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5 min read

Even if you’re only slightly interested in skincare, you’ve probably heard of the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM). This concept of cleansing with oil has been around since the time of Cleopatra, aka “The Queen of Beauty”. 

Long before the #skinfluencer and celebrity-endorsed skincare brands, people kept their skincare pretty basic. I love nothing more than delve into history and discover all the ancient methods of skincare. It was a time where people used what they could get their hands on, utilizing whatever mother nature dropped at their doorstep.

In the tombs of Cleopatra, jars of cleansing cream composed of oil and lime were discovered. Ancient Egyptians and Romans alike would smear fruit and herb-infused oils to their skin while it was still wet. Not only did oil keep the skin nourished and moisturised, but it removed dirt and grim.

If you’re gleaming at the thought of trying a simple skincare method that leaves your skin hydrated and nourished (like you’ve been showered with dew from the heavens above), then keep reading!

How does the oil cleansing method work?

There are endless amounts of shiny new skincare products to choose from when it comes to the basic step of cleaning our faces. From foams to gels, to that basic bar of soap your husband uses (please dont do this btw!), and then there’s oil… wait what?

I know, I know, rubbing oil all over your face can sound kinda scary, especially if you already struggle with oily or acne-prone skin. But in order to deep cleanse your skin without stripping it of all of its essential moisture, you need something that will attract dirt, grime, pollution, makeup, sunscreen, and excess sebum build-up. 

You see, “like attracts like” and oil binds all of these clogging substances together making it super to remove. So instead of stripping your skin of all it’s moisture leaving it dry and lack-luster, it removes the dirty oil buildup and replaces it with clean oils that nourish the skin. The best part, no harsh surfactants involved, just pure, simple natural oils!

How to choose the right oil for my skin type?

Finding the right carrier oil for your unique skin type or skin concern is key to the oil cleansing method. Each plant oil is categorized by a “comedogenic rating” this indicates how likely the oil will clog your pores. The ratings start at 0 and go up to 5, so he higher the number the higher the risk of that oil clogging your pores. Depending on your skin type, and the particular benefit you are looking for will determine the choice of plant oil you use. 

Oily, Acne Prone Skin Types: Oils have a bad rap, especially when it comes to acne-prone skin. You’ve probably said, “Why would I want MORE oil on my face?!” The thing is you want the *right* oil, and that means one high in linoleic acid, which is ah-mazing for oily skin like yours because it’s lighter, thinner, and quickly absorbed. So no clogged pores and heavy feeling – probably something you’ve dealt with in the past, right? Rosehip Seed Oil, used by ancient Egyptians, is a super lightweight plant oil that your skin basically drinks up. 

 Related: How To Starve Off Break-outs In Your Thirties

Combination, Dry, Sensitive Skin Types: Golden Jojoba Oil is a liquid wax and is an amazing vegetable oil that’s almost identical in composition to the sebum our skin produces. It forms a thin, protective layer on the skin and prevents transepidermal water loss. Which is really just fancy language to say it helps your dry skin hang on to every single drop of moisture and stay hydrated, soft, and smooth.

Dry, Mature Skin Types: Apricot Kernel Oil is full of oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid, making it pretty wonderful at rebuilding your skin’s natural oil barrier so it’s more hydrated, plumper, and younger-looking. It’s also an extraordinary emollient, working overtime to gently exfoliate, soften and smooth mature skin. The benefits of this one are huge – moisturising, blemish-fighting, wrinkle-reducing, not to mention how it helps skin retain elasticity, clarity, and suppleness. 

The above are just some suggestions. You can use an oil alone or mix them with other oils, even infused them to further nourish your skin, each oil has different benefits and therapeutic properties so do a little experimenting.

 Related: Unsure Of Your Own Unique Skin Type? Take The Skin Type Quiz Below!

The basic oil cleansing method

What I love about the oil cleansing method is it’s so simple, and all skin types can use it. All you need to do is massage an oil that works for your skin type into your face, and then wipe it off with a warm washcloth. 

  1. Drop a pea-sized amount of oil into the palm of your hands and apply it to a dry face. Use your fingertips to gently massage the oil into the skin for a minute or two. This action will loosen any dirt, grime, sunscreen, oil, and makeup, and let it penetrate the skin.
  2. Take a soft washcloth wet with warm water, and lightly rub your face to remove the oil.
  3. Lightly pat dry your skin. Avoid drying it with a towel as this can be harsh on the skin. I generally follow this step with a quick spray of floral water and leave it to air dry. 
  4. Follow on with the remainder of your skincare routine, eye cream, moisturizer, facial oil, etc. Your skin will feel super soft, and not tight and irritated like it might after using a soap-based cleanser.

Reasons why you need to try oil cleansing:

  1. It’s 100% natural and surfactant-free.
  2. Suitable for all skin types.
  3. Keeps the skin’s natural pH balance.
  4. Doesn’t dry out the skin like traditional cleansers.
  5. Is less irritating and doesn’t strip the skin.
  6. Easily removes makeup, dirt, and grim.
  7. Helps to control sebum production.
  8. Leaves your skin feeling like you’ve been showered with dew from the heavens above.

Some final ocm tips:

  • Not all oils are created equal, so if you’re going to use oil from the kitchen, always opt for cold-pressed organic extra virgin olive oil. Organic, cold-pressed, and unrefined oils (like the plant oils from our range) contain much more nutrients and antioxidants your skin will benefit from.
  • Give your skin a chance to adjust to the chosen oil first by using it as a moisturizer. If your skin tolerates it, you can then start with the oil cleansing method as well. If your skin starts to break out more than usual after a couple of weeks, stop using that oil and reevaluate. 
  • It may take a week or two for your skin to adjust to this new regimen. So start by doing this once a week and work your way up to more days if you feel it works for you. I also only oil cleanse at night as this allows the oil time to conduct its work while I sleep (beauty sleep is real!).
  • If you’ve never used your chosen oil before, I recommend doing the patch test first by applying some on a small area such as your neck.

As you can see, oil cleansing doesn’t have to be scary, or only for those with super dry skin. Use it as the first step of your evening skincare routine. Our 100% natural and vegan-friendly plant oils are incredibly versatile and can be used as daily cleansers, moisturizers, carrier oils, hair conditioners, make-up remover, massage, and or bath oils. Use them together with Green and Bare’s customizable, multi-purpose skincare range.



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