Oil Cleansing Method: The Complete Guide

Interested in the oil cleansing method? Check out this complete guide to the oil cleansing method. It has everything you need to know to have oil cleansing success.

Bottle of oil cleanser lying on wood next to white washcloth

The Oil Cleansing Method

I know the thought of cleaning your face with oil can be a little scary. Especially if you have oily or acne-prone skin. But the oil cleansing method has transformed my skin for the better and here’s why you need to try it!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure statement here.)

I am not a doctor and the statements on this blog have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult your doctor before using essential oils on children under 5 or while pregnant or breastfeeding. Please do not ask me for medical advice. Click here to read my full disclaimer.

I heard about the oil cleansing method years ago. But I was always too scared to try it.

I have struggled with blackheads and extremely oily skin for most of my adult life and the thought of applying oil to my skin just seemed like a recipe for disaster.

But I was getting desperate. I had tried so many different products and absolutely nothing was helping.

My oily skin made me extremely self-conscious. I had to carry oil-absorbing sheets with me everywhere I went because an hour after applying my makeup the oil would start to come through.

I got to the point where I seriously felt like the oil cleansing method was the only thing I hadn’t tried and I just thought what do I have to lose.

So I did it. And I stuck with it for about 30 days.

After 30 days, I started to notice a shift in my skin. I wasn’t needing the oil-absorbing sheets at all. And I had hardly any blackheads.

In my opinion, this was nothing short of a miracle and I’ve been using the oil cleansing method ever since.

I don’t have oily skin anymore and although I do get blackheads from time to time it’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be.

So if you’re struggling with oily skin, blackheads, breakouts or you just want to ditch your chemical-filled facial cleanser, keep reading to learn all about the oil cleansing method.

Bottle of oil cleanser lying on wood next to white washcloth

What is The Oil Cleansing Method

The oil cleansing method is quite simple. It is when you wash your face with oils rather than soap. Only oils and absolutely nothing else.

As I said, it’s very simple and not as intimidating or complicated as it seems.

How Does The Oil Cleansing Method Work?

Oils actually help to dissolve and wipe away makeup, bacteria, and excessive oils from your face.

But oil is also a very gentle cleanser and unlike harsh facial cleansers, it doesn’t strip your skin of the oils it needs.

Benefits of Oil Cleansing

There are several benefits to using the oil cleansing method. The oil cleansing method can reduce acne, eliminate oily skin, restore balance to your skin and so much more!!

And another added benefit of using the oil cleansing method is eliminating toxic chemicals from your skincare routine!!!

The oil cleansing method is 100% all-natural.

The Best Carrier Oils For Oil Cleansing

Below are the best carrier oils for oil cleansing. When creating your own cleansing oil you will want to use castor oil and at least one other carrier oil from this list.

Recipe suggestions based on skin type are further down in the post.

When purchasing carrier oils make sure they are of the highest quality. Use 100% pure, organic, cold-pressed, unrefined, hexane-free carrier oils whenever possible.

I’ve listed each carrier oils comedogenic rating below as well. Comedogenic ratings are given to oils based on their tendency to clog pores.

They’re rated from 0 to 5. The lower the rating the less likely it will clog your pores. And the higher the rating the more likely it will clog your pores.

Castor Oil | Comedogenic Rating 1

Castor oil is great for cleansing the skin. I recommend using it no matter what type of skin you have.

It can be a bit drying though. So if you have dry skin I still recommend using this oil just not very much. Recipe suggestions for dry skin are below.

If you have oily skin this oil is what you should be using. This is what I use and it’s amazing.

Sweet Almond Oil | Comedogenic Rating 2

Sweet almond oil is great for all skin types. It’s especially good for oily skin.

Jojoba Oil | Comedogenic Rating 2

Jojoba oil is great for all skin types. But especially for acne-prone skin.

Grapeseed Oil | Comedogenic Rating 1

Grapeseed oil is great for all skin types. It is especially good for oily skin.

