Ever since I hit puberty I’ve been dealing with oily, acne prone facial skin. I attribute this mostly to the poor diet I grew up on. Most of our veggies were from a can. There was a lot of processed foods and junk foods always available as far back as I can remember. My grandmother cooked good wholesome foods, but we lived several states away. So that wonderful cooking was mostly only available during holiday get-togethers or for a couple of weeks in the summer during visits.
Needless to say I spent all of my teen years and through my 20’s trying every drug store product there was. Desperately trying to find something that would clear up my acne. None of them worked. In fact, most of them made my face feel parched, like my skin was being drawn in from all the moisture being sucked out. But still I had acne. Even all the natural skincare products at the health food store gave me no relief. What? That was a shock to me at the time. Weren’t these products supposed to be natural? Organic? Pure?
Just a few short years ago a light came on in my head. I realized I needed to get my skincare routine (and diet) as close to natural as I could get it. The only way to do that is to control what ingredients go into everything you use.
The #1 best defense for beautiful skin is nutrition. A diet high in animal fats, bone broths, grass-fed meats and organic produce is important for healthy glowing skin. But we also have to take care of our skin from the outside. What you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your body. Everything applied to your skin is absorbed and utilized by your body just as everything you consume internally is.
Back in January my dear daughter mentioned that she started cleaning her face the Crunchy way and it was working wonders for clearing up her acne problems. It all started when she posted about taking the Honey Challenge. What is this Honey Challenge?, I asked. So she explained to me about the Crunchy Betty blog and even blogged about the challenge. Then, in addition to the honey she was applying to her face, she told me about the new homemade cleanser she was using.
Step 1: CLEANSE
equal parts crushed almonds and crushed oats (make a large batch of this so you have it to use for a while, she didn’t tell me the quantity she used though)
2 Tbs. fine sea salt
she puts a small amount of this into a bowl and adds a few drops of water, honey and Dr. Bronner’s soap to make a paste. Wash face. Rinse. Viola!
equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar and water (I add lemon juice to this mix, but DD is allergic to citrus). Mix well and dab all over face with a cotton ball.
Aloe Vera gel with drops of essential oil and vitamin E. Mix a small amount in your palm for each use.
After a couple of weeks of this she said her skin was clear. I realize these directions are slightly vague in the amounts, but that’s just how she rolls. This is exactly how she told them to me. She learned her “lack of measuring” from me. I just use an amount of the ingredients that make sense to me and feel right. So I suppose she comes by it naturally.
BUT….I realize that is not the Oiling Method this post’s header promises. This is just what led me to the oiling method.
I’ve known for a long time that using oil on your skin, even for oily prone skin, is nothing to be afraid of. The concept is oil dissolves oil. Makes perfect sense to me. One of my favorite books, The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by: Valerie Ann Worwood, talks extensively about this concept.
However, the recipes in this book call for several essential oils and I don’t really have my E.O. collection built up very far just yet. They can be a tad expensive. So changing over to this sort of things seemed a bit intimidating to me. That is……until I found Crunchy Betty.
After reading about her Honey Challenge I began devouring all of Crunchy Betty’s posts and soon came across her take on the Oil Cleansing Method. I’m not going to repeat everything she says about it, you can read her post for that. Why re-write something that is so beautifully written in the first place? But I am going to share my experience with with you.
My face and hair are oily and the rest of me is ridiculously dry. I’m working on fixing that from the inside with our dietary changes, in addition to working specifically on repairing my gut ecology. But for now, I must take measures on the outside, as well, to alleviate the symptoms and nourish my skin.
Having the oily facial skin that I have, I naturally chose the appropriate combination of oils for that (if you have dry or normal skin, see Crunchy Betty’s post for your formula):
2/3 Castor Oil to 1/3 carrier oil, plus a few drops of essential oils (I chose rosemary and peppermint). I’ve also chosen to add in some Vitamin E oil and Evening Primrose Oil as both of these have added benefits for oily skin.
I have a cute little jar that holds my oil blend. To it I add:
2 Tbs. Castor Oil
1 Tbs. Apricot Kernel Oil (since that is the oily skin friendly oil that I have on-hand at the moment).
I continue to add these two in these amounts until my little jar is nearly full. This way I’m keeping the ratio correct.
