I've talked a good deal about makeup here on the blog. I'm quite fond of it. It is a great transformative thing, and is generally pretty accessible to anyone who wants it. What I have been pretty quiet on, however, is how to take it off. There are tons of makeup removers available at any given store, in any price range you can imagine. My personal favorite is good, old-fashioned oil.
|my well-loved bottle of oil|
I mix my own oil, though you can buy cleansing oils anywhere that cosmetics are available to be bought. I use a mix of grapeseed, jojoba, and castor oils. This mix also serves as a cleansing method known as Oil Cleansing. For people with dryer/more sensitive skin, this method is a lifesaver. Even if you don't do "OCM" exclusively (I don't anymore) this is still the best way to remove all sorts of makeup. Even waterproof stuff doesn't stand a chance. Keep reading to see how I do it.
My starting point today, the last look from my one palette challenge:
oil/oils of your choice
Step One: Oil Yourself Up
I know, I know. It sounds weird. But trust me here. Pour a half-dollar sized puddle of oil into your palm. I generally turn the hot tap on at this point, because the water in my bathroom takes forever to heat up. Rub your hands together, then start rubbing the oil all over your face. I generally start with my cheeks and forehead, to loosen my foundation and not spread my eye makeup all over. It really doesn't matter though, you can do it however you want. When it comes to your eyes, gently rub your oiled fingers in a circular/downward motion to loosen your eye makeup and mascara. If you are wearing waterproof, this might take a little while longer, but just keep rubbing and it'll give.
|if its halloween, you can just stop here|
Step Two: Remove your Oils
Once you have warm water coming from your tap, soak your rag and start wiping the oil from your face. I usually do it in small circles, so as to exfoliate and cleanse at the same time. Be gentle here, you don't want to rub your face raw. All we are doing is removing the oil, not trying to take the freckles along with it. (freckles are cool now, by the way.)
After this step some folks like to wash with a gentle, foamy cleanser. This is up to you. I personally don't, but I have drier skin and I don't mind the feeling of the oil afterwards. But you totally can.
Step Three: Moisturize
Once you feel like the oil is removed, and you've washed again if necessary, go ahead and gently blot your face dry with a towel. Then apply your favorite moisturizer...if you feel like you need it. If you don't double-cleanse, you may not feel like you need more moisture to your skin. I do, otherwise my forehead and cheeks flake like a bad friend. I use Cerave in the tub. Its thick and rich, but absorbs pretty quickly. However, I don't use this near my eyes, as I am prone to milia and I find that too rich lotions seem to cause them to appear.
|mmm lotion. A little goes a very long way. This|
might be too much.
All done! My face is happy and clean. I've been using a variant of this method for the last three years. I feel like it has really helped control my adult-onset acne and surprise dryness. (When I was in my 20s, I had oily skin. Growing up sucks.) There are loads of different ways you can do this, and I've included some of my favorite oil-related links below.
|my skin looks unreasonably good here.|
In the interests of full disclosure:
For a time, OCM was my only method of cleansing. And I loved it. It did seem to help my acne heal up faster, and I started getting less and less eruptions over time. But the steaming (which, btw, may not be good for your skin) irritated my sensitive cheeks and seemed to exacerbate my dry patches. I eventually worked regular cleansers back into my routine. I alternate between Purity Cleanse from Cosmedix, which I use 2-3 times a week, and Cerave Hydrating Cleanser which does not foam. I generally use these in the morning/during my shower, and reserve oils for makeup removal. After nearly four years of trial and error, I have found this is the best for my skin.
Here is some additional info on Oil Cleansing:
- Crunchy Betty's Nitty Gritty on Oil Cleansing. A great primer on choosing your oils
- Ubiquitous Wikipedia entry on Oil Cleansing
- Makeup Alley reviews on Oil Cleansing. It doesn't work for everyone.
- A dissenting opinion from Paula's Choice. A grain of salt here, as they sell skin care products.
- A post from Wellness Mama
- The worlds most boring website about Oil Cleansing
- A bad experience with Oil Cleansing