Does your skin also get super-dry and flaky during the colder months? This winter was particularly bad (I’m going to blame the Cape Town drought too, ‘cos why not) so I bought an extra-moisturising face cream to combat it. After a few days my skin broke out and actually felt even *more* dry and flaky. WTF? It led me to question my whole skincare routine. Why am I happy to use products whose ingredients list looks like it’s written in hieroglyphics? And on my face – AKA my best asset after my long and elegant fingers?
I made like a good Millennial and did some Google-ing, mainly reading through websites run by Gwyneth Paltrow wannabes with glowing skin who create their own beauty products from scratch. It soon became obvious I needed to get into using oils on my face. That’s what all the glowing beauties are doing and I want to be a glowing beauty.
You’ve probably read about using oils before but thought ‘Why the heck would I want to put oil on my face?’ and stuck to your usual products. I had the same thought, but I couldn’t find any reports of extreme acne brought on by using face oils so figured why not give it a go?
It’s been a month now and I can honestly say I will never ever buy face wash or moisturiser ever again. The results are reduced break-outs and extremely soft skin. I’m into it. Here are the ingredients I used, the method and a bit more about how it changed my skin:
From what I’ve read, using oils works for all skin types, even oily skin. I won’t get into the science bit because it’s boring and I only skim-read it but basically, using oil on your face won’t make your face more oily. Just trust me; I’ve done it. My skin is combination, with some parts being really dry and my forehead being pretty oily. After starting to use oils I found my skin to be way more balanced, with no oily or dry sections. Just lovely and moisturised.
I do have rosacea and some discolouration, both of which were unaffected by the oil. That was a bit of a bummer but I guess it would be expecting too much to hope that oil would fix redness too.
I decided to make my own oil wash and moisturiser. I saw some recipes for toner but, honestly, what does toner even do besides add another step to an already time-consuming routine? Also, I wanted to save money. Maybe one day when I’m rich enough to pay someone to tone my face for me I’ll try it, but until then I’m happy with just two steps.
What you’ll need
For the face wash you just need an oil of sorts. I use extra virgin olive oil and apricot kernel oil mixed together at a 1:1 ratio, but some days I just used the olive oil and it was fine. It smells like you’re about to cook your own face, sure, but it does the job. You need a face cloth to wipe the wash off. If you thought you could skip the cloth, imagine trying to wash oil off with water and think again.
Your moisturiser should be a base oil with one or two essential oils thrown in for scent and their unique healing properties. Argan oil is a good base oil for all skin types but doesn’t smell good enough to wear on your face all day. I mixed it with a few drops of lavender oil (because it’s often used as a treatment for acne) and frankincense (which apparently reduces inflammation, also if it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me).
How it’s done
First you wet your facecloth with warm water and leave it on your face for 20 seconds to ‘open your pores’. Truthfully, I skipped this step often – it’s a hassle and I’m in a rush most of the time. Next, pour a R5-sized amount of the oil wash into your hands and apply it to your whole face using little circular motions. Lastly, use the damp facecloth to gently rub off the oil, pat your face dry and you’re done. This works so well for removing makeup – it just melts off!
Then put a similar amount of the moisturising oil mix into your hands and gently rub it into your skin. I like to apply all the way down to my neck and décolletage too, because those areas need moisture and because I always put too much product on my hands and need to wipe it somewhere.
Any side effects?
For about an hour afterwards your skin *will* look like you’ve just covered it in oil. So if you don’t want to wander out into the world looking like a shiny dumpling, then you need to start your routine earlier than you usually do. I don’t wear foundation every day so this wasn’t an issue for me. On days where I did want to wear makeup, I took a powder compact out with me and once I felt my skin had absorbed all of the oil, I applied powder.
I have had zero break-outs since starting this routine. Usually I get at least three spots before my period but not this month. Maybe it was a fluke, but I’m going to thank my oil for this blessing.
Why you should definitely do this too
There’s a reason why mommy bloggers love face oils so much – they really work. I can’t recommend it enough. Just do some research and be willing to experiment with a few different oils before you find what suits you best. My skin has never felt so soft and velvety. I can’t stop touching it – it’s just that soft. I can’t see why I would ever spend my money on products full of unnatural ingredients again when I could just buy a bottle of olive oil from Pick n Pay.