Natural Beauty: Oil Cleansing Method

About a year and half ago I made a big switch in my daily beauty routine… I stopped washing my face with soap. I had been reading about this crazy idea of cleaning your face with oils and the praises that people had for it. I wanted to try it out, especially since I had been slowly changing out my personal products to more natural ones. But I couldn’t get over the face that you actually washed your face with oil. I mean how well could oil really clean your skin?

Natural Beauty: Oil Cleansing Method - a frugal and natural way to clean and moisturize your face

I was also apprehensive because I have a very oil T-zone and the thought of purposefully adding oil to my face to clean it sounded ridiculous to me. I liked to avoid oil like the plague, always seeking out oil free facial cleansers and moisturizers. Sadly I was actually stripping my face of the good oils it needed, but at the time I thought I was doing something healthy for my skin.

Not only do I have an oily T-zone, but I also have some dry patches around my checks and the corners of my nose. I have what you call an extreme case of combination skin! It’s crazy. I used to have to slather my entire face with lotions to keep it from being tight and dry (caused from traditional facial soaps stripping the natural oils from my face), only to have to use oil absorbing sheets throughout the day to absorb all of the excessive oil (another disadvantage of cleaning my face with soap). It was a crazy cycle.

I’ve been pretty blessed to not have a lot of acne, minus the occasional flair-ups, but I do have a few acne scars and dark spots on my face from the years of not properly cleaning my skin. Not to mention the small fine lines that are start to appear as I gracefully age ūüėČ

So after reading all about the Oil Cleansing Method, it’s benefits and how it effectively cleanses and moisturizes your skin naturally, I decided to give it a go.

A year and a half later my skin looks and feels amazing, plus I wear less make up (which is also good for my skin too) because I enjoy how natural my skin looks.

Not only is cleaning your face with oil natural and healthy, it’s also pretty frugal too! Just two ingredients that last for a long time since you don’t need to use that much oil. Plus it makes for a super simple beauty routine, which is another bonus for me!

Ingredients to Make Your Own Face Wash

A small plastic bottle with a squirt lid– I got mine in the travel size bins at Target, most are less than a dollar.

Castor Oil– draws out the dirt and gunk from your pores. You can usually find it in the laxative aisle of your drug store or online. My health food store also carries it in their beauty aisle. A little bit of castor oil goes a long way and if you find your face is still dry after cleaning your face with oil chances are you used too much castor oil.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO as I call it thanks to Rachel Ray!) or Sunflower Oil- I personally use EVOO since it is much easier to find than sunflower oil, but both oils are wonderful to use, they act as a healing and nourishing moisturizer to the skin.

A soft, clean washcloth

Natural Beauty: Oil Cleansing Method - a frugal and natural way to clean and moisturize your face

To Make Your Oil Cleaner

Combine the Castor Oil and EVOO/Sunflower Oil together in the small plastic bottle. For the following directions, think of your bottle in fourths (let’s go back to elementary fractions!)

  • For Normal Skin:¬†Combine and mix 1 part castor oil to 1 part EVOO/Sunflower Oil
  • For Oily Skin:¬†Combine and mix 3 parts castor oil to 1 part EVOO/Sunflower Oil¬†
  • For Dry Skin:¬†Combine and mix 1 part castor oil to 3 parts EVOO/Sunflower Oil

You’ll probably need to play around with these suggested mixes to find the best combination that will best meet your skin’s needs.

How to Clean Your Face with Oil

First pour a small amount, about a quarter sizes, of oil onto your fingers (remember a little goes a long way). Gently rub this all over your dry face and neck in a circular motion, you do not want to wet your face with water before. Enjoy this nice little massage as you rub the oils it, be sure not to scrub but be gentle. Also be careful around the eye area. While the oils do a fantastic job of removing mascara, it is very easy to get excessive oil in your eyes clogging up your tear ducts (ask me how I know!)

Next place your washcloth under very warm running water. Rest the warm washcloth over your face and allow it to sit for about a minute as the steam pulls out all the gunk from your pores. The steam helps to removes all the impurities and dead skin cells, plus it’s a nice treat at the end of a long day.

Finally rinse the washcloth under warm water and use it to gently the run the remaining oil and makeup off your face. Enjoy how soft your skin immediately feels.


I only wash my face at night when removing my make up. In the morning I just let the shower water rinse my face.

I do wear a bit of a SPF moisturizer in the morning, but after cleansing your face with oil for a while you should notice a significance difference in your skin and whether or not you wish to wear an extra moisturizer in the morning is up to you.

The oil cleansing method is super effective at removing all make up, including mascara, but you can also pour a tiny amount of EVOO on a cotton ball to use as a natural eye make up remover.

