Interested in finding out more about the oil cleansing method and whether it’s right for you? Great skin starts with correct cleansing. Japanese and Korean women know a thing or two about caring for their skin and that’s why they incorporate the oil cleansing method – or double cleansing – into their skin care routine. The oil cleansing method is part of their evening skin care ritual and is considered as important as every one of the other nine steps they follow.
The rise in popularity of face cleansing wipes and micellar waters in some countries has meant that cleansing is being treated as something that is not deserving of too much effort. But if you consider what a skin cleanse does, you’ll think about this differently and want to look at the benefits of the oil cleansing method.
Cleansing removes and prevents the buildup of makeup, sunscreen, oils, impurities, dirt, environmental toxins, chemicals … so it is more than worthy of your time and attention. A quick wipe with no-rinse micellar water doesn’t do your skin justice, and besides it can eventually even harm your eyelids and eyes.
By not rinsing your cleanser, you’re just moving these things around your skin and spreading germs, as well as the surfactants and chemicals in the cleanser itself. Ick. Ick. Ick. Not great for your pores or complexion. Just because companies are pushing the latest fad, doesn’t mean it’s great for you or your skin.
Don’t look at cleansing as a chore, but rather a way to achieve your best skin, and you may even begin to enjoy it as part of a relaxing evening skin routine, like I do.
Japanese and Korean women often follow quite elaborate skin care protocols to achieve their porcelain skin, however this isn’t for everyone and certainly not strictly necessary. But they have taught us something or two about cleansing, and in particular the oil cleansing method or double cleansing. Read our post on Korean skin care steps to learn more.
Even though this cleansing method is associated with Japanese and Korean women, the practice appears to originate in Roman times when it was part of ancient bathing practices.
Oil cleansing method explained
Most of us have heard about the oil cleansing method.
The amazing thing about the oil cleansing method is that it can work for all skin types: dry, normal, sensitive and oily, even acne prone. If you have oily or acne=prone skin, your heart may start racing at the very thought of using an oil cleanser, but don’t be too quick to write it off without trying it first.
So what is the oil cleansing method why would you do it? This is essentially a double cleanse of your face. First with an oil-based cleanser and then second with a water-based cleanser.
The first cleanse is with an oil-based cleanser or a cleansing balm. These products work well to dissolve makeup and sunscreen, especially long-wearing and heavier products that can deposit themselves in your pores and be troublesome to remove.
Modern oil cleansers also contain emulsifiers and mild surfactants to enable the product to transform into an emulsion and become easier to remove and rinse away, rather than possibly leave residue that could cause eruptions, if not properly removed in your second step.
Oil cleansing method purpose
The point of the oil cleansing method is that the oil cleanser works to remove makeup and sunscreen and the water cleanser works to cleanse your skin and carry away any residue or remaining oil. Voila! Skin that is thoroughly cleansed without using harsh surfactants and without leaving your skin feeling dry or taut.
Double cleansing the face works wonders if you wear long-last makeup or mineral sunscreens, such as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide. These can build up on the skin and in your pores, and trap bacteria and cause flareups. The oil cleansing method is also a great way to cleanse if you work outdoors or in an environment where there are pollutants or chemicals.
And by gently massaging the oil around your face, for a few minutes, you’re also stimulating blood flow, which is an added plus for the health of your skin.
Oil cleansing method steps
If you’d like to give double cleansing a go, it’s important to get it right. After all, you don’t want any flareups or irritation. I prefer modern oil cleansers that have a small amount of emulsifier and gentle surfactant, as they’re less greasy and easier to remove.
Double cleansing is really best suited to night time when you have makeup and sunscreen to remove, and you have more time to follow the steps.
- Use an an oil-free eye cleanser first if you have sensitive eyes, have lash extensions or stubborn mascara. We don’t want to clog our delicate eyelash follicles or traumatise them, and we don’t want to dissolve those expensive eyelash extension bonds!
- Apply an oil cleanser or balm your to your hands to warm and then gently massage it in using circular motions all around your dry face for about one minute.
- Add a little water to emulsify the cleanser and further massage it around your face.
- Use a cotton pads or tissue to remove the excess oil cleanser, especially around the eyes, and dispose of in the bin.
- Remove the oil cleanser with a wet, soft face washer or, if your skin is sensitive or sensitised, rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.
- Use a little of your favourite water-based cleanser, gently massage into the skin and then remove thoroughly with your wet face washer or rinse with lukewarm water.
- Gently pat dry with a soft, clean towel or cloth.
Your skin should be perfectly cleansed after using the oil cleansing method, yet not feel tight or irritated. Your skin is now well prepared and better able to absorb the serums and creams you’re going to apply next.
Our expert tips
- Reserve double cleansing for the evening. Your skin really doesn’t need this level of cleansing after sleeping. Besides, who has the time! Water alone or a gentle cleanser is enough in the morning.
- Use a clean face washer every day. This is especially important if you have acne. Microfibre ones are gentler than cotton, as are those fluffy polyester ones that have been specifically designed for face cleansing.
- Look for a cleansing oil that’s right for you; they’re really not all the same. Some oils are light and spread beautifully, while others are thick, heavy and greasy, and tend to cause eruptions if not completely removed with your second cleanse. We prefer modern oil cleansers and don’t recommend pure coconut oil.
- Avoid oil cleansers that are heavily fragranced, given they’re going to be used on or around the eyes. Some cheaper varieties of oils have stronger odours and a good dose of fragrance is often used to mask these.
- Don’t skip step 3. Remove excess with cotton pads or tissue and dispose of it in the bin. This is especially important if you’re using a pure oil rather than a modern oil cleanser, which has surfactants. This prevents oil buildup in your pipes and sewerage system.
Now that you know about the oil cleansing method and how to do it, give it a go and see whether it works for you. Keep in mind that your skin needs time to adjust to a new skin care routine, so do allow enough time before judging whether double cleansing is right for you.
Yours in better skin