This Week I Love …

grapeseed-oil_with text

… grapeseed oil.

It’s been nearly two years since I started using the oil cleansing method, and I’m still so glad I made the change. My skin is softer and clearer than it’s been in ages, and I have fewer oily/dry patches than I used to. I’ve made some adjustments to my routine, mainly through adding the Clairsonic – which I use AFTER I’ve applied oil, wiped it away to remove my makeup, and then added another thin layer of oil for the brush. But I also changed up my blend a little. When I got started, I was using olive oil and castor oil in a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio, and although it worked better than any other cleanser I’d ever tried, I still had loads of clogged pores. I chatted with Sarah Von about her blend, and she sang the praises of grapeseed oil. So I did some nosing around and came upon this article over at Crunchy Betty – where I first learned about this method to begin with – which sealed the deal. I cut down my olive oil to just a dash, and swapped in grapeseed oil.

And my skin sang me a little song of joy. (Have you ever heard skin sing? It’s very squeaky.)

Like so many people, I grew up thinking that my acne was caused by an overabundance of oil. I discovered later in life that my skin is actually dying of dehydration, and that the more ways I can find to moisturize it, the happier it will be. Grapeseed oil is both mild and moisturizing, and doesn’t cause as many problems for as many folks as olive oil seems to. My guess is that, for me, part of why the grapeseed works better than the olive is that it’s less viscous and absorbs faster. I’ve kept the castor in the mix for its cleansing and drying properties, but it’s still about 1/3 of the blend.

You’re STILL not convinced that slathering pantry products on your sensitive face-skin is a great idea? Well get this: Grapeseed oil is great for moisturizing non-face parts, too. Sarah and I actually commiserated over the Dry Itchy Winter Shins that we both get once it turns cold in MN, and she informed me that a little dab of grapeseed oil keeps her shins moisturized and flake-free for nearly a week. My own shins are delightfully not-itchy as we speak, and I owe it all to grapeseed oil. (I know it’s not winter yet – not by a longshot – but apparently no one told my shins.)

I know many of you are OCM converts, too.Who else had issues with olive oil? Anyone using grapeseed in their blend? Other oils that work wonders?

Image via Seed Guides.

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25 Responses to “This Week I Love …”

  1. Sue

    Wow! I’m heading to Trader Joe’s tonight and trying your mix. I had used a Japanese olive oil cleanser with great results; don’t know why I stopped.

  2. AsianCajuns Lar

    Definitely going to try this too! I’m always looking for more natural beauty products and can’t for the life of me figure out why it’s so hard. Thanks for the smarvelous tip!
    xx, Lar

  3. Rachel

    Grapeseed oil plus sugar in the raw makes the best exfoliant/moisturizer for my leg and arms. Shave, apply = smoothest happiest gams for days, even in the Windy City. Never tried it on my face however, so will have to think about that.

  4. Brigitte

    I was just thinking about this this morning and was wo seeing if you we’re still happy with the switch you made. I also switched to the OCM about 6 months ago after seeing it on your blog, and while I’m not very good at doing it every day (my newborn can screw with my daily schedule!), my skin is happy for days after. You’re so right that it’s a subtle change, but I see the difference, and feel the difference. I went from obvious black heads on my nose and chin to barely any, and while that usually was masked with makeup, especially now that I don’t take the time to put makeup on every day, having perfectly clear smooth skin is such a bonus. I’ve been using grape seed oil and castor oil from the start, without any olive oil, but maybe I should try adding a dash for extra moisture as the temperature starts to go down.

  5. Amy Perry

    I started oil cleansing with a mix of castor oil and olive oil. The castor oil made my skin too dry, so now I use straight olive oil. It works great for my skin and is so simple and cheap.I think I’ll try the grapeseed oil just to see if it makes a difference. I tried coconut oil, but it made my skin break out, which I’ve since heard a lot of folks have had the same issue.
    My husband gets a kick out of me slathering food on my face. But it’s so much better than any store-bought face cleanser!

  6. Andrea

    The Dreaded Dry Itchy Winter Shins! They’ve started for me already too… I’m hoping they’re not some sort of Farmer’s Almanac indicator of a bad winter to come.

