Oil cleansing method ruined my skin, what’s really happening

Trying a new skincare product can be scary, some may even call it risky.

When you do finally use a new skincare product, and it makes you break out, surprise will be a reasonable feeling to have.

The logic behind using oil on your skin is actually pretty good but “why is the oil cleansing method ruining my skin” You ask? this article helps to answer that question.

You might shudder at the thought of using oil on your skin as a cleanser. Isn’t oil the thing that blocks your pores in the first place?

Well, it can sometimes, using the oil cleansing method in the wrong way can make you break out.

Many people see success with the oil cleansing method but some don’t and that person maybe you.

Oil cleansing method ruined my skin

What is the oil cleansing method

The oil cleaning method is the use of an oil to cleanse your skin. 

It involves applying the oil on your face to cleanse your skin then flowing up with a washcloth to wipe the oil off or using another cleanser to remove the excess residue.

The cleansing oil can be a skincare oil or a regular oil like olive or jojoba. Oils contain many minerals and nutrients making them great to use because they nourish and moisturise your skin well.

Anyone with any skin type can do the oil cleansing method as long as you use an oil that suits your skin type.

Cleansing oils made by skincare brands emulsify (turn milky and watery) when you add water to them.

When you apply the oil it binds to the external irritants and excess sebum on your skin.

As you rinse off they take the external irritants and excess sebum with them.

How does oil cleanse your skin?

The idea behind how the oil cleansing method works is that oil dissolves oil. As you go about your day your oil glands secrete a skin oil called sebum.

This sebum can cause environmental irritants, pollution, dust and derbies to attach to your skin much easier.

If the sebum and external irritates mix on your skin it can clog up the pore and cause you develop blemishes.

The cleansing oil dissolves excess sebum on your skin as well as removes grime, dirt, make-up and anything else on your skin without stripping your skin of its natural moisture.

In addition, because this type of cleanser is gentle, it does not irritate your skin or dry it out like regular cleanses and face washes can. It also nourishes your skin as you massage it in.

Why the oil cleaning method may be ruining your skin


Anytime you decide to switch from one skincare product to another there’s a chance that your skin will break out or purge.

A new skincare product jump-starts a major change in your skin and the skin needs time to adjust.

The skin doesn’t always react to a new product in a negative way but sometimes the skin does and breaks out or purges. This is normal.

The purging will be gone after a few weeks after your skin has adjusted to the new product. Read more about skin purging because of oil cleansing here

You are using the wrong oil:

Our skin differs from one another, for the best results you need to use an oil that works well with your skin.

Different oils have different structures that are better suited for specific skin types. You have to use an oil that suits your skin type for good results.

If you have oily skin you should be using sunflower, pumpkin seed or grapeseed oil.

If you have acne-prone skin you should be using castor oil, hemp oil or jojoba oil. 

Your oil of choice, if you have sensitive skin, should be camellia oil. If you have dry skin your oil of choice should be avocado oil, almond oil extra virgin olive oil

Over exfoliation:

You can use a warm washcloth to remove the oil from your face but overuse of washcloths can lead to over-exfoliation.

When using a washcloth you need to make sure its damp and warm as to not irritate your skin, you also need to gently remove the oil with a washcloth don’t rub the skin.

Rubbing the skin can irritate your skin and cause an acne-like rash.

Leaving oil behind:

Leaving excess oil on your skin after doing the oil cleansing method will not only leave you with a shiny greasy looking face but it can create a film over your skin.

If you have excess oil on your skin and it mixes with any external irritates and blocks your pores you can get breakouts.

Using a hot washcloth:

Water temperature is very import to your skin health, a water temperature that’s too hot can cause your skin to become irritated resulting in irritated looking rashes on your face.

It can even dry out your skin and cause the skin to produce execs oil and this can cause breakouts.

The best temperature to use on your skin, whether it’s when you’re oil cleansing or in your skincare routine in general, is warm water.

This article explains further why warm water is best for skincare.

Is oil cleansing bad for the skin?

No, oil cleansing is not bad for the skin. It is actually very good for the skin if you do it correctly.

Using an oil cleanser to wash with, as opposed to the traditional detergent cleansers or face washes, will ensure that you’re getting a gentle clean, still removing makeup, dirt and debris while protecting your skins natural lipid layer as well as protecting the natural good bacteria on your skin. 

Will cleansing oil clog pores?

Cleansing oils are specifically designed to not clog your pores. These products have a lighter, more watery consistency. They don’t harden in your pores and clog them.

The waxy type of oils harden and mix with dead skin cells and external impurities on your face, then clog your pores.

If you’re not using a facial oil you can use a botanical oil like avocado, sunflower or safflower. These oils have a thinner consistency.

