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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Personal Care 101

This is my fourth entry in Personal Care 101.  To read about deodorant, click here.  To read about natural soap, click here.  To read about toothpaste, click here.


Today I will talk about facial care products, cleanser, moisturizer, eye makeup remover, and lip balm.


First I will tell you where I came from and where I'm headed.


I had acne issues as a teen, but not tremendously terrible.  I have had adult acne ever since.  I don't know if this ever goes away.  It didn't at 30, will it at 40 or 50?  But I can say that this past year has been the best ever.


I started wearing makeup at 14 and was taught to do the full routine, liquid foundation, concealer, powder to set, eye shadow, eye liner, mascara, the whole nine yards.  Over the years I became quite skilled at camouflaging blemishes.  I'm sure this did not help the acne issue, but rather exacerbated it further.


Over the years I have tried every product under the sun and spent a load of money!  Mary Kay, DHC, Arbonne, Murad, Proactive, to name a few.  Some of them were awful--in addition to acne, my skin was VERY sensitive, some of these products would cause a rash.  Some of them did work for a while, though.  But it seemed it would last for so long and then maybe my skin became immune.  Plus it wasn't easy to drop $60 to $80 each time I needed new products!  I dreamed of being able to buy whatever cheap cleanser was available at Walmart!


One day I hope to be able to go foundation-free.  I do some days, more so in the summer.  I now use Neutrogena Mineral powder makeup (which I'm sure isn't as pure as some more expensive mineral makeups) and I think that has helped clear my skin a bit.  Also, when I started eating better, I noticed a change in my skin.  (Sugar and refined carbs cause inflammation.)


But I've been the most happy with this new product.  If I freaked you out with the baking soda for toothpaste, brace yourself--I use castor oil on my face!


This is called the Oil Cleansing Method.  The oil actually dissolves the oil that is clogging your pores!  People typically use a mixture of castor oil and olive oil or jojoba oil.  The ratios depend on your skin type.  My skin is VERY oily (although it has toned done since using this oil).  I use 3 parts of castor oil to 1 part jojoba oil.  I used olive oil when I first tried this.  I already have Extra Virgin Olive Oil in my kitchen (I hope you do, too!) and castor oil was only a few dollars at the store.  Even if you're a skeptic, it won't cost you much to give this a try!  You will find some great information here and here, and here.  The latter is where I got my info.


I thought it was just something that came with age, but my pores had become so large and my skin was becoming more dull and rough feeling.  Now my skin has a rosy glow and feels soft and smooth.  My pores have shrunk significantly!


I pour about a nickel sized portion of oil into my palm and then spread the oil on my face.  I massage it in for a minute, steam my face with a hot washcloth for a minute, then rub all the oil off, gently exfoliating with the cloth.  I then will put a drop of oil on my palm and pat my face and neck with it as a moisturizer.  That's it!  I used to be quite addicted to toners that contained salicylic acid, but I don't need them anymore!


I was already familiar with using oil as a moisturizer, since I had used DHC and their main moisturizer is pure olive oil.  If I ever get too much oil, I just pat it on my hands, elbows, anyplace that needs moisture.  My face never feels greasy, just soft.  In fact, it has helped balance my oil level.  Our skin will produce extra oil if we keep stripping it with harsh cleansers.  My face is still oily, but I can tell it is less so now.


I decided to try this oil as an eye-makeup remover.  I first get some tissue handy and then pour about a dime size amount in my palm.  I rub it on my lashes with my eyes closed.  Then pat it off with the tissue.  I don't rub too hard, since the eye area is so fragile.  I am very happy with this.  It will vary depending on your mascara.  I don't use waterproof mascara.  I am using a new mascara lately and sometimes I notice a little residue under my eyes, but I just take a Qtip, dipped in the oil, and wipe off the remaining residue.  It's okay to leave it on your eyes, since it's your moisturizer, too.  I just pat off any excess.


This oil makes a great lip balm.  Castor oil is the main ingredient in lip gloss anyway.  It is an oil that doesn't soak in too quickly, keeping a nice shine.


