I've spent the last few years really trying to take care of my skin. Especially the skin on my face, which hasn't always been easy. I thought I had found a pretty good cleansing combination with a not too harsh cleanser at night, a very mild cleanser in the morning, and the occasional pore cleaning mask. While I know there is probably more I could add to this, I had to take in to account two things. Number one, if it takes too much time or effort, I won't keep doing it. Number two, my skin is pretty sensitive and sometimes the more I throw at it, the more upset it gets. The trio of products I had been using seemed to be a good balance. Yet, despite my pretty decent routine, I still had some problem patches. I was still getting a zit or two here and there, and there was a little collection of bumps on my chin that just didn't want to vacate the premises.
So I did what any modern girl would do. I googled.
This was the first time I came across the oil-cleansing method. Which is exactly what it sounds like - cleansing your face with oil. I read positive review after positive review of how much people LOVED this method. Of course there were one or two people that didn't have great results, but I think that's true of just about anything. But the thought of putting oil on my already oily skin? Ew.
Then, a few weeks ago, I came across the oil-cleansing method again, in the form of this post over at Simple Mom. She includes a lot of information, how it worked for her, and instructions on how to do it. It made more sense this time. Oil and water don't mix, but oil can help dissolve oil. This time, the 'ew' factor was a lot less. In fact, now I kind of wanted to try it.
So I bought a bottle of cheap extra-virgin olive oil and hunted down some castor oil (I've heard that it's readily available but after checking two different drug stores and coming up empty, I finally found some at Whole Foods). I decided to start out with the "normal" skin ratio - equal amounts of the olive oil and the castor oil (I mixed up a tablespoon of each).
The first night, it definitely felt weird, not bad, just weird. And I felt like my face was super oily afterwards. I was a little discouraged, but figured I should keep doing it. My skin and I had to adjust. The next night was a little bit better. I didn't use quite as much oil and I felt more like my face was clean after I was all done. So I kept washing my face with oil and I started to see an improvement in my skin. I feel like the redness and irritation that's usually there is pretty much gone and any pimples that have shown up are small and disappear fast. It also doesn't take much more effort that my normal face washing routine. In fact, the oil does such a good job, I haven't felt the need to use any sort of pore clarifying masks.
Needless to say, after almost 4 weeks, I'm happy with the results. However, the one thing I'm trying to fix is my oily forehead, and that hasn't gone away. But I think finding the right mix of olive oil and castor oil might help. I plan on trying the ratio for oily skin next to see if that's more effective. Which is the nice thing about this method. I can mix up as little or as much as I want and try out different combinations until one works. The two tablespoons I mixed up the first time? Those lasted nearly 3 weeks. So not only is this pretty effective (at least for me), it's not very expensive either.
I know, it sounds weird. It is kind of weird. When the boy-fiance questioned the bottle of olive oil in the bathroom and I explained it was to wash my face he responded with, "Hey, could you go get me a glass of water? I'm going to take a shower and I'll need it to dry off." But it's working for me, and I had to spread the word!