Is your face wash giving you a healthy cleanse? Switching over to oil cleansing method has helped thousands of women achieve clear, acne-free, and soft skin.
As an alternative to chemical-laden face washes, cleansing oils do the job better and without stripping your skin of its natural oils. Owing to its various skin benefits, oil cleansing is gradually becoming a more popular face cleansing method. Read on to know which oils are suitable for your skin and how to oil cleanse for maximum benefits.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks
“Essential oils have versatile benefits and work on the cellular level. Their absorption depends on the carrier oil used with the essential oil.”
Dr. Mamtha Tandle, Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
What Is Oil Cleansing?
Oil cleansing is the method of cleaning dirt, excess sebum, makeup and sweat from your skin using cleansing oils that help maintain your skin’s natural oil balance. Based on your skin type, you can use one or a combination of oils to clean and nourish your skin.
Is Oil Cleansing Good For Skin?
As per ancient practices, natural oils help clear your skin pores, remove harmful toxins, hydrate your skin and balance your skin’s sebum secretions. Further, due to the presence of antimicrobial compounds like phenols, terpenes and aldehydes in cleansing oils, your skin stays safe from bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
Unlike soaps and face washes that contain harmful and often carcinogenic chemicals, oil cleansing is completely safe and natural. According to Ayurveda, oil cleansing method balances your vata and pitta doshas and stimulates good kapha to keep your skin supple and moisturized.
How Does The Oil Cleansing Method Work?
The basic thought behind the oil cleansing method is that oil dissolves oil. The main advantage is that oil cleansing can remove dirt, excess sebum and even waterproof make-up easily. Cleansing oils are used to soften dirt and make-up residues and remove the dirty lipids from your face. The good oil replaces the bad oil and keeps your skin hydrated.
Applying plant oils on your skin can prevent photodamage and skin cancers occurring from long exposures to the sun.
How To Oil Cleanse Your Face?
To oil cleanse your face, you can choose one or a combination of oils depending on your skin needs. Follow the below mentioned steps to reap maximum benefit from your cleansing oils.
1. Take about 5 to 10ml (1-2 teaspoons) of oil in your palms.
2. Apply it all over your face.
3. Gently massage with your fingertips in an upward clockwise direction. This helps remove impurities and prevents your skin from sagging.
4. Leave it on for 3-5 minutes for your skin to absorb the goodness of the oil.
5. Take a warm damp cloth/ towel to wipe off the dirt and excess oil.
6. You may use a gentle cleanser to remove excess oils on the face as per the Korean beauty method.
7. Moisturize after oil cleansing if your skin feels dry.
How To Choose A Cleansing Oil For Your Skin?
Consult your Ayurvedic doctor to know your skin type. This will help you decide the oils best suited for your prakriti or body constitution. Keep castor oil as your base for oil cleansing. Castor oil’s astringent nature helps to drain excess sebum and remove impurities from your face. It also has antioxidants that aid in skin-healing, preventing sunburns and skin ageing.
1. Best Oils For Dry Skin
A. Sweet Almond Oil
Rich in Vitamin E and other skin benefitting compounds, sweet almond oil nourishes and heals dry skin. Its emollient properties help seal moisture within your skin and keep it hydrated for long hours. The essential fatty acids in almond oil are also effective in preventing chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis flare-ups.
B. Rosehip Seed Oil
Oil cleansing with rosehip oil gives your skin the benefits of Vitamin A, C and essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid and oleic acid. These prevent skin ageing and depletion of collagen. Rosehip oil is also helpful in healing scars and hyperpigmentation caused by acne or skin conditions like eczema.
C. Olive Oil
Olive oil acts as a great nourisher for dry skin. It soothes, softens and hydrates your skin. Olive oil is also known for its antioxidant properties that keep your skin young. It can heal skin damaged by over exposure to the sun.
D. Avocado Oil
Avocado oil is a known remedy for dry skin. Oil cleansing your face daily with castor and avocado oil can heal skin peeling. With the presence of fatty acids, vitamins and other essential nutrients, avocado oil protects your skin from sunburns and damage from oxidative stress. It also displays anti-inflammatory abilities which helps in healing acne conditions.
2. Best Oils For Oily, Acne-Prone & Combination Skin
A. Jojoba Oil
Being very similar in composition to the sebum naturally produced by your sebaceous glands, jojoba oil helps in balancing your skin’s oil secretion. It is a great moisturizer for oily skin, as it locks in essential moisture without making your skin feel greasy. Jojoba also has anti-inflammatory properties which keeps acne conditions at bay.
