Why You Need to Cleanse and Moisturize Your Face with Oil

Why You Need to Cleanse and Moisturize Your Face with Oil

November 28, 2018 • Sarah Jean Gosney

The skin on our face is what greets the world. It is one of the first things people see when they meet us and is a great indicator of our overall health. These days though, so many of us struggle with acne, dry skin, oily skin, acne scars, and all manner of skin issues. And what do we do to solve these problems? First, we turn to often overpriced over-the-counter products, and when desperate, we seek help from a dermatologist.

What can these typical products offer us?

  • artificial fragrances
  • toxic additives (parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, and more)
  • fillers like propylene glycol
  • antibiotics
  • plastics
  • artificial dyes
  • harsh ingredients like alcohols

And, in my experience, a lack of results. Far too many of have spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours agonizing over perfect skin, or our lack of it. Let’s be honest, we all wish we could be confident in our own skin without caking on makeup or dealing with painful blemishes.

Most of my life I’ve been blessed with clear enough skin, but for that I paid with two brief stints of severe acne. Once, when I was 16 and once when I was 24. The first bout lasted about a year, and the second maybe 8 months. I was deeply embarrassed both times, and these breakouts took a heavy toll on my confidence. I constantly felt like hiding, but, unable to be a recluse, I had to face the world with my cratered skin.

Here is a picture of my skin at 24. This was not the worst it got, and it was considerably worse at 16.


Both times could have been influenced by hormonal fluctuation. At first, I was a 16-year-old, and though I’d started puberty several years before, I was probably still undergoing changes. The second time, I was going through a lot of stress and had abruptly stopped hormonal birth control, but even after months of my hormones normalizing, the acne remained.

In reality, I don’t know for sure why I broke out. I can only speculate. But what I do know is that the difference between the second bout lasting 8 months and the first lasting a year is that, 8 months in the second time, I discovered the Oil Cleansing Method.

I had been browsing the Skincare Addiction subreddit for a few months. I’d tried many of the products suggested: Stridex, AHAs, bentonite clay, and my acne didn’t budge. I was very frustrated, thinking I once again would have to suffer through my bad skin with no help.

Then, I stumbled upon something very different in their community info section: the Oil Cleansing Method. It was simple, called for one-ingredient products, and was nothing like any of the other things I’d tried.

Of course, I had my reservations. Oil?? On my face??? But wouldn’t that cause me to break out? Everything I’d ever read about skincare said that oil on your skin led to breakouts. Oil + bacteria = acne.

But the article I read explained that our skin produces natural oils that protect and moisturize it (I knew the skin had oil because I was told to never touch my face with my oily, oily fingers), and that most normal cleansers, soaps, and astringents strip our face of that oil, which can actually cause breakouts. Essentially, by washing your face with soap or the vast majority of cleansers, you remove the protective barrier of oil from your face, which is why the naturally occurring bacteria on your face get the opportunity to colonize in the first place. And typical moisturizers do not replace this, as they are water-based.

Additionally, oil has the power to dissolve dirt and bacteria on the face so that it cleans the skin just as effectively as soap without the harsh side-effects. (Did you know that ancient Greeks and Romans regularly bathed in oil, using it on their entire body?) Basically, they were selling me pretty hard on this method.

So, with the help of their suggested ingredients list, I made my own skin oil. At the time, I didn’t even know you could buy skin oil, which is probably for the better since at the time the only products available were upwards of $300 an ounce. One of the non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) oils suggested was mineral oil, which is the base of baby oil. Since it had a comedogenicity rating of 0 and I could find it any store, I went with basic baby oil (this is not your best choice. More on that later).

This was my formula:

  • 7oz baby oil
  • 20 drops ylang ylang
  • 100 drops tea tree
  • 15 drops lavender oil

The lavender and ylang ylang were to cover up the baby-diaper scent of the baby oil, and the tea tree oil is antibacterial. I believe I had all but the ylang ylang on hand. In retrospect, I could have spent my money on a better base oil rather than getting essential oils to cover up the smell that comes with a $2 bottle of baby oil, but hey, you live and learn.

I started cleansing my face with this morning and night.

