The Oil Cleansing Method for Problematic Skin

I mentioned oil cleansing in my July Challenges and have now been using it in the evenings most weeks since then so thought it would be a great time to review it! This literally involves using a combination of oils to cleanse your face with.

Pros and Cons Summary


  • Simplictic DIY
  • Far cheaper than retailed cleansers
  • Unique to your skin needs
  • Amazing at removing all make up easily
  • Decongests pores, skin feels amazingly clean
  • No drying
  • Requires no toners or moisturisers
  • Gentle on skin, no need for scrubbing
  • Easy removal


  • It may take time to find a combination of oil to suit your skin
  • Literally can’t think of any others!

Firstly, my skin….now I have been talking about the drastic changes in my skin from eczema to acne and this is still present. My face is mostly oily now but this means I’m breaking out and causing scarring, my neck has some form of dermatitis as well and so I have acne prone and sensitive skin.

My Oil Cleansing Method

Now there are many different oils you can use to cleanse your face with oil and choosing the right mixture for your cleansing can be key. There are mixed reviews out there of this method and it could perhaps be because individuals haven’t taken the time to understand what works best for them. You should research oils and find ones which complement your skin type. My first combination wasn’t best but you need to stick with it and monitor your skin. You know it best!

My routine:

1) When wearing make up, a 2 pence coin worth of oil, without make up about a penny size. Rub this in hands and apply to a dry face.

2) Massage in circles for at least 2-5 minutes to really clean skin, always longer for make up concentrating on my spot prone areas such as cheeks, forehead and nose. Gentle enough to use on eyes. Massage well and allow oil to sink into mascaras.

3) When finished, Place a warm/ hot wash cloth over face until cool to open pores. Repeat.

4) Using gentle pressure, wipe the oil off. Use wide circular motions and be sure to get areas such as sides of your nose and ears. Rinse wash cloth and repeat.

5) Optional: Use a cold wash cloth to close pores.

My Trial and Error

I didn’t use the gold standard of EVOO as it isn’t non-comodegenic. With my oily skin I decided to investigate oils which were rated 0 on blocking pores. I came across two I thought would work for both eczema, sensitive and acne prone skin (yes it’s a pain having such volatile skin!). These oils were: Black cumin seed oil and Pumpkin Seed oil.  You can read about the properties of the oils in a previous post (

When i first began, I used a mixture of 50% organic castor oil and 50% pumpkin seed oil.Castor oil is renound for it’s atringent and cleansing abilities and therefore, I decided to keep this as a stable. A general rule of thumb is that for dry skins you use 25%, normal 50% and oily 75% castor oil mixtures.

My first thoughts

I began using the mixture described above and was also toning and applying a drop of pumpkin seed oil. After doing this for a couple weeks I found the mixture too heavy for my skin. I then used a 50% castor/ pumpkin seed mix. Removal of make up was amazing! I have always tended to find that unless i double cleanse I would still find traces of make up on my cotton pad after toning. However, when oil cleansing for at least 3-5 minutes with make up on, it was amazing how quickly and gently the make up came off and a clean cotton pad :). I used simple face flannels I got from Wilkinsons for 33p and loved it. The mixture though wasn’t perfect….My skin would feel oily when I woke up and oil cleansing was supposed to help balance my skin.

I really liked the pumpskin seed oil to remove eye make up, gentle and removing it well. If i wear alot of mascara i sometimes place oil over my eye lashes to “soak” whilst I cleanse the rest of my face before gently massaging the eye area. This works well to gently remove the make up without irritating eyes.

I then swapped to 75% castor oil and 25% cumin seed oil and this is what I’m currently using. Really love this for my skin…my eczema, scars and acne. It isn’t great on eyes as stings! But for oil cleansing I love this combination! I cut down to not applying anything after oil cleansing (no toner no nothing) and this has made such an amazing difference! I think that had caused me trouble with my previous mixtures, overcomplicating the simplicity of this method. Oil cleansing allows you to cleanse your face whilst also replacing oils on your skin that it needs. Toning and moisturising I think caused my skin to be too heavy before bed. It took some getting used to not applying moisturiser but my skin is now not oily but more matte when waking up which is great. Another thing I have realised is that over scrubbing the oil off actually works against you. If you massage for 5 minutes then wipe away, rinse your cloth and repeat, it really is enough! Overscrubbing made me breakout so be careful!

In general, I love this method. I’ve been using it for months now and would definitely recommend and it is so cheap! DIY at its best and the great thing is you can cater it to your skins needs. Be adventurous and try different oils and you will find a combination for you. By far the cheapest and most effective make up remover I own! As long as you take your time to cleanse thoroughly (I do at least 3-5 minutes, sometimes more), it really can be amazing. My pores are so much less congested and my skin just feels so clean with no drying.

Have you tried oil cleansing? Do you have any tips?

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