Oil Cleansing, Without “Oil Cleansers”

Why I do it:

Oil cleansing clears pores and completely removes makeup and impurities without stripping skin of its natural hydration. Makeup removers are oftentimes oil based because oil helps lift all types of formulas off the skin and eyelashes. We associate clean skin with a foamy lather, but a lot of times face wash barely removes makeup. How can we trust that it’s getting all the goodies out from deep down in the way oil does? I have oily/combination skin and this has worked wonders for me. More even skin tone, less dark circles (potentially from the massage process you will read about), and basically no breakouts. Amen.

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With what:

I do it with roughly 3 parts olive oil, 1 part castor oil (totaling about 2 tsp.) or just olive oil (about 2 tsp.) Castor oil is a natural antiseptic, and is good for more oily skin types. If you are more dry, I say go with straight olive. Some people can handle coconut oil for this, but I cannot. I am not a huge coconut oil fan. It actually dries my skin and clogs my pores. What! I know I don’t get it either.

Why not do this with oil cleansers? I feel like oil cleansers are a hybrid meant for the shower or to be washed off. This is more of an oil pulling process, which requires the purity of an oil that can be used to simultaneously moisturize and remain on your skin. Plus it’s much cheaper and very DIY chic of you to do it this way. You’re so crafty!


Rub the oil mixture in your hands and massage onto a dry face and neck. Continue for 2-3 minutes. (The massage process is beneficial for blood circulation in your face.) Then take a hot, damp wash cloth and drape over your face for about 30 seconds. The steam with help open your pores so that when you wipe everything off, the oil pulls gunk from deep within them. Wipe gently to remove excess oil. That’s it! You may not even need to moisturize afterwards and you can do this twice a day without worrying about drying out your skin.

Blackhead miracle recipe:

This is something that has worked on me personally, although the internet has mixed reviews on the process (sometimes called “gritting”). It is possible the success rate varies based on pore size, skin type, and how well it is performed. (So do it good!) In conjunction with oil cleansing, these steps clear my pores to the point where teeny blackheads are literally rolling out onto my fingers. So gross but so satisfying mhmm.

Step 1: Oil cleanse as instructed above

Step 2: Use a nose pore strip to pull out some existing blackhead blockage (I use these natural ones by Jeju - https://www.amazon.com/Face-Shop-Volcanic-Strips-Package/dp/B01CNF0PYA)

Step 3: Apply a clay mask of your choosing (I used the Kiehl’s Turmeric mask - https://www.kiehls.com/skincare/face-masks/turmeric-and-cranberry-seed-energizing-radiance-mask/KHL3265.html) and wipe off with damp towel after about 15 mins.

Step 4: Oil cleanse again as instructed, but this time, when you rub do it VERY vigorously over the areas where pores are most obvious for you (probably nose & T zone) for a couple of minutes. It may turn those areas red for a bit, but it’s okay. It goes away shortly. 

The logic is that the clay and nose strip help pull blackheads to the surface, and the oil helps extract them fully. If you try, tell me if it works for you too! I’m very curious.