Next I add:
one (1) dropper full of Evening Primrose Oil and a few drops of Vitamin E Oil. Notice I have not added in the Essential Oils just yet. Here is what I have ended up with:
Each evening I measure out roughly one (1) tsp. of this oil blend and to it add five (5) drops each of Rosemary E.O. and Peppermint E.O. Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to get pure essential oils.
I massage this all over my face and neck for about 10 or 15 minutes. I like to give the oils time to soak well into my skin. Castor Oil is a bit drying, which is great for acne prone skin. If you find it too drying you can reduce the amount and add more carrier oil. Find the combination that works for you. Listed on Crunchy Betty’s page about this are a few other oil options to go with the Castor Oil, and she explains what skin types they are good for.
If you want to read even more about this then you can also visit The Oil Cleansing Method website.
In the mornings I simply soak a washcloth in water as hot as I can stand it and wipe my face down with it. I’ve found there is no need to oil twice a day. My face feels wonderful throughout the day and I have had no problems with it feeling like an oil-slick all day like I used to. And I’ve had far less break-outs since starting this regime. My skin feels naturally moisturized all the time. Occasionally it will look a little dry in areas, but I just apply a small dab of oil to the area and then it’s fine again.
Step 2: TONER
I switch between two formulas for my toner, which I only use on occasion. The directions are the same for each. I store each in a small canning jar right on the bathroom counter. Shake the bottle then dab a little all over your face with a cotton swab.
1.) 1 part water to 1 part Kombucha
2.) 1 part water to 1 part Apple Cider Vinegar (plus a tsp. of lemon juice)
Although I have to say this: I recently read about Green Pasture’s Beauty Balm and can’t wait to give it a try. It contains Shea Butter, X-FACTOR Gold High Vitamin Butter Oil, Blue Breeze Organic Coconut Oil, Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil, Cranberry Oil, Organic Orange Oil and Lavender Oil. Sounds delightful. Another blogger mentioned it (here) while posting about how she cleared up her skin. I am a huge believer in Fermented Cod Liver Oil so this caught my interest right away. As soon as I can place an order for this I will be trying it out.
Step 3: MOISTURIZE
Having oily skin I don’t moisturize that often. Mainly in winter when the air is dryer from electric heat. Occasionally I’ll feel the need to moisturize in during the summer time. When I do I simply use a small amount of oil from my oil cleansing jar or just use Coconut oil. After recently winning a quart jar of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil last week, I just had to give that one a try. Even right now, in this humid Florida weather, it felt light and soaked in well. My face didn’t feel oily afterwards at all. So this will probably be my moisturizer of choice from now on.
Once or twice a week I find that my skin loves a good exfoliation. It really helps to open up the pores, draws out impurities and creates smooth extra clean skin. All you need is some baking soda and lemon juice. I put about a Tbs. of baking soda (again I’m not really one for being strict on measurements) in a bowl and add in small amounts of lemon juice until it’s a good consistency to spread over my face. It doesn’t take much and yes, it will fizz while you are blending it. But that calms down.
The baking soda helps to slough off dry skin cells that can build up and contribute to forming black heads. It also has a cleansing and drawing affect to help pull the impurities from your pores. The lemon juice first off is loaded with Vitamin C. It also helps to cleanse and hydrate the skin. Lemon juice also has a milk “bleaching” affect on your skin if you have discolorations of any sort, or just uneven skin tone. Over the last few years I’ve developed Melasma (more on that another time) over portions of my face causing darker areas, so the “bleaching” affect of lemon juice is definitely a benefit that I feel is important. But don’t let this deter you if you don’t have skin discoloration problems. It works if you need it to, it’s not going to turn your skin ghost white. It just helps to even skin tone.
The first time you use this you may feel a slight tingle or burning sensation. But it shouldn’t be enough to cause discomfort. Your skin will get used to it and this feeling will diminish with each use.
And that’s my new facial routine. I know this is a long post, but the routine is really quite simple and I’m no longer a “product junkie”. The initial cost of the oils may seem high at first. But they last a long time since you don’t need to put a lot of oil on your face each time. A little truly does go a long way. So after the initial purchase I’m saving a lot of money for my skin care products.
Again, this is in addition to a healthy natural diet. You cannot fight skin problems only from the outside. Make sure you are getting the nutrients, from the foods you eat, that your body desperately needs.
Coming up next I’ll be talking about my relief regime for dry skin.
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