It may sound counterintuitive to clean your face with oil, particularly if you are acne-prone and struggling with overactive sebum production (or a Millennial who was taught if it didn't burn, it didn't work), but oil cleansing is rooted in science. This simple cleansing method does a beautiful job of removing dirt and makeup while protecting our skin's precious microbiome - a well-balanced microflora that lives on our skin's surface and is crucial to the health and beauty of our skin. Oil cleansing replaces the dirty oil on your face with a fresh layer of plant-based oils that deliver nourishing properties to the skin. Because it leaves behind the good bacteria and microbes, oil cleansing helps prevent skin infections like acne. But how does it work? Oil absorbs oil. It binds to and dissolves dirt, grime, pollution, makeup, and sunscreen, without stripping the skin of the essential moisture it needs. But you'll only experience the benefits of oil cleansing if you pick the right ingredients for your skin type and apply the cleanser properly. Go on, you say?
Oil Cleansers By Skin Type
Normal to Sensitive Skin: for those with normal to sensitive skin, we recommend a rich oil cleanser with calming ingredients, like rosemary and camellia seed oil. Fitglow Beauty's Makeup Cleansing Oil fits the bill and delivers a boujee glow to the skin that's hard to beat.
Oily to Acne-Prone: Oil to treat acne? Yes, oil cleansers are suitable for oily and acne-prone skin types as they help to dissolve sebum and impurities that can clog pores. Oil cleansing is based on the principle of "like dissolves like." If you have oily, acne-prone skin, industry pros recommend an oil cleanser that contains lavender oil - a lighter ingredient that plays well with this skin type by helping to unclog pores and reduce inflammation. Our oily and acne-prone clients prefer the Orgaid Cleansing Oil and often do a double wash with a foaming or gel cleanser. Double down on your oil-based acne treatments with the Blume Meltdown Acne Oil. This spot oil has a targeted blend of acne-fighting antibacterial plant oils that help to hydrate your skin and improve its overall texture and appearance. Game-changer!
Combination Skin: People with combination skin may need help to strike a balance when choosing the right cleansing oil for their skin. This is because combination skin comprises both oily and dry skin types. (How FUN for us!) Ingredients such as vitamin E (a key player in lipid barrier protection) and sunflower oil are best suited for combination skin as they effectively remove impurities without drying you out. As with acne-prone skin, we recommend our combination-skin clients use the Orgaid Cleansing Oil, and consider a double-wash with a gel cleanser.
Dry Skin: If you suffer from parched, dehydrated skin, look for more nourishing and hydrating ingredients in your oil cleanser, like vitamin E, jojoba, or sunflower oil (Consonant's Cleansing Oil has all three!). These oils keep the skin hydrated and protect your skin from damaging UV rays. With extra dry skin, stick to a single wash, using only your oil cleanser to wash your face before continuing your natural skincare routine. No double wash is needed - she's extra and she knows it.
How To Use A Cleansing Oil
Step 1: Apply a small amount of your oil cleanser to dry skin. This allows the cleansing oil to adhere to any dirt, sweat, or makeup on your face. Massage it gently into your skin in upward, circular motions for 30 seconds to a minute, focusing on areas with makeup and sunscreen buildup. If you're wearing stubborn waterproof eye makeup, saturate a reusable cotton round in your cleansing oil and hold it over your eyes for a few moments. (Remember, your skin needs to be DRY!) This will help dissolve mascara and eyeliner and make it easier to rinse off. (Yes, our plant-based oil cleansers are safe for that delicate eye area).
GK ProTip: If you're in a pinch - or want to try the oil cleansing technique before buying one, we recommend olive oil. It moisturizes and softens the skin, it's a great makeup remover, and it stunts the onset of bacterial infections. If it was good enough for Cleopatra, it's good enough for us! While we're talking DIY skin treatments - please avoid using coconut oil directly on the skin - it's highly comedogenic (in other words, it’s a pore clogger).
Step 2: Rinse with lukewarm water. If you know us, at all, you know how passionate we are about the damage hot water causes to your face - so please stick with room temperature when rinsing off your oil cleanser. Wet a washcloth with warm water and wring it out, then place it over your face and let it sit for a few seconds. This will help to open up your pores and allow the oil cleanser to penetrate deeper into the dermis. Once water is added into the equation, your oil cleanser will transform from clear to milky, and that's your cue to rinse. Once rinsed, your face should feel hydrated and velvety soft.
Step 3: (Optional) Double-cleanse with a foaming face wash. Popularized by the K-Beauty 10-step skincare routine*, an oil cleanser is the first step in a double-cleanse. The double-cleanse aims to clean your skin as thoroughly as possible by using two kinds of cleansers (oil-based and water-based) to clear away different levels of impurities on your face. Although this step is optional, it can help remove stubborn makeup, sweat and SPF, particularly if anything is labelled as waterproof or sweat-resistant.
Step 4: Complete your natural skincare routine. What's that? You don't have a natural skincare routine? Can we talk? We recommend not thoroughly drying your skin after using your oil cleanser. Instead, apply all your skincare layers onto damp skin to increase absorption and boost hydration. Et voilà! You've successfully added a facial oil cleanser to your skincare routine. You did great!
* The celebrated K-Beauty 10-step skincare routine that lives rent-free in our heads goes something like this: 1. Oil-based cleanser 2. Water-based cleanser. 3. Exfoliate 4. Toner 5. Essence 6. Serum 7. Sheet mask 8. Eye cream 9. Moisturize 10. Spf. Slay.
We're convinced! Oil cleansing does a great job of bonding to the oils and dirt on your skin while acting as a barrier to protect your skin and keep it soft and moisturized. Conventional facial cleansers can be harsh and dry, leading to more oil production and exacerbating acne. Fortunately, after enough skincare professionals spoke up, the practice of using harsh chemically-laden facial cleansers to strip the skin within an inch of its life has been replaced by a more nourishing, reparative approach - and that results are in: your skin is seriously benefiting from the daily use of gentle oil cleansing! Of course, the savvy GK shopper has been reaching for gentle plant-based products to support the healthy function of their skin for years. We see you! If you're new to us, contact us for a complimentary skincare consultation and a custom natural skincare routine.