Alright, so apparently I’ve become obsessed with oil—mostly from the coconut, but oil in general. I’ve been using a little bit of oil to remove my eye makeup (which also is supposed to make my eyelashes grow lusciously long!), oil pulling, applying it to the ends of my hair for moisture, using it as a moisturizer for my dry feet and now I’ve discovered this Oil Cleansing Method that I’m going to give a try. I’ve been reading about it and at first I was freaked out that washing my face with oil seems somewhat counterintuitive…isn’t OIL going to make my skin more oily? But, everything that I’ve read says NO. Plus, it moisturizes your skin, so no need for chemical-laden lotions and moisturizers.
So here’s the deal:
You wet your face with warm water to open up your pores, massage some oil onto your face and allow it to sit for 30 seconds or so with a warm wash cloth over your face. Then, rinse really well with warm water (as HOT as you can stand it) and voila! Your face is clean!
I can’t tell you the intricacies of WHY it works, but it does. I’ve heard it said that like dissolves like, so maybe that’s the deal with the OCM and getting the oil off your face. One thing to note: OIL does not make your skin break out. It’s the DIRT that makes you break out. So, don’t be thrown off by lathering your face in oil to get rid of oil. I promise, it works! I started doing this last week and I’m loving it. Honestly, I like it because it kinda makes me slow down a bit. I’m always in such a hurry and I don’t know why that is, but it makes me just chill out in the shower and breathe…massage my face…breathe…relax with the warm wash cloth…breathe…rinse…breathe. Seriously. It just helps me feel more Zen. It takes a few minutes to massage the oil in and then let your pores open up with the warm washcloth, so enjoy it. It’s kind of your own mini-spa treatment. You deserve it.
Alright, here are the specs:
There are a few recipes out there depending on your skin type. My skin is more oily, so apparently that means you need to use more castor oil. Try to think in thirds for preparing your koncoction. If your skin is oily, use more castor oil. If it’s on the dry side, use more of your carrier oil. And, if it’s more normal, then use the same amounts of each oil. I used 2 tablespoons of castor oil for every 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil and I am just keeping it in a small glass apothecary jar, but you can mix it up as you need if you want to try it in small amounts first. Castor oil is the necessity here, because this is the oil that acts as the cleanser.
The carrier oils simply dilute the castor oil, making it therapeutic and dreamy. Your carrier oil could be anything from sunflower oil, to olive oil. Different oils are good for different skin types. Some have better anti-aging properties and some are better to treat acne-prone skin. Crunchy Betty has a great list of some oils and what they are good for. Check out her page here for some great details. One thing to note, even though I’m a huge fan of a million uses for coconut oil, it has the potential to clog your pores, thus having an adverse effect on the OCM, so use something besides coconut oil.
That’s all there is to it. I have been using it in place of my old acne wash and so far, so good. I have only being doing it at night, when I shower and then in the morning, all I do is rinse my face with very warm water. No breakouts. No blemishes. Nada. I was afraid of this because when I’ve tried to change cleansers before, I would always breakout and just go back to my old chemical-cleansers that are bad for my skin even though it makes it look nice. The OCM doesn’t strip the oils, thus making my face clean without overdrying. And, as we’ve learned from no ‘poo, over-cleaning your skin, leads to the over production of sebum, thus leading to vicious cycle of cleaning, overdrying, cleaning, etc.
So, give it a try. I promise it’s worth at least a try. Folks back in ancient times used oil for so many different uses. We’ve become so commercialized to believe that we have to have sudsy, latherous koncoctions to be clean. That is SO not true. Oil works beautifully.
Below are some of the sights that I found pretty helpful. I’ve tried to sum it up, but if you want the dets, as I did, go ahead, click the links. You’ll find so much helpful info. Happy cleansing:)
I think I have been doing my oil pulling for about three weeks now and unfortunately, not much has changed for me and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I’ve been pulling daily, first thing in the morning before I eat or drink anything for about 15-20 minutes. After I spit, I still feel my sinuses drain pretty quickly but my sinuses and allergies are still bothering me pretty regularly. (I was hoping to find a quick cure that would get me away from using my neti pot because Ihatethat feeling of saline in my nose, but I may need to go back to that because it is SO effective!) My boyfriend, who suffers from migraine headaches has also been oil pulling the same amount of time that I have and he is still getting his migraines pretty regularly. I had read previously that oil pulling can help with our particular ailments, but maybe not. We’re now even more skeptical that this may not work for us, but again, we’re going to keep at it for a while longer to see if our bodies “detox” and things start to go better for us.
A curious post by Dr. Andrew Weil that I came across today seems to stomp what I’ve read elsewhere by stating:
On the Internet, oil pulling is promoted as a cure for a long list of disorders including headache, bronchitis, toothache, thrombosis, eczema, ulcers and other diseases of the stomach, intestines, heart, blood, kidney, liver, lungs and female reproductive organs. I’ve also seen claims that oil pulling can prevent the growth of malignant tumors. I know of no evidence to support any of these claims. (Emphasis mine. Read Dr. Weil’s Q&A about Oil Pulling here.)
Well, that kinda makes me rethink this process. However, one thing I can attest to—my mouth feels and looks cleaner. My teeth are nice and white and it’s also helped with the pain from a cavity I have in one of my molars. If you’re anything like me, you hate going to the dentist, so I keep putting off getting it filled. It had been bothering me for a while and since oil pulling regularly, I’m not feeling any pain. So, maybe oil pulling won’t cure all of my ailments and maybe I need to go back to that darn neti pot, but I’ll probably keep the oil pulling up just to see what happens. From what I’ve read, the effects of oil pulling on internal organs and issues could take several months to clear up. I’ll let you know the outcome! 🙂
I did find a couple other websites related to oil pulling that you may find helpful if you have more questions. Happy swishing!
