oil cleansing method

Oil Cleanisng Method

I wash my face with pure oil.

Sounds crazy, right? It’s honestly what I do though, and once you hear me out, you might not think that sounds so very crazy at all. You may actually want to get in on this all natural, vegan/cruelty-free, easy, old-fashioned, simple facial cleansing method for yourself too.

Some friends were discussing the “oil cleansing method” months and months ago, and it piqued my interest.  Washing your face with oil?  I’d never heard of such of a thing.  It sounded insaneo and awesome at the same time.

You see, ever since I quit taking any form of birth control in 2007, and ever since my face has been a mess.  I have the worst acne ever.   And at age 28, it’s so tiring.   I should have been ending my acne phase a decade ago.  I’ve tried everything.  Even *gasp* Proactive. I’ve been to dermatologists, I’ve taken really strong stuff that I’m not allowed to go out in the sun while using.  I’ve tried creams and washes.  Been there, done that.

The Oil Cleansing Method was so far off course of anything I’d ever tried before, that it fascinated me.  The ideology is simple: since our body naturally produces oil, oil is part of our skin and not the enemy.  All the facewashes that proudly boast “oil free!” – are actually counterintuitive and making things worse.   When you dry up all the oil on your face, your glands react by producing more oil.   When your glands overcompensate and over-produce oil, you get clogged pores, breakouts, acne.

There’s a happy medium that should be happening on the surface of our faces: a natural, healthy amount of oil belongs on our skin!  So goes the ideology of the oil cleansing method.  The thinking is that by using oil on our faces, we stop those glands from getting protective and overcompensating.   We clean out our pores, keep our skin supple and moisturized, and stop over-washing.   Besides, the ingredients you need can be bought in a grocery store (or health food store, depending on what you choose to use) and in the long run are far cheaper than buying washes, cleansers, toners, soaps, etc.   And to prove to you what I mean, I made myself the guinea pig and I have serious results to brag about!

Before i started the oil cleansing method (January 28, 2011):

before pic - yikes!

acne city

acne on this side too

my mug

One week later I wrote: I can totally feel a difference in the quality of my skin, its much smoother and it feels supple.  i’m not sure if you can tell much of a difference in these pics… but we’ll see as it goes.

Pics from one week after I started:

one week later!

after just one week, looking better already!

i look so creepy in this pic.

lookin' good already

I linked to the site that taught me everything I needed to know to start the method earlier in this post, but in case you didn’t click on it… here ya go:  The Oil Cleansing Method.  Read that page, and it will explain to you how/when to use this method.

For my personal use, I mix Castor Oil and Sunflower Oil, in a 25/75 ratio.

castor oil, sunflower oil, and the glass vial that holds my 25:75 mix

As copied verbatim from the OCM website:

The Oil Cleansing Method

First and foremost, this is typically done in the evening, prior to bed. There should be no need for deep cleansing in the morning if you’re waking up with skin cleansed the night before. In the morning, a quick wipe with a warm washcloth should suffice. We don’t want to overcleanse our skin as this will serve only to irritate and cause more oil production. The objective of using this method is to deep clean while balancing our skins oil production at the same time.

