Thirteen and a half years ago, in no way, shape, or form could you have convinced me that I would some day write about the wonder that is castor oil.
You see, thirteen and a half years ago, I took a teaspoon of it and then gave birth to my son, rapidly, without painkillers, while he was turned around facing my back.
And I’ve always blamed it on castor oil.
I’d like to say that taking that tiny teaspoon full of contraction-inducing slime was brave, but it wasn’t. It was impatience. He was still a week early, but I was ready. As someone who’s never endured the triumphant hell that is childbirth, I had no idea what I was wishing upon myself.
And the childbirth itself? Not brave. It was necessity. When the doctor comes in and says it’s time, you’re not allowed to go, “Hm. I’m a little afraid right now. Can we wait a few?” No. You push through the pain – the excruciating pain that makes you forget your own name – and eventually something pops out. Surprise!
Then come the hours and weeks and months and years later, where you worry constantly about this little being you, frankly, forced into this world. You stay up nights, even when they’re not screaming (for years, about things they just don’t understand yet). You watch them fall down and say nothing of your fear for them, knowing your fear only makes theirs worse. You watch and cry silently and love and protect. But that’s not bravery either. It’s what mothers do. It’s just … in us.
No. I’ll tell you what bravery is. Bravery is actually reading some far-fetched, ridiculous thing on the internet and trying it at home.
- Castor Oil
- Grapeseed, Sweet Almond, Avocado, or Sunflower Oil
- Hot Water
- A Washcloth
In a moment, I’ll tell you more about, but first let me tell you how to DO it. Regardless of what’s on your face – excluding lead-based paint or an entire banana cream pie (which would be hilarious and I would love to have a picture of that, please) – the oil will remove it. Let me make that clear before going further. You do not need to (and should not, really) wash your face first.
First, you want to mix portions of your chosen oils – Castor Oil being the only one that MUST be in the mix. As you can see, these days I use approximately 3 parts grapeseed, 2 parts avocado, and 2 parts castor oil. The specific amounts you use are irrelevant. Honestly. Except that you want to use more “softening” oil (the other oils listed are more softening) than castor oil, as castor oil can be drying. Oily skin? Use a little more castor. Dry skin? Use a little less. Perfect skin? Stop reading this and go be a model or something.
Pour this mixture into the palm of your hand and proceed to massage it into your face – slowly, in long, luxurious circles. Try to remember to move up – don’t drag your skin down. You’re just dragging wrinkles down when you do. That’s not fun.
Massage this way for a good three to five minutes, working in the oil and letting it do its business of dissolving everything on your face – like acid, only without the burning disfigurement and years of emotional pain.
Now, start your hot water running in the sink. Let it get good and hot. While you’re watching diligently for steam, contemplate the oil soaking into your skin, freak out a little bit because you think it might make you break out, and then quickly grab your washcloth, shove it under the hot water, wring it out and apply it to your face. You have now calmed down (and luckily this panic only happens the first time you do this). Let the washcloth sit on your face for a minute or so.
Gently, moving upwards again, rub the oil off your face with the hot washcloth. Rinse and wring out and wipe as many times as you need to in order to get all the oil off. It’s a quick process, really, and the hardest part is not hotting up your hands while you’re rinsing and wringing.
After you’re done, gently dry your face and give yourself a long, hard look in the mirror. Beautiful, right? Amazing, really. Glowing, and not oily at all.
You only have to do this once a night – but do it diligently. In the morning, I typically just use a dash of toner and some moisturizer, and I’m set for the day.
Try this, please. Let me know what you think. I’m a little obsessed with it now, and probably need a support group.
So, here’s the thing about this oil cleansing whatnot. I read about it about two weeks ago (sadly, I cannot find where, so I cannot credit the bold soul who went before me and thus inspired me) and thought it was insane. Everything inside screamed “Gross! Pimples!” But I pushed on anyway – not just for this blog, and not just for my rapidly aging skin – but for all of womankind. You’re welcome.
I do declare, in a most drawling Southernly manner, my skin has never looked better – it is more clear with less blemishes, softer, more radiant, and I swear the hint of crepe-ishness under my eyes is less noticeable. Why, just yesterday I was carded while buying a bottle of wine. Then I contemplated taking it over to my parents’ house while they were gone, drinking it out of a paper cup, and then making out with a boy on their bed. But then I was afraid of getting grounded, so I listened to Debbie Gibson at home instead. Lost In Your Eyes – it still speaks to me after all these years.
Anyway, if you’d like to read more about castor oil and its litany of folk medicine accolades (of which there is MUCH), I recommend looking at earthclinic.com for other ideas from around the world.