B. Clove Oil
Clove oil  has been widely used since ancient times for its amazing medicinal properties. Eugenol, the main component of clove oil, acts as an anesthetic to reduce skin irritations and pain during inflamed acne and other skin conditions.
Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties prevent bacterial growth in your skin pores, reduces inflammation and prevents aggravation of acne. Oil cleansing with clove oil regulates sebum secretions and keeps your oily skin healthy.
C. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has now become an irreplaceable ingredient in oily skin care routine. Its astringent, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties help regulate most oily skin problems. Tea tree oil is also rich in antioxidants that slow down skin ageing.
D. Peppermint Oil
Using peppermint oil to cleanse your skin prevents greasy skin and clogged pores, thus controlling acne problems. Due to the presence of menthol, this oil gives your skin a cool, refreshing feel after every cleanse. Peppermint oil also enhances blood circulation, which keeps your skin healthy.
E. Geranium Oil
This astringent oil is a great option for those with oily or combination skin. Geranium oil is also popular as an anti-ageing agent, as it reduces the appearance of fine lines on your skin and prevents it from sagging.
F. Hibiscus Oil
This acts as a natural botox to skin facing ageing issues. It boosts collagen production and prevents wrinkles and lines. Hibiscus oil acts like magic on oily, acne prone or combination skin by balancing sebum secretions. Due to its high mucilage content, this herbal oil provides an apt amount of hydration to your skin while keeping it oil free.
G. Eucalyptus Oil
This therapeutic oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties . Thus adding eucalyptus oil to your oil cleansing regime inhibits bacterial proliferation and helps control inflammatory acne conditions in oily skin.
Vedix Tip: After an oil cleanse, moisturize your skin with aloe vera gel to keep your oily skin fresh and hydrated all day.
3. Best Oils For Sensitive Skin
A. Calendula Oil
Oil cleansing for sensitive skin requires added caution as your skin may react to certain essential or carrier oils. Calendula oil extracted from marigold flowers has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties that soothe allergy prone skin, keep it hydrated and protect it from various skin conditions.
B. Grapeseed Oil
Grapeseed oil is a safe oil for all skin types. It is lightweight, and does not clog your pores. Rich in antioxidants, oil cleansing with grapeseed oil keeps your skin moisturized without irritating it.
C. Sunflower Oil
Sunflower oil is gentle on sensitive skin. Being an excellent source of vitamin E, sunflower oil keeps sensitive skin protected from allergic reactions and sun damage.
4. Best Oils For Normal Skin
A. Argan Oil
If anti-aging is a priority for your normal skin, argan oil is a great choice. The antioxidants in argan oil keep your skin wrinkle free and enhance skin elasticity. Argan oil also promotes wound healing and has UV ray blocking abilities.
Other oils such as olive, sunflower, almond, jojoba, avocado and rosehip are also good options for oil cleansing normal skin.
Always do a patch test before applying any carrier or essential oil for the first time to check for allergic reactions. Wait for 24 to 48 hours before applying the oil again.
What Are The Benefits Of Oil Cleansing?
1. Gently Cleans Your Skin
Cleansing oils are devoid of sulphates, parabens and other harmful chemicals. This prevents skin damage from abrasion and chemical exposure. These oils gently dissolve dirt, make-up and excess sebum that clogs your pores.
2. Prevents Dryness
The primary reason why skin experts advise against conventional cleansing products that contain high amounts of sulphates is due to their drying effect on your skin. While removing superficial dirt, these surfactants remove your skin’s natural oil that keeps it moisturized. In the oil cleansing method, the emollient nature of the cleansing oils prevents dryness and adds hydration to your skin.
3. Improves Blood Circulation
Massaging oil on your skin during oil cleansing has proven to improve blood circulation under your skin. This ensures better in-flow of oxygen and nutrition to the skin cells. This keeps your skin young and healthy.
4. Balances Sebum Secretions
The popular belief that strong cleansers keep your skin oil free, is proven wrong by recent research. Harsh cleansers strip your skin of natural lipids which over dry your skin. This in turn stimulates your sebaceous glands to produce excess sebum to counter the effect of the cleanser. As a result, you are left with more oily skin.
5. Removes Harmful Toxins
According to Ayurveda, dust, exposure to the sun and other environmental damages aggravate your doshas (life energies). This causes accumulation of harmful ama toxins which lead to various skin conditions. Herbal oils used in oil cleansing help balance your doshas and remove toxins from your skin.
6. Protects The Acid Mantle
The acid mantle formed of sweat, sebum and naturally occurring microbiome on your body, acts like a protective barrier for your skin. It prevents pathogen invasion and keeps your skin free from infections. Frequent usage of harsh surfactants removes essential sebum and kills the good bacteria living on your skin.
