Archive for April, 2010

Oil Cleansing

Posted in Being Green on April 25th, 2010 by Lacey – 8 Comments

I’m going to now tell you a story. This story may be very scary for some of you,  so please be prepared. This is the story of how and why I stopped washing my face with soap and started washing my face with…


Yes, oil.

About 2 months ago, I was doing some research on facial cleansing for acne-prone skin. For the most part, since my mid-20s, my skin has been pretty good.  After we moved to Houston and before I became pregnant, I noticed my skin started breaking out at the temples with these patches of hundreds of tiny little whitish blemishes…they weren’t deep, but they were persistent and itchy. I couldn’t make them go away, either. Then, I got pregnant, and they went away.  I figured it was hormonal.

About a year after I had my daughter, they came back…except this time, they were all over my face–forehead, temples, cheeks, jaw…everywhere.  The interesting part about this is that anytime I leave Houston for a few days, they start to clear up, so it’s something about living in Houston.  I was wrong about it being hormonal after all…there is some bacteria in Houston that doesn’t get along with my skin.

Anyways, I was doing this research and came across a site that says basically the only way to get rid of chronic acne is to slather your skin with concentrated doses of benzoyl peroxide. Since I’ve tried a lot of products/methods to treat my acne (the latest being Proactiv, but over the years I’ve used just about everything and don’t want to start that over again) and am unwilling to take oral medicine to kill it (such as Accutane), I thought I’d give it a go. I mentioned it to my husband and he just looked devastated. “Really? Are you sure? That much benozyl peroxide can cause cancer.” I had no idea about this, so I did some more research. As it turns out, benzoyl peroxide is quite toxic. Sigh.

After some moping around, I decided to do something radical and go in a completely different direction. I found a site with an article about cleansing your skin with a blend of oil. I know–sounds nuts–because I’ve been using all these products for the past year trying to get RID of the oil, but that was my own misunderstanding.  But because my skin was already broken out, I thought I’d give it a shot.

In one of my old Dermalogica containers I blended 1:1 olive oil to castor oil, and added a few drops of tea tree oil. I slathered it on my face, used a washcloth to steam for a few minutes, then wiped it off.

After doing this twice a day, then once a day, and now once every 3 days or so (I just clean with water and/or steam at morning and night)for a few months now I can confidently say that while I still have acne, my breakouts have neither intensified nor lessened.  BUT, the quality of my skin is much better and I haven’t had a dry patch in weeks. In other words, benzoyl peroxide was hurting me more than it was helping me after all.

The moral of the story is this: there are so many mainstream ingredients and products that we use all the time that are actually completely toxic. These products are so mainstream that we don’t even know what to do without them, what the alternatives are. Think about how humanity has survived this long without these chemicals and ask yourself if there’s some simpler way to get the job done. Then do it. :)

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