I Wash My Acne-Prone Skin With Castor Oil

I swear by the Oil Cleansing Method, and no fancy skincare-company oils are required.

Lately, my bathroom counter has started to resemble my kitchen pantry. A bottle of cooking oil over here, some baking soda there, raw honey to the left, some crushed thyme on the right. I’ll admit, it’s a little odd-looking.

So what am I cooking up in the bathroom? Only the recipe for the best skin I’ve ever had, that’s what!

I have been plagued with acne-prone skin since the fourth grade. I started wearing a full face of makeup--foundation, concealer and powder--by the tender age of 10. I was tormented throughout elementary school, junior high and high school because of my breakouts, and, unfortunately, bad skin has followed me through college, marriage and a baby without cease.

I have tried every acne product known to man--over-the-counter, informercial, antibiotics, birth control pills, prescription creams--you name it, and I’ve wished on a star for it to work.

So back in December, when I started reading about the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) on different websites, I figured I didn’t have anything to lose. Plus, everything I needed, I already had in my kitchen.

The basic idea behind OCM is this: Like dissolves like. Oil dissolves oil. Many commercially available face washes strip the skin of necessary oils, which, in turn, causes your skin to produce more oil and breakouts. It’s a truly vicious cycle. So by washing your face with oils, you will gently remove makeup AND moisturize your skin at the same time.

Add to this idea the fact that different oils have different elements and properties--some are super moisturizing, some are drying (really!), some are antibacterial--and you have a recipe for success.

Every person’s skin is different, and OCM has endless oil-mixing options, so there is a lot of experimenting that goes on at first. Finding the right combination for your particular skin needs is a pretty fun science experiment.

Currently, my OCM oil mix is a combination of castor oil and grapeseed oil (50/50) with a few drops of tea tree and lemongrass oils in the mix for their antibacterial properties. If I have any active breakouts, I add neem oil to the mix to help dry up and heal the spots.

Washing is easy. I pour a quarter-size amount of the oil into my hands, rub them together, and then massage it all over my face, including my eyes (OCM is perfect for eye makeup removal, and I SWEAR my lashes have gotten longer and thicker since I started OCM).

Time is key here--the longer you work the oil in, the better it breaks up and dissolves makeup and grime. Then, I get my water as hot as I can bear it, soak a washcloth in the water, wring it out, and lay it over my face.

I repeat this steaming process two or three times, and then wipe the oil off my face and eyes with the washcloth. Then, I follow up with a cotton pad soaked in apple cider vinegar as a toner.

In the mornings, I wash my face with raw honey, the perfect face product--moisturizing, antibacterial, tastes good--and baking soda if I need some exfoliation.

In the past five months, my skin has improved drastically. My breakouts are minimal and heal quickly. The texture of my skin is smoother, and the tone is more even. I feel like I glow. I wear very little makeup these days--usually just a BB cream or tinted moisturizer--even at work!

Have you ever tried cleansing with oils? Skincare oils, or ones in your kitchen?