  • You’ll need a soft washcloth, your oil blend, and hot, running water.
  • Pour a generous puddle of oil into the palm of your hand. Roughly, the size of a quarter, but more is acceptable. Rub your hands together to warm the oil and smooth over your face.
  • Begin massaging the oil into your face. This will remove makeup, dirt, and other impurities, so there is no need to use a makeup remover or wash your face prior to the massage. I’ve found that this removes even my stubborn waterproof mascara and concealor.
  • Using slow, firm motions across the skin, massage the oil deeply into your pores. Take your time and focus on your problem areas. You want the oil to work into your pores so that blackheads and the like can be dissolved and steamed away.
  • As you’re massaging, let your mind drift off to something calming and breathe deeply. Take this time to relax and release some of the stress that your body is harboring. Sit down, breathe deeply, and take your time. Give the oil enough time to work on dissolving the impurities in your pores and give yourself enough time to unwind. Picture what your face would look like if it were completely clear and free from blemishes. Focus on that image and know that it is attainable. Trust that it is attainable. Accept that it is attainable. You can have clear skin, free of blemishes and you will have clear skin, free of blemishes. Focus on perfect skin and breathe deeply.
  • Once you’re satisfied that your pores are saturated and you’re feeling calm, pick up your washcloth and soak it in clean, steamy water. We want the water to be warm enough to open your pores and remove the oil. Cool water will not open your pores, nor will it remove the oil efficiently. We’re not scalding our skin, we’re steaming to coax our pores to release the oil carrying the impurities. We’re essentially steaming our skin as an esthetician would, but without the luxury of a steam machine.
  • Hold the washcloth to cover your face. Allow it to stay until it cools. You will feel your pores releasing the impurities. Wipe the oil gently away and rinse the washcloth well in hot, running water. Hold the washcloth to your face again, allowing it to cool. Wipe gently, rinse well, and repeat two or three more times. Avoid any temptation to scrub, as you’ll find it’s completely unnecessary and your skin will be soft, smooth, and free of flakes without the additional manual exfoliation and irritation that will result. Impurities, dead skin cells, and bacteria will be gently swept away.
  • Have no fear of the oil, as the steamy washcloth will remove it. The Castor Oil, though it is an oil, will help with the removal of the other oils, as well. It is our main cleansing oil and is easily removed with warm water.
  • If your skin feels tight, take a tiny drop of your oil blend, rub it between your clean, damp palms and pat it onto your damp skin. Gently massage any oil residue into your skin so there is no film of oil left sitting on the surface. Your skin should now glow!

using my hot washcloth

so fresh and so clean, post-OCM! ahh! this is from a couple days ago... my skin has improved so much in past six months!

I use Sunflower Oil as a general moisturizer too.  I don’t even use any creams or lotions anymore.  Literally, oil and makeup are the only things I put on my face.  Well, sometimes I use a little soap (here and there, like in the shower on days I’m not doing OCM … and I use sunscreen, but you know what I mean: the lotions and stuff I used to use in the past, I haven’t touched in months.  I prefer my oil).  Before I apply make up, I use sunflower oil.  I just put a teeny amount in my clean hands, rub together, and then pat on my face.  I get such an even amount of moisturizer, it makes applying makeup so much easier.  It’s my daily moisturizer!

I get compliments on my skin all the time now.  My mom is out here visiting us this week, one of the first things she said after we picked her up from the airport was a compliment on how great my skin looks.  I can go out without makeup on now.  I feel happy about my skin.  I like the quality of how it feels, soft, even, nice.

a very recent photo - nice skin, huh?

Don’t get me wrong: I still get occaisional breakouts.  When its my time of the month, always.  Ugh.  But, the overall quality of my skin and the overall condition of my acne is so much improved.   I know many of us gals in our 20’s deal with acne and it just sucks.  I’m sure it happens to guys too.  So, as someone who’s been there, done that: hated the way my skin looks, piled on the makeup, hated going out and hating seeing photos of myself… as someone who’s dealt with that for years, and now doesn’t have to, I’m just passing on the knowledge of what’s worked for me.

Do you use OCM?  Have you had great luck with it?  Are you going to try it?  Tell me about your own experiences!

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banana nut steel cut oatmeal = vegan love in a crockpot

I’ve recently jumped on the whole steel cut oats bandwagon.  Eating a breakfast of steel cut oats I feel so fitness-y and powerful, like a lean mean healthy machine.  For my first attempt at turning oats into edible gruel, I googled around to see what the good folks of the world wide web were doing to prepare said oats.  Turns out tossing them in the slow cooker overnight is a totally legit method.  I studied some oat-to-liquid ratios and then began inventing my own recipes.

My first try involved some dairy.  And by some I mean I had half-and-half going on in there. Whew. The oatmeal was delicious, but I was worried that simmering those hardcore oats in milk fat for ten hours was kinda defeating the purpose.   (I’ll put the recipe for my first attempt at the end of this post.)

Banana Nut (steel cut oat)-meal  

This recipe is vegan, vegetarian, super healthy and yummy.   [edit: I added nutrition info towards the bottom of the post, 269 cals per serving – not bad!]

don't you feel healthy just looking at this stuff?

