My Homemade Facewash (8 years later)

posted by Andrea | 02/6/2018

Just about 8 years ago, I got the crazy idea (after reading it somewhere on the internet) that I wanted to start using OIL to cleanse my face!

Dave thought I was crazy, I sort of thought I was crazy, but I wanted to try it because my skin was so dry.

I purchased Castor Oil and Sunflower Seed oil, I mixed them up in a little plastic bottle (these are the exact bottles I use), and I “washed” my face with oil for the very first time.

I half expected to have a million breakouts when I woke up the next morning… but to my surprise, my skin felt SO soft and moisturized. Not dry at all!

Dave noticed a difference too, so we continued using this crazy oil to cleanse our face every night before bed.

Now, 8 years later, I can confidently say this was one of the best skin care decisions I’ve made in a long time.

Dave and I still faithfully cleanse our face with this oil every single night; and honestly, my skin just keeps feeling softer and smoother. It looks healthier than it did when I was in high school (well, that might be pushing it a little, but it sure feels healthy!)

I shared my special face wash on my blog several months after I actually started using it. I was sure everyone would think I was crazy, but to my surprise, that blog post continues to be one of my most popular posts ever!

I still get comments, questions, and emails asking if we really use oil to cleanse our face… and I always respond with a resounding “yes!”

It’s just so quick and easy, it’s extremely frugal, it’s natural and free from so many of the chemicals in brand name face wash products, AND IT WORKS EXTREMELY WELL!

I love that I can tweak the formula to work for me all year long — adding a little extra castor oil in the summer when it’s more humid and my skin isn’t as dry, and then adding more sunflower seed oil in the winter when I need extra moisture.

NOTE: I use roughly half and half castor oil and sunflower seed oil in the winter, and add a little more castor oil and a little less sunflower seed oil in the summer. 

I look forward to my “mini facial” at the end of my shower every night — I simply massage the oil onto my face for 20-30 seconds and then lay a hot, wet washcloth over my face for another 20-30 seconds.

I’m almost to the point where I don’t need any facial moisturizer anymore (although I still LOVE using a little dab of Prairieland Herbs Eye and Face Cream every night!)

If you don’t love the way your skin looks or feels, or if you’ve thought about trying something new with your skin care regimen, I would HIGHLY encourage you to give the oil cleansing method a try.

Keep in mind, you’ll need to give it a few weeks to work its magic (especially if you’ve been using chemical cleaners on your skin for many years.) I have heard a few people complain of their skin getting worse before it gets better, but that was not my experience at all. My skin was almost instantly softer and more moisturized.

So… if you’ve ever wondered if we’re STILL using the oil cleansing method on our faces… the answer is YES!

And we don’t plan to stop anytime soon!

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47 comments

  1. Linda B.

    02/22/2018

    I was VERY skeptical about this and still do not understand how it works, but it does work! I mixed up a very small batch knowing it wouldn’t work for me, but desperate to try something for my 59-year-old skin that was suddenly breaking out. It totally cleared up my skin in two days!!! One question though. Do you wet your face first and then apply the oil and massage it in or just apply the oil to dry skin? I’ve tried it both ways and just don’t know…they both feel weird to me. Also, do you use this in the shower? i have been, but find it makes the shower floor VERY slippery. Just wondering if there is something you spray on it to break down the slick oil? Okay, that was more than one question. ; )

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha — i was skeptical too! I’m glad you are seeing good results so far!
    I always use mine in the shower, and I alway wet my face first. I have personally never noticed it making the shower slippery — I literally only use about a nickel size amount of oil, so I can’t imagine that would make anything slipper, especially with how much water is running over the floors as well.

    That said, I’m sure Dawn dishsoap would quickly breakup the oil if you feel it’s a problem.

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  2. Robyn

    02/18/2018

    I’ve been using this method several years love it
    I use coconut oil but you can also you jojoba or other oils

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  3. Linda

    02/10/2018

    I started using it today. Is castor oil thicker and stickier then regular oil? I used olive oil. What do you think about using a little fracturenated (spelling could be wrong) coconut oil with the olive oil or sunflower oil? Thanks

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yes, Castor oil is much thicker — and Castor oil is the reason this cleanser works so well. So, if I were you, I would not skip the castor oil, it’s very important.

