that. Manuka has been used by natives for centuries due to its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It’s going to do wonders for your skin. We recommend NZ Country’s Manuka Oil.

One other natural option is Tea Tree Oil. The two oils do about the same thing, but Manuka oil is featured here simply because it tends to be gentler on the skin than tea tree oil. Both ingredients have the same effect, only Manuka tends to cause less irritation, usually making it the preferred choice.

Manuka oil is generally only good for acne, though. If you’re looking to treat oily skin, you’re going to want something with a bit more punch. The most common base for an anti-oil formula is castor oil.

Castor Oil

Castor Oil

The key component of castor oil is ricinoleic acid. Ricinoleic acid helps the oil to do a variety of things such as act as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-viral. It also moisturizes, cleans, and works against acne by absorbing oil and balancing sebum production, thus reducing the overall amount of oil you’ll have on your face. It’s pretty much the gold standard for skin treatment oils. It, like Manuka oil, has been in use for centuries – even the ancient Egyptians used it.

The reason Castor Oil needs to be used in a formula is because it’s potent and it needs to be diluted by other oils. A little bit goes a long way and castor oil is no exception – even a little bit of castor oil might be too much. We prefer using Foxbrim’s Castor Oil.

It’s worth mentioning that the growing practices involved in getting castor oil exposes workers to harmful toxins. Everything harmful is removed prior to the castor oil being shipped, meaning the oil is clean by the time it finds its way into your medicine cabinet, but due to the controversy surrounding its practices many people are looking for alternatives to castor oil. Luckily, Hazelnut Oil offers identical benefits, and it’s much safer to produce. So therefore it’s another option to consider. Checkout Edens Garden 100% pure hazelnut oil.

Olive Oil

Olive Oil

If the goal is to cure oily skin, then you will be using either castor oil or hazelnut oil. Now you only need one other ingredient, which simply dilutes the castor oil or hazelnut oil.

Olive oil is commonly the third ingredient, because it’s cheap and effective. However you can also use either sunflower oil or grapeseed oil. These oils will do the same job and give off a different scent, but they will end up costing more money. Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil is an affordable brand that we recommend.

Creating a Formula

Now that you have your ingredients, it’s time to figure out the balance that is right for your skin. It’s recommended that you start small with 2-1 ratios. For example, you would use 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of castor/hazelnut oil. Experiment with this for a couple of nights and see if it works. If not, you might try using three teaspoons of olive oil and one teaspoon of castor oil. You want to avoid a half-and-half ratio, where you’re using just as much olive oil as you are castor oil.

It may take a couple of weeks to find it, but sooner or later you’ll find the ideal ratio and you’ll be enjoying healthy, youthful, acne-free skin. You have the ingredients, you have the process, and you have the know-how. So go and give your face the treatment it deserves!