The skincare world is full of trends; different ingredients and techniques take the spotlight every few years, leaving us intrigued, curious and sometimes confused about the latest crazes. A current trend is the use of oil blends- a combination of oils created for the use of everything from massage oil to aromatherapy. Today, we want to discuss the benefits of one oil blend trend in particular, oil cleansing.
Oil Cleansing- The Original Method of Cleansing
Cleansing is our body’s natural solution to getting clean. Our survival depends on it. The question is, what is the best way to cleanse ourselves? This is where oil cleansing comes in. If you’re used to commercial forms of cleansing such as bar soap or foaming cleansers, it may seem odd to apply oil to the skin instead. The truth is, oil cleansing has been an effective form of cleansing for thousands of years.
This tradition originates from ancient India, referred to as Ayurvedic Cleansing, which translates to “science of life.” The application of oil blends on oneself is called “Abhyanga” (pronounced Ah-yoor-vay-da), which means “self-massage.” This practice begins by applying a mixture of herbal oils, thoroughly massaging them into the skin. You would then wait about 5-10 minutes while the oil absorbs before bathing to eliminate impurities before cleaning oneself. This was used as a relaxing practice to re-energize, calm nerves, and heal dry skin.
This ancient practice of oil cleansing has carried over to modern day use as a natural alternative to commercial cleansers. The idea is to use pure organic oils similar to the natural oils our skin produces to dissolve dirt, sweat, and even makeup. We all want what’s best for our skin, even if means trying techniques that differ from what we grew up using.
Oil cleansing works with the natural oils in our skin. Our skin produces an oily substance called sebum. A healthy amount of sebum provides a protective barrier against bacteria and fungal infections. It also keeps too much water from getting into the body and prevents water from leaving the skin. Those with acne may be hesitant to try an oil blend, as its a common misconception that oil causes acne. However, oil cleansing works to reduce blackhead formation and control breakouts.
Not only does an oil blend cleanse, it’s also moisturizing. If your skin tends to be on the dryer side, an oil blend acts similar to a serum, deeply penetrating layers of skin and it helps to set a base for your moisturizer.
Why Oil Blends?
So, we’ve covered the benefits of cleansing with an oil blend, but you may still be wondering why it’s beneficial to use multiple oils together. Well, it’s the same reason why you eat different kinds of foods. Sure, eating carrots is healthy, but if you only eat carrots, you aren’t getting all of the nutrients that you need.
It works the same way with an oil blend. Each of these anti-inflammatory oils are chosen for its fatty acid profiles; linoleic, linolenic, and oleic, etc. We could go into more detail about the functions of each of these, but we’ll save that for a later blog. For now, simply put, each oil has a unique profile that has a particular characteristic that benefits your skin. When combined, they create a new compound you can use to cleanse with, so your face can benefit from each characteristic in the oil blend. The oils used for cleansing blends are commonly found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils.
You can easily make a DIY oil cleansing blend using four of our favorite oils. Here are their main skincare benefits:
- Sunflower oil is a light oil rich in Vitamin E which helps to protect collagen and elastin in the skin to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It’s anti-inflammatory properties help to reduce redness and roughness.
- Grapeseed oil contains high amounts of linoleic acid which if great for toning, and reversing sun damage. Like all of these oils, it’s noncomedogenic which means it doesn’t clog pores, making it great for acne prone skin.
- Safflower oil consists primarily of linoleic acid, which is packed with essential vitamins that prevent dry skin and removes dirt and excess oil. The linoleic acid in Safflower oil also helps to protect the outer layers of skin, which is beneficial to treat flakiness experienced by those with Eczema.
- Kukai oil contains vitamins A, C, E, which are antioxidant-rich. This is great for protecting skin against UV rays, as well as treating acne and facial scars. It’s an excellent emollient, meaning it naturally softens skin, which is helpful for improving skin’s suppleness and elasticity.
To create a cleansing blend yourself, use equal parts of each oil, and mix.
If you’d be interested in purchasing an oil blend that’s already mixed for you, give our tried and true Cleanse and Glow oil a try. It’s a light moisturizer, made with all-natural oils that sink into your skin in just minutes, leaving a natural, dewy finish- never greasy or sticky. Our Beard Oil uses the same concept of oil cleansing, made from 100% pure oils to moisturize hair follicles and relieve itchiness as facial hair grows.
I hope you enjoyed learning about the traditions and benefits of oil cleansing. If you’re interested in learning more on the topic, I’d love to go in depth in a future blog series. Feel free to share your thoughts, questions or alternate topics you’re interested in reading about. You can reach me directly at [email protected]
Thanks for reading, and happy cleansing!