Ingredients:

  • steel cut oats
  • one or two bananas, ripe/ near ’bout mushy
  • brown sugar
  • water
  • almond “milk”  (Almond Breeze, vanilla flavor)
  • chopped walnuts
  • cinnamon
  • a slow cooker
Directions:  Dump ingredients into a slow cooker and let ‘er ride on low for about eight to ten hours, basically just overnight.  Eat as-is, or maybe garnish with a little maple syrup, maybe some additional nuts or chopped banana?
How I did:
I’m doing the steel cut oats with about a 4:1 ratio of liquid:oats, so to get about six decent servings I did a cup and half of oats and about six cups of liquid.  I broke it up as 4 cups water and 2 cups of the Almond Breeze.   I dumped all that oats and liquid into my slow cooker.

vanilla flavor is pretty dope

I had a couple bananas sitting around that were just too soft to eat.  Totally ready for banana bread.

this photo is just all class: old fruit + booze + booze. nice!

I took one of these soft banans and just mashed it up.

just like baby food

Add that mashy ‘nanner into the glop in the crock pot.   Next: I found a little packet of chopped walnuts.  I got the idea for this recipe because I needed to use up those bananas before they were useless.  As I was brainstorming for other flavors/items to compliment the banana, walnuts seemed the natural choice:  it’s just like banana bread, yeah?  It turns out, we actually had walnuts in the house, and they were ready to go.  It was fate!  I took my nice pre-chopped packet, and I added the whole thing in with my other porridge-wannabe ingredients.

duggs bought these for a diff recipe, but ended up not using them. so i totally scored - these were the perfect size for this oatmeal.

I added a nice spoonful of brown sugar.  Maybe it was a tablespoon?  I’m not sure.  Sorry, I never really measure things – I’m one of those cooks who just kinda knows how much of what goes where by eye-balling it.  So umm… put a little brown sugar in there.  However much you feel comfy with.  Then do the samesies with some cinnamon.  Just sprinkle generously some ground cinnamon on top and mix it in.

winnie the pooh: honey :: happyhippierose : brown sugar sack

Wisk it up so everything gets mixed together.

all mixed up and ready to slooooow cook

Put the lid on.  Sleep all night long and have sweet banana nut dreams.  (Make sure you keep the slowcooker on low for eight to ten hours).    When I woke up, I gave it a little stir and voila, it was ready to serve!  I divvied it up into six servings.

breakfast to go!

oh yes yes yes

I served my husband a bowl with a little more cinnamon and a small dollop of maple syrup mixed in.  For myself, I ate it straight up!  Both ways were delicious.  Walnuts are pretty soft anyways, but after cooking all that time they do soften down a bit more.  They still lend to the texture of the oatmeal, but there’s no big crunch in there.  The bananas totally mix in.    There is a little skin that occurs, btw.  I just work around it.  I think next time I’ll double up on the banana for the amount of oatmeal I made.  I totally recommend using two.    The Almond Dream was an excellent choice!! I’m using that instead of dairy in my oats, from now on.

For clean up:  this go round, I scooped out as much oatmeal as I could right away, put it in tupperware.  That way, I soaked the slow cooker pot asap so I could get off the sticky part that gooes to the walls of the pot.  (Last time I let it sit too long before soaking, and it was hard to remove).

ENJOY! 

If you make this recipe: please give me feedback!  How did your’s come out?  Was it gooooood?  What did you do differently?

 

NUTRITION INFO

Based on nutrition labels from the specific ingredients I used: oats, brown sugar, almond breeze (vanilla flavor), walnuts, banana, and water.    The entire pot made six servings for me; I just did the simple calculations to come up with this nutritional data.

per serving              whole crock pot

Calories                                   269                              1615

Fat                                            10 grams                   60 grams

Sugar                                       10 grams                   60 grams

Protein                                    7.1 grams                  43 grams

 

……………………………..

My First Attempt:  Berries ‘n’ Cream Steel Cut Oats

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • maple syrup
  • frozen berries   ~1 cup
  • a packet (or two) of splenda
I chopped up the frozen berries (I bought a mixed bag and those blackberries are too big not to chop up! Same with some strawberry pieces).  So I chopped up the fruit and essentially just mixed/whisked everything together and let it cook on low overnight.   It made five-ish servings, and was really tasty!  The dairy taste was just a bit heavy for me.

my first steel cut batch - berries n cream

does your bathroom abuse bunnies?

