No really! I haven't given into the grime and let the sloth in me take over. I just stopped washing my face.
I have oily skin on my nose and chin that's dry on my cheeks and forehead. Trying to find a face wash that balanced all that, while still being a natural product was killing me and my bank account. Until I stumbled across a blog posting about something called The Oil Cleansing Method over at Simple Mom. Check it out here. Basically, you rub a mixture of olive and Castor oil on your face, steam with a hot washcloth, then wipe the gunk off. I didn't really know how this would work but I had all the ingredients in my cupboard already so it was at least a cheap option to try! Besides, a face massage followed by a steam sure sounded better than drenching myself and the bathroom with water to wash my face every night! I know from my BS-in-Chemistry holding Grandma that oil dissolves oil so I figured it might just work to use olive oil to dissolve the nasty oil on my face, right? I was still shocked when it did.
The very first week I tried this with a safe mixture of 70% olive oil and 30%Castor oil, I hit the holy grail people online had been talking about. While I was massaging the oil into my skin, I started feeling little grainy things on the surface of my skin. Never one to wonder, I scraped one onto the tip of my finger and headed for the magnifying glass to determine what it was. Lo and behold: it was a blackhead. Dark at the tip, tapered to a point, ew factor to the extreme. But it was no longer in my face! Woo-hooo! This crazy idea really works! And it left skin feeling moisturized but not greasy...something commercial moisturizers have never achieved.
Since then, I've refined my method to best fit my skin. This process does take some experimenting to get the best results. But you're experimenting with different mixtures of the stuff you already have, so the price doesn't go up! Yay for that! I now use the same original oil mixture all over my skin, but add a drop of pure Castor oil to my nose and chin for further cleansing of the stubborn black heads. I love feeling the plugs fall out as I massage every night. You know how we all secretly like popping zits? This is better! Looking up close with a magnifying glass before I steam, I can actually see empty pores where the black heads just fell out. SQUEE! Best of all, I'm meeting my preferred ideal of not putting anything on my skin that I wouldn't put in my mouth! Skin is an organ too and it absorbs everything we put on it. Think about it: how else do those nicotine patches things work?
I also just started using a vinegar toner around my hairline, nose, chine and neck this week. Well, yesterday. The only drawback to this method has been two odd patches of acne forming on my neck under my chin in an area I've never had acne before. When it dawned on me that I probably wasn't cleaning the oil off this area well enough to prevent clogging the pores on my neck, I started using a vinegar toner/rinse/spritz. I soaked a strip of lemon peel in a 1/4 cup of vinegar for a week, then diluted it with 2 cups of peppermint tea. Rubbing this over my face right after I steam seems to be doing the trick as that weird acne patch is starting to clear after only one use. The lemon-mint vinegar toner is wonderful for summer and smells really nice as you rub it one. I think I may try this trick again for winter, but with a vanilla bean pod instead. Less astringent for the colder months, you know?
If you can get past the weird factor of rubbing oil onto your skin, I really encourage you to try this out! I've been pleasantly surprised to even find a few sun/age spots have started to fade during the last month I've been using OCM. I'm hoping the lemon in my toner will help take them all the way to gone! :) It's all natural (as in you could drink it while no bad effects), it feels luxurious massaging it in every night, takes the place of face wash AND moisturizers, plus my skin really likes it! And did I mention it's SO much less expensive than store bought? Homemade is better!