What is the Oil Cleansing Method & How Does it Work?

lucky cloud cleansing balm in glass jar.

The oil cleansing method can seem a bit daunting. Especially considering it’s called a “method” – it sounds like there’s more to it and many steps. Basically, it’s a just another way of cleaning your face. Simple. There’s no trick or gimmick here… plainly and simply – doing the OCM will leave your with silky soft, clean skin.


“olive oil was rubbed in to skin, which loosened dirt and grime”
It’s actually quite an old system. Before soap was used to clean our bodies  (which we’ve only done since the 19th century when it was first produced industrially) many cultures used oil to cleanse their bodies. One of the most traditional oils used (in ancient Roman times) was olive oil. It was rubbed in to the skin, which loosened dirt and grime and was then removed with a tool (called the strigil) which you scraped against the skin, removing the oil and dirt, before having a lovely hot bath! The key point to take away here is that oil dissolves oil.
“there’s nothing wrong with water, gel or lightly foaming cleanser, but they’re not the only players in the game”
Most people associate clean skin with harsh detergents, which strip away all our natural oils – usually leaving us with dry, tight and sensitive skin. You then slather on a moisturiser, which is going to have to work twice as hard as your skin is in dire need of moisture! Stop!

The Basics

“oil dissolves oil”
So, the basic idea is you massage oil on to your skin, which loosens the dirt and impurities on the surface of your skin and in your pores. You then remove said dirt and oil with a cloth. Easy peasy.
How To
  1. Either fill a basin with water and soak a cotton face cloth/wipe (I use cold water but most prefer warm water to steam your pores as per step 2) or simply wet your cloth under the tap (and don't forget to turn the tap off.
  2. Squeeze out excess water and hold against face for a few seconds. This part of the process helps to get your skin ready, by “steaming” your pores.
  3. Scoop out a small amount of balm (approx the size of a blueberry)with your finger or pour a small amount of oil onto your cloth.
  4. Massage all over your face with your fingers. This is going to remove and dissolve make-up, sunscreen, dirt and just general grime from the day. You’ll find that it will do such a good job of dissolving make-up that you shouldn’t need to use any make-up remover.
  5. Don’t forget to inhale deeply to enjoy the scent of your cleanser as well! Enjoy the process!
  6. Using your face cloth that’s been soaked in the water, squeeze out excess water again.
  7. Start wiping the day away! Rinsing the cloth as you go will help to get your skin squeaky clean.
  8. Once done, make sure you give your cloth an extra rinse with a bar of soap and hang out to dry.
  9. Finish by misting your face with a toner and apply your chosen moisturiser or oil.
Ideal for people with dry, sensitive and mature skin. Or anyone who wants, fresh & clean skin without stripping away your natural oils.

When should I oil cleanse?

Ok, so the above method (oh god, we said method again!) is slightly longer than your normal, jump in the shower and scrub quickly.
“It’s so important not to over wash our skin, once a day is usually enough for most people”
We recommend doing the OCM at night time. You’ve normally got a bit more time and the whole process will get you ready for bed; you’ll feel relaxed and squeaky clean. You don’t need to do such a deep clean in the morning if you’ve cleansed like this this night before. Don’t forget to moisturise after you’ve cleansed. It’s still an important step to include even if you’ve used the OCM.

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