Depletion of the acid mantle can make your skin vulnerable to fungal and bacterial skin conditions. Oil cleansing being a natural cleansing method, keeps your skin healthy by fostering the growth of good bacteria on your skin.
7. Prevents Infections
Many oils such as tea tree oil, lavender oil, frankincense oil, castor oil and others that are used in oil cleansing, have amazing anti-microbial properties. These help prevent skin conditions like ringworm, folliculitis and yeast infections.
8. Can Control Acne Conditions
The biggest advantage of oil cleansing is that it prevents the two primary causes of acne-clogged pores and P. Acnes bacteria. Skin pores are often blocked by excess sebum, dirt and dead skin. When naturally occurring bacteria on your skin gets trapped in any of these pores, it leads to infection and inflamed acne conditions.
Oil cleansing softens the impurities and allows easy removal of the plug. Antibacterial oils further help to curb bacterial proliferation. This ensures quick healing of the acne condition and prevents its recurrence.
9. Can Control Chronic Skin Conditions
Oil cleansing is proven to be effective in preventing eczema and psoriasis flare-ups. These chronic conditions are often triggered by dryness, weather changes and skin irritants present in skin care products. The healing properties of oils used in the oil cleansing method, soothes your skin and protects it from external damages.
10. Anti-Ageing Properties
Cleansing oils are packed with antioxidants that battle oxidative stress and prevent wrinkles, lines and other signs of ageing. Some of these oils also promote collagen production in your skin and aid in new cell growth, keeping your skin young and tight.
“Essential oils have versatile benefits and work on the cellular level. Their absorption depends on the carrier oil used with the essential oil,” says Dr. Mamtha Tandle, Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
Is Oil Cleansing Better Than Using Face Wash?
With new cleansing methods coming up everyday, the basic question that arises is which is better? The following table will give you a clear understanding as to why oil cleansing is being considered a healthier cleansing technique.
|Sr. No.||Oil Cleansing||Face Wash|
|1.||Oil cleansing uses nature-derived oils.||Contains surfactants and often chemicals.|
|2.||The oils used are rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins and nutrients. Most have skin healing properties.||May contain skin-friendly ingredients.|
|3.||Prevents dryness and keeps skin moisturized.||Causes dry skin problems. Can irritate dry and sensitive skin.|
|4.||Balances oil secretion in oily skin||Can cause over-secretion of sebum in oily skin due to excessive dryness.|
|5.||Plant oils used in oil cleansing enhance skin immunity and improve skin barrier function .||Removes the good bacteria naturally surviving on your skin. This makes skin vulnerable to infections.|
|6.||Natural oils used in oil cleansing have anti-ageing benefits.||No such known benefits.|
|7.||Can keep chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis conditions at bay.||Face washes can cause eczema flare-ups due to skin dryness.|
|8.||Improves subcutaneous blood circulation.||No such known benefits.|
Frequently Asked Questions About Oil Cleansing
1. Which Oil Is Best For Oil Cleansing?
Castor oil in combination with almond/ olive or jojoba oil is considered a good cleansing mix. However, it is always advised to opt for cleansing oils as per your skin type and requirement. You can also use cleansing oils available in the market. However, read the ingredients carefully and avoid ones which have added fragrances or preservatives.
2. How Often Should You Oil Cleanse?
According to skin experts, oil cleansing once a day before bedtime keeps your skin well hydrated. This allows your skin to absorb the goodness of the cleansing oils and rejuvenate throughout the night so you wake up with beautiful, soft, supple skin in the morning. You can also use oil cleansing as an occasional skin treatment focusing on your skin needs.
3. How Long Does It Take For Oil Cleansing To Work?
In general it takes your skin more than 3 weeks to regenerate itself. So the benefits of oil cleansing will begin to appear gradually after 2 to 3 weeks. Certain oils such as clove, calendula, eucalyptus and tea tree oils may show more prompt action on skin conditions such as acne or skin inflammations.
The Last Word
The after effects of oil cleansing is usually soft, well-hydrated, clear skin that feels nourished and damage free. When compared to traditional methods of face cleansing that focus only on removing dirt and sebum, oil cleansing has multiple skin benefits. Regular oil cleansing has proven better skin barrier function, visible reduction of wrinkles and improved acne conditions.
So whether you make your own oil cleansing mix or choose a premixed oil cleanser, keep your prakriti and skin requirements in mind. Include oil cleansing in your daily skin care routine and see the difference in a matter of few weeks.