How Cruelty-Free Are Your Cosmetics? 

I used to be like you.  I bought my shampoo and soap from my neighborhood super wal-mart or other megagrocer.  Dove, Secret, Suave, etc. – I shopped based on price, smells, or the promises made in high budget advertising.    It just seemed like a simple, obvious thing to do.  No big deal, just buy whatever you like, right?  In my mind and heart, I’d always been an animal lover.  If and when “animal testing” came up in conversation, I’d get ill just thinking about it.  But somehow that visceral connection was lost when I went a-shopping, and I never thought about rabbits getting shampoo squirted in their eyes as I grabbed whatevs off the shelf.   I just didn’t think about it. 

i used to just grab whatever was cheap and easy and go for it.

now i know better and i always look for the cruelty-free logo to make sure i'm buying something that is safe for my little sweet animal friends

During my early 20’s I was doing a lot of self-discovery.  I found my political voice, learned how I really felt about the world.  I actively chose not to live an unexamined life: I don’t want to just go through the motions of living, autopilot style.  I am a person who examines the world around me, gets the most out of life, and uses my mellon as I’m saying and doing (or at least I try to make that effort, ya know?).

In learning to ask questions, open my eyes, and identify where I draw the lines between right and wrong… I realized that animal testing is not something I’m okay with.   I can get so fresh and so clean, or do my eyes up without killing, hurting, maiming helpless small animals.  I didn’t become a vegan or cut red meat out of my lifestyle.  I still take medications that have pointlessly been tested on animals (different argument for a different day)… but choosing which bathroom supplies I buy is an active decision that I can make; I use my consumer power to stand up for something I believe in.  By purposefully choosing to own and use only products that are cruelty-free I put my money where my mouth is.

It’s more of an awareness/mentality shift than an entire lifestyle change, ya know? I’m still washing my hair and wearing make up, I’m just conscious of what products I use to do so.

In the past three and a half years I’ve done a lot of learning.  Some cruelty-free products can be more expensive than your mainstream brands.  Often cruelty-free companies go hand in hand with using organic ingredients or are produced by smaller, mom and pop kind of entities.  I’ve used some hippie-dippy stuff that was lackluster at best: gooey deodorants, shampoos that won’t lather.   Back in 2008 when I started this journey, finding safe items in mainstream stores was hard.  I’d have to speciality shop around, and keep trial and erroring different goods.  The issue has come a long way though, and now many stores carry the brands I trust, making this commitment easier than ever.    I’ve also found lines of products I love, and I feel like I’m taking my stand whilst maintaining convenience.

So, are you ready?  Interested in learning more?  Want to make the change?

Why Cruelty-Free? What’s the Big Deal? 

Animal testing is so icky.  It’s still legal in the USA (which is crazy), although the FDA does encourage that companies seek the most humane methods possible to prove the safety of their products.  That’s cool.  But encouragement ain’t the law, we need to take it further. Here’s the FDA’s stance:  http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductTesting/ucm072268.htm

Google “vivisection.”  Go on, do it.  Open a new tab and give it a google.

Did you do it?  Do you already know about vivisection?  Vivisection is the scientific experimentation of LIVE subjects.   When applied to the cosmetic world, the rampant use of needless vivisection is disgusting.  Millions of small animals are tortured alive in the name of science, under the guise of proving product safety.   When you google the term a lot of graphic images pop up:  so gut-wrenching nasty, huh?

