... person’s skin may be dry or oily, or sensitive or acne prone, or a combination of any of those.
Products abound for acne and pigmentation, for dry or oily skins. There are chemical peels, there are bleaches, there are creams and lotions, soaps and washes, anti-baterial preparations, a whole gamut of products from the mainline cosmetics industry. Having a clear skin is an elusive goal. Rashes and acne and blemishes clear up for a while, and then re-appear.
People seem to think that the culprit is oil, and attempt to remove the last vestiges of oil from their face. Some wash their faces 5 times a day to get rid of the oil. Yet, skin conditions worsen. Rashes, acne, dark spots appear, disappear and re-appear with alarming regularity, till one’s face starts resembling a battlefield.
Battlefield it surely is. Our overworked oil cells are under an onslaught. All that cleaning and scrubbing resulting in temporary dryness and sends these cells on an overdrive. Our body is a highly responsive and sophiticated chemical machine; and its largest organ, the skin, starts thinking that there is a paucity of oil. So it over-produces oil, creating a vicious cycle of scrubbing, washing, and overactive oiliness from the sebaceous glands.
To sell their cosmetics and make super-normal profits, cosmetic companies use synthetic scents (lab-produced), emulsifiers, preservatives, colorants, dyes, fixers, thickeners – a veritable soup of harmful chemicals – straight into our overworked skin cells. These chemicals lodge into our skin in its pores, enlarging the pores, clogging them up. As the clogs harden, the skin compensates by increasing the size of the pores. So then you have an additional problem – ugly big clogged pores, then whiteheads and blackheads, zits, pimples, cysts, acne and rashes.
Understanding these processes gives us a way out. Try cleaning an oily sink or utensil with water? Does it work? Only strong chemical soaps and detergents work. But we cannot and need not go that far. So how do we get out of this Charavyuh?
We learnt in our basic science class long back that oil (and organic solvents) is the best way to dissolve organic compounds, so the best way forward is to actually to use oil to extract all this debris out of our skins. Cleansing with oil is the most effective way to cleanse one’s skin, and bring it back to balance. Back to a state which is neither too dry nor too oily
Which brings us to the oil cleansing method (OCM). This is to be used before going to sleep. What we need is an oil-based cleanser, a wash-cloth and hot, running water. Here is the process
- pour a few drops of the cleanser on your palm
- rub hands together and then apply the cleanser on to the face. Massage it gently. This will remove surface impurities such as dirt, makeup, mascara, sunscreen, concealers etc.
- massage firmly and slowly, making it go into the pores, focusing on the problem areas
- keep massaging for a while, in a focused but calm and relaxed fashion
- after a while, soak the wash-cloth in warm water. Put it over the face, letting some of the steam work into the pores. Wipe the face gently (do not scrub), then repeat this process 2-3 times. You will see that some of the trapped debris has come off on the cloth (and I can vouch for it – seeing all that dirty detritus on the wash cloth is an awesome feeling)
- the cleansing is over, but you can add back some oil on the skin by using the same cleansing oil or a serum. Just the minutest amount.
Do this 2-3 times a week. After a while, the pores will tighten and become much smaller, the skin will become rash and acne free, and more oil/pH balanced. This will cut short the vicious cycle described earlier. In fact, it may well start a virtuous cycle towards a blemish-free, rash-free, acne-free and glowing skin.
For extra sensitive skin, we have
Cleanser for Sensitive Skins
And for acne-prone skin, the Neem based Neem Ras Cleanser