Fight Oil with…Oil?

Nothing exciting happened today.

Other than the bowl of my food processor cracking in the middle of blending coffee cake batter and spewing it all over the kitchen. I think it’s jealous of Mabel. As it should be. She is superior in every way. The next time a recipe calls for batter to be blended in a food processor, Mabel will take care of it.

My attachment to my blender really is unhealthy.

But that’s not what I want to talk about tonight. Farming for me is more than just a 9-5 job. It’s a more natural and holistic way of living. I don’t want to go back to the dark ages and I fully appreciate the many benefits of technology, but I also want to take modern “advances” with a grain of salt. Just because something is new doesn’t make it good. Which brings me to modern skin care.

A few months after I started cleaning up my diet, I realized that I was still loading my body with potentially toxic chemicals through my hair and skin care products. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “Dermal (percutaneous, skin) absorption is a global term that describes the transport of chemicals from the outer surface of the skin both into the skin and into the systemic circulation.” That’s why so many cleaning products come with warnings about avoiding contact with skin. It’s not just that they might burn or itch. They can be absorbed through your skin and wreak havoc on your system. Here I was spending HOURS reading labels at the grocery store and wondering about everything I ingested, while blindly lathering my body with chemical-laden creams and gels and lotions. (Not to mention that all of those chemicals then enter the sewer system and can become environmental toxins.) For more on how our bodies absorb chemicals and environmental toxins, check out this page from the CDC.

I started looking for more natural alternatives which led me to the oil cleanse which is a way of washing your face. Basically, you massage your face with oil and then steam your pores open with a hot washcloth. You then gently wipe away the oil (don’t scrub) and pat your skin dry. That’s it.

I was skeptical, but willing to try it. I’d given up shampoo a few years ago and replaced it with cleansing conditioner so I understood the theory. Your skin naturally produces oil and that is a good thing. When you wash your hair or skin with harsh soaps, you strip away all the natural oils. Your skin and scalp respond by over-producing oil which leads to oily skin and hair. This, of course, leads most people to use more and/or stronger soaps to try to control the excess oil. It’s a vicious cycle.

The cleansing conditioner system had worked for my hair so I figured it just might work for my face, too. I got some castor oil and mixed it with some olive oil and started “washing” my face with it. I also stocked up on concealer just in case I ended up with a massive break out. Lo and behold it actually worked! My fears of adolescent-style acne never came true and my skin looked and felt better. I eventually convinced my sister to try it and she loves it, too. What’s more, I got my mom-mom using it. She swears by it! Even claims her wrinkles are less noticeable. She’s convinced several other ladies in her retirement community to switch over, too.

The best part? It cheap. I use this castor oil which costs less than $10 for sixteen ounces. A sixteen-ounce bottle lasts FOREVER! And who doesn’t keep a bottle of olive oil on hand? It comes out cheaper per wash than drugstore-brand products. I have tried every product out there. Proactive. Clinique. Philosophy. Olay. From drugstore cheap to ultra high end. Nothing works as well as this.

Plus, it is customizable. Use more castor oil for dry skin and less for oily skin. In the winter I use 10% castor oil and in the summer I up it to 20-25%. It’s that easy. Once you’ve cleansed your face, you can use a few drops as a moisturizer. I haven’t bought face wash or lotion in over a year. My skin and the earth are happier for it.

5 thoughts on “Fight Oil with…Oil?

    • Yes! I use coconut oil in place of body lotion. I keep a jar in the bathroom and a jar in the kitchen. Lard is also an amazing moisturizer. My hands get very dry working on the farm and lard is the best thing I’ve found for them.

  1. Pingback: Shampoo-less | Girl Gone Farming

  2. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? Don’t know where I’d be without olive and castor oils. Throw a little sugar, ground oats, or ground brown rice (or all 3) into the mix and you’ve also got a great scrub to slough away dead skin cells from face to toe 🙂

    Or, for those who aren’t too fussed on using heavier oils, rice bran oil, macadamia nut oil, camellia oil and hemp seed oil are great ‘dry’ oils that don’t leave a greasy feeling afterward; those puppies soak straight in and leave velvety smooth, soft, non-greasy, skin in their wake.

    • Love the idea of adding a little texture with sugar or oats to make a scrub. Thanks for the tip! Argan and tea tree oil are also great options. Adding a few drops of essential oils can also make a nice all-natural bug repellent.

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