And if you do try this – if you are BRAVE enough – let me know how it goes!
Also, I’d like to add that I do NOT recommend using castor oil to induce labor. Not only was it a mistake for me, but the ingestion of castor oil is no longer recommended, medically, for health reasons. Just be patient. Five years down the line, you’ll wish you could put him back in.
I do this! And it’s great. I use olive oil as the carrier, though I’d like to try something else. I have some skin issues that can’t be treated just with a cleanser– they’re mycotoxin related– but even so, the oil cleansing has been lovely.
Shruti (comment before me): yes, do it if you have blackheads. The castor oil draws out impurities from your pores, no matter what they are. And I do it daily.
I can great changes in skin…I am currently doing it at interval of 3 days..blackheads have reduce greatly but still there!May few more section will be required to get rid of them..! Is it good to do daily? No side-effect???
Hi Shruti… I don’t treat my entire face with this daily. I just use it for makeup removal, and since I usually don’t wear more than eye makeup and a touch of concealer, it doesn’t need to go all over my face.
Anyway, I haven’t noticed any side-effects. I can’t imagine how there would be any unless you’re allergic to one of the oils. 🙂 The only thing that might not be great for your face is the HOT water you use with this method. That can be pretty rough on skin, which is one of the reasons I don’t do it really often.
I have been going through your website like from last 4 hours…read almost every article…crucnchybetty ROCKS!
I want to apply this remedies to my face..however, can you please advice me on two thing:
First I have lots of blackhead, can I still go ahead with this technic
Second: can we do this daily?
I am really excited to do this…please advice
I used olive oil (already in the shower) and a little finely ground salt. Feels great!
Yes everything you say is 100% true! I just discovered this by accident a couple days ago, another story. I found this on http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com and now reading this on your site. My experience is be precise with the Castor oil otherwise you can dry out your skin, which I did. I thought my skin was oily and added more Castor oil??? I used Olive Oil and Castor Oil.
Quote from site:
Some suggestions in creating your blend of deep cleansing oil:
Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Sunflower Seed Oil.
Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% Sunflower Seed Oil.
Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% Sunflower Seed Oil.
Wow blown away, as I have battled with blemishes and only after a couple of uses I have noticed a dramatic difference! The bonus pores look tighter! I suppose you are cleaning the skin pores vs a surface cleaning.
I have (make that had) adult onset acne, and nothing has worked for me like the oil cleanse method. I’ve been doing this for a while and I saw my sister this weekend and she commented on how great my skin is looking. So I was telling her what I’ve been doing and she asked me to send her the link for it. After listening to me explain it to my sister, now my mom is interested as well. Nothing better than clear skin where there used to be a mine-field of pimples to promote non-commercialized skin care! You can’t argue with results.
And my little tip for helping with acne is add a little tea tree oil to your mix, it’s great for treating and healing pimples.
I have been using coconut oil for this, and it is amazing. LOVE cleaning my face with oil, despite the initial fear!
Seriously, is there anything coconut oil can’t do? It cleans your face, it works as a deodorant (with a few other things), it moisturizes your hair, it nourishes your body, and it tastes so stinkin’ delicious when you cook with it.
Coconut oil for the all-purpose win.
Yes to coconut oil! I use it an as overnight moisturizer/treatment for my fine, highlighted hair and as a moisturizer. Every time I feel a breakout coming on, using coconut oil seems to zap any pending zits. I also alternate between coconut and vitamin E oil as my nighttime moisturizer. I threw out all my drugstore, chemical laden moisturizers and haven’t looked back!
Yes! I absolutely ADORE it as a hair mask. I haven’t tried it as a treatment for blemishes yet, but on your recommendation, the next time one rears its ugly head, it’s getting a healthy dose of coconut oil.
Isn’t it funny how we spend parts of our lives buying into this idea that commercially produced products are the best? Not only is my skin SO much healthier after going natural, but my wallet is so much heavier. Woohoo to noncommercialized beauty!
Yes this post does definitely get me more and more curious about the rest of your blog. I’m going to be trying this out this weekend.. Need to go to the store for some groceries. Thanks for the information.. and I’m so not going to wash my face and see what happens.
This is my third comment in three minutes, but â€“ I just started doing this!
I’m using jojoba oil and it’s working beautifully. With the massage and hot facewasher, it feels like such a treat every night.
I’ve tried rosehip oil, too, btw, and it works wonderfully, but is a bit too expensive to be slathering on as a cleanser. 🙂 I’ll keep it as moisturiser.