DoSomething.org gives some fun facts about animal testing, explaining that millions of small animals are subjected to cruel and painful tests each year in the USA:  http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-animal-testing

Here’s a great youtube video, chock full of vom-inducing graphic images, and heart twisting stats to help paint the picture of what cosmetic animal testing is really all about.  Warning, VERY graphic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSwR70Xtaug

Animal testing isn’t making our world safe one eye shadow at a time: it’s performing redundant and unnecessary tests that can be easily managed in other, harmless ways.  The body of data we already have is sufficient for creating safe products made of ingredients that are safe for human consumption or use.  Here’s a page that debunks some myths about animal testing, very informative: http://www.leapingbunny.org/myths.php

Third party testing is something that also must be taken into consideration.  Many products will say “final product not tested on animals.”  That’s neat, but that’s not fighting the whole issue.  Ingredients are being tested on furry critters.  The problem is that many ingredients have already been tested on animals, and that can’t be un-done.  We don’t have a time machine.  But certified “cruelty-free” products don’t currently test on animals or use new animal testing to develop a product.  They buy ingredients that aren’t currently tested on animals.  So while the sad past can’t be taken back and information obtained from those experiments is used: new testing is not needed or condoned.  We can build off the body of knowledge we already have without subjecting more animals to torture.

Make The Switch

Making the actual switch is easy-peasy.  Like I said, it’s not a lifestyle change.  There aren’t any habits I’m greatly altering, it’s just the specific products I use.  I still brush my teeth, apply deodorant and what not – I just am careful about what I toss in the buggy when I’m shopping.   I use my consumer power constructively.

Dont like reading?  Or are you dying to see my mug and hear my voice?  I made a little video to accompany this blog, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkVUGzkyGek

a screenshot of my super sweet video. go click the youtube link and watch me!! yeah, the pooch is in the background. bonus! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkVUGzkyGek

Here’s a like-minded fella’ giving his point of view, Wayne Goss (makeup artist) on animal testing in relation to cosmetics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd0g4shOXSI&NR=1&feature=fvwp

Here’s an easy-to-use list that can help you identify cruelty-free products: http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/companies/default.asp

And here are some other good resources:

Out at the store and not sure what should buy?  There’s an app for that!  I just got it today, actually.   http://www.peta.org/features/Stephanie-Pratt-iphone-app.aspx

the "bnb" app is right next to "angry birds" - yay iphone!

so easy to use, tres cool

 What am I using? 

Yay! The fun part.  I love reviewing products and spreading the word about something I really love to use.

When I first dived into the cruelty-free world I used a lot of Kiss My Face products.  Burt’s Bees, Kiss My Face, and Tom’s of Maine are probably my top three go-to companies.  All of them are becoming accessible to the masses, I see them in every drug store and super market.  Awesome!  The Kiss My Face body washes and hand soaps are my fave.  I don’t really care for any Burt’s Bees or Kiss My Face hair care products, though.  For that I use the Say Yes To… brand (Say Yes To Carrots = my shampoo/conditioner of choice!).

here's my shower line up

nature's gate chamomile shampoo

That Nature’s Gate shampoo isn’t the best shampoo ever, NGL.   But, it’s an epic body wash.  My husband goes crazy for the smell, it’s delicious really.  I get a huge lather on my loofah and I just love to use it all over myself, just not on my hair.  That’s okay though.

i am so in love with these two - my hair has never been healthier or happier!

organic oils have so many uses!

my oil vial next to one of my many aveda products. i love aveda, so great.

Sunflower oil is so very moisturizing – I love it!  I use it in combination with the Castor oil as part of my face cleansing regime: The Oil Cleansing Method.   (I’ll make a post about that in a bit, it’s a whole ‘nother topic).  I use the Sunflower oil as a general skin moisturizer.   It’s so softening and light.  Good stuff right there!

when i'm not using oil - this is what i use on my face. amazing wipes!!

Yes To Cucumbers is my favorite product (as in other than the oil cleansing method) to use on my face.  They have a facewash that I use, as well as these wipes.

bought this on a whim, can't imagine living without it

best deodorant i've ever used, i promise!

So Kiss My Face makes a deo, and I’ve tried it before.  It says somethingerother about “active enzymes” on it, so I gacve it a whirl.  For me, and whatever my body makes my pits do, it was not a good choice.  By nature, I don’t really have stinky sweaty pits.  I actually don’t even wear deo most days, and no one notices at all.  I’m just not really stinky.  Unless I work out or something, then it’s on and I sweat like a crazy person.  Or go to the dentist: I’m terrified of the dentist and I break out in the craziest sweat ever.  Buckets.  Anyways… here’s my point: not all natural deodorants have worked for me.  I didn’t care for the kind with the “active enzymes.”  But the Tom’s Apricot stuff pictured above = wonderful.  I lurve it!

