Cleaner Living: No More Face Products!

So after taking a look at my hair care routine I decided to look at other ways I was using products with unnecessary and harmful chemicals.  Next up was my face!

I never had blemishes until I was 21.  I have a pretty classic “T-zone” which means I get most of my oil and breakouts on my forehead and chin and around my nose, and I have somewhat large pores that clog easily.  I also have some dark spots from old blemish scars that I wanted to lighten.  For a while I was using whatever was cheapest for face wash, but recently had switched to Olay Regenerist products since it was anti- aging (you know, ‘cuz at 31 I’m “old”).

The Olay products I was using helped with my breakouts, but left my skin slightly sensitive.  During my purging of chemicals I researched my products on the EWG Skin Deep database and was HORRIFIED!  Here is what I was using and the hazard level they were given:

Mary Kay OIL-FREE EYE MAKEUP REMOVER- 5 (Moderate Hazard)

Olay Regenerist Foaming Cleanser- 5 (Moderate Hazard)

Olay Regenerist Daily Regenerating Serum- 7 (High Hazard)

Olay Regenerist Resurfacing Elixir- N/A

Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream- 7 (High Hazard)

Neutrogena Clear Pore- 6 (Moderate Hazard)

Well, off to Goggle to research natural ways to clean my face, since I won’t be slathering endocrine disruptors and more on my face anymore.

Well, here is what I found here, and here (I failed Chem, but these were pretty easy to read). So, basically chemistry says “like dissolves like.”

So soap will dissolve oil because it has like properties, but it can be very drying leaving you to have to moisturize with more chemicals.  So what’s left is oil…

You’ve got to be kidding me?!?! Clean my face with OIL!!!!! That’s what I’m trying to get RID of!

But remember what we found out about cleansers in our shampoo?  The more you strip the natural oils from your skin your largest organ by the way) you tell your body to produce more.  A never-ending cycle of wash, oil, wash, oil….

And so I began the Oil Cleansing Method.

The first and most important oil you want to use is Castor Oil.  Castor Oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties, but is also healing and cleansing.  But Castor oil is thick and its cleansing properties are too strong by itself so we need to dilute it with other oils.

Other popular oils are EVOO, Grapeseed, Coconut, and Jojoba.  You can find more “dirt” on these oils here.

Depending on your skin type you want to mix your oils in the following amounts (the OCM website says different, but this is what I found to be the average for those who use it).

  • Oily Skin: Try a blend of 60% Castor Oil to 40% Other oils
  • Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 50% Castor Oil to 50% Other oils
  • Dry Skin: Try a blend of 40% Castor Oil to 60% Other oil

I use a mixture of 50% Castor Oil, 25% Jojoba, and 25% Grapeseed oil.  I measured 3 oz of castor oil, mixed with 1.5oz each of jojoba and Grapeseed oils and mixed and poured into (2) 3 oz travel bottles.

1.  Start with a dry dirty face (this is great for getting makeup off, so no need for a makeup remover- even for Waterproof mascara!!!) Have your oils ready, set a clean washcloth beside the sink. Turn the hot water on to warm up.

2.  Pour the oil in the palm of your hand and then apply gently all over your face. Massage firmly, but gently, always moving upwards. Massage for 2 minutes, and then let the oil sit on your face for 30 more seconds or more.

3.  By now, you should have very hot water coming out of your faucet. Adjust the heat until it’s cool enough to apply to your skin, but warm enough to soften the oil (it’s probably going to be hotter than the water you usually rinse your face with). Dunk the washcloth under the hot/warm water until it’s completely soaked. Apply the washcloth to your face and hold it there for 10-15 seconds. Slowly begin to wipe off. Rinse your washcloth and repeat until you’ve wiped all the oil off your skin.

4. Rinse with cool water and dry, and your done!

*A word of caution: this may take a few weeks for your skin to balance out its natural oils.  You may find you have opened your pores so much that you unclog some oil spills.  It should get better in a couple of weeks.  I found I had a few blemishes until week 2.*

I do still get a few breakouts, usually hormone related.  When this happens I use an all natural tea tree oil toner I make and keep in a travel bottle.

  • Use 1 part Tea Tree oil to 9 parts water and mix together in a bottle.  I also use lemon juice (in an equal amount as the tea tree oil) to help lighten my dark spots.

I also am in love with Coconut Oil (only use Extra Virgin, Unrefined– more on its amazing properties in another post!)  I will sometimes add this with my Castor oil mix for a more moisturizing effect. And for a good exfoliator add a tsp of sugar to your Oil and scrub as usual (though if you have sensitive skin, this may irritate it).

I do this every night after I put the kids to bed, but before I start my night routine of lunches, chores, Facebook, etc.  It takes a bit more time than regular cleanser, but it is a bit of a luxury every night that I look forward to. I do not recommend doing it more than once per day, just wash with water in the am and you should be fine.

My face is mush cleaner than ever.  For an experiment I washed my face with my old cleanser and toner.  Here is a picture of the cotton swab after:

Still have makeup and dirt on my face!

And this is a swab after my OCM/tea tree routine:

Nice and clean!

Oh and here is the best part- the savings!  For me at least:

Cost Months Bought Yearly Cost
Mary Kay Oil Free Makeup Remover $15.00 2 $30.00
Olay Regenerist Foaming Cleanser $8.00 6 $48.00
Olay Regenerist Resurfacing Elixir $25.00 3 $75.00
Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Serum $25.00 3 $75.00
Olay Regenerist Micro Sculpting Cream $25.00 2 $50.00
Neutrogena Clear Pore Astringent $6.00 4 $24.00
Total  $302.00
Castor Oil $3.00 4 $12.00
Jojoba Oil $7.00 2 $14.00
Grapeseed Oil $10.00 1 $10.00
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil $7.50 4 $30.00
Tea Tree Oil $9.00 2 $18.00
3, 3oz travel bottles $3.00 1 $3.00
Total  $87.00
Difference in Cost for the year $215.00

Overall, I love this method.  Even though I have some breakouts still, they last far shorter than before and I have the added benefit of knowing I am chemical free on my face, and I am saving a ton of money.  I love it!!!

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