Oil Cleansing Method: The How & Why


Does the idea of rubbing oil on your skin make you nervous?

You are not alone!

Many people are still under the impression that oil will clog the pores and cause breakouts. This is simply not true! When we use soap on our delicate facial tissue, we are actually stripping the natural oils from our sebum and disrupting the microbiome. The surfactants in soap will kill off the probiotic bacteria on our skin, letting “bad” or unwanted bacteria to takeover; this overgrowth is actually one of the root causes of acne and many other skin issues. Washing with soap causes our face to become dehydrated and dry, while oil keeps the sebum nourished and moisturized.

              Okay, so now we know that oil is better for cleansing our skin than soap… But how do we choose which oil to use? There are two important considerations to take into account, QUALITY and TYPE of the oils:

  • Quality- We want to make sure we are not using RANCID oils on our skin. This is an often-overlooked aspect of skincare, and one that I am incredibly passionate about. Vegetable and seed oils such as sunflower, sesame, grapeseed, flaxseed, almond, safflower (and many more!) are very unstable because of their high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). These PUFAs (AKA omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) are highly prone to oxidation when exposed to heat and light due to their chemical structure. For anyone who wants a deeper understanding on how the chemical structure contributes to the PUFAs instability: having multiple double blonds in the carbon chain backbone of the fatty acid gives more points for oxygen to react with the molecule (oxidation), reactive oxygen species (ROS) causes DNA damage, inflammation, and even cell death.1 Using these reacted oils on our skin will cause free radical damage and hasten aging of the tissue, leading to wrinkles and age spots. Oils with PUFAs should always be stored in dark containers in the fridge to prolong shelf-life. The problem is that manufacturers rarely care to take the proper steps to keep these oils safe, and they are often found in clear, plastic containers on the shelf exposed to light- a dangerous combination to say the least.
  • Type- It is vital to know the comedogenicity of the oils before putting them on our skin, this could make or break the experience! If an oil is more comedogenic, it is more likely to clog the pores. One example that I always like to point out is that coconut oil has a comedogenic level of 4, this means it is highly likely to cause breakouts in the facial skin. Don’t get me wrong, coconut oil is an amazing oil for cooking with and moisturizing the body, but it just doesn’t work for many people when it comes to skincare… I found this out the hard way after using it all over my face and waking up with cystic acne the next morning!

How to Oil Cleanse:

  • Take a tablespoon of high-quality, noncomedogenic, low PUFA oil- we recommend organic golden jojoba oil
  • Massage the oil onto your skin, neck, and décolletage
  • Get a soft wash cloth damp with warm water (ideally filtered water so that it is not contaminated with chlorine, fluoride, etc.) and press the cloth over your face
  • Leave the cloth on your skin for 1-2 mins to let steam and open up the pores
  • Gently wipe the cloth over your face to remove oil, dirt, and makeup

That’s it! Super easy method for cleansing the skin that is safe, effective, and affordable as well. If you are looking for a more luxurious way to oil cleanse, the Treat Yourself Dream Cream’s have you covered. They are gentle cream cleansers that are completely soap-free and full of nourishing oils that cleanse and moisturize the skin.



If you have any questions regarding how to choose the best oils for the face, please drop them in the comments below!

About the Author

Ariel Welch is a passionate herbalist and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. She studied at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she received her BS in Neuroscience and BA in Psychology, then at the Nutritional Therapy Association where she became a certified NTP. Through her own wellness journey, she has found power in using food as medicine as well as the magic of plants and nature. She works to educate and empower people to take charge of their health and heal themselves using holistic lifestyle interventions.


Ariel Welch

Hi Jessica!

Thank you so much for your question. For large pores and oily skin I definitely recommend our Aloe Glow Moisturizer for lightweight hydration that won’t clog the pores or leave the skin feeling oily. As for a mask, our Detoxifying Mud Veil will work great to pull up excess oil, cleanse the skin, and close pores. Hope that helps! Please contact us for any further questions or product recommendations.

-Ariel Welch
Co-Founder & Chief Product Formulator, Treat Yourself Inc

Jessica Vandenelzen

I am 36 years old and I have large popes and oily skin. I tend to break out any wear I grow hair! Can you give me a list of products you would recommend?

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