Oil for acne prevention part 2: Oil Cleansing.

This is part two in my four-part series on how to treat and prevent acne using oil. If you’ve missed part one, please see it here in order to catch up!

Now without further ado…


Oil Cleansing-The concept

Oil cleansing isn’t a fancy metaphor or some abstract spa treatment, it’s exactly what it sounds like: cleaning your face with oil. -Wait what??! Yes, again, you read that right.

It may sound really weird to wash your face with oil since it’s usually what you’re trying to get off your face. However, oil can be a very effective cleanser. It works like this: like dissolves like. I.e, materials will dissolve other materials that have a similar chemical structure. Since what you’re trying to remove from your skin is usually oil and makeup (which is often made of oil and waxes) it makes sense that oil can and will dissolve the leftover gunk on your face. As a matter of fact, Cosmetic chemists use this very principle to formulate most oil-based makeup removers as it’s gentler thank using harsh detergents that can dry and damage skin.

The process

  1. Using a ‘cleansing oil’ such as castor oil, take some into your palm (you may want to thin it with another oil like olive, sweet almond or some other non or low comedogenic oil* as castor can be very thick. you can try 1 part castor oil and 3 parts of the other oil ) and massage into your skin. For an even more effective recipe, see image below (if you hover over the image, you can pin it to your Pinterest board for safekeeping).

    3 step oil cleansing for acne prone skin

    Hover over image to pin it to your Pinterest board for safe keeping.

  2. Get some hot water and place a clean cloth in it and squeeze the water out till the cloth is damp.Be careful not to burn yourself. Wipe your face thoroughly (removing make-up etc)
  3. Rinse the cloth and repeat the process from step one, this time leaving the warm cloth on your face for about 30 seconds or so to open the pores, then wipe and rinse the cloth.. and you’re done! (Optionally, you may want to splash your face with cold water to help close the pores.)

At this point you may want to apply a small amount of moisturising oil such as jojoba as any kind of cleansing can leave your skin a bit dry.

How this relates to acne:

Image courtesy youngmenshealthsite.org

Image courtesy youngmenshealthsite.org










As discussed in part one, clogged pores can lead to irritation and acne; aside from excess oil, makeup, dirt, lotions, dust etc. can clog pores leading to acne. Oil cleansing truly removes all the gunk on your face, WITHOUT the harshness and risk of most commercial cleansers 🙂 Amazing, I know! Gentle thorough cleansing helps by preventing the conditions required for acne-causing bacteria to thrive, and because it’s relatively gentle compared to detergents, there is less risk of irritation induced breakouts as well.

Now I know the oil cleansing method is fantastic and effective, but sometimes when you’re in a rush, the process can be a bit long. For that reason, I came up with a lovely ‘recipe’ for DIY makeup removing wipes that uses the same concept of oil cleansing for those days when you’re in a hurry.If you’d like me to do a post on the wipes, please let me know in the comments below.

**A word of caution: Not all oils are created equal; some oils are high on the comedogenic scale and can cause TERRIBLE breakouts! While these oils may be incredibly useful for other things, you may want to keep them away from your face.(For a list of where some oils fall on the comedogenic scale, see my list here). For this reason, when using oil on your face, please stick to the oils outlined in this post or research which oils are low on the comedogenic scale before placing on your face. [See my list of Comedogenic ratings for common ingredients here.]

Please stay tuned for part three in this series of post- ‘the cure’ which outlines how you can use oil as a very effective treatment for existing acne. If you want to be notified when the next post goes live, simply subscribe using the form below.


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