    Shins notwithstanding, I have oily, oily, oily skin on my face. No, really. It is a blessing in the form of very few wrinkles at age 41, but for years was a curse in the form of acne. But several years ago I decided to take a chance on using an oil-based night cream, and I have never regretted it. I use Avalon Organics Vit. C line, and love it. I still struggle with gunky pores, though, so I may try the oil cleansing for a while to see how it goes. Perhaps jojoba, as it is said to be closest in composition to human sebum & is usually indicated for oily skin.

    I recently became aware of the virtues of coconut oil, but it was suggested to me to blend it with other oils to reduce it’s pore-clogging tendencies. I’m a massage therapist, and have used a blend of 2/3 coconut oil & 1/3 organic massage oil blend (Sacred Earth Botanicals brand – the absolute best) and it is wonderful to work with — though I’ve warned my clients not to fall asleep because they might wake up chewing on their own arms (it smells that good). Mixed with sugar, straight coconut oil (esp. in its solid form) becomes a fabulous scrub, too. Dry Itchy Winter Shins beware! I may have found a cure…..

  7. issa

    oh wow! i’ve never heard of such uses for grapeseed oil.. i’ve just recently picked some up as a replacement for regular cooking oil for salads etc.

    also where have i been right??? hope you’re well!!

    -issa @

  8. Kelly

    I’ve been doing OCM for about a year and a half, and I’ve been OCM-exclusive for about a year. My skin’s never been better! I personally use almond oil for the most part. I dabble in other oils, but the majority is still almond oil (with a dab of castor oil every couple weeks to make sure things are extra clean).

  9. Jen

    Just a note, grapeseed oil has a really, really short shelf life. Rice bran might be a better option if you’re looking for something that will last a little longer in your beauty drawer.

  10. ThirtiesLady

    FWIW, trying OCM with grapeseed oil is what gave me my first serious bout with cystic acne. At first I thought, oh, this is just my skin cleansing itself of impurities, and it will clear up like everyone says. It didn’t; it was BAD. I’m sure it works for some people, but it was terrible for me.

  11. Veronica

    I’ve had acne for a while but it was just mild, until I had kids, but it eventually got under control. Recently my hormones went whacko and it was worse than ever before. Would it work for me? I’m currently on an antibiotic and using Rodan&Fields unblemish line. It’s under control, but it’s pricey too.

  12. CW

    I use a 50/50 mix of castor oil and almond oil. I’ve been very happy with it, but I’ve never tried any other oil varieties, so I can’t compare.

  13. A.B.

    I would love to try OCM again but the heat I need in order to unclog my pores in my t-zone seriously aggravates my rosacea. Anyone out there with suggestions?

  14. Dee

    After reading on your blog and getting the nitty-gritty from ‘Crunchy Betty’ blog, I have been on OCM with castor oil, grapeseed oil and a couple of drops essential oils for a year now and my face is acne free and super soft. It worked so well for me that my DD who is 15 has now switched to it and sees some improvement within a few weeks. I use OCM exclusively for my face.

  15. Ellen

    Try adding essential oils to your mix! Smells amazing, and is great for acne because they are anti-microbial. Works really well for me.

  16. Annette

    I use almond oil and castor oil 2/3 1/3 plus a wee bit of rose water. Also to take off excess oil I use witch hazel lotion. I have tried other oils but have always come back to the almond oil. My skin is super sensitive and I tend to stick with what works and not stray to other products.

  17. Patricia

    I use coconut oil with decent results– it’s actually a fairly impressive waterproof makeup remover too. Still get some acne but not nearly as much as I used to.

  18. Shannon

    I’ve been using straight jojoba oil as my night moisturizer for a couple of weeks now and my skin has improved dramatically. I believe that I have Rosacea and decided to start a new approach. with these results, I’m thinking that the OCM might be the solution to my problem. Does anyone use jojoba for it?!

  19. Val

    I’ve been using a mix of sacha inchi oil and castor oil (3/2) with a few drops of tea tree oil. I started using the sacha inchi because I bought it to consume (uber healthy) but I couldn’t get past the taste so I replaced my olive oil in my oil mix. My skin the past year or so has been amazing. I use it as a “dry rub” every morning before I get into the shower. At night, a few times a week, I use Savvy Boheme’s Katherines Reserve (sugar scrub/butter mix). It took some getting used to “oiling up” in the morning and especially at night, but now I love the feeling, and sleeping on a satin pillowcase I don’t remember the last time I woke up with flakey itchy skin. I wish I’d discovered the benefits of oil 20 years ago!

