Oil Cleansing (& Why It's The Best For Oily & Acne-Prone Skin)

Just when you thought that you had your skin routine down pat, we’re about to shake things up with a cleansing method that will have you both excited and...maybe a little skeptical. That's right, we're talking about Oil Cleansing. You've heard about it everywhere. It's been dubbed the 'Holy Grail' of cleansing. Oil cleansing connoisseurs rave about how it's changed their lives. I mean, it sounds great...but putting more oil on your oily or acne-prone skin? It feels counter-intuitive, we get it. Today, we’re bringing the facts and breaking down how oil cleansing works, the massive benefits of oil cleansing for oily or acne-prone skin, and why conventional cleansers are so 2000.

So first things first - why oil and why cleanse with it? To better understand the why, we need to first discuss the how. As in, how does the oil cleansing method even work?

Oil Cleansing for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

Peeling Back the Layers.

When it comes to our skin, we've been programmed to think that washing with warm water will do the trick. Add a surfactant-based (aka. soap-based) cleanser to the mix that foams and bubbles, and voila - squeaky clean. However, this old method misses three major marks:

1. Our skin’s top layer primarily consists of oil, also known as sebum. When we cleanse with a water-based cleanser, we aren’t really digging deep into the layers of our skin and pores and cleaning them. The water just sort of sits on top. The best example of this? Think of when you heat water and oil for a sautéed meal in a skillet. The water and oil don’t combine. Along the same lines, water-based ingredients alone are incapable of clearing excess sticky sebum - and all of the pollution, bacteria, etc. that accumulates with it - out of your pores. Only oil can do that. It's science - like dissolves like. 

 2. This is where soap and surfactants come in. Because conventional, water-based cleansers are insufficient on their own, they incorporate other chemicals to get the job done. These chemicals help emulsify the water and oil components, breaking down and stripping away the natural sebum on your skin. But here's where the problem lies. Natural sebum is so important to maintaining your skin's protective barrier, not to mention it has antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties that keep your skin healthy. The daily stripping of this natural barrier leads to the corrosion of your skin, welcoming premature signs of skin-aging like fine lines, wrinkles and hyper-pigmentation. Not a fan? Same. 

3. Speaking of stripping your skin of it's natural sebum, when we do this, our skin is left dry and unprotected and has to overcompensate for the oil/sebum that was removed. To do this, your skin actually increases it's oil production, leading to even more excess oil/sebum and more breakouts.  And in the short-term, before your skin has had a chance to rev up it's sebum production and replace what your cleanser removed, you experience uncomfortable skin symptoms like dryness, flaking, irritation and redness. In both the short-term and the long-term, it's the exact opposite of what you want from your skincare. 

The oil cleansing method works so much better because the oil(s) are able to reach down into your pores, pull out pollution and acne-causing bacteria, dissolve any excess sebum, and still keep a healthy layer of sebum on the skin. So much win.  

What are the benefits?

While we've already touched on a few of it's many benefits, oil cleansing provides a clean, but still beautifully moisturized canvas for your products to better be absorbed by the skin. It doesn't strip your skin. Your skin never loses any of the natural sebum it needs, while any excess is dissolved and wiped away with your oil cleanser. Additionally, cleansing with a silky, smooth oil removes any potential 'scrubbing' of the skin which can lead to wear and tear over time - our skin is sensitive, after all.

Oh, and one of our favorite benefits? The immediate results! You’re left with a soft and smooth, dewy (but not greasy) complexion after cleansing since oil works with the skin’s sebum layer naturally, replenishing it and ridding the surface of dead skin cells.

So you're saying that I should put more oil on my oily and acne-prone skin?

Yup. Yes. Absolutely.

We know what you're thinking. Won't this make me more oily and lead to more breakouts? While putting oil on your already oily skin feels counter-intuitive, this is not the case at all. As mentioned, the oil cleansing method purifies pores naturally, and it does so so much better, and gentler, than conventional cleansers. Plus, it won’t disrupt or damage your skin, but instead remove excess oil, leaving you with a balanced, beautiful complexion.

Here’s how to start.

Oil cleansing is not the intimidating process you may think it is. In fact, it's super easy and simple and takes no more than a minute (just like a conventional cleanser!) To begin reaping the benefits of oil cleansing, here’s what you'll do:

1. Pump a generous amount of your favorite oil cleanser into the palm of your hand. We recommend The Giver Ritual Cleanser & Makeup Dissolver as it’s filled with reparative antioxidants, living nutrients, and Linoleic Acid (perfect for oily and acne-prone skin!) Plus, it smells like "a warm coffee brownie" <--- a customer's words, not ours.

Tip: Be sure to use an oil cleanser that's high in Linoleic Acid, as opposed to Oleic Acid (though some is okay and beneficial!) Avoid coconut oil and olive oil (more on this in another post) especially if you have a sensitive, acne-prone complexion. 

2. Massage the oil into dry skin using circular motions. You'll notice your makeup dissolving - even stubborn eye makeup - like magic!

3. Next, submerge a soft facial cloth (we're adding these to our offerings in just a few short weeks!) in warm water. 

4. Press the warm, wet cloth to your face and wipe away any excess oil and dissolved makeup. 

5. Pat dry or immediately apply your favorite toner - we recommend The Offering Probiotic Toner for sensitive, acne-prone skin. 

So? What do you think? Ready to switch out your conventional cleanser for something way better? 

Friends don't let friends strip their skin, so be sure to share and let your friends know so they can upgrade their daily cleansing ritual too.