The Oil Cleansing Method

The Oil Cleansing Method

Published by Marissa Masterson on Mar 9th 2017

  • "52% of consumers use body wash or hand soap to cleanse their face."
  • "More than half of people admit often skipping washing their face before bedtime."
  • "43% of those with dry skin use hand or body soap to wash their face".
  • "60% of consumers report they feel uninformed about proper skin cleansing methods." - According to surveys done by CerVe [1]

Don't be one of those percentages! Add Oil Cleansing to your skin care ritual! We'll even teach you how to properly oil cleanse and explain why it's actually beneficial to use oil on your skin and which oils are preferred!


Even though the oil cleansing method has been becoming more mainstream over the past few years, we still get a lot of resistance and I can understand why. Oil on your skin? Breakout city, right? Nope! If you use the correct oils, your skin can be more glowy and clear than you ever imagined. Women have been telling me that oil cleansing has been a skin care game changer!! Read on to find out how!


"Like" dissolves "like". Meaning similar molecules attract and help to break up and disperse each other. Trying to get mud off your car? Use water. Trying to get oil unclogged from your pores? Use oil. We all know oil and water don't mix, so washing your oily face with something water based means you're not going to dislodge as many impurities. A proper oil based cleanser can loosen and dissolve sebum, dirt and toxins trapped in your skin. Its pollution, dirt, and hormones that are usually to blame for breakouts, inflammation and wrinkles. Believe it or not, oil is actually important to skin health, you don't want to strip your skin completely of it's natural oils which are needed to moisturize, heal and protect skin. On top of that, your skin has a natural Microbiome... billions of friendly bacteria which we call skin flora, just like our guts have! The microbiome is like your skin's natural eco-system which keeps skin healthy and protected. Studies have actually shown that an unbalanced microbiome can contribute to skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis. Wiping out or disturbing your microbiome with harsh products or stripping cleansers can have an adverse affect on the health of your skin.

What your Microbiome does:

  • Maintains your PH
  • Produces Skin Nutrients
  • Protects your skin from bad microorganisms.
  • Produces Skin Lipids, essential to a healthy barrier.


This is a crucial part of the oil cleansing method. We don't want to just slather any old oil onto our precious complexion. I've heard of people using olive oil and coconut oil, but they wouldn't be my first choice as they are somewhat comedogenic, meaning they're more likely to clog pores. Save those heavier oils for body and hair. We want to chose a cleansing oil that has a very low comedogenic rating, such as argan oil, marula oil, rosehip seed oil or castor oil. In addition, we want to make sure we use clean oils, meaning they are certified organic, wildcrafted or at least non-gmo. If you have acne issues,( read our blog about the best oils for acne) you not only want to stick with non-comedogenic oils, but choose oils that have a high linoleic acid content like hemp seed oil, my personal favorite acne-fighter. Castor oil is also a really popular skin cleansing oil due to it's anti-inflammatory, detoxifying and healing properties. If acne isn't an issue for you but you have dry skin, I suggest skipping the castor oil which can be somewhat drying and stripping. Try Rosehip seed oil, grape seed oil or tamanu which still have relatively low comedogenic ratings but will give your skin a bit of extra moisture. Wilder North has two expertly formulated cleansing oils for all skin types, made with organic ingredients - more about those below. Ultimately, the cleansing oil you choose is up to you and you and your skin.

"I absolutely love the blue chamomile cleansing oil. Gone are the days of dry, irritated, or flakey skin. For anyone not sure about oil cleansing give this beauty a try." - Gabrielle B., Verified Buyer


This is going to be a little different for everyone and it's best to pay close attention to your skin and use your intuition. Oil cleansing is very deep and detoxifying, but also very nourishing and moisturizing. Having said that, not everyone needs to cleanse like this every day. If your skin is feeling particularly grimy, dry, dull or clogged, I recommend doing an oil cleanse. However, if your skin feels fairly balanced and fresh, you can get away with just a steamy washcloth and water... or the natural cleanser of your choice. I suggest starting with every other day to every 2 days to find your sweet spot. Increase or decrease as needed. What to use on off days?Sometimes just a warm washcloth is enough to cleanse your skin... or you may use an alternative natural cleanser of your choice.


Time for the fun part! The oil cleansing method is really simple and you'll find this relaxing ritual a welcomed change from the fast slather + rinse of conventional cleanser.

  • Start with your cleansing oil, a clean washcloth or cleansing mit and hot water.
  • First pump a dime sized amount of cleansing oil into the palm of your hand. Rub both hands together to warm the oil and apply to your face, massaging deep into your pores to dissolve impurities.
  • Focus on your problem areas and take your time, letting the cleansing oil work in deeply to loosen debris and hardened sebum. This is a great time to give your face a little massage and release tension in the jaw and brow areas. 
  • Run your washcloth under hot water and wring it out letting it cool a bit but still steamy and warm.
  • This is where the magic happens: Gently hold the washcloth over your entire face and let the warmth penetrate your pores. The warmth of the cloth will loosen the oil and sebum for easy removal. Gently scrub with the cloth in circular and outward motions. 
  • You can repeat the cloth portion of this routine until you are satisfied with your level of removal. Feel free to do another round of oil if necessary.

There's no need for fierce scrubbing with this face cleansing method as the oil and steam do all the heavy lifting. Once you've finished, apply a tad more of your favorite serum or oil and enjoy the glow. This is a deep cleaning method but will not strip your skin, instead it will feel dewy and nourished. If you're new to this method, your skin may start to show signs of detoxification with a breakout here or there, but after several sessions of oil cleansing, you should notice a huge difference. Your skin will feel less congested, brighter and less irritated. When done correctly, ,most people find Oil Cleansing to be a game-changer for their skin health!

A note about eyes: I personally avoid my eye area when oil cleansing. My eyes are very sensitive and I also wear contacts so I just prefer oils to keep their distance. If you DO choose to clean your eye makeup away with an oil cleanser, make sure you use one that doesn't contain any(or an extremely diluted amount of) essential oils so that your eyes don't become irritated. 


blue chamomile cleansing oil

Blue Chamomile Cleansing Oil & Makeup Remover

The Wilder North Blue Chamomile Cleansing Oil is a soothing cleanser and makeup remover for sensitive skin. Natural beauty oils of Argan oil, rosehip, evening primrose, castor, and grape seed oil, harmonize to deeply penetrate your skin to gently loosen sebum, toxins and dirt. Evening primrose oil is known for it's ability to reduce inflammation while the blue azulene in german blue chamomile oil is calms angry skin. Topped off with everyone's favorite soothing oil, lavender, this aromatic lullabye of purifying ingredients will deep clean even the most irritated skin.

blue chamomile cleansing oil

lilac cleansing oil

Lilac Cleansing Oil & Toner

The Wilder North Lilac Cleansing Oil and toner is a pore-purifying cleanser and toner for congested skin. Natural beauty oils of Argan oil, hazelnut, castor, and grape seed oil, harmonize to deeply penetrate your skin to gently loosen sebum and impurities. Hazelnut oil is known to strengthens capillaries which can reduce the appearance of thread veins. It's moisture and sebum balancing but also promotes elasticity and skin cell regeneration while stimulating circulation for a glowing complexion. Topped off with lilac extract which has astringent and anti-bacterial properties, making it an effective skin tightening agent and toner. Also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improves skin elasticity.


Wilder North cannot be held responsible for any actions made, implied or expressed by anyone as a result of this guidance.

The above statements are for educational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are in no way intended to heal, prevent or treat any illness. Please consult your doctor if you are seeking medical advice.


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