Is it even possible for oil cleansing to dry out your skin? Yes, it can!
Sometimes it’s the oil you are using, or your oil cleansing technique that is drying out your skin instead of nourishing it.
If your skin feels dry, tight, dehydrated, or not so soft and supple after oil cleansing, there’s adjustments you can make with what product you’re using, and/or your technique, to make it a lot more compatible with your skin.
As a rule of thumb, your cleanser and cleansing technique should never make your skin feel tight, irritated, red, raw, flakey, or dry after cleansing.
You shouldn’t feel like your face will fall off if you don’t moisturize afterwards. It’s actually preferable to use a mild enough cleanser, that if needed, you could actually skip moisturizing (and for many of you, a hydrating or mild cleanser might be all you need).
Some of you might have naturally really dry skin, that no matter what, you always need to moisturize after cleansing. That’s fine. But, your cleanser should never make your skin feel uncomfortably tight, dry, or parched; especially after oil cleansing.
If you feel like your oil cleanser is drying out your skin, or your oil cleanser is working ok, but you wouldn’t mind it being more moisturizing – check out today’s video and blog post below. I go over what oils are better for dry and dehydrated skin types, and how to adjust your oil cleansing method to make it less drying for your skin. Small changes can actually yield big results!
Is Oil Cleansing Drying Out Your Skin? (Here’s What To Do!)
Try a different oil
Not all oils are the same.
Even if it’s an oil, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s moisturizing. Different oils are made up of different ratios of fatty acids, have different weights, density, textures, and work differently with different skin types.
Castor oil is another oil that is very heavy and occlusive, but is also astringent. Because of its occlusive quality, adding small amounts of castor oil to an oil blend could make a product more hydrating, but using it on it’s own as an oil cleanser, might be too astringent and drying for some people.
Jojoba oil is also very popular. I find it to be in the middle – it’s not drying, but it not super moisturizing either. For dry skin, I wouldn’t use it on its own as a cleanser, but instead use an oil blend that contains jojoba oil, plus other nourishing oils to make it more moisturizing.
Oils I recommend for dry and dehydrated skin types are safflower oil, sunflower oil, argan oil, and rose hip seed oil. What I like about these oils is that they are moisturizing and pretty safe for acne prone skin.
Other moisturizing oils that are also great for dry and dehydrated skin are coconut oil, avocado oil, and sweet almond oil – BUT, if you have acne prone skin, you have to be cautious because these oils can clog pores and cause acne for some people. Sometimes small amounts of these oils can be found in an oil blend and aren’t as problematic as using them on their own. If you’ve used these oils before and never had an issue, then I don’t see a problem continuing to use them.
Oil cleansers I recommend for dry and dehydrated skin:
Argan Oil (add a few drops to your existing oil cleanser to make it more moisturizing)
Rose Hip Seed Oil (add a few drops to your existing oil cleanser to make it more moisturizing)
TATA HARPER Nourishing Oil Cleanser
ONE LOVE ORGANICS Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil
Switch to a cleansing balm, cleansing milk, or cream cleanser
Sometimes an oil just isn’t moisturizing enough.
If this is the case where you feel like you’ve tried a bunch of oils and oil blends, and no matter what you use, your skin always feels tight and parched after cleansing, why not try another type of cleanser?
Cleansing milks, cleansing balms, and cream cleansers are made with oils, plus occlusive ingredients like waxes and butters which help to seal in moisture.
These types of cleansers are particularly good if you have dry skin, or live in a very dry environment, or during the cold harsh winter where your skin needs extra hydration and moisture.
Cleansing milks, balms, and creams are usually quite gentle, which makes them particularly good for dry and dehydrated skin that tends to be sensitive as well.
If you have acne prone skin, do keep an eye on your skin if you decide to try a milk, balm or cream cleanser because sometimes certain occlusive ingredients found in these products can cause clogged pores and acne. Ingredients like shea butter, cacao butter, beeswax, lanolin, and any petrolatum product can be problematic for some people.
Products I recommend:
OSKIA Perfect Cleanser
TAMMY FENDER Cleansing Milk
Stop Using Hot Water
If you have dry or dehydrated skin, I strongly recommend not washing your face with hot water. In fact, do you best to avoid putting any hot water on your face.
This one change in your skincare routine can make a huge difference.
You don’t need hot water to do the oil cleansing method. Using cold or lukewarm water is just as effective at cleansing your skin.
If you normally put a hot washcloth on your face to “steam” your face while doing oil cleansing, best to stop! Steaming your skin can be seriously drying, and can even damage your skin.
Your pores don’t open and close with hot water or steam. All that hot water and steam does is loosen up the buildup on the surface of your skin. You can get the same deep cleanse just by spending an extra minute or two giving yourself a facial massage with your oil cleanser. Oil is amazing at loosening up the buildup on the surface of your skin, and by massaging that oil into your skin, not only are you getting a better cleanse, but it can be a lot more moisturizing as well.
And if you normally like to have a hot shower and wash your face in a hot shower, just wash you face with cold or lukewarm water before your shower. Once you’re in the hot shower, avoid getting your face wet.
This can make a HUGE difference.
(And if you want to know more about the benefits of bathing with cold water, check out my blog post and video, Bathing With Cold Water For 3 Months (Did It Help My Skin & Hair?).
Try the Dry Oil Cleansing Method
There’s actually an oil cleansing method that doesn’t involve using water, which is super beneficial for dry and dehydrated skin types.
While I was pregnant with my second daughter my skin was super dehydrated and no cream or moisturizer could make it better. The only thing that helped was doing the Dry Oil Cleansing Method.
The Dry Oil Cleansing Method is similar to the regular oil cleansing method, the only difference is you’re not using water.
The Regular Oil Cleansing Method you apply oil on your face, and use a damp wash cloth to remove the oil, dirt, debris and makeup off your skin.
The Dry Oil Cleansing Method you apply oil on your face, but use a dry wash cloth to gently pat and lift the oil, dirt, debris, and makeup off your skin. I recommend using a smooth cotton cloth for dry oil cleansing. You want to use something that it is smooth, soft and absorbent, so it will easily lift the oil, dirt, debris and makeup off your skin. Even using a cloth made out of cotton t-shirt material would be a much better choice than using a traditional terry wash cloth.
The Dry Oil Cleansing Method is a fantastic technique, it’s very effective at cleansing your skin, and extremely moisturizing. You might not even need a moisturizer after cleansing your skin with this method.
If you have active acne, I wouldn’t do the Dry Oil Cleansing Method until your breakout or acne has cleared up. I did a blog post documenting my 30 Day Dry Oil Cleansing Experiment, and I found that when I had any sort of pimple or breakout, this cleansing method slowed down the healing of the pimple. Mainly because it’s so moisturizing, it seemed like any pimple would just sit on my face forever, not getting worse, but not getting better either.
As long as you use an oil that is compatible with your skin, this cleansing method shouldn’t clog pores or cause pimples or acne. But, as I said, if you have any active acne or breakouts, better to wait until everything is cleared up before trying the Dry Oil Cleaning Method.
CLICK HERE to find out how to do the Dry Oil Cleansing Method (Video Demo + Instructions).
CLICK HERE for more on my 30 Day Dry Oil Cleansing Experiment (Results + Tips).
And by the way, this Dry Oil Cleansing Method is an amazing for maturing skin. If you are looking for a way to soften lines and wrinkles, and bring back some bounce in your skin, I strongly recommend trying the Dry Oil Cleansing Method. The results are pretty instant!