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Oil Cleansing 101

Written by James Kicinski-McCoy

Photography by Photography by James Kicinski-McCoy

Back in the ’80s and ’90s, we were taught to avoid oil like the plague, in fear of acne and breakouts. Every face care product lining the shelves was once labeled “oil-free” and you couldn’t seem to keep your face matte enough. But times have changed. Experts have realized that oil is actually incredibly beneficial and vital for healthy skin. As a matter of fact, it’s said that oil is the key to a perfectly balanced complexion. There are plenty of different ways to cleanse your face but lately, it’s all about the oil.

Why oil? The secret is that cleansing oils use “good oils” to remove the “bad oils” in the skin without clogging or causing irritation. No matter how dry your skin may seem, it always contains oil, which collects and lodges impurities like dirt, makeup, and sweat into pores. Regular soap cleansers strip the skin of natural oils, leaving it unbalanced. Cleansing oil, on the other hand, dissolves all the impurities from the face and replenishes it with nourishing oils.

What are the benefits? When done properly, oil cleansing can help resolve many common skin issues such as acne, blackheads, enlarged pores, oily skin, and sensitivity. These oils also contain anti-aging antioxidants that improve the texture, moisture, and overall appearance of skin. The best part? Oil cleansing works for all skin types and there are specific oils recommended for each type. Jojoba oil and hemp seed oils are great for acne-prone skin. Argan oil is great for mature skin. Grapeseed oil is great for oily skin. Avocado and olive oil work best for dry and sensitive skin. Coconut oil and sunflower are ideal for all skin types.

How to cleanse? First, turn the faucet off. Grab a muslin cloth (or your favorite washcloth) and then pour a small amount of cleansing oil into your hands. Simply massage the oil onto your face (without using water), taking special attention to heavy makeup areas or dry spots. Massage until impurities feel broken-down. Warm the facecloth in hot water and gently remove excess oil from your skin. Voila! You can also get creative by mixing your own personal batch of oil to see which concoction works best for your skin. If you’re not one for blending your own oils, there are tons of amazing products out there. We’re all about oil cleansing here and have gathered our favorite brands below for you to try at home.


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