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    linda Reply:

    I’m sorry I wasn’t clear on my post. I did mix castor oil and olive oil together.

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh ok! I thought you were just using the coconut oil (instead of castor oil) to go with the sunflower oil! As long as you’re using castor oil, you can definitely play around with the other oils you use — just find one you like and one that works well with your skin!

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  4. Jenny Z

    02/07/2018

    I just reread your article. Do you use the wash cloth to scrub or wipe away the oil? or just let it steam off from the heat of the cloth?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    i personally don’t “scrub” but I do wipe a bit around my eyes to get the mascara off. Other than that, I just let the hot washcloth lay on my face.

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  5. Jenny Z

    02/07/2018

    Oh, and 2 of my teenage daughters with skin like mine use it also and LOVE it. It seems strange but honestly you get hooked with how soft your skin is. Amazing.

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  6. Jenny Z

    02/07/2018

    I started years ago when you posted about it and have used the oil cleansing method since then! I have very sensitive, dry skin and I get eczema on my eyelids. But the oil cleansing completely got rid of my eczema and sensitive skin, no to mention dryness! I turn 45 this month and constantly have people ask what I use on my skin because I have really good skin! I use a mixture of olive oil and caster oil, like you I use more caster oil in the summer, less in the winter. I love it and will never go back to soap! I do it morning and night though, so twice a day.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I know — my skin is SO soft! I’m thrilled this has worked for so many of my readers (and their children)!!

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  7. Lynn

    02/07/2018

    I have used this method for cleaning my face for about 3 yrs. now and I still love it. I have extremely oily skin so I use more castor oil. It’s the only thing I have found that helps with the oiliness. Just recently, I have started adding a few drops of essential oils to the mix, frankincense and purification (by Young Living) and I love it even more.

    [Reply]

  8. Laura

    02/06/2018

    Does it work to remove blackheads? My 11 year old son just started to get them.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    not sure, I don’t have personal experience, but it really can’t hurt to give it a try!

    [Reply]

    Calliope Reply:

    yes! whenever I oil cleanse, in the winter daily, my blackheads are so much cleaner and therefore smaller! I mix castor and olive oil because well…we produce our own olive oil!
    last week, very cautiously, I started cleansing with coconut oil which is very comedogenic. but everything seems to work fine so I will stick to that for a while esp in winter.
    I do the steaming towel thing at least 2-3 times though, esp if wearing makeup, because I don’t think once is enough for removal of makeup and cleansing the skin.
    By the way Vaseline and mineral oils do work great on skin because they are not comedogenic at all, so that means you get all the moisture without any breakouts!
    Dry skins benefit mainly by oils (any really) because they lack on oils on their epidermis. Oily skins should use oils as a moisturizer more sparingly and cautiously, daily oil cleansing is the best method for them. Hope I‘ve helped!
    I moisturize mainly with Bio-oil which is pure heaven on my skin albeit not that natural..

    [Reply]

  9. Robin

    02/06/2018

    Hello Andrea,
    I really enjoyed your post. Do you also wash your face in the morning with your oil cleanser?
    Thanks so much,
    Robin

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    nope, just once a day at night. I don’t even need to put moisturizer of any kind on my face in the morning — it’s just super soft and not dry at all!

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  10. Kim Church

    02/06/2018

    I’ve been using this since you posted many years ago and my skin has never looked better – I am 48. I’ve also recently started moisturizing with Rose hip oil and love that as well.

    [Reply]

  11. linda

    02/06/2018

    Ha! yes, I read about it on your blog and still use it every morning. I love it!

    [Reply]

  12. Shirley

    02/06/2018

    Hi Andrea,

    I have rosacea (mild) and both dry /oily skin. Would this help using the oil with my skin condition.
    I’m extremely sensitive to alot face cleaners out there.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I have no idea — I’m not skin expert by any means, but I don’t think it could hurt to give it a try!

