Remember that song? Evokes memories from my childhood....good times, good times!
A reader, Lily Johnson, asked me how she could deal with her oily, acne prone skin using natural products and while I left her a long response explaining a method I had heard about, I thought I should dedicate a post to it in case others that could benefit from the information do not happen upon her comment. Rather than stop there, I THEN thought that that wasn't enough and that I should actually try out said method on myself for at least 3 months and report back on what my personal experience has been.( I am such a guinea pig for you guys, lol!).
A bit about my skin: I have dry to normal skin and have no pimples. I also have no blackheads on my face (thanks to
Before I launch into what this post is about, I think I should state that I am NOT a nutritionist, a dietitian, a dermatologist or a subject matter expert (SME) on all things natural. I am merely sharing my personal experience with you all and also sharing information that I have gleaned from many books I have read on the subject and conversations with some SMEs. What works for me may not work for you. Always be in tune with any changes in your body, hair or skin when you change any regimen associated with them. As with most things, this is not a one-size-fits-all. (I am going to have put this information up on the site permanently).
Okay, moving on to the advice I gave Lily.
Her question was:
Can you give me some natural mix to combat pimples and spots? I have an oily skin. Thanks
My answer to her was to try the Oil Cleanse Method (OCM). That is, cleansing the face with oil, rather than using any soap based products. Yes, you read right. Bear with me and I will explain this.
To make your oil cleanser, you will need a some Castor Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil/Grapeseed Oil (I use the latter as I find it lighter).
The guideline for use is:
Oily Skin: Use a ratio of 6 parts Castor oil to 4 parts Grapeseed oil.
Dry Skin: Use a ratio of 4 parts Castor oil to 6 parts Grapeseed oil.
This is a guideline. It can be tweaked. I have dry skin so I used the dry skin formula. I made just a small batch in case my skin did not take to it as I hoped it would.
Here's what I did.
I gathered my tools:
Using my measuring spoons, I put 6 parts castor oil and 4 parts of grapeseed oil into the glass bowl and mixed them together properly.
C’est tout! My cleanser was ready. I did not use any essential oils in this mix, but I definitely will next time. Tea tree oil will be my choice because of its antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal properties.
To use, you will need:
- Your oil mix
- A clean face towel
- Hot Water
- Your hands
Here are the steps
- Pour a coin size amount of oil into the palm of one hand.
- Put oil on face and using slow upward, circular motions, massage the oil into the face. Work it in well. This should take about 1-2 minutes. Don't rub, especially if you have acne on your face - that will just irritate your skin. Focus on massaging only.
- Place your face towel under hot running water. The water shouldn’t be hot enough to hurt your hands but should definitely be hot enough to produce steam. You can also put your hot water in a bowl and dip your face towel into it.
- Wring out the hot water and place the hot (not scalding) face towel on your face until you feel the steam open the pores on your face. You may need to repeat this step until you feel the steam do its work.
- Using the face cloth, wipe the oil off your face. Take will also take off dead skin cells, dirt and other impurities from the skin.
When you are done, your face should feel soft and supple, not stripped and dried like when you use soap. At least that has been my experience. If your face does feel dry, you can work a light oil (like grapeseed oil) into your face.
Things to note:
- Keep your face towel/cloth clean. Wash it out with soap and water every time you use it.
- Wipe all the oil from your face.
- Splash cold water on your face afterwards to close your pores.
- The more castor oil you add to your mix, the more drying it will be. Make this cleanser in small batches until you hit upon a formula that is right for your skin.
Why it works:
Oil dissolves oil. Think about it, water cannot dissolve oil. Not unless you introduce a surfactant based cleanser or soap.
Castor Oil is the main oil in this cleanser recipe because it is a drying oil. It is very viscous but it is a drying oil. Interestingly, it is also a humectant (which means that it draws moisture from the air and into your skin).
Like I said earlier, I was going to use this for 3 months and then let you all in on it. However, I have been using this method for just a week and half and the results are soooo good that I couldn’t possibly keep it to myself.
I am typing this in a bit of a hurry so forgive me if it is not as detailed as it should be. I will try and update it at some point. You can put any questions that you have in the comment section and I will respond as best I can.
Update: You may now buy Grape Seed Oil, Castor Oil and many other items from the Natural Nigerian Ahia (market). Follow this link to view our products: http://naturalnigerian.com/ahia-natural-nigerian-marketplace/