The Oil Cleansing Method

Have you heard of the Oil Cleansing Method? It's the act of using an oil, like Olive, to clean the skin. Some people might recoil from the idea of cleaning their faces with oil, especially if they have an oily skin type.  Perhaps you don't think that oil can actually get you clean.  Well I've got news for you!  Not only are you probably already cleaning yourself (and many other things) with oil, humans have been doing it for a really long time.

Most creams or other emulsions (like soap) have both water and oil soluble ingredients in them.  An emulsifier is an ingredient that forces water and oil to bind together.  The oil cleans the oil soluble grime and build-up, while the water portion of the emulsion cleans the water soluble dirt and film.  

When you use the Oil Cleansing Method aka the Double Cleansing Method, different types of dirt or grime are removed in different stages of the cleaning process.  Take care to select an oil cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type.  Oil cleansers for dry skin, like Radiance Cleansing Oil, contain more quickly absorbed oils, like Camellia Oil and Chia Seed Oil.  These lighter oils are blended with more viscous, or thick oils, like Castor, that require a significant amount of time to absorb completely.  Oil cleansers that are formulated for oily skin would have a smaller amount of quickly penetrating oils, if any.

You can use all Apothecuryous products to make the most of the Double Cleansing Method.  Start with Radiance Cleansing Oil on your face and neck, massage into skin. This blend is appropriate for "normal" to very dry or sensitive skin.  Once you have massaged your entire face, wipe off the excess oil with a warm damp cloth.  

Next up is the water based cleanser: Witch Hazel Astringent.  The Apothecuryous Witch Hazel Astringent uses certified organic Witch Hazel distillate and is blended with Aloe to soothe skin.  Apply Witch Hazel to a cotton ball or pad so that it's wet on one side, but not the other. Wipe across face, neck and behind the ears.  Allow to air dry. Follow with a moisturizer, as needed.

This double cleansing method is reminiscent of traditional Roman and Greek Bath Houses.  In these public bath houses a person would immerse in water, then oil would be applied to the body, either by themselves or by a servant or slave.  The oil would then be removed by scraping it from the skin with a tool called a Strigil.  These have various appearances but are small curved tools with a firm smooth edge. The entire body would be cleaned that way, repeating as desired.  Sign me up!  That experience is on my bucket list, minus the slave. I'm perfectly happy to do that myself!

In modern times there is a renewed interest in this multi-step cleaning process found also in Korean culture.  Some of that interest can be attributed to The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin by Charlotte Cho.  The short version is you wash your face, then you wash your face, then you wash your face again. The first time would be with an oil cleanser (like Radiance Cleansing Oil), then a water based cleanser ( like Witch Hazel Astringent), and lastly with an emulsified or cream cleanser (like Sparkle Sister Cream Cleanser).  I tried it her way for a week when I was reading the book, and my skin really did glow. 

The take away is this- while the Oil Cleansing Method has been featured to the point of appearing trendy, it is a practice that has been around for thousands of years.  It can be found throughout history, across the planet.  Cleaning the skin with the Double Cleansing Method feels amazing and a little decadent, and I still incorporate this method into my routine, or as a self-care pamper day. 

The Oil Cleansing Method
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