Oil Cleansing 101: How To Use Oils To Get Your Best Skin Ever

Oil cleansing is one of the simplest skin cleansing methods that leaves you with luminous, clear skin. The best part- no toxic products with long ingredient lists. Instead of regular soap, try using the oil cleanse method at night to remove makeup, clean skin, and moisturize. The results will leave you wondering why you didn’t know about this years ago.


Oil cleansing is a method of washing your face with oils instead of traditional soap and water. It can work for all skin types- even sensitive and acne-prone skin. If your skin is oily, you may be skeptical, but with the right type of oil this is even better than washing with soap. 

Oil cleansing maintains the important skin physical barrier. Unlike other conventional cleansers and moisturizers, oil cleansing is free from toxic and endocrine disrupting chemicals. Using oil as both cleanser and moisturizer will help rebalance pH and natural oils that may be disrupted from stress, diet, and detox processes. 


As you massage your skin with dry oil, it will loosen up the makeup and impurities on your skin and pores. You simply massage in and rinse away with warm water. As you dry your face, the skin is clean, smooth and moisturized. 


It may take time for your skin to adapt to this method. Our skin is one of our primary detoxification organs (next to the liver and kidneys); so releasing toxins through your pores may result in new breakouts.

My advice? Stick with the oil cleansing method for at least 7 days to see if this reaction resolves. If you’re left with red or blotchy skin, oil cleansing may not be the best approach for you.  

Typically, oil cleansing at night (once per day) is enough to keep your skin radiant, healthy and acne-free. You can replace makeup remover, cleanser, and lotion all-in-one! 


Remember that as you open your pores to clean out the gunk- you also leave them vulnerable to intake the products you are using. It is so important to find clean, non-toxic, safe personal care products: especially on the face. With unknown ingredients, you may actually make your skin worse!

1. Castor Oil / Simple Oil Blend

For the most budget-friendly option, start with a simple oil. For acne-prone and oily skin, I recommend starting out with CASTOR OIL. Castor oil is a quite thick and sticky oil. It is exactly those properties that make it richer in vitamin E and fatty acids than most other plant oils. Castor oil is promoted for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits {from ricinoleic acid}. It increases natural production of collagen and elastin {this is the main ingredient in many hair growth/lash growth serums!}.

Castor Oil offers a multi-fold approach for skincare: clearing, soothing, AND replenishing. Because Castor is so sticky, you can do a thorough lymphatic massage while cleansing to encourage draining and reduce puffiness.  

The quality of your oil matters. Always choose cold-pressed, organic oils. I like this oil made by Pukka herbs (surprise, they do more than just tea!). 

If you have dryer skin, you may find a mixture of Castor Oil + Olive Oil/Jojoba Oil is a better combination. Experiment with different ratios until you find what works best for you. 

For a soothing boost, you may add high-quality essential oils to your oil mixture. Lavender is particularly calming, but may burn if you get it in your eyes! Other great oils for skin include frankincense, blue tansy, and melaleuca

2. Beauty Counter Cleansing Balm

For an all-in-one product that follows the same principle of oil cleansing, I recommend Beauty Counter’s Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm. This formula contains lotus extract, jojoba seed oil, and avocado seed oil that soothe and calm skin while boosting luminosity. 

Beauty Counter’s high-performing products are vegan, EWG Verified, and cruelty free. Read more about their clean beauty promise. 

Learn more about the full Beauty Counter lineup and snag great insider deals from my stunning friend, Lauren Miller.

3. Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm

Another great oil-cleansing product that I’ve recently sampled is Farmacy’s Green Clean Makeup Removing Balm. The blend in this product contains non-drying sunflower and ginger root oils. This balm uses turmeric and moringa extract that act as antioxidants for the skin. Papaya enzymes naturally exfoliate pores. (Note that the papaya in this formula may be aggravating for red, inflamed skin and active breakouts). 

Using the Oil Cleansing Method: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you are curious about how to oil cleanse for supple, smooth, radiant, and blemish-free skin, follow this simple step-by-step guide.

  1. Begin with a dry face, you don’t need to remove your makeup as the oil-cleansing method will take care of that.
  2. If you choose, first remove eye makeup using coconut oil or castor oil. Wipe away with a clean cotton pad.
  3. To cleanse the full face, use a quarter size amount of oil/cleansing balm, gently massage on to your face for 45-60 seconds with gentle upward and outward circular motions. Focus on areas that need attention (like around the nose and mouth).
  4. Splash away with warm water or use a warm, damp washcloth and/or muslin cloth to wipe away remaining oil, makeup, and dirt. Gently pat dry with a towel or clean, cotton cloth.
  5. There’s no need to moisturize after oil cleansing! Simply rub in excess oil and give it a few minutes to absorb. If you are using serums, masks, or toners use them after oil cleansing (wait 10 mins for oil to fully absorb and ‘tackiness’ to dissipate). Follow with an extra dot of oil (such as marula or jojoba) or moisturizer as needed. 

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Using the oil cleansing method will improve blood circulation to the skin, boost skin’s suppleness, elasticity and hydration without making your skin oily or greasy. Castor oil is non-comedogenic and compatible with most skin types.

When using the correct oils/products, oil cleansing can dramatically improve skin complaints like dryness, scars, and even persistent acne!


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One Response

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