Oil Cleansing – A Simple Key to Beautiful Skin

oil cleansingBy Amy Baker

I’ll admit it, I’ve known about oil cleansing for years and have thought about trying it many times; still, I never took the plunge.  With a decades-long history of T-zone breakouts, I was nervous about making things worse.  Enter my 24-year-old nephew.  He came into Community Pharmacy a while back looking for a good skin care regimen.  He knew he wanted hydrosol and skin oil for toning and moisturizing (my holiday gifts last year won over much of the family!), but what about a cleanser?  He fessed up:  what he really wanted was something, anything, to minimize our family’s other skin hallmark — large pores.

He asked about oil cleansing and I shared what I knew:  under the principle of like dissolving like, a cleansing oil dissolves and lifts away skin impurities without drying out the skin.   The skin, not being overly dried and thus not needing to amp up its own oil production to compensate, settles down.   He walked out with the goods.  Motivated to see for myself, I promptly pulled some oil cleanser samples from my cabinet and began using them when I got home that night.

Now it’s official: I am a convert.  I kid you not, I noticed a difference the very first time I cleansed.  Blackheads nearly gone, pore size reduced, and skin that was soft by by no means greasy.  I’ve been doing it for several weeks now, not every night, but most.  I’m sure it will be part of my skin care routine for evermore.   It’s easy, inexpensive, feels pampering and yields great results.   We think you just might like it, too.  Here’s what you need to know:


How it Works

Oil Cleansing is ideal for most skin types — troubled, dry, sensitive, reactive, acne-prone, and/or congested skin.  It’s also ideal for minimalists who enjoy simple formulations. It fortifies and nourishes the skin, and is the single best method for removing makeup and sunscreen.

Massaged into the skin, cleansing oil breaks-down dirt, debris, excess sebum, makeup, and sunscreen, and softens congestion in pores. The facial massage enables the oil to get deep within the pores, and removal of the oil with a washcloth  leaves the skin marvelously clean, soft, and receptive to the nourishment and moisture that will follow if you choose to tone and moisturize. Cleansing with oil never strips or over-dries your skin.

When trying anything new, it may take a bit of time for your skin to adjust (dermatologists say up to a month), so be patient. During the adjustment period, it’s possible for your skin to react negatively. Don’t give up!  Drink lots of water and give it time.  Your skin will thank you!

face cleansing oilChoosing the Right Cleansing Oil

Community Pharmacy and Community Wellness Shop carry several cleansing oils from Badger, a small, family-owned and -run company based in New Hampshire.  Each is organic and formulated to address specific skin needs, with oils like castor and apricot to lift impurities, and olive, sunflower, and jojoba to replenish essential vitamins, lipids, and fatty acids.

DAMASCUS ROSE FACE CLEANSING OIL –  A soothing, antioxidant-rich cleanser for dry to delicate skin.  The rose blend will fill your heart with love while it reduces redness and evens your skin tone.

ARGAN FACE CLEANSING OIL –  A deep-pore cleanser for all skin types, it uplifts the mind and senses with a light floral citrus aroma.  Argan oil is rich in antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E.

SEA BUCKTHORN FACE CLEANSING OIL – A lighter oil cleanser for normal to dry skin.  Sea Buckthorn contains powerful phytonutrients, has anti-inflammatory properties and promotes skin healing.

UNSCENTED FACE CLEANSING OIL –  A gentle, soothing cleansing oil for sensitive skin.  Contains calendula to reduce irritation and redness.

DIY Cleansing Oil

If making your own products is your thing, a cleansing oil couldn’t be easier.  It may take some time, however, to determine the blend that works best for your particular skin.  We recommend mixing small batches first (work in teaspoons) and adjusting quantities until you find one that works for you.  Castor oil  — thick, deep-reaching and astringent — can be a great addition, but is sometimes too heavy for skin prone to cystic acne.

Start with this basic recipe and adjust as needed.  When you find the combination that you like, fill a 4 oz pump bottle.

  • 3 parts base oil  (jojoba is a great choice because of it’s long shelf life and soothing properties)
  • 1 part castor oil
  • several drops essential oil (Pranarom Skin Clarity is a top choice for acne-prone skin; Rose Regenerative oil is ideal for those combatting irritation and redness).

How to Cleanse Your Face With Oil

  1. Pump a quarter-sized pool of oil into your palm (adjust as necessary; you want just enough for your fingers to move easily over the skin without tugging). For at least 30 seconds, massage into your face, focusing on dry, congested areas, as well as areas where makeup and/or sunscreen has been applied.
  2. After a thorough massage, take a very warm, damp washcloth and gently lay it across your face.  Press the cloth to your skin, allowing the heat and oil to soften, lift and dislodge the collected impurities.  Let those oils and botanicals work as the cloth cools!   Breathe in and enjoy a few moments of relaxation.
  3. Next, take the cloth and gently remove the oil in gentle outward sweeping motion until skin is naturally soft, supple and cleansed.  Repeat if needed.


Amy Baker is a gardener, teacher, wildcrafter, herb enthusiast and an award-winning writer.  She has studied herbal medicine with various teachers in Chicago and Madison, and earned her certification as a Culinary Nutrition Expert and Instructor through the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. Amy has enjoyed creating plant medicines, natural beauty and cleaning products, and all manner of tasty, nutritious, healing recipes for decades.

Tags: Badger cleansing oil , Cleansing oil , essential oils , face cleansing oil , Pranarom skin oil

Posted in: Beauty & Skin Care , Essential Oils