This oil cleanser is a favourite

Oil cleansing method ruined my skin

Can oil cleansing be done every day?

If you’re wearing make-up every day then you should definitely be oil cleansing every day.

Oil cleansers break up the oil in the makeup very well, in a gentle but effective way. The oil gives your skin a deep clean removing any impurities from your skin.

If you’re wearing no makeup and simply wearing sunscreen or a tinted moisturiser then you don’t have to use it every day, you can opt for removing your product with micellar water or a cleansing milk. These do not need a deep clean to remove.

Should I wash my face after oil cleansing?

It depends, after applying the oil to your face you would need to remove it with a damp warm washcloth. The oil won’t be removed by water alone so you need something else to remove it. This wiping also helps to exfoliate your skin.

If there is still residue on your skin after the first wipe then you would need to wipe your face with a clean damp and warm washcloth again or you can remove the excess with a face cleanser.

You may use a face wash or cleanser after you wipe your face with the washcloth, this will remove any excess oil residue form your skin.

Can I use toner after oil cleansing?

No, you don’t have to use a toner after cleansing, you should only use your oil and a washcloth and maybe a moisturiser if necessary.

That being said, we all have different skin types so what we use will differ. The toners job is to balance the ph of the skin but toners can also have astringent properties.

If you have smaller pores and normal to dry skin then you can not use a toner.

If you have larger pores and combination to oily skin, then you may want to follow up with a toner that has astringent properties (like this one).

These types of toners will help to really remove any leftover oil.

Do you moisturize after oil cleansing?

You typically don’t need a moisturiser after the oil cleaning method. Your skin should feel soft and moisturised but clean after this cleanse.

But if your skin has not adjusted to the oil and still feels dry and tight you can use a moisturiser afterwards.

Can you wash your body with oil?

Oil cleansing is great for the face and it can be used on your body as well. If you have issues with dry skin, damaged skin or acne breakouts on your skin then oil cleansing will help improve your condition.

Regular soap products may be too harsh and irritating on your skin, if so you’ll need something gentler and moisturising.

After you start using the oil cleansing method for your body you’ll notice softer skin. Your skin will be rid of all the dirt and debris from the day just your face would.

What is the best cleansing oil for the face?

The best and top-rated skincare oil for the face is the DHC deep cleansing oil.

This oil is a well-loved and widely used cleansing oil that is gentle and effective.  It’s a best-selling oil for a reason. 

The oil is a Japanese creation that helps to remove your excess sebum, dead skin cells, dirt, debris and any other environmental impurities from the face. Your face will feel smoother softer and more radiant after using this cleansing oil

This olive oil-based facial cleanser offers your skin a plethora of vitamins and antioxidants. It also hydrates and nourishes your skin. This product is 100 percent organic and is easy to use, water-soluble and smells and feels luxurious on the skin.

It also contains vitamin E which the skin loves, vitamin E protects your skin against dangerous free radical damage, softness the skin and hydrates it.

What oil is good for oil cleansing?

The best oils for oil cleansing your skin will be hydrating without being comedogenic, cleansing without being too astringent or drying and offer an abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

You should also make sure that the oil you use is of a high quality, does not contain any fragrance or dyes and is an oil that is designed to be used on your skin type.

If you can find an oil that is virgin, cold-pressed and unrefined then that will be ideal.

Is oil cleansing good for acne-prone skin?

Yes, oil cleansing can be good for acne-prone skin. That being said, all oils are not created equal. There are various types of oils and our skin and acne react differently to them.

Oils that acne skin does not react well with include mineral oil and comedogenic oils. These oils clog the pores and result in more breakouts. Oils that out skin will benefit from are plant oils.

The bacteria that mixes in with dead skin cells and excess sebum loves the sebum on our skin.

Plant oils not only regulate the levels of sebum on our skin, reducing the overall oil levels on our face, but these oils are also antibacterial.

The antibacterial properties of plant oils kill off acne-causing bacteria and prevent it from causing more acne.

Other plant oils have astringent properties which regulate sebum levels on the skin. These oils include grapeseed and hazelnut oil

That being said, not all plant oils are made equal, you need to find oils that are non-comedogenic and don’t trigger more acne on your skin.

Make sure to have a look at the ingredients of cleansing oils to be sure none of them will cause breakouts on your skin.

What is the best cleansing oil for acne-prone skin?

The best cleansing oil for acne-prone skin will have a light consistency, be non-comedogenic, be an oil that is silky and antibacterial.

Finding an oil that is also soothing on the skin, reduces redness and irritation and is also nourishing will also be great for acne-prone skin.

You may have to combine a couple of oils to get this combination of benefits. 

I hope you enjoyed this article looking at why is the oil cleansing method ruining my skin, if you did please share it.

You may also like