One thing most skincare experts agree needs to be firmly planted in the "good for you" category is oils, especially when used for oil cleansing and moisturizing. However, when I first tried the oil cleansing method (OCM) for a few months, I didn’t get the breakthrough I was hoping for. My pores actually felt more clogged, despite all the claims of it drawing out impurities. Since that first unsuccessful journey, I've actually become a fan of oils, both for cleansing and as a facial moisturizer. What changed my mind was finally discovering emulsifying oil cleansers. These foam up a bit, which makes them wash off with water more easily, so the oils aren't left sitting on your skin.
You can certainly buy these, especially from luxury brands, but I’m partial to home versions when it comes to oils. Having made my own beauty products for years now, I've learned that the most important part of making potions at home is determining which fatty acids are most compatible with your skin type before you start using them regularly. It's way easier to that if you're working with one at a time, rather than a bunch already pre-mixed.
A quick Google search will tell you the fatty acid composition of any oil, and it’s well worth the research. Simplified to the two most prominent skin related fatty acids, dry skin will always need more oleic acid (omega 9) and linoleic acid (omega 6) while oily skin benefits most from a-linolenic acid (omega 3). Even if you choose the best suited oil, you can still screw up by not removing all of it when performing OCM. Unless you have a hot towel and in some cases use face wash after, the cumulative effect could do you in and create major skin issues like cystic acne and clogged pores.
Once you choose your oil (and do a spot test, to make sure you aren't allergic) you can do many things with it, but today we’re going to be adding a small amount of a cosmetic emulsifier to turn OCM on it’s head.
The Tools You'll Need
- OXO 7 Piece Liquid Measuring Beaker
- A small funnel
- Stirring implement
- Opaque glass dropper bottle
OXO 7 Piece Liquid Measuring Beaker, $20, Amazon
The Oils You'll Need
- Carrier oil of choice (I'm using top quality hemp oil from The Vitamin Shoppe, it's still affordable!)
- Polysorbate 80
- Essential oils (I used Frankincense and Myrrh)
Hemp Oil, $10, The Vitamin Shoppe; Polysorbate 80, $17, Amazon; Frankincense Essential Oil, $9, Amazon; Myrrh Essential Oil, $10, Amazon
To turn those oils into a successful recipe, you'll need to:
- Calculate the size of your container.
- Make 10 percent of the recipe polysorbate 80.
- Make the remaining 90 percent carrier oil.
- Add 10-20 drops of your chosen essential oil.
How To Make Your Cleanser
1. Add essential oils to the 2oz beaker
2. Use the 5 and 10mL beakers to top with 6mL polysorbate 80
3. Fill to the 2 oz line with carrier oil.
4. Funnel into dropper bottle.
To show you how great this stuff is at foaming up, I've pictured the oil before adding water (green) and after I splashed in some H2O (milky).
That's it! Use liberally with clean hands to massage into face to remove makeup and excess sebum. Once the water hit this oil blend, the polysorbate 80 attaches itself to water molecules and makes a milky emulsion that rinses clean. When I use this formula, my face feels so clean and mositurized, rather than greasy or sticky.
I love massaging this pleasantly scented and lush green oil into my face at night to snap out of a stressful day and transition into me time. Kicking back with a book is way easier knowing that my skin is free of all the things I don’t want on my pillow when I inevitably pass out mid chapter.
Photos: Maria Penaloza