OK, so Food on your Face it is! What food are we putting on our faces today? Well, we are going to start with your favorite oil. My favorite oil is extra virgin olive, so that's what I use!
The method we're talking about it called the Oil Cleansing Method, OCM for short. The concept here is that like cures like, or like dissolves like in the case of oils. Most of us consider with horror the prospect of slathering our faces with oil. We're told that oil is the enemy. Oil will clog your pores. Oil will make you oily.
Not so. Oil cleanses. Until a few years ago it was technically impossible to make a soap or a lotion without oil. Impossible. Soap requires an oil or fat (like lard). Lotions, too, are an emulsion of oil and water. Only the miracle of modern science- and all the accompanying chemicals- allow folks to make 'cleansers' and 'moisturizers' without oil!
Here's the basic OCM method:
-Mix your oils
-Apply generously to a dry face
-Massage in an upward motion for 2-3 minutes
-Steam the oil off by using as washcloth soaked in VERY warm/ hot water (Lay the washcloth on your face until it cools, then wipe gently. Repeat until ALL the oil is gone.)
Do not scrub your face with the cloth. Dry gently or air dry, again, don't rub your face with the towel. If your skin is dry after this, apply a drop of oil, lavender oil, or natural face lotion (Mountain Rose Herbs makes inexpensive and amazing face lotions).
Here are the oils you can use:
extra virgin olive- some find this oil to thick and sticky. Some claim it clogs their pores. It is best for dry skin.
safflower- good for all skin types, no instances of problems with this oil that I have read of.
grapeseed- best for oily skin, may be too drying for less oily or dry skin.
jojoba- not a true oil, but a liquid wax, good for all skin types (some use this oil alone without castor oil for their OCM).
coconut- some sources clain this oil is comedogenic (pore-clogging) in OCM, but this seems nonsense to me, as MANY face lotions contain it and many people use it straight as a moisturizer- I know I have. Great for dry skin, also has UV protective qualities.
sunflower- similar to safflower.
almond or apricot- all skin types, not very popular for OCM it seems.
avocado- extremely nourishing and moisturizing, dry skin.
One or a mix of these oils is mixed with castor oil. Use 25% or less castor oil in the mix for dry skin, more for oily skin. Castor oil is drawing, drying, and cleansing. Too much will leave your skin TOO DRY so beware! Also, you may want to get your castor oil from a health food store, as Walmart or Walgreens' castor oils are often hexane extracted. Meaning: nasty chemical residues your face might not appreciate!!!
Really, that's all there is to it. Your skin should glow and radiate after this treatment! You do not need to do this every day, let alone 2x a day. You can use plain water to wash in between your OCM days.
If you google OCM, you will find some freaky scary stories about people having serious and awful reactions to OCM. Please do not be driven off! Here are my theories on bad reactions to OCM:
1) I do not want to discount the possibility that some people really just can't do it. Here's what to watch for- excessive redness or itching after troubleshooting your primary oil type, aquiring pure castor oil from a healthfood store, and decreasing your OCM to only every third day, with steamy water washes in between. Watch also for the development of cystic blemishes- these are hard and painful zits, not regular old blemishes. If you feel these developing, discontinue the OCM right away.
2) It's too big a shock! I think your skin needs a detox period if you are using a mainstream skin care regimen like Proactiv or Clinique or something. Here's how I detoxed b4 switching over to the OCM: first, I switched to Aubrey Organics skin care (cleanser and moisturizer). This brand is the purest and most natural ready-made skin care out there, in my opinion. It works, it's not overly expensive, and it's really safe and natural. (Many websites sell a travel set of Aubrey's skincare, which is cheap and lasts for about 2 months.) They're not sneakin' anything in there. (Consequently, if OCM sounds too crazy to you, I really hope you'll try Aubrey's Organics. No, they don't pay me.)
OR, try this: wash your face with a paste of baking soda and water; soften the bs with the water (wait till the grains dissolve a bit, especially for acne-prone skin), and very gently rub on your face- it will exfoliate your skin, but DON'T overdo this. Rinse gently. Moisturize with a dot of natural moisturizer, lavender essential oil, jojoba, or coconot oil.
Do this for several weeks or months. Why? To give your skin a break. Mainstream skincare is made up of synthetic chemicals, leaving your skin in a most UNnatural state. Why switch to OCM from these other natural regimens? Well, OCM is VERY nourishing to your skin; it fills in wrinkles; it super-moisturizes; it makes your skin glow; it reduces scars; it fades acne scars and blotches of unknown origin!
I had no trouble transitioning to OCM after about 3 years of experimenting with other 'natural' and food-based skincare. I have acne scarring- just dark blotches- on my chin and around my mouth- and so far OCM has faded them somewhat. From what I have read, I should see them continue fade with time. Also, my skin is VERY dry in the winter and OCM helps it stay moisturized better than any other skincare regime I've tried. (One winter, in desperation, I didn't touch my skin for 2 weeks. Amazingly, it helped a ton :).) It greatly increases circulation to your face, and this causes the glow. I like the glow. Ed often thinks I'm wearing makeup for hours after I cleanse with the OCM. I never skip adding a dot of lavender essential oil to dry spots and blemishes after cleansing. It really makes things perfect for me. I've been wanting to order some Rose Facial Cream from Mountain Rose Herbs, but they've been out of stock forever.
If you want to, and if you have some serious time on your hands, you can google OCM and read ad nauseum about it and how different people adapt it.
OK, go slather up and tell me how it goes, OK?
"I've never seen a smiling face that was not beautiful."