Beauty And The Feast, Part 2


Natural Skin Care For Dancers

Finding the right skin cleanser for my skin has been a long trial and error process. I hit the jackpot of skin cleansers when I discovered I had it all along in my kitchen…OLIVE OIL! As much as I love cooking with it, I would have never believed in a million years I would ever enjoy slathering it on my face.

The very first time I tried the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM), I instantly noticed a big improvement in my skin. My face wasn’t greasy or oily, as a matter of fact, it felt amazingly soft, dewy and seemed brighter. I’m a huge fan now and wouldn’t think of using a commercial cleanser on my face ever again.

The OCM is actually a combination of Castor Oil and Olive Oil. Cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil is best, to get the most nutrients into the skin. Olive oil has the same pH as human skin, so it’s the perfect cleansing balancer. Many people have had a lot of success with other oils such as Avocado, Jojoba, Sweet Almond, Grape Seed, Sunflower Seed and others, so feel free to try out your favorite oil. You may want to stay away from coconut oil for oil cleansing, as it is a known comedogenic and may possibly clog your pores and exacerbate blackheads.

Castor oil gives you the most cleansing, dissolving bang for your buck. It’s also highly antibacterial in nature. It can also be drying. So depending on your skin type, you’ll either use more or less castor oil in proportion to the other oils. Castor oil is easily found in the laxative section in most pharmacies. I usually find it on the bottom shelf with other old fashioned remedies rather than among the latest commercially advertised name brand medicines.

It might sound a little crazy to clean your face with an oil, especially if you have oily skin. But contrary to popular belief, oil does not cause oily skin or acne. The culprit is usually a combination of hormones, trapped bacteria, and dirt.

Put simply, when skin’s natural oils are removed, the body’s reaction is to compensate by producing more oil. Or if your skin is dry, it’s because all the oil has been stripped away, and your body doesn’t compensate by replenishing it.

HOW TO DO IT: You may want to use a small bottle to try out your mixture at first, as you’ll probably want to adjust the oil ratio until you find the right balance for your skin. I washed out a small travel size hand sanitizer bottle to use for my first oil mixture.


Oily Skin: Use 2/3 castor oil to 1/3 carrier oil. 

Normal Skin: Use equal parts castor oil and carrier oil. 

Dry Skin: Use 1/3 castor oil and 2/3 carrier oil. 

Optional: add a few drops of lavender or rose (or your favorite) essential oil, or a few drops vitamin E oil to your oil mix. If you happen to have vitamin E capsules you can break one of the capsules into your mixture.

These ratios are NOT set in stone, but they’re a good starting point. You can adjust according to how your skin feels. If you feel a little tight and dry, use less castor oil and more olive oil, or visa versa.

I have a designated wash cloth and face towel that I use. I pour about a quarter size amount in the palm of my hand and wash my face as I would with any cleanser, applying gently, massaging upwards. The oil mixture is great for removing makeup, too. If you’re wearing a lot of stage makeup, you can use the oil mixture as a makeup remover, then proceed to wash your face with it. For a small amount of everyday makeup, it isn’t necessary to remove the makeup before washing.

Rinse your wash cloth in hot water (not too hot!) and wring it out. This is to steam the oil into your pours. Place the hot wash cloth over your face, patting gently, so the oil absorbs into the skin. Let it cool (takes about 30 seconds or so), take the cloth off your face and gently start removing the oil with the cloth, in a circular motion. Lightly pat your face with a towel. Apply moisturizer if you like.

I usually don’t feel the need for moisturizer since I’ve been using the OCM. If I want a little extra moisture, I don’t pat my face dry after washing. I put a few drops of the oil mixture on my fingers and gently pat and massage the oil into my damp skin until it is absorbed and there is no oil residue.

I take another 30 seconds to wash out the wash cloth with a little soap, rinse, wring it out, hang and let it dry for the next wash. SIMPLE! This is like a daily, mini home spa for me. It feels very soothing and relaxing, and the whole process takes about 3 minutes! 

Note: I do not recommend alternating the use of commercial facial cleansers and the Oil Cleansing Method, as you will not reap the full benefit of the OCM. Commercial products are harsh on the skin (no matter what they claim). Commercial cleansers have chemicals in the ingredients that rob the skin of oil.

Next post will be about natural facial scrubs.

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