When it comes to makeup – ALL I use is M.A.C.  It’s the best quality anyways, it has the awesomest variety of colors, coverage types, etc.  The stuff you buy lasts and withstands travel, being in my lil makeup pouch and getting tossed around in my giant purse, and sitting in the car when I accidentally leave it there.  And it’s just the best, and they do NOT test on lil animals at all.  So rad!

the only makeup i use

best lip balm of all time

body shop's body butters = excellent. the smell of the mango flavor is so delectable i try and eat my own arms after applying, maybe.

welcome to my purse... i must make out a lot.

Brands I love and trust:

  • Tom’s of Maine
  • Burt’s Bees
  • Kiss My Face
  • Say Yes To…
  • M.A.C.
  • Aveda
  • eos – Evolution of Smooth
  • Lush
  • Body Shop
  • OPI
  • Clinique
  • Earth Nature Essentials
If you really took the time to read all of this, maybe clicked a couple of the links I’ve tossed out there, and possibly considered making sure your next cosmetic purchase is a cruelty-free one, THANK YOU.   I know I’m long-winded and all over the place; my zaniness is a reflection of my passion though and this is a topic I feel most passionately about.  Your time and thoughtfulness are much appreciated.

pasta and beans

Check out this super easy meal I whipped up using a few ingredients I almost always have on hand.   Basically pasta covered with a “sauce” of tomato puree, peas, corn and kidney beans, this vegetarian meal is high in protein, low in fat and calories, and takes less than 20 minutes to make.

I came up with the idea about a week ago when I was trying to make dinner without having to go shopping or defrost anything.  Since I was pleasantly surprised with how tasty it was, I re-created it tonight.

You pretty much just throw everything together and voila.  But I’ll break it down step by step just for fun:

Ingredients:

  • pasta
  • 1 can tomato puree
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can corn (i happened to have frozen peas/corn combo available tonight, but i used a can of corn last week)
  • 1 oz. lowfat cream cheese  (or neufchatel)
  • EVOO
  • salt, pepper, powdered garlic, oregano – whatever you like to season with

Boil some pasta.  I happen to like Barilla whole grain rotini.

whole grain pasta

Combine the tomato puree, kidney beans, peas, and corn in another pan.   Stir occasionally while it gets hot and bubbly.  Give it a little splash of EVOO, and then toss in whatever seasonings you like.  I used a teensy bit of sea salt, fresh ground pepper, some garlic powder and oregano.

Once its hot, add in a dab of cream cheese (technically, i used “neufchatel cheese” – its the lowfat equivalent of cream cheese).  Use a fork to help blend the cheese into the sauce.

add in the cream cheese once its getting hot n bubbly in there

finished sauce

The reason I put cream cheese into this sauce is to help mellow out the acidity of the tomato puree.   The canned puree has a pretty harsh tart and just a small amount of cream cheese is a really fast and easy way to smooth out that tinny acid flavor.

the ingredients i used tonight

And that’s it!  Serve the sauce over a small amount of pasta.  Because of the beans, its REALLY hearty and you need less pasta to fill you up than you’d think.

tiny pasta portion is all you need

looks pretty, tastes yummy!

Nutrition info:

I cooked half a box of the pasta and that’s plenty to go with the amount of sauce this recipe yields.  I didn’t have any canned corn or peas, but I had some Green Giant “just for one” frozen peas and corn – and I used 2 servings of those (the veggies are pre-packaged as single servings; not very green because of all the packaging, but super convenient when you live alone).   FYI: The nutrition info I calculated is based off the specific/exact ingredients I used tonight.

PER SERVING: 298 calories/3.05 g fat/11.8 g protein *this is based on making 5 servings out of the whole batch, reasonable portion sizes for me

If you were to make 4 servings out of the total you’d get: 372.5 cals/3.81 g fat/14.75 g protein per serving.

TOTAL for the entire batch: 1490 cals/15.25 g fat/59 g protein

Here’s how much I had leftover after I ate my bowl tonight:

lots of leftovers!

There’s easily 4 more servings in here for me.  See what I mean?

yummy!!

ENJOY!!!!  And if you actually try this and make any modifications or changes, let me know how it comes out!