How to Wash Your Face With Oils: A Step by Step Guide

By Aniela / May 15, 2015

So today we're going to talk about the very popular method of skin cleansing: using oils! This isn't new by any means, as the ancient Greeks and Egyptians were doing it way before, but it seems as if natural beauty regimens are making a good comeback. And for good reason too: using natural ingredients on our skin, hair, and nails is so much better than the store-bought products we've been slaves to for so long!

So, how exactly would you wash your face using oil? Now I know it sounds totally counter-intuitive to be using oils to cleanse your face, but believe me, it's not!

The Scoop

The oil that you apply to your skin dissolves the oil that has hardened onto your skin with impurities and has clogged your pores. This “old” oil has been sitting there under the layers of your skin for quite some time and not much will make it budge…except for oil! When you apply steam from a hot wash cloth to your face, the pores open and the natural oil lifts the dirty oil, which can be easily wiped away!

Also, oils are both a cleanser and a moisturizer all in one.

If you're skeptical about this, don't worry – so was I. After all, I had been suffering from acne for a long time and while it's finally under control, I was very hesitant to wash my face with oil.

But guess what? I LOVE it now! I honestly couldn't imagine spending money on chemically-laden face products. All I use now is coconut oil…and I'll show you how!

What You'll Need:

Coconut oil (or another oil/oils of your choosing…see below)

A soft washcloth

A DIRTY face

How to Wash Your Face With Oil

First, I'll tell you how I use oil to wash MY face, and then I'll let you know about other alternative uses as well! Most people combine two different oils, but I use only coconut oil. Coconut oil is amazing for so many things, especially your skin, because its anti-microbial, it's full of antioxidants, and it's moisturizing! Let's not forget that it gets rid of scars, stretch marks, fine lines, dryness, and in this case…acne, blackheads, dirt, etc. It's a miracle in a jar!

  1. Start by wetting your wash cloth in hot water. Then, place it over your face and leave it on for a few seconds. This will open up your pores and get you ready for some deep cleaning. Also, if your skin is moist while you're applying the oil, it will absorb more of the nutrients. Alternatively, you can also skip this step if you're tight on time.
  2. Rub a teaspoon of coconut oil between your palms just to liquefy it enough so you can massage it onto your face. In gentle, circular motions, massage the oil for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  3. Run that washcloth back under hot water and place it on your face for about 30 seconds. Once your 30 seconds have elapsed, use that same washcloth to remove any leftover oil.
  4. Give your oil cleanse a boost by adding a drop of essential oil such as tea tree oil or lavender oil.
  5. Don't moisturize afterwards – you don't need it! Instead, dip a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and run it across your face (like a toner!)

Important Things to Note

If you've never cleansed your face with oil before, be sure to test a small patch before going full on. A lot of people experience a “detox” phase where for a week or two you might break out. Don't sweat. This is all the dirt and bad oil coming up to the surface. But after no more than 2 weeks, your face will be as smooth and clear as a baby's bottom!

Alternative Oil Cleansing

Aside from coconut oil, there are many other oils you can use. First, you can choose an “astringent” oil, which will do all the dirty work and really get deep in there. Two types of oil you can choose from:

  • Castor Oil
  • Hazelnut Oil

Now, choose your carrier oil, which will be the oil that carries the astringent oil deep into your pores:


  • Jojoba Oil: Great for ALL skin types – especially sensitive skin
  • Avocado Oil: Great for dry skin
  • Pure Sunflower Oil: Great for combination skin
  • Coconut oil: Obvs!

You will now combine an astringent oil with a carrier oil. Most experts suggest the 30/70 rule. 30% astringent oil and 70% carrier oil. You can even mix the oils ahead of time in a bottle so you're always good to oil!

As a general guideline:


  • Oily Skin: 30% astringent oil, 70% carrier oil
  • Combination Skin: 20% astringent oil, 80% carrier oil
  • Dry Skin: 5-10% astringent oil, 90-95% carrier oil

Let's do This!

So if you're ready, I'm ready! Grab your favorite oil or oilS, a soft washcloth and let's get to oiling! Oh, and did I mention? I only do this ONCE A DAY..usually before bed! You don't even need a face wash in the morning! Just wash your face with cold water and pat dry. Try this for 2 weeks and let me know what you think!

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4 years ago

People with oily, acneic skin should never use coconut oil on their face – it ranks too high on the comedogenic scale!