Ask Glynda: I’ve heard about oil cleansing. Can you explain more about this? I have oily skin, should I do it?

Oil cleansing seems like a radical new idea, but, it’s actually an ancient practice derived from India’s healing system called Ayurveda.

Only pure oils derived from nature should be used; these are naturally nourishing and hydrating, while providing deep cleansing without stripping the skin of its acid mantle.

The acid mantle is the skin’s protective barrier against environmental aggressors. Each day, our skin is bombarded with external toxins, such as smoke, dirt or pollution, and internal factors including chemical changes from hormones and stress.

Our culture tends to perpetuate the idea that all oil on the skin is bad and will clog your pores and cause breakouts. This is simply not true.

Yes, there are oils that are considered comedogenic: oils not suited for certain skin types (e.g., mineral oil) and which may not have beneficial effects. However, naturally-derived oils are teeming with essential fatty acids, antioxidants and natural antibacterial qualities that you simply cannot replicate in a lab.

The basic idea is: oils break down other oils. That’s why oil cleansing is ideal for all skin types, even oily skin!

Why is oil cleansing preferable to a foaming cleanser? Cleansers that leave your skin squeaky clean or taut are stripping your skin of its precious natural oils.

How do you oil cleanse? Is it fussy?

It’s truly a simple skincare ritual that will help you to feel nourished.

Start with a dry face and dry hands:

  1. Place about a quarter-sized amount of a high quality cleansing oil (such as YaYa’s lemongrass and mint deep cleansing oils) into your dry hands.
  2. With your hands, apply the oil and gently massage it in using upward circles all over your face and neck.
  3. Leave the oil on your skin anywhere from 2-10 minutes. The longer the oil remains on your skin, the greater its ability to dissolve dry sebum plugs and to bond with dirt, bacteria, makeup and sunblock.
  4. Use a very warm, damp wash cloth to gently steam your face. Then wipe the oil from your skin with the wash cloth. You may repeat this step if desired. Any residual oil that remains, after a gentle but thorough wiping, will keep your skin moisturized and protected.

Do I follow up oil cleansing with my toner, serum and moisturizer like I would after using regular cleanser?

Honestly, in general, your skin is balanced after doing an oil cleanse; it doesn’t require any further action (toner or moisturizer). But trust your instincts, too, about what your skin needs.

There may be extenuating circumstances in which you feel dehydrated. If so, use a hydrating toner and, if you still feel very dry, use a moisturizer for increased nourishment and protection.

How often should I oil cleanse?

I suggest trying it once per week and stepping it up to every other day, or daily, if you like the results.

Give oil cleansing a try to experience the vitality achieved with products alive with active botanicals!

Glynda Cullen, LMT, LE
Glynda is a licensed Massage Therapist and a licensed Esthetician. She offers therapeutic massage and facial treatments (and after-hours appointments). Glynda is also trained in Ionic Foot Detox protocols.