I have even used it as a hand moisturizer and body lotion!  I think I should probably use a different ratio for that, though.


Occasionally I'm lazy and I just wash my face with Kiss My Face soap, but I can tell the difference, it's not as good as the oil cleansing.  And occasionally I will use bentonite clay (mixed with water) as a mask, but it's hardly necessary.  I bought my bentonite clay, castor oil, and jojoba oil from Majestic Mountain Sage.  They also sell inexpensive bottles, if you need a container for your oil mixture (or you could find a bottle in the travel section of the grocery store).  Buy their small dropper bottle (I think they come in 1/2 oz. or 1 oz. sizes) and keep some oil handy in your purse, for your hands or lips!


Stay tuned next time, when I give details about hair care!


This post is part of the Real Food Wednesdays Blog Carnival, hosted by Cheeseslave and Kelly the Kitchen Kop.  Follow this link to find out more great natural alternatives for beauty!


  1. this is a wonderfully thorough post. Thank you so much for the detail. Enjoying your blog - thanks for all the great info!

  2. Annie,

    Glad you are enjoying! Thanks for the feedback!

  3. I've had my son putting coconut oil (w/a bit of tea tree oil) on his mild acne, I wonder if the castor oil would work better???

    Thanks for joining in on the blog carnival!

  4. It would be worth a try. You made me realize I forgot a few details. I will have to add an update. You can add essential oils to the oil blend. I sometimes will put straight lavender oil on my blemishes, but I haven't done it in a while, it seemed like (even though lavender is very mild) it was a bit too harsh for my skin (I was using it every day for a long while). But like I said, I will pull it out occasionally if there is a blemish that is stubborn.

  5. I am definitely going to try this. I've been very displeased with my quite large pores and adult acne lately. Just thought it was hormonal! My friend, Tammy, keeps asking me when I'm going to get that Jojoba oil!

  6. It could be hormonal, but the oil should help. I would give it a couple weeks, to really see if you like it.

    Also, I am learning that, like so much else, hormonal issues are related to our diets. :)

  7. Thanks for this post. I've been using jojoba oil and cod liver oil for my face now and absolutely love it! Judi Leander

  8. Aunt Sandy [Colby]June 8, 2009 at 4:51 AM

    Hi Shannon!

    I tried the oil cleansing method washing my face and WOW! I'm excited! I usually use some over the counter cleansing products. Ny face was tight and I put on moisterizer after. Today, this is the FIRST day that I've done this. Never heard of it before you posted it. So, I thought, since I already have EEVO here... What could I lose?

    I put a quarter size amount in my palm, I put 1/16 tsp kosher into it, mixed it up and washed my face and steamed it with the wash rag. After I washed my face and the pores had opened, I then used cold water to "tone" my face.

    My face, all day, has felt nice! All day!! Nice and smooth, no bumps, all day! Soft! This is AWESOME! I just went to the site you reccomended to go to. I did the 2:1 ratio for my 3 oz bottle, 2 oz EEVO, 1 oz [more like 1/2 oz] castor oil. I'll let you know how it goes as the bottle empties. I'm really excited about this!

    Thank you for posting this information! This ole' "dog" learned a new trick! Thank you!

  9. That's awesome! Thanks for letting me know your experience with it!

  10. [...] 7.  Personal Care 101 Series, Post #4:  Oil Cleansing Method [...]

  11. I've been doing this with a bit of castor oil and almond or jobaba oil for a couple of weeks now. I'm 47, and my skin is very light with a few light freckles. I've worn foundation since Jr. High School, because of my blotchy skin. WELL! Today my husband looked at me and said, "You look really good--do you have make-up on? I said no, to which he replied, "Well your skin looks really good!"
    This was totally out of the blue, and I haven't told him about what I'm doing, so I was shocked, but of course pleased! I will never use soap on my skin again!!! As a side note...I'm also trying the "no poo", as in no shampoo method. It's been a couple of weeks and is taking some getting used to. But it seems like my hair is less frizzy and healthier already! I think the same theory must apply to both skin and hair: soap is too harsh and drying. Thank you so much for this post!