The Reasons Why I Will Continue to Wash My Face with Oil

It’s pretty inexpensive, just two ingredients and a plastic bottle. As I’ve said above, I’ve been using this method to wash my face for over a year and a half now. I have only had to by 2 bottles of castor oil, and I buy one huge jug of EVOO from Costco about twice a year for all my cooking and beauty needs. That adds up to only about $40 a year on oils. I used to spend about $10 a month on soap, toners, or moisturizers. That’s a pretty dramatic savings!

I get to give myself a facial every night. Who doesn’t love that? The gentle message and steam not only remove the dirt, but also increases circulation in your skin which improves skin tone over time. No need for fancy scrubbers or creams!

My skin has never looked or felt healthier before. I wear less make up, in fact most days I can go without make up if I feel brave enough! My skin feels soft, my acne scars and dark marks are slowly vanishing. I have a healthy glow. My skin is not excessively oily anymore since I’m not stripping it of the oils it needs. While I still have those fine lines (hello, I’m aging with grace), I don’t feel like my skin is dull or old looking.

I hardly have any breakouts, dry patches or an excessive oily T-zone anymore.

It’s natural without all the harmful chemicals in traditional facial cleansing products.

Did I mention it’s super frugal?

Natural Beauty: Oil Cleansing Method - a frugal and natural way to clean and moisturize your face

Still Need Some More Reasons to Make the Switch?

I love these resources from around the web of others who have used and love the oil cleansing method

The Oil Cleansing Method official site full of all resources and tips for cleaning your face naturally

The Oil Cleansing Method from Tsh at The Art of Simple

Video Blog: How to Wash Your Face Using the Oil Cleansing Method from Keeper of the Home

Do you clean your face with natural oils? What other frugal tips do you have for natural facial care?


*Affiliate links may be used in this post. You can ready my disclosure policy here. 


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  1. I use olive oil and a norwex cloth and am happy with the results. My skin feels as soft as it did when I was using a (much) more expensive moisturizer.

  2. I may make you scream a little when I say this: I don’t wash my face. I don’t use lotions or make up most days so it gets washed in the shower. I have been blessed with good skin and a mother who taught me that I shouldn’t need to do anything fancy to my skin. My husband, on the other hand, has sensitive skin and the fact that he needs to shave his face regularly just aggravates it. We’ve been looking for a chemical free solution for him and it sounds like oil cleansing might just be it! Thanks for sharing and I’m going to town later today and I’m adding castor oil to my list. Then I’ll need to convince my husband to actually use it.
    Question about cleaning it off: Don’t your cloths get oil stains on them? And does the oil transfer to other clothing in the wash?

    1. Good for you Tessa, I wish I had been a little more nicer to my skin when I was younger but it’s definitetly something that I plan to teach to my kids. Hopefully your husband will give it a try. You’ll have to let me know if he does! ūüôā

  3. I have somewhat oily/acne prone skin. Does the oil really not cause more oil/breakouts? thx

    1. Yes, at least for me anyway! While I didn’t have major acne breakouts before, I would have the occasional flair ups. Since using this system I have only had like one or two pimples total and my skin is not as oily as it was before. You might have to play with the oil combinations to find the perfect balance between the castor oil and the EVOO but you should notice an improvement in your skin. Hope this helps!

  4. I find this extremely interesting! I too have combination skin that all of the sudden is breaking out in acne again, 30 has not been kind to my face. When I started reading this, I immediately thought there is no way cleaning my face with oil would work but after reading the whole thing, who knows maybe it will work. What I have been doing is not working at all, so maybe time for a change. Pinning this to try soon.

    1. I hope you give it a try Lucy. I was really skeptical too about how well oil would actually clean my face and not cause it to be more oily but I am a believer now!

  5. I have been hearing so much about this oil cleansing method. I may have to try it out. I’ve been using e-cloths facial cloth recently and really love how it cleans my face too. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Jodi Flaherty says:

    Linking up from Whatever Wednesday! Had to PIN definitely interested in natural beauty care! Thank you!

  7. That is so interesting. I will have to try it. I have been neglecting my skincare lately. Thanks for linking up with the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party. I have pinned your post to the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Board!

  8. I do this too but I’m using VCO. When I was just starting with oil pulling I did some research about the other uses of virgin coconut oil and I found out about it being a good cleanser and moisturizer as well. I do the routine you mentioned every night to remove my make-up. My face feels so soft and clean yet not dry.

    1. I also love coconut oil for many reasons! I could write a whole separate post on it’s healthy benefits too! Thanks for the reminder Jessica ūüôā

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