One of the main reasons I started eating Paleo was because I desperately wanted to heal my acne. I have been struggling with acne since I was about 13 years old. I have been to so many dermatologist appointments and tried every prescription, and over-the-counter, cream you can think of! I was even on oral medication for many years. After all of that, I felt sick and broken, with terrible skin!
So I decided to look into natural remedies. I had a hunch that all of the chemicals I was putting on my skin and in my body were really hurting me. So, I started my research.
***I want to add that I am going to show you the path I have taken, so far, with my skin. Some things worked and some things didn’t, but I’m going to tell you all of it. AND just because something didn’t work for me, it may work for you. I think the biggest thing I have learned is that everyone is different and you have to find the right combination of things for your skin. It does take some trial and error; at least it did for me. Don’t get discouraged though! Try to remain patient and dedicated and you can find something that will work for you.
One of the first things I found while researching was the oil cleansing method. Now, I understand this sounds crazy, cleaning your face with oil?? How is that cleaning? But when you think about it, it makes sense. I’ll explain.
The more oil free, oil reducing, oil stripping products I was using on my face, the oilier my face became. Why? Because my body was like, “Whoa, I’m super dry, I should produce more oil.” The result, a super oily face! I used 5 or more of those oil blotting strips a day because my skin was so oily.
When we put natural oils on our skin, it produces less oil and we don’t have oily skin. Amazing!
I started the oil cleansing method with suggestions from many different blogs. I did a lot of reading! I read Empowered Sustenance’s 7 Secrets that Cured My Acne without Chemicals. Which lead me to Mommypotamus’ The Oil Cleansing Method: A How-To Guide for Clear, Radiant Skin. I think my first concoction was her oil cleansing recipe:
1 part Hazelnut Oil : 1 part Sweet Almond Oil : 2 parts Avocado Oil
This recipe solved my oily skin problem immediately! I was so happy that I didn’t have to waste my time and money on those stupid oil blotting strips anymore! However, after some time, my skin still wasn’t as clear as I wanted it to be and I felt like it was slowly getting worse! So, I did more research. I found Crunchy Betty and learned so much about the oil cleansing method. Her post on Trying and Troubleshooting the Oil Cleansing Method: Tips For Flawless, Oil-Cleansed Skin made a huge difference. Here is what helped me:
- Use clean washcloths! I had no idea that my washcloths were holding on to all of that oil and bacteria! I recommend using a new washcloth every day and washing them thoroughly. I like to do one wash with hot water and a cup of vinegar, followed by another cycle of hot water and a 1/2 cup of baking soda. Follow up with a normal dryer cycle. The extra wash will strip the washcloths of those oils. Also note that you should wash your cloths separately and not with other laundry, as the oils and smells can soak into other materials easily.
- I eliminated any oil that MIGHT be irritating my skin. This includes coconut oil, jojoba oil and any nut oils. After I eliminated these oils, especially jojoba oil, I noticed a big difference. *Update: I think I had a hard time finding the right oil for my skin, because I was still struggling with SIBO and it seemed like my skin was not getting better. Now that I have tackled my SIBO, most of these oils work well for my skin. Now I love my jojoba oil, coconut oil and nut oils!
- I added castor oil. At first, I added too much and it irritated my skin and made it worse. But after I found the right combination, the addition of castor oil helped. Castor oil is a washing oil, so it greatly helps with removing makeup, dirt and oil.
So, what sort of blend did I finally end up with??
1 part avocado oil : 1 part grape seed oil : 2 teaspoons castor oil
It doesn’t need to be exact. Add the oils to a dark glass dropper; it protects any oils or this one. Shake up the oils to mix them together and you have your face wash!
Tip: I bought my oils at Whole Foods. You want to look for organic and cold or expeller pressed oils. If they aren’t cold or expeller pressed, it means they are refined and processed, taking out the good nutrients and leaving behind harmful free radicals. You can also buy many oils online. I also found oil cleansing to be much cheaper than all of the other facial products I used to buy. The oils are relatively cost effective and they last you awhile.
How to do the Oil Cleansing Method:
- Start with a dirty face with makeup on. Wet your face with warm water.
- Put a quarter size amount of oil into you hand and rub onto your face for about two minutes. I like to take the time to do a little facial massage.
- Run a washcloth under hot water, wring out the water and then place over your face. I like my washcloth to be really hot because it’s relaxing. I then put a hand towel over the wash cloth to seal the steam in. Leave the washcloth on until it cools down. It’s really probably only 2-3 minutes. Then take the washcloth and wipe off any residual oil.
- Repeat 2-3 times. I try to do it at least twice because I feel like this cleans my face even more.
Here’s a great instructional video on how to do the oil cleansing method:
I’ve also tried many other natural remedies, while using the oil cleansing method, to help cure my acne. I tried using the natural toner recommended by Empowered Sustenance, but I found it to be too drying for my skin. I tried honey masks in the morning, that I also found to be too drying. I’ve also tried many different combinations of oils for moisturizers, including jojoba oil and essential oils, jojoba oil with tamanu oil and many others. However, I think the jojoba oil and nut oils were causing me problems.
I currently use a homemade natural recipe for eye makeup remover that I love! You can remove eye makeup with oil cleansing alone, but I feel like you have to scrub a little harder to get the job done. I currently use this recipe:
2 oz of Grape seed oil & 1 capsule of Vitamin E in a small dark 2 oz dropper
To use: Mix the ingredients together and shake. Then apply a few drops to our fingers and rub over your eyes to remove the makeup. Use a cotton pad or washcloth to wipe the oil and makeup off.
So, what is my routine now?
In the morning, I either wash my face with the oil cleansing recipe mentioned above once, if my face feels dry, or I use a clay mask to remove blackheads. This mask is amazing and the ingredients are only clay and water! Then I moisturizer with a couple drops of avocado oil and that’s it!
At night, I remove my eye makeup with the recipe mentioned above. I wash my face with the oil cleansing method twice. Then I add a couple of drops of avocado oil to my skin to moisturize and that’s it!
It seems to be working well for me right now, but things do change. As always, I’ll keep you updated with my findings.
What sort of skin care routine do you use? What tips or ticks have you found? Share your stories below!
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