To cleanse your face with oil:

  1. Splash your face with warm water.
  2. Pat dry.
  3. Rub about 14-12 tsp (or as much as you need) of oil on your face for at least 10 seconds.
  4. Wipe face clean with warm, wet washcloth.
  5. (Optional) Rub a few extra drops of oil on your face to moisturize

Just apply a little oil to moisturize. You don’t want your face to be shiny, but you want it to feel supple. You may notice that doing this gives your skin a nice glow and takes away a weathered look from your skin (guess what, you aren’t old, your skin’s just dry!).

This is me after six months of oil cleansing—no makeup.


Looks a lot better, doesn’t it?

Now, I don’t use that formula anymore. I discovered one of my mutual follows on Twitter, Johnny Noble (@JohnnyNoblebody), had created a line of skincare products that included face oil. Thrilled that something that had transformed my skin had hit the marketplace (this was the first time I realized you could buy face oil), I approached him. I said I was interested in representing his product, if I liked it (never represent products you don’t use!). And man, was I pleasantly surprised.

This is my skin a few months into using Noble Body’s face oil nightly—eye makeup only. (I’m 26 here)


Upgrade, no?

I should also say that I didn’t use a single other product on my skin.

What struck me most was the amazing smell of this product. I can’t even describe it, but it is addictive. Furthermore, I needed less of it than the baby oil because, let’s face it, this stuff is much higher quality. The moisturizing effect lasted longer, and an entire bottle lasted me two months even though I was using half a dropper per night to wash my face.

Basically, I’m hooked on the stuff…bye bye baby oil.

Now, I won’t lie to you: other things matter when it comes to skincare. How much sleep you get and your diet are two key components. In the picture above, I had also been on a Paleo diet for about three weeks. So, if you’re having severe skin issues, there’s likely another problem you will need to tackle too.

That said, you saw how much progress I made from picture 1 to picture 2. There was no dietary or lifestyle change there whatsoever. Yes, I was eating dairy and gluten like a madwoman, drinking diet soda, still eating vegetable oil, and committing all manner of dietary sins. So, the Oil Cleansing Method alone transformed my skin, but lifestyle changes are what keeps it clear (I only break out now when I cheat on my diet).

Another amazing benefit of using oil on your skin is how much it helps skin heal and prompts scars (actually post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation—red marks) to fade. I was still picking at my skin when I started doing this (cringe, I know), but after doing oil cleansing, my scabs would heal in 24 hours instead of a week. 24 hours! I’d never heard of that before. Once my acne was gone, I noticed that the red marks on my face were fading way faster than those on other parts of my body (like where I nicked myself shaving). Not only were the blemishes gone, but the marks they left behind were fading fast.

So, I mentioned that baby oil wasn’t your best bet. This is because it has artificial fragrances and it is a mineral oil base, which is a petroleum product. Doesn’t sound too good, does it? Some other oils with a comedogenicity rating of 0 are safflower and sunflower, and oils like almond oil (rated at 2) are popular for the skin. Noble Body’s oil rates between 1.25-1.5. Basically, the lower the better, and it also depends on your particular skin. For example, I can use coconut oil (rating of 4) on my face, but many people break out like crazy using this oil. Many people use good ol’ olive oil (rating of 2) as well.

You basically need to try an oil and see how it suits your skin. Do note though: if you break out initially, your skin could be purging (exactly what it sounds like). However, if this doesn’t clear up in a week or two, you need to use something else. This method also may take a while to heal your skin. I saw steady improvements week after week, but it took probably three months before my skin was acne-free. So, have patience, and the glow will come.

Yes, this does work for everyone! Even those of you with oily skin! If your face is greasy, your skin is likely overcompensating from being stripped of oil with harsh soaps. So, please give this a shot! Believe me, your skin will thank you for it.

I regularly get told I have the skin of an 18-year-old, and I completely credit this to face oil. I’m now an undying fan of Noble Body, but more importantly, I believe in the Oil Cleansing Method above all. Truly, it transformed my skin.

Tags: beauty

Enjoyed the Article?

Subscribe for new posts every week

No spam, ever.