One month cleanser free.
First let’s review. If you didn’t read that post HERE it is. I went face cleanser free around the first of February and it’s now March. Soooo that’s a month-ish. 5 weeks I think. If you want to learn about the oil cleansing method read HERE. If you’re too busy to read either of those I’ll review:
In my desire to use fewer chemicals and strive for natural (not hippie-gross-stinky-don’t have soap natural just natural natural) beauty I stopped using ALL chemicals for house cleaning, for my hair and for my face. Well the hair experiment failed and we ended up switching to an organic plant based shampoo which I think we (that Man and I that is) are both happy with. Though to be fair I haven’t asked the Man what he thinks so I might be making all that up. But my hair is clearly the higher maintenance of the two and the Avalon Organics is working fine. You know, on the days I have time to do my hair and even notice. I started the OCM (oil cleansing method) in hopes that I would, as many users have reported, experience less breakouts and less oily skin. I’m pretty sure i have some of the oiliest skin you will ever come across and during PMS you could scrape the oil off my face and use it to lubricate your car’s engine. Swear. To. God. It’s that oily.
So I started this with cautious optimism. And terror. It’s all in the name of being a human science experiment people. You’re welcome.
Here’s what I use:
Well actually that’s one additional product and one missing product (almond oil pictured, tea tree not).
Here’s the recipe I went with for my Super Duper Epically Oily Skin:
1 ounce castor oil
2 ounces sunflower oil (the least pore clogging-est of oils almond of EVOO would also be good)
some drops of peppermint oil (5 ish)
some drops of tea tree oil (15 ish)
Confession: I don’t like tea tree oil. I know some people LUUURVE tea tree oil as a cure-it-all oil for everskinissueimaginable but I. Don’t. Like. It. I think it smells like eucalyptus feet. And my gramma had a eucalyptus tree When I Was A Kid. And I don’t like remembering just about anything from When I Was A Kid because sometimes things weren’t so great When I Was A Kid so this crap ain’t conjuring up any happy memories. I digress. I used it because it does have antiseptic properties and I hoped it might help with the Epic Cystic Menstrual Acne I have. Despite the eucalyptus feet scent. SO I put it in there and I prayed.
Dear Stinky Eucalyptus Feet Oil,
I put my utmost faith in your powers of healing. Please help my skin to not look 15. I mean let it look 15, but 15 like ‘smooth and soft and youthfully blissful’, not 15 like ‘I need a trip to the dermatologist for acne meds stat’ 15. Thank you for your consideration.
Here’s what happened:
I rubbed the concoction all over my face. I tried to take my time and luxuriate in it’s silky softness but you know the beh-beh was crying and it was time for bed and I was worried I might fall asleep at the sink SOOOO I just rubbed it all over with reckless abandon and called it good. And then I soaked a washrag in HOT water and put in on my face. I let it sit as long as I could. You know I was supposed to let it sit until it was cool. Uh huh. Sure. No. So I left it until I could no longer tolerate the screams of the abandoned children (they weren’t screaming really. Much.) and then I did it again. And again. I made SURE to get all of the oil off my hairline and all that business.
And I went to bed.
And I did it again the second day. and the third day. And on the fourth day God created, oh wait, wrong thing. On the fourth day I threw my other products away. Moisturizer. Cleanser. Even the dove soap. Gone.
I’m SOLD. Stick a fork in her folks, she’s done.
In a month I’ve had ONE pimple worth mentioning. My skin is NOT OILY during the day. I mean it’s oily but it’s oily like a normal person not like someone dunked my face in a vat of motor oil.
And because I love you and I’m dedicated to the betterment of all man(and woman)kind I will now show you my face.
You may note: I am a not too distant relative of Spock. SO it may seem (Please read that in Spock voice). Interesting fact about me #73: My mother has a chunk out of her right ear. Weird. This is just one of many weird things about me. I’m positively abnormal. Also I’m not wearing makeup. Just in the spirit of disclosure.
Further note: I did not wear my hair up for like 35 years because I hate my ears. Especially the one I’m showing you. Then my husband, before he was my husband, told me he loved my ears and thought they were downright adorable. I mean he’s the guy that would buy the three legged dog or the crooked Christmas tree but hey, he thinks they’re CUTE. My ears. The object of no less than 13 years of relentless teasing through school. Hm. Power people. Words have power. Say something nice to someone. They listen. Soapbox session ceasing. Thanks for playing along.
Now that I’ve shown you my face let me tell you this… My skin looks better. Better than usual and better than it did before I started. I do NOT wash my face in the morning. This was a HARD thing to transition to. In fact, for about a week I was washing in the morning with Bronners and not doing OCM every night (I got lazy. Because I was tired. Can I get an amen?). And oh NOOOO. Bad things happened. I got a HORRIBLE dry spot on my right side that was even PEELING. And I got a pimple. That’s right the ONE pimple I got during the last 5 weeks was when I WASN’T using OIL.
I know, totally weird right.
