Monday, February 8, 2010

The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)

Hello folks!
Penny is not going to let almost two feet of snow make her glum. This self-proclaimed sun goddess is in need of warmth in a bad way, but will have to settle for a cup of tea and my blog. LOL! I will simply plan to spend most of the night researching facial moisturizers online. Not sure why it is so difficult for someone like Penny with combination, dry, sensitive skin to find a moisturizer for day with SPF and one for night with hydrating qualities. I have received great suggestions, but cannot try several of them due to the citrus oils they contain (I'm allergic).

Speaking of oils...Penny would like to share with you a homeopathic method of facial cleansing and massage that I have been successfully practicing for the past couple months. The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) was introduced to me over a year ago, but I had not tried it right away. Then more recently a couple of my colleagues reminded me of it and encouraged me to try it. Once I saw how well it worked on them, and being reminded daily of my dry, patchy, and irritated skin, it was an easy option to choose. I was also searching for a sulfate-free, paraben-free cleanser to use daily. Not to mention, it is fun going into my "kitchen" to whip up a batch of my favorite cleansing oil. Please keep in mind  that the OCM is not only for people with dry skin like Penny' can also be used on oily or acne-prone skin, and may be the answer to achieve better balance for all skin types.  Some may think that oil alone will cause blemishes, but oil dissolves oil. Blemishes (acne, whiteheads, blackheads, etc) are a result of several different factors including hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells and the combination of these factors. Your skin naturally produces oil to help lubricate, heal, protect, and moisturize it. However, many of our traditional cleansers tend to strip skin of our natural oils, causing irritation and an unhealthy appearance. (Read full story...)

The OCM consists of Castor Oil, which is the base cleansing oil, and a 2nd oil of your choosing, depending on your skin type. The 2nd oil should be one with moisturizing qualities. Castor oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties, and is also considered to be a healing and cleansing oil. This oil will not be used in large quantities because too much can actually cause drying of the skin. Natural oils highly recommended as a secondary oil are: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Virgin Olive Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, and Jojoba Oil, just to name a few. Penny is actually using a blend with Avocado Oil that seems to be working well. The recipe is usually one part primary oil (castor oil) to two parts secondary oil. In some cases people with oily skin may try a recipe with 50% of each type of oil. Penny uses a 3 oz clear plastic travel bottle, and fills it up with 1 oz castor oil, and 2 oz secondary oil. (I am hoping to find a glass bottle as over time you will need to replace plastic bottles to make sure there is no bacterial contamination. Glass is easier to wash clean before each use).

How do you find the right blend for your skin? Trial and error, like anything else Penny tells you about. LOL! But here is a simple guide that might help you get started.

  • Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Secondary Oil. 
  • Normal Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% Secondary Oil.
  • Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% Secondary Oil.

From Penny's experience organic virgin coconut oil absorbed the best into the skin and has a nice light scent. While virgin olive oil seemed a bit heavier but good to use as a nighttime moisturizing cleanser. So I use both. Once you have created your unique oil blend, it only takes three (3) simple steps to achieve, clean, soft, silky skin the natural way. To cleanse your face you will need a soft washcloth, your oil blend, and hot, running water. Pour the oil into your hand (about the size of a quarter or more), and rub your hands together to warm the oil. Then complete the following steps.
  1. Massage the oil into your skin for several minutes - this will help remove the dirt, make-up and break down all impurities. It is also therapeutic and should help promote relaxation.
  2. Steam your face with a wash cloth dipped in hot water - this opens your pores and removes the oil.
  3. Rinse your face thoroughly - some recommend cold water to close your pores, while others say warm water helps to remove the castor oil the best
Penny's most favorite thing about the OCM is that I no longer have to buy make-up remover. That's right! This one cleansing process works excellently to remove all make-up even mascara. And after two months I have seen a significant improvement to my skin. The dry patches were gone after about 3 weeks and my skin feels softer, and is not often irritated like before. Because I have eczema, I also feel like I'm doing something good for my skin by using natural oils and keeping it calm. I don't steam every day, but I do use OCM every other day and an exfoliating cleanser on alternate days. When I do steam my face, I usually remove my make-up with the oils first, then put some more oil on, massage and relax with the steaming process to remove the oil. NOTE: You must still use your daily moisturizer after this process. This is a cleansing process.

Keep in mind that this deep cleansing method should be done regularly, but not too often. Start off once a day or every other day. Dryness will occur if you're deep cleaning too often. After the first few days I found that I unblocked an oil flow and had a few small bumps here and there...this is normal. Give your skin a few days to adjust and adapt to being clean and clear of blockages; understand that the new oil coming from your skin is actually a good sign and will balance out not long after.

The oils Penny uses are all easily found at my local Whole Foods grocery store; usually in the cooking oils section and in the skin care/beauty aisle. You may also find them in your local grocery chain or health food store.

 Be blessed. Be beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. Keep in mind that this method mirrors the same concept behind Shu Uemura's popular cleansing oils ($65-$72)...he is supposedly the 'cleansing oil pioneer' introducing these oils to Japan in 1967, to cleanse w/o disrupting the skins natural balance. Bobbi Brown also has a cleansing oil ($38). Neither of these are considered natural or organic products, but they contain natural oils like jojoba and olive oil (but beware, these also contain mineral oil).
    - Penny