Oil cleansing hasn't been a very popular skincare craze here in the UK, but it had it's moment on Reddit in the USA a couple of years ago. It is also a fully endorsed miracle method by California based Aesthetician Nayamka Roberts-Smith a.ka the La Beautyologist. This is where I first heard about it, by following Nayamka on Twitter. I had followed her for about a year or so because I loved her straight-talking attitude and expert advice she gave to her loyal followers. I also found the public hate towards her arch-nemesis, the humble St. Ive's Apricot Face Scrub (which you definitely shouldn't use by the way, unless you want to cause micro-tears in your skin) amusing and fascinating at the same time. I just wish she was around when I was at school and that exact scrub was the only item in my skincare arsenal.

I bet the initial thought of putting oil directly onto your face is scary. Believe me, I wasn't convinced when I first heard of it, especially with my acne-prone skin. But there's a reason why a professional skincare guru like Nayamka raves about this curious cleansing technique.

What is oil cleansing? 

This method uses natural oils to cleanse the skin and naturally balance the skin's natural oils. This leaves the skin far more nourished and moisturised than a traditional soap cleanser, which can in fact strip the skin of these important natural factors. 

"Like dissolves like" therefore, oil dissolves oil. By using the right oil, you can cleanse your pores and extract the dirt and grime in the most gentle and effective way. When done properly and regularly, the oil cleansing method can heal, protect and nourish your skin. It can even tackle common issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin and acne. 

This may seem like the exact opposite thing you should be doing to oily and acne-prone skin. Many of us are guilty of depriving our skin of moisture when we have these skin types, as we think we are producing too much and by putting even more on it would spell disaster. But actually, by purposely drying your skin out and skipping the moisturiser, the skin works harder to replenish this. Thus leading to over oily skin and spots. Oil cleansing replaces the skin's natural moisture barrier and replaces the dirty oils with clean beneficial oils made from botanicals, vegetables and fruits.

How to choose the right oil for your skin type

By referring to the comedogenic scale, we can determine the right oil for each skin type that won't aggravate a problem that as all ready there. The scale determines how likely an oil is to clog your pores:  

  • 0: will not clog pores at all
  • 1: very low likelihood of clogging pores
  • 2: moderately low likelihood of clogging pores
  • 3:moderate likelihood of clogging pores
  • 4: fairly high likelihood of clogging pores
  • 5: highest likelihood of clogging pores

For the purposes of facial cleansing though, it's best to stick between 0 and 2. Some of the best oils for the OCM are:

  • Jojoba Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Rosehip Seed Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil 
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Argan Oil

You will need: 

  • Oil cleanser
  • Flannel or soft face cloth 
  • Hot, running water


  1. Put a generous amount of the oil into the palm of your hand and rub together to warm it. On dry skin, rub all over your face. 
  2.  Massage the oil over your problem areas (anywhere you have visible blackheads and sebaceous filaments). This is usually the T-zone for most of us.
  3. Take your time when massaging, the longer you work the oil into the skin the more it penetrates your pores. 
  4. Once you're satisfied, take your flannel and soak it in clean steaming hot water. Ring it out, and place it over your face. It's easier to sit or lay down on this step. Once the flannel has gone cool,  you can begin to gently wipe the excess oil away. 
  5. Repeat this step once or twice more to ensure all the oil has been removed. 
  6. If your skin feels a little tight, take a small amount of the oil or a light moisturiser and pat it onto damp skin. 

How often should you be oil cleansing? 

This method is quite a gentle one, therefore you can implement it into your regular routine. However, you should listen to your skin as everyone has different experiences. Some may find that by doing this every day their skin can actually begin to look a little dry. So try it out yourself and you'll be able to decide for yourself how often do it. It can be done morning and night, but it's great in an evening routine due to it's calming and unwinding effects. Not to mention it's the best method to draw out all of the dirt and impurities from the day.