Argan Oil | Comedogenic Rating 0

Argan oil is great for all skin types. It is especially great for aging skin types.

Avocado Oil | Comedogenic Rating 3

Avocado oil is really great for dry or aging skin. But it does have the highest comedogenic rating on this list so if you have acne-prone skin I would avoid using this oil.

Coconut Oil & Olive Oil

Many people recommend using olive oil or coconut oil for oil cleansing but I do not.

Coconut oil and olive oil can clog your pores so that is why I don’t recommend using them for oil cleansing.

I personally don’t use coconut oil on my face at all except for removing my eye makeup.

With that being said I know of people who use coconut and olive oil on their faces and love it and don’t have any issues at all. If that is you and you really want to use one of those oils instead go for it.

But otherwise, I would just stick to the oils on this list. It’s better to be safe than sorry and all the oils on this list are great options!

The Best Essential Oils For Oil Cleansing

Essential oils aren’t necessary when creating an oil cleansing mixture. The carrier oils above will work just fine all alone.

But essential oils do provide additional skin benefits.

You can read my post called the best essential oils for skin to learn more about what essential oils might work best in your oil cleansing recipe. A few quick suggestions are below.

Acne-Prone Skin | Tea Tree Oil, Lemon Oil, Lavender Oil

Aging Skin | Frankincense Oil, Rose Oil, Myrrh Oil

Dry Skin | Ylang Ylang Oil, Sandalwood Oil

Oily Skin | Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary Oil, Neroli Oil

When choosing your essential oils make sure they are 100% pure.

There are many essential oil companies that sell high-quality essential oils. I used to use Young Living oils exclusively but I just couldn’t afford to use them anymore.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover several brands that sell amazing, high-quality essential oils at very affordable prices.

I love Florihana essential oils and I use them quite often. If you’re not familiar with Florihana essential oils you can check out my full Florihana essential oils review.

I also regularly use Plant Therapy and Simply Earth essential oils. 

If you decide to buy from Simply Earth you can use the code HAPPYHEARTFREE to receive a $40 Simply Earth gift card with the purchase of your first recipe box.

If you are not familiar with Simply Earth or their recipe box you can check out last month’s box here.

If you order now with the code above you will receive the recipe box, the big bonus box plus a $40 Simply Earth gift card, all for $39.99!

How To Make Your Own DIY Oil Cleanser

Unfortunately, I don’t have a once size fits all oil cleansing recipe. And that’s because everyone’s skin is different and what works for me may not work for you.

But I will explain to you how to create your own DIY oil cleanser that will work best for your skin.

But first, you’ll need to choose a container to store your oil cleanser. I recommend a 4oz glass bottle. This is the one I use.

Once you’ve chosen your container you’ll need to identify your skin type. Is your skin oily, dry, normal, aging, or acne-prone?

Once you have your container follow the suggestions below according to your individual skin type.

If you decide to use essential oils in your oil cleanse recipe I recommend choosing one or two from the list above according to your skin type and adding a total of 10-20 drops per every 4oz of carrier oil.

Dry Skin

Use 1 part castor oil and 2 parts of another carrier oil of your choice, making sure to choose a carrier oil that is good for dry skin or all skin types.

Oily Skin

Use 2 parts castor oil and 1 part of another carrier oil of your choice making sure to choose a carrier oil that is good for oily skin or all skin types.

Aging Skin

Use 1 part castor oil and 2 parts of another carrier oil of your choice making sure to choose a carrier oil that is good for aging skin or all skin types.

Acne-Prone Skin

Use 1 part castor oil and 1 part another carrier oil of your choice, making sure to choose a carrier oil that is good for acne-prone skin or all skin types.

Normal Skin

Use 1 part castor oil and 2 parts of another carrier oil of your choice, making sure to choose a carrier oil that is good for all skin types.

