I Wash My Face With Olive Oil

I have, since the day I hit puberty, struggled with my skin.

I remember being in grade 7 and being teased by classmates, who told me I needed to wash my face properly.

When I was 17 I went on the pill and for four years I glowed but for medical reasons I was forced to come off it about eighteen months ago and my skin reacted violently.

I have done it all. I spent  R3 000 on Dermalogica products which did absolutely jack all. I went on a six month antibiotic course, which worked great. For those six months.

I have tried every skin product out there and learnt that I have very very sensitive skin. Clearasil burned large red patches into my skin. Garnier leaves my skin dry and flaky. For the second half of last year my skin was covered in eczema; I could barely open my eyes because the lids were so swollen and I itched till I bled. I wasn’t allowed to use moisturizer, soap or deodorant. I had to cover myself in thick grease that i bought from the pharmacy in a plain brown tub and at times I went to bed with vaseline smeared on my face, desperate for relief.

Then one fateful day, while googling miracle acne cures, I stumbled across a mommy forum topic on the oil cleansing method (the OCM) which had hundreds of responses, 99% positive. So I decided, fuckit, nothing else has worked. Why the hell not.

Within a week my mom was commenting on how lovely my skin looked.

The idea behind it is that facewashes strip your face of it’s natural oil, causing it to begin overproducing oils. By applying oil to your face, your skin stops overcompensating and a natural balance is restored.

Here’s the method (I use olive oil instead of sunflower oil, bought from the pharmacy):

Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Sunflower Seed Oil.
Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% Sunflower Seed Oil.
Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% Sunflower Seed Oil.

Run a sink of boiling water. Pour a small amount of your oil mixture into the palm of your hand and rub your hands together to warm it. Massage it into your face in slow, firm, circular motions. When your pores are saturated, soak a facecloth in the hot water and lay it over your face. Let it steam for a while without rubbing, then wet your facecloth again and gently wipe the oil off your face.

If your face feels a bit tight, add a bit more olive oil to the mixture for next time and you can also a drop of the mixture as a moisturizer. Theoretically, you should not be using any other products on your face. Not even moisturizer. If you do, use as light and as sparingly as possible.

There are lots of different oils you can add to the mixture for your skin type. I add tea tree oil, which acts against acne.

Check out this website for all the science and details.

When I moved houses last December I got out of the routine and started buying products again. My skin has broken out and when I put on a home mask two weeks ago, I was left with dry and flaking skin again.

So I took myself off to Dischem. Bought bottles of olive oil, castor oil and tea tree oil (and also a bottle of tissues salts, number 12).

I WANT TO GLOW, DAMMIT.

I have no photos. Next week? Promise.

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