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    The Oil Cleansing Method: How to do it and why it works

    The Oil Cleansing Method: How to do it and why it works

    As a dry and sensitive-skinned oily-skinned teenager, I grew up watching commercials about preventing breakouts and even though I had dry skin, I thought it was vital to use foaming (harsh) and drying cleansers to keep my skin clear. I would always buy cleansers that promised to leave my skin “squeaky clean”.

    And boy, did they work! My skin was always left dry and tight, which was further exacerbated by living in a very dry environment (Tempe, AZ) and daily swim team practice in heavily chlorinated pools. 

    My friends all used harsh cleansers too and those who were acne prone got even worse. By drying our skin out with harsh cleansers, we were forcing it to compensate by producing even more oil. At the same time, we were damaging the skin’s moisture barrier, creating a vicious cycle that the synthetic moisturizers didn’t help. Needless to say, the 80’s and 90’s were not a great time for learning healthy skincare habits.

    It wasn’t until I was researching how to make skincare products and interviewing estheticians and dermatologists that I learned about oil cleansing. Even after I learned about all the benefits, it took me a few years to do it regularly and get on board myself.

    aos Skincare Apricot Cleansing Oil

    What is the Oil Cleansing Method?

    The principle of “like dissolves like” immediately resonated with me. Oil bonds with oil, gets deep into our pores to bond with grime, sebum and makeup. Best of all, it doesn’t damage our vital moisture barrier - the layer of oil (sebum) that our skin creates to keeps itself healthy and intact. When I traveled to India in 2006 to learn more about their approach to skincare, I found that oil cleansing was the norm, for face and body. So I began experimenting with different recipes and asking local estheticians to try them out. After lots of trials, we had a formula that worked beautifully and the Apricot Cleansing Oil was born. 

    Even then, I was so used to foaming cleansers that it took me years to finally start oil cleansing regularly at home. And my skin LOVES it! It seems that it was still a few more years before the general public caught on and during that time, most of my buyers were licensed estheticians who used the cleansing oil in their facials.

    The oil cleansing method is different from rinse off cleansers and we field a lot of questions from customers just starting out, so I thought it would be helpful to provide some additional info on how it works. I’ll share my variation of the oil cleansing method along with a few extra tid-bits of advice to make your transition to the oil cleansing method as easy and painless as possible!

    Oil Cleansing Made Simple

    • Step 1: Remove Your Makeup. Pour just a little Cleansing Oil (about a quarter size) into the palm of your hand and rub your hands together. Massage the oil into your skin (including around your eyes) until the makeup has dissolved. Gently wipe away with a soft, warm, damp cloth. Repeat until all your makeup is gone. Pat dry.
    • Step 2: Apply more Cleansing Oil to your hands and massage into DRY skin using your fingertips. Do this for about 60 seconds. Close your eyes and give yourself a lovely face massage. This is when the cleansing oil really works its magic, dissolving build-up and nourishing your skin with powerful plant nutrients.
    • Step 3: Wet a clean washcloth with warm (not hot) water and press it gently onto your face for several seconds. A very soft cloth is best for this step. Take this moment to relax your shoulders.
    • Step 4: Gently wipe away impurities + excess oil with washcloth. No need to scrub too aggressively here — a few gentle sweeps of the face will do the trick!
    • Important! To keep your skin hydrated, apply your serum and moisturizer within 15 seconds - before your skin fully drys.


    Pretty simple, right? I think so! But as is the case with any new habit, oil cleansing takes a little time to master. Here are the questions I answer most often:

    Q: How often do you recommend oil cleansing?

    A: If you wear makeup, oil cleanse once a day, every day. But if you have sensitive skin or don’t wear make-up, try oil cleansing just 3-4 times a week.

    Q: Should I oil cleanse in the morning or evening?

    Evening is the best time to cleanse in order to remove makeup and impurities that build up throughout the day.

    Q: Do I need to use a second rinse-off cleanser every time I oil cleanse?

    A: Not necessarily. I recommend paying close attention to how your skin responds to the oil cleanse. Some people swear by double cleansing, especially if they wear a lot of makeup. Others oil cleanse nightly and that’s all. Personally, I prefer to alternate oil cleansing and using a gentle rinse-off cleanser as I feel necessary- my skin tends to change wildly depending on what I’m doing and eating, so I choose my cleanser depending on how it feels that evening. 

    Q: What should I use on my skin after oil cleansing?

    A: If you love to use a facial toner or hydrating mist, use that next. Follow with your favorite serum and/or moisturizer. Be sure to apply your leave-on products while your skin is still moist!

    Do You still have questions? We’re always here for you. Try our Online Chat, email or call. We’re happy to help. 

    aos Skincare Apricot Cleansing Oil


    comment 1 comment

    Garnet Dilworth calendar_today

    If I don’t wear make up but am only removing products I slept in, is 2 cleansing oil applications needed or is the first application sufficient? Thank you

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