Hope you are all doing well. When Lechu (Lekshmi) asked me to write a guest blog post, and that too on oil cleansing, I was more like "YES, you read my brain", because, I think people often misunderstand the term oil cleansing and often get confused with Double Cleansing.
Before moving to Oil Cleansing I would like to address quickly on cleansing water, wipes and other makeup removal products that you typically get in the market. Makeup removal is not cleansing your skin. To put it in short words, it is just taking off your makeup. Most cleansing waters do contain diluted SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulphate) which is a surfactant, and if you leave it on your skin without further cleansing, you are prone to getting breakouts. It would be like leaving soap foam on your skin and walking around with that. Most of these makeup removal wipes also contain Alcohol in them that can be an irritant for people with sensitive skin. Yes, I do agree that these are easy, quick and simple to use and I have nothing against them. I do use them as well to take off my makeup at times but I ensure that it does not stay on my face no longer than 30 seconds. This is where oil cleansing comes into place.
Now let us talk about Oil Cleansing which is one of the main part of my Cleansing Routine. Read below to find out what is oil cleansing, why oil cleansing and how to do it properly.
What is Oil Cleansing
In reality, any cleansing product which has oil as a base can be called an oil cleanser. They are mostly plant based or nut based. You can even use coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil etc or a combination of oils.
Another option I know, The Body Shop does an oil cleanser which emulsify when in contact with water, which means, you use it on dry face, massage well and remove it with lukewarm water. I personally would use a face cloth ran under warm water. It is just how I prefer to cleanse my skin.
Then there is the Cleansing Balms out there in the market. These cleansers turn to an oil as it come in contact with the warmth of our skin. They mostly need a warm face towel to remove as it might leave an oily film if not removed properly. Clinique, Bobbi Brown, The Body Shop and many luxury brands now do their own version of oil/balm cleansers.
I have a personal favourite as I am from the land of Ayurveda, Kerala, and it is a mix of “Nalpamaradi Keram and Eladi Keram”. It has Coconut Oil as its base oil so warning to anyone who is allergic to coconut oil. Everybody else can use it without the fear of any kind of Parabens , Mineral Oils, Fragrance, Sulphates, etc. However, since they have natural plant based ingredients in it such as Turmeric and leaves, they might stain your towel, so be warned. But, they have amazing plant based ingredients and they will also help you to remove tan if used regularly and can also be used on small babies without fear.
Cleansing the skin is the single most important step in any skincare routine. It is the foundation of any skincare routine, and it should be proper at first before investing money on any expensive serums or creams and no, I do not spent crazy amount on creams unless they are actives like Retin A, Vitamin C, Acids etc. It is mainly because, if not cleansed properly, products you put on top will have to work harder to penetrate into your skin.
Why Oil Cleansing
Oils are rich in moisturizing properties and also, they can break down dirt and other grim from your skin and give a deep clean. It can break down waterproof makeup without much effort and when used with hot cloth it will also give gentle exfoliation. When you use with a hot cloth, it can help open your pores and you can get a deeper cleanse, but much better than rinsing with normal water. It can be used by anyone from dry dehydrated skin to oily skin. We are often told oily skin girls need to stay away from anything remotely oily. However, it should be noted that products often named for oily skin contain alcohol which will basically dry out your skin and thus skin will produce further more oil. So, it is important to nourish and not to strip your skin so that skin will balance its natural oil or sebum production. While using an oil cleanser, you will have to keep in mind that you are deep cleansing your skin and not just removing makeup. You can spend money on oil cleansers if you can and get brands such as Tata Harper, Bobbi Brown, Forest Essentials etc., which contain premium quality ingredients. I still think our Ayurveda oils are still in par with these oils or balms. Regardless, your skin will start thanking you over the next few weeks if you follow it regularly.
Always remember though, skincare is a ritual. It will take time to show up on your skin. Think of your skincare routine as a stress buster, taking time out of everything and indulge in a few minutes of your time to yourself.
How to do Oil Cleansing
There is no right and or wrong way of using the product. We all have different skin types and needs and also depends on the products.
First cleanse is usually done to remove makeup and dirt from the top most layer of your skin. If I am using a mineral oil based cleanser like the one by L’Oreal, I would use it to remove makeup. You can use cleansing lotions, cleansing oils, any makeup removal products in this stage (choose ones with better ingredients always).
Here I move on to a better ingredient oil to do a second cleanse. Ayurvedic oils, Tata Harper Cleansers, Clinique cleansing balm, Emma Hardie cleansing balm, The Body Shop cleansing balm etc. are products that usually goes as a second cleanse and then I would spent few minutes massaging it well on my skin and use a hot face towel to wipe it off.
I repeat the same in the morning without a first cleanse since there would not be as much impurities left on my skin, just natural oils after skin's natural replenishing time at night. The only thing left would be residue of skincare products I had used on the previous night. Therefore, you can do your second cleansing routine here in the morning.
On a side note, use products with better ingredients during your second cleanse, and preferably oil cleanse so that the ingredients can be better to your skin and can benefit it much better. First cleanse is always to remove makeup, dirt, grim, excess oils and bacteria so you can use any type of makeup removal products. However, for that step as well, try and use products that contain oil as oils can help to breakdown the products easily. Always save up to get good skincare products to second cleanse your skin after removing makeup to give skin a deep clean. Good skincare products does not mean expensive. Always check the ingredients and read reviews before purchasing any product.
Any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.