Chloe Grace Moretz recently told Allure in an interview that she washes her face with olive oil and that it cleared up her cystic acne: “I swear, my skin is clearer because of it.” Does this work for everyone, and what do I as a dermatologist think about it? Well, she sure is lovely and her skin is beautiful. And actually it’s not a bad idea in my opinion. Although, there is more to the story.
Last week I spoke to Self and was quoted in their recent article on this topic. In this article I’m giving you, my dear readers, more detail on this interesting topic.
This is the Oil Cleansing Method of facial cleansing. It has been popular in Northern California, where I live, for years. People here like to try Do-It-Yourself (DIY) natural skin care – and they especially love anything natural and safe for consumption as food. I’ve examined complexions cleansed with the oil method for years. The results are as mixed as with any other cleansing method. It will clear up some complexions, and cause problems for others.
What is the Oil Skin Cleansing method?
The Oil Skin Cleansing method involves applying a warm moist wash cloth to your face for about 20 seconds to warm your skin. Then you apply the oil of your choice and massage it into your skin to dissolve oily skin residue. Hard to believe, right? Follow this by using a warm wet wash cloth to remove the oil and dissolved debris.
Why might olive oil work as a face wash?
Oil will dissolve oily skin residue because like dissolves like. If you use moisturizer or makeup that is oil-based then olive oil will help remove it. This includes synthetic oils like dimethicone, wihch is a popular skin care ingredient in makeup, sunscreens, and even mattifying products and makeup primers.