Well, I’m well on my way to detoxing my scalp and hair of chemicals and the vicious cycle of over-washing. Today, for the first time, I wore my hair down with confidence that it didn’t look gross and actually looked pretty. Again, I’ve gotten this wave in my locks that I’ve never had before, which I hear is common when going no ‘poo. I have no complaints about it. It’s better than straight, stringy hair that I normally have. I’ve gone a good THREE days with no baking soda/ACV rinse and certain that I’m on the path to recovery–I can feel it!
But, this weekend I felt a hiccup in my routine. I was going to go all weekend without rinsing but on Saturday, my scalp got really itchy. And I mean ITCHY! I have had dry scalp in the past but usually this happens when the air is cold and dry–neither or which happens often in Southeastern Louisiana. So, my only conclusion for the itchies was detoxing from the chemicals my body was used to. I did some research online and after a hunch, I already knew that tea tree oil may be just the thing to cure my itch. Tea tree oil is great for scalp conditions and because it’s a natural anti-fungal, it can be great if you have dandruff or other fungus-related stuff like that going on. (My boyfriend uses it mixed with coconut oil to get rid of athletes foot from time to time and it works great!)
Anyways, I decided to add a few drops of tea tree oil to my baking soda mixture to see if that would do the trick and immediately I felt relief. I can’t tell you why, but the tea tree oil is fantastic and I plan on making it part of my routine from now. It’s a nice, clean scent and feels like it opens my pores up and just feels good! Rather than reinvent the wheel, I found a couple of great sites that list some of the many uses of tea tree oil. It’s pretty amazing how one oil can be used in so many ways! Here’s a list of sites I found with lots of helpful information:
So there you have it…if you are struggling with the no ‘poo method and maybe have itchy, irritated scalp, try a little tea tree oil and see if that helps. But remember, a little goes a long way–some folks have sensitive skin and the TTO has an adverse affect. Always try it on a small area of skin and see how your body reacts. Good luck!! 🙂
What the heck is oil pulling!? Well, it’s an ancient Ayurvedic technique in which one simply rinses their mouth will oil by methodically swishing it around, like you would with mouthwash. Supposedly, it can relieve your body of numerous ailments including: gingivitis, periodontal diseases, dry mouth and throat, bad breath, sinusitis, migraines and numerous other diseases listed here. I want to preface this post by saying I’m somewhat skeptical and can’t really see how swishing some oil around my mouth could heal any of these issues, but I want to give it a try personally.
That being said, I figured that such a simple technique thousands of years old can’t hurt, can it? I decided I’d give it a try as part of my Kreative Koncoctions experimentation and see what happens. I’ve been reading a lot about it and hope it helps keep my mouth a little cleaner. Now, according to Sharath Asokan, who wrote “Oil Pulling Therapy”, oil pulling should be done as follows:
…A tablespoon (teaspoon for young children) of sesame oil is taken in the mouth, sipped, sucked, and pulled between the teeth for 10-15 min. The viscous oil turns thin and milky white. It is claimed that the swishing activates enzymes and draws toxins out of the blood. The oil should not be swallowed as it contains bacteria and toxins. Oil pulling therapy should be followed by tooth brushing and rinsing of the mouth. It is preferably done on an empty stomach in the morning.1
Asokan says to use sesame oil, but I’ve also heard you can use olive, coconut or various other kinds of oil (just not frying oil). Do your own research and see what different oils do for different ailments and find what may work best for you.
I’ve been doing the oil pulling for about two weeks now, although I did miss a day or two during the first week. I have been using coconut oil, just because I’ve heard so many great things about the stuff and had it around the house. I do as the directions above say: first thing in the morning, before I eat or drink anything. I usually do it while I’m washing my face and getting ready and then once I discard the oil, I follow it with flossing and a good old-fashioned toothbrush. I do feel like my mouth is cleaner than when I just floss and brush and maybe my teeth are getting a little whiter?
I have also noticed that my breath isn’t a dragonly as it normally is upon waking in the morning and it seems like right after I spit the oil out, I have a surge of mucous that needs to be spit out as well. (I know it’s kinda gross but, hey you want the nitty-gritty details, don’t you?) I’m not sure if this coincides with the oil pulling but my sinuses have been draining like crazy lately. I did read that sometimes your symptoms can get worse before they get better, so I’m going to keep persevering and hope that some of my allergy/sinus issues get cured or at least calm down a bit. The only other thing that has really ever helped with my seasonal issues is acupuncture and using the neti pot (and I hate the neti pot, even though it’s like a miraculous tool for me).
So, that’s been my experience so far. The oil pulling is like a detox for your mouth/body and I don’t want to give up too early on it. So far, no negative side effects, other than what I mentioned above. I really like the idea of going natural and finding healing remedies that are older than ‘modern medicine’ which has only been around a couple hundred years. (At some point, I’ll do a post on my opinions on Western Medicine and how it’s primarily driven by corporate America. That will be another rant:).)
One last thing I must confess…I’m finding it’s much easier to give up my old products for my hair, skin, beauty, etc., but I’m having a hard time going natural with what my body takes in. I’ve gotten better at eating healthier–trying to bring in more fruits, veggies and whole grains, but I have a long way to go. I know I’m at least on the right track and that’s what matters. Baby steps.
Watch out for my next post on my no ‘poo progress!
1 Cited: Asokan S. Oil pulling therapy. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2008 [cited 2012 Apr 20];19:169. Available from: http://www.ijdr.in/text.asp?2008/19/2/169/40476
For more information on an Oil Pulling study, see also: http://www.oilpullingsecrets.com/OilPullingStudy1.pdf