I won’t tell you how often I go to bed with makeup on, but I must admit, I am a bit lazy about washing my face properly outside of the shower. I know, I know… next to forgoing sunscreen, it’s the cardinal sin of skin care. A Mary Kay lady once told me that every night you go to bed without washing your face, you add an extra day to the aging of your skin. I don’t know if this is true, but in my twenties, fear tactics were apparently not enough of a match against my late-night laziness. In my thirties, however, the tide is starting to turn as I contend with the issues of more mature skin. Adding to the struggle is that fact that skin care products are so expensive and I’m constantly torn between the use of natural ingredients vs. chemical products. I’m telling you, skincare is a battlefield.
Then, my friend, Katy, turned me on to the idea of oil cleansing. As in washing your face, not with soap, but with oil. This might sound a little crazy, but it works within the concept of “like dissolves like” and is said to clean out your pores without clogging them. It’s supposed to work well for all skin types, even acne-prone skin because it helps maintain the proper balance of oil whereas soaps strip the skin and the body reacts by producing too much oil, a circular battle that never ends.
Oil cleansing sounded like a win, win, win, win (cheap, natural, effective, and I already had all the ingredients at home). So, I finally whipped up a batch and tried it for myself‒and I have to say‒I loved it! It removed my makeup like a champ and felt more like a spa treatment than a chore. My skin felt incredibly clean and moisturized afterwards. It wasn’t dry and tight, nor was it greasy, plus it smelled great! Here is the recipe shared with me that I now share with you:
- 1 1/2 cups organic coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Essential oils of your choice (I used 5 drops of lavender oil and 5 drops of lemon oil, both Young Living brand which is extremely high quality)
Combine the ingredients with a mixer until it is well blended and creamy. (I say whip it! Whip it good!) If your coconut oil is hard, you can warm it up slightly by placing it in a glass bowl on top of a pot of warm water (be careful not to heat up your essential oils). Store mixture in a mason jar or container of your choice.
- Apply a teaspoon or so of the oil mixture to your face/neck and massage deeply into your pores for at least 1 minute
- Wet a washcloth with hot water and apply to your face allowing the steam to work its way in until the cloth has cooled. Repeat 2-3 more times, gently wiping off any excess oil the last time.
Some people may experience a period of adjustment where their skin actually gets worse during the first week. This is usually due to the impurities being pulled from your pores and your body adjusting, so if this happens, try to stick it out until it passes. Some people do not tolerate coconut oil and may need to try another oil or oil blend. Check out this blog for advise on alternate oils.
- This whipped coconut oil mixture makes a great body moisturizer as well. Rub it onto your legs after you shave or onto your feet before you go to bed.
- As long as your essential oils are food grade (Young Living’s oils are) and edible (lavender and lemon oils are), you can use this mixture for oil pulling. I found it gave a much-improved texture and a nice flavor. (If you’ve never heard of oil pulling, it’s basically swishing with coconut oil for dental health‒but more on that in a future post!)