Save Face with Oil Cleansing



The first time I heard about oil cleansing, I thought my friend was crazy for suggesting I rub oil on my face. Kinda defeats the purpose of trying to balance out my combination skin, right?

But when I moved back from the UK a few months ago and my skin went crazy, nothing else was working. No matter how much I spent on creams and cleansers,  I was breaking out constantly and I couldn’t seem to find a balance between dryness and oily patches. I also noticed that each product I was using had a long list of ingredients, most of which I couldn’t even pronounce – if I wouldn’t put that in my body, why was I rubbing it on my body? Straight up, it was time for a change.

I wasn’t educated in mixing oils so I tried out a cleanser/serum duo from Lou La Belle, a skincare brand founded by Alyssa Johnston in PEI. I’m a big fan of supporting Canadian small businesses, and since Alyssa had spent two years testing cold-pressed oil combinations to come up with her Enliven cleanser and Glow serum, I thought I’d give it a whirl. I washed my face with Enliven at night, massaging the oil into my skin for two minutes before rinsing off, then used the Glow serum as my moisturizer in the morning (I still used my Bobbi Brown eye cream though, because as soon as I turned 30, the fine-line struggle became very real). For a week my skin continued to breakout as it purged all of the gunk in my pores from makeup and moisturizers that weren’t properly absorbed by my skin. After about seven days, however, I began to notice a difference – a big difference.

I was no longer waking up with oily skin and it wasn’t bone dry after washing my face. I stopped getting breakouts, even though the summer air in Toronto is humid and sticky and would normally clog my pores. Instead, my skin was soft, fresh and glowing – the way natural skin should be.

It’s now been a couple of months since I started oil cleansing and I’ve only had a couple of small breakouts (usually after a heavy weekend of sugary drinks and potato chips at the cottage – so, not a real shocker there). Whether you’re adventurous and want to try mixing your own oils, or prefer to use ready-mixed tried-and-true blends like Lou La Belle’s, natural oil cleansing is totally worth trying. Your skin (and bank account) will thank you.


Four Benefits of Oil Cleansing

1) It’s all-natural, meaning no chemicals or toxins on your skin.
Using oil cleansers means your skincare regime will always be free of parabens, sulphates and all those other nasty ingredients found in a lot of beauty products. When you’re washing makeup off your face, you don’t want to be rubbing toxins into it at the same time.

2) You’ll stop wasting money trying skin care that doesn’t work.
Cleansers, toners and moisturizers can be hella expensive, especially when you’re trying to figure out what works for you. There’s nothing worse than forking over $60 for a cleanser only to discover it does more to irritate your skin than heal it. With oils, you can spend a little trying to find a mixture that works for you.

3) It will balance your skin in so many ways.
Prior to skin cleansing, I was using about four different products to try to balance my skin – everything from toners to anti-redness serums to primers so my makeup wouldn’t look so cakey. Because oils are natural and less likely to cause irritation, I no longer have severe redness and my skin is soft and supple so any makeup I do wear blends in flawlessly.

4) You can customize your oils to target certain skincare problems.
The best part of oil cleansing is being able to change out certain oils to target specific skin problems. Want to fight signs of aging? Try rosehip seed oil, which is like Mother Nature’s retinol cream. Have red, irritated skin? Soothe it with the gentle healing powers of lavender. And if your skin’s drier than the Sahara? Balance it out with jojoba, which is easily absorbed due to its similarities to your skin’s natural oils.


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