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  13. Heather Ratliff

    02/06/2018

    I started doing this several years ago (maybe when you posted it in 2011) and it is great! My 9 year old just recently had a pimple so I told her she should start washing her face at night. Just a couple nights of this (half and half, I think is what I made for her), the pimple was gone! And, she has a great routine started!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay! I’m sure I’ll have my kids start using it once they are a little older too!

    [Reply]

  14. Rose

    02/06/2018

    Isn’t it hard to get off the skin???

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I don’t think you really need to “get it off”. You more just let it soak into your skin with a hot washcloth overtop.

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  15. Annette Silveira

    02/06/2018

    This is called the Oil Cleansing Method. Anyone curious can just plug that into the search bar to find out why it’s so good for the skin.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes! Thanks Annette!

    [Reply]

  16. Mandy

    02/06/2018

    Wow! Did you or your husband have any breakouts?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    nope — my skin looks better now than it did in high school and college (when i DID have breakouts!)

    [Reply]

  17. Stephanie

    02/06/2018

    Does anyone know if this works for people with oily skin? I use a natural facial soap and then moisturize my skin with a mixture of jojoba oil and aloe vera. This seems to work well for my oily skin.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    it SHOULD work for all skin types — just adjust the amount of oil you use. More castor oil for oily skin, more sunflower see oil for dryer skin. That said, if you have something you use that works well, I wouldn’t change!

    [Reply]

    Angie Reply:

    It works fantastic with my oily skin, my make up never lasted all day before I started using this, now I never worry about my makeup not lasting or my face being oily because it is not! I have been using the Oil Cleansing method for probably 7 years, and I don’t plan on ever using anything else! I use 3 parts Castor oil to 1 part Olive Oil.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    good to know — thanks Angie!

    [Reply]

  18. ShellyL

    02/06/2018

    My great aunt used to use Vaseline on her face and she had beautiful skin. You never know what may work. I am determined to try this at some point.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I use Vaseline for a lot of dry skin problems (lips, elbows, knuckles, etc.) but not my face! That’s crazy it worked well for her. Now I’m tempted to try it!

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  19. JoAnn C.

    02/06/2018

    I’ve been using extra virgin olive oil as my cleanser for about four years. It works great on my over fifty skin. I moisturize with either jojoba oil or rose hip seed oil each mixed with frankincense essential oil. My grandmother used, (gasp), Crisco to wash her face at night, and my mom used pure cocoa butter on her face. Grandma and Mom had beautiful skin. And although I wasn’t blessed like they were, my skin really does look better now than it did four years ago.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow Crisco — that seems like it would feel SO greasy!

    [Reply]

  20. Jen

    02/06/2018

    Based on your recommendation, I started this about two years ago and I will never go back! I LOVE it!!! And I have converted my daughter and several of her friends, which is no small feat considering they are in their early 20s and normally enthralled with all the “trendy” face washes, etc. It’s the best!

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Wanted to add that I also use straight-from-the-jar coconut oil as my facial moisturizer. I’ve been so pleased with the results of both!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’ve contemplated trying coconut oil — it’s probably a lot cheaper than my face cream.

    [Reply]

    Liane Reply:

    Love coconut oil for face wash. I get the unflavored version at Trader Joe’s. Way way back in the 60s Mary Kay had a cleanser that was in a jar and was from a plant ingredients. I’ve always believed mineral oil was not good so that would include Vaseline. I’m also wary of solvent extracted seed oils in skin care as well as food not because the oil itself is inherently bad but the solvents are and a lot of seed oil crops are contaminated with pesticide and herbicide products and cold be GMO. My rule of thumb is if it’s not edible don’t use it on the skin. About olive oil – the old Italian immigrant house painters we used to see in San Francisco all slathered regular olive oil on their faces and forearms to keep paint from sticking. Funny idea!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow — 20 year olds… that’s a tough crowd! Glad you all love it 🙂

    [Reply]

  21. DeeDee

    02/06/2018

    Andrea, do you take your make-up off with makeup remover before cleaning with your facewash?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    no, I never use makeup remover — this cleanser works great. It even works on waterproof mascara!

    [Reply]

  22. Ann

    02/06/2018

    Now, how do we get it to have an SPF of at least 15?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wouldn’t you want the SPF in your lotion… not your face wash?

    [Reply]