In the spirit of my ever promised disclosure, I’m going to tell you I was less than skeptical about this, but I’m sold. I can’t promise what it might do for your wrinkles (if you even have any) and it’s certainly not any miracle clock turning back formula. But I will tell you this, when my granny died she was two months shy of 90 years old. She never used wrinkle cream and she worked picking cotton in the sun for the greater part of her life and she had some wrinkles. And I don’t mean like 20. I mean her face was a map of wrinkles she wore with pride. I’m gonna get old. I’m not trying to stop the clock, I’m just trying to let in move forward in a healthy and happy way. This is more than worth a shot.
Well, in the spirit of honesty I’m going to honestly tell you what I think about being shampoo-free.
First let’s review:
*Two weeks ago, I went poo-free (the Man followed shortly after)
*We did this in the interest of being more eco-aware and chemical free (and it’s cheap, which is a nice feature)
*We also did this as an experiment because we like to use ourselves as subjects of research but you know, not the dangerous scientific kind where we might be scarred or permanently damaged
*We did this because shampoo is a detergent, much like tide, and washing your hair with tide sounds like a bad idea. Probably.
* I personally did this because I was intrigued by the idea that ceasing the use of the artificial things in shampoo would make my hair actually look better.
Yeah, so far, not so much.
Be ye not dismayed.
I will not go into the dark night (with shampoo).
My hair looks well… not HORRIBLE but not great, I’m not going to lie. The ends are dry, the scalp is… well let’s just say not dry and there is about a 2 inch section in between that is perfect. Well crap. You should know I’ve been growing my hair out for what seems like about 13 years. In reality it’s only been a couple but my hair grows that slow. For this reason I am abysmally bad at getting regular haircuts. I gave myself an ends trim last week in fact. But, despite the fact that I do very little to my hair, aside from washing and letting air dry (with the occasional use of a heated styling tool), it is bipolar. Which is to say the scalp is quite oily (ala my face) and the ends are quite dry. And the resulting attempt to balance these out often fails. Miserably. Even with the use of innumerable styling products. I refuse to cut my hair for this reason. Not happening.
However, I have hope. For I have been told there is an ‘adjustment’ period of a couple of weeks to a couple of months. I do not know what this means. I hope it doesn’t mean my hair is going to look like this for two months because I. Would. Cry. Since the Man is gone to the bay I’m experimenting this week. Today: Less baking soda. More vinegar. So far it’s looking pretty good. I think.
I’ll keep you posted.
The other thing I’m starting this week is the oil cleansing method (for faces).
I am doing this because it seems logical. Oil dissolves oil. Also oil is a moisturizer. And oil doesn’t cause acne, dirt causes acne. And acne is why most people obsess over their face. Also oil contains no chemicals. Which is what all this business was about in the first place.
But don’t trust me to tell you about it. Read about it here. I’m doing this on a week when the Man is gone because, despite what I have read in like 87 internet sources, I am terrified that my face is going to break out like a teenager. Which it has at least once a month since I became one so many many years ago. My face is that oily. Like really oily. Monumentally oily. Epically oily.
Anyway, oils vary in their comedogenic-ness (that is the pore clogging likeliness) so I chose one low on that scale. Sunflower, mixed with castor, in about a 70/30 ratio respectively (purchased at Whole Foods). I added a few drops of peppermint oil because I like it. I have heard of some using just plain oil without the castor but again this makes me fear a breakout as the castor acts as a cleansing agent. So that’s what I’m doing. You can use extra virgin olive oil if you can’t find sunflower (which is not always readily available). I also have some tea-tree oil which I may add because it is a great antiseptic. Not yet though. So I started with this yesterday. Rubbed it all over my face before bed (trying to enjoy the massage while the Man bounced the crying baby, not very effective). Got a washrag nice and steamy hot and washed it off (like 3 times) and… My face is absolutely not oily. At. All.
I’m freaking out.
Don’t worry I’ll be ok.
So what about skin in general…
Again in the spirit of complete honesty you can’t count on me to tell you what I really think. I have always had an oily face. The hormonal breakouts I suffered as a teen I typically tried to cover with various makeup (to no avail). My father, in his hippie-like spirit, begged me to cease the use of all products but I refused.
Turns out he might have on to something. Despite mineral makeup (and every other kind of makeup) saying that they won’t clog your pores, I think they probably do. In fact, I think all the cosmetic companies may actually be working together to take your money.
Wear makeup to look beautiful.
Uh oh. Now your pores are a clogged up mess and you have acne.
OK. Use this product to cure your acne.
Uh oh too dry? Use this product as a moisturizer.
Etc. etc. etc.
Makeup made my face look worse. It’s a cycle. It makes you feel like you look better but it is damaging your skin and thus making your skin look worse? That’s my theory. I’m no expert (except on pie).
As an adult my acne did not improve to my dismay. In fact in some ways it got worse. I began having some cystic type acne in the typical hormonal areas (cheeks and chin). I was seeking solutions. Around three or so years ago I began wearing less makeup, and then less makeup, and around two years ago makeup for special occasions (like date night kind of special) and then zero (except for our wedding). I pay attention to my skin, but in a different way. And here’s what I noticed, I apologize if you don’t like this answer.
My dad was right.