  20. Patty

    I have also been oil cleansing for a long while, since April 2102 I believe. My usual mix is 1/3 castor and 2/3 jojoba, with a few drops of tea tree oil for it’s antibacterial properties. However, a week or so ago I ran out of castor oil and so I’ve just been doing jojoba + tea tree and my face is really happy. I do plan on adding castor back in the mix, but either not every day or at a much lower concentration than before.

    My face is very oily and I have struggled with acne since I was a teenager; my pores get congested, especially around the forehead and cheeks where there is less oil. I have noticed my acne is much better under control as long as I am consistent with OCM, along with other bacteria-reducing habits such as cleaning my makeup brushes weekly or biweekly and changing my pillowcase twice a week.

    My routine is lazier than the method laid out by others: in my morning shower I squirt a quarter sized amount of pre mixed oil from a bottle and slather it all over my face, spending MAYBE 30 seconds rubbing it in with my fingertips, especially where I get congestion (like my forehead) and acne (like my chin). I then proceed with the rest of the shower, and wipe off the oil with my towel when I dry off. Sometimes if I’m feeling dry I’ll add a drop or two of jojoba only back on my face out of the shower (I also use under eye cream, although who knows if it actually does anything).

    In the evening before bed, I wet my face, and squirt a dime to nickel sized amount of jojoba oil in my hands and smear it all over my face. I use one or two dry cotton pads to remove the oil and all the makeup it’s worked off my face. Then I dampen one more cotton pad, add a drop or two of tea tree oil, and wipe down my face with that (avoid the eye area, TTO can sting!). That’s it. No steaming or washcloths or waiting or anything.

  21. anne

    I LOVE the oil cleansing method. It has essentially gotten rid of my acne, dry skin and the little white bumps (I think they’re called milia?) that I used to get around my eyes, and I’m not even very diligent about it. I started out using jojoba oil, but when I ran out, I just started using the coconut oil in my kitchen cabinet. I know some people don’t like to use coconut oil on their faces, but for me it works perfectly. I no longer feel like I have to wear any tinted moisturizer, because my skin is so much better. Plus, no more expensive skin stuff!

  22. Laura

    I have crazy dry skin, so olive oil hasn’t ever caused an issue for me, but I use straight coconut oil about 3 days a week, and my castor oil blend otherwise. I have added sweet almond oil to my mix and I love the scent. It makes me feel 10 yrs old in the best way, with the smell reminding me of all the Avon lotion gift sets I used to receive as a tween.

  23. Vee

    I’ve been using the oil cleansing method for about two or three years too and it is amazing! It’s done wonders for my oily skin. It both cleans and softens, while evening out the tone and the texture – truly magic, wish I had discovered this before I had hit my forties. My skin is pretty tough (i.e. resistant), so I am able to use quite a bit of castor oil, which I mix with organic sunflower oil (which is one of the least comedogenic ones) – about a 60-40 mix. Some may think I am mad for using so much castor oil but it is perfect for me, it gets rid of the nasty blackheads lurking below but doesn’t strip the skin. And the sunflower oil adds just the right amount of moisturizing. At night before bed I massage it in and then wipe it off with a hot facecloth, carefully removing every last bit (I have missed spots before and developed rather frightening cystic acne – although they resolved pretty quickly, actually. Although hmm, maybe my skin was actually purging…).

    But now I am curious about grapeseed oil, will likely give it a try.

  24. Pretaporteno

    While I recommend pure almond or rosehip oils for use in facial skincare, it pays to be cautious before committing to a new cleansing routine on the strength of internet popularity. I persevered with the OCM for a few months, hoping that the cystic acne that resulted was a result of ultra-deep cleansing and would repair in time. Ultimately the results I got were hyper-sensitised skin, more blackheads than I’ve ever had and hyperpigmentation on my forehead, cheeks and upper lip. I am still dealing with these issues now, more than a year down the track. Ladies, your skin is your biggest organ and your Best Dress, it pays to research and invest in decent skincare. That’s my two cents.