Once you’ve gathered the carrier oils and essential oils needed simply add them to the container of your choice and blend well.

Keep in mind the ratios above are just suggestions. You might need to adjust them once you see how your skin reacts.

If you want you can start out with a very small amount. Maybe 1 or 2oz and see how the mixture works for your skin before making a larger quantity.

If your skin starts to become super dry I recommend reducing the amount of castor oil. And if it becomes more oily I recommend increasing the amount of castor oil.

It will take some time for your skin to adjust to this new way of cleaning. So if you don’t see the results you were hoping for right away don’t give up. Give it at least 30 days. Making adjustments as needed.

How To Do The Oil Cleansing Method

To do the oil cleansing method you’ll need to add about a dropper full of your oil cleansing mixture to your hands and gently massage it into the skin.

Work it gently into the skin for a few minutes.

Then you’ll want to get a clean washcloth wet with hot water, ring it out, and drape it over your face to allow the steam to loosen up the dirt and bacteria.

Once the washcloth has cooled down use it to wipe off the oil from your face. Make sure to remove ALL the oil.

If you have a lot of makeup on you may need to repeat this process 2 or 3 times.

The first few times just to remove the makeup and the last time to actually cleanse the skin.

Does the Oil Cleansing method Really Work?

I am a strong believer in the oil cleansing method. Not only did it help me ditch a ton of toxic skincare products but my skin has never looked better.

It doesn’t work for everyone but if you’re struggling with skin issues I encourage you to give it a try.

I wish I wouldn’t have waited so long to make the switch.

Is The Oil Cleansing Method Good for Oily Skin?

Based on my personal experience I would say absolutely yes! I honestly thought I would have to deal with oily skin for the rest of my life and now my skin is completely oil-free.

I think my skin was producing so much oil because I was drying it out with soaps and chemical-filled products.

The oil cleansing method restored the balance and moisture in my skin.

Can Oil Cleansing Cause Breakouts?

When you first start using the oil cleansing method your skin might go a little berserk. By berserk I mean you might experience some breakouts.

I personally don’t remember experiencing anything really crazy. Maybe a pimple here or there. But I have heard stories of people who had really bad breakouts when they first started using the oil cleansing method.

Keep in mind, many of these people used coconut oil or olive oil which I don’t recommend you use.

In my opinion, the long term benefits of the oil cleansing method strongly outweigh the short term negative side effects you might experience due to your skin trying to adjust.

If you do experience breakouts, I recommend sticking with the oil cleansing method for at least 30 days. Most of the time the breakouts are only temporary and by the end of the 30 days, most likely your skin will be looking better than ever.

But that isn’t always the case for everyone. If after 30 days your skin hasn’t improved you may want to adjust the oils you are using. Maybe try a different carrier oil.

If after another 30 days your skin is still having issues you might want to discontinue the oil cleansing method altogether. Unfortunately, the oil cleansing method doesn’t always work for everybody.

How Often Should You Oil Cleanse?

You can oil cleanse every morning and every night if you like. The more often you do it the quicker you will experience the benefits.

When I first started oil cleansing, I oil cleansed every single night. I don’t wash my face in the morning. I usually just rinse it off in the shower or wipe it down with a wet washcloth.

I noticed in the very beginning, maybe a month or two after I started oil cleansing, that whenever I did use soap on my face my skin would freak out. It would get extremely oily again.

So I pretty much stuck to oil cleansing for about year. My skin has balanced out so much since then and I can now use soap on my face from time to time without any issues.

It has to be natural soap though. The only soap I use is African black soap and only 1 or 2 times a week.

And the only reason I use soap on my face at all is because it’s quicker. Oil cleansing can be kinda time-consuming and to be honest, sometimes I just get lazy.

Well, I think that covers just about everything. If you have any questions please share in the comment section below!

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  1. Do you have any info on rosehip seed oil, I use this in my anti-aging blend I make for my facial serum. It does have a tendency to make my hair around my face oily.

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