What is Oil Cleansing?
If you survived the 90s, you’re all too familiar with harsh cleansing methods like Noxzema Pads and Clean & Clear. Those products do the exact opposite of what oil cleansing does. They strip away necessary barrier oils that keep skin plump, hydrated and free of breakouts. Contrary to what we believe, stripping away oil from our skin with harsh astringents and acids can lead to MORE breakouts, redness and fine lines.
When you’re making the switch to safer products, choosing a face cleanser can be tricky. You want one that removes dirt, oil and makeup but doesn’t leave skin irritated. It helps if it feels luxurious, smells amazing & leaves skin looking vibrant. Well, I finally found the cleansing method that works best for me & many other women: OIL CLEANSING!
Let’s first discuss, WHY YOU MAY WANT TO START OIL CLEANSING:
Your skin is very oily & you have to use powder & oil blotting sheets throughout the day
Your skin is prone to redness, irritation or eczema
Your skin is acne-prone and seems to over-produce oil in certain areas
Your skin is dry, lacking in plumpness and seems lifeless
What are the benefits of oil cleansing methods for my skin?
Heal skin’s barrier so it is less prone to irritation, eczema and breakouts
Balance skin’s oil products so it is less prone to dryness, acne, large pores and blackheads or milia
Remove makeup, dirt and oil without the use of harsh abrasives & acids
Restore hydration to skin so it is firmer, fuller & less prone to fine lines and wrinkles
My history with oil-cleansing began many years ago. I would use coconut oil to remove my makeup. Yes, it did the trick, but my skin was rough and red and my pores were always clogged. It works for some people, but for those of us with specific skincare concerns, there are better oil cleansing options.
I came to find out coconut oil is MAJORLY COMODOGENIC (it clogs pores!)
Instead of using the standard coconut oil cleansing method you’ve seen a million times, I’m giving you my top oil picks for all skin types! You can use any of these 3 methods in place of your AM or PM cleansing routine!
Primally Pure’s Cleansing Oils
FOR NORMAL, OILY OR DRY SKIN
Primally Pure has a collection of 3 oil cleansing blends designed for Normal, Oily or Dry Skin. I personally use the blend for Oily skin since my T-zone gets shiny by lunchtime & I tend to get breakouts around my nose and chin. Primally Pure’s products are not only gorgeous, come in glass bottles and are fairly affordable ($18 for 2 ounces which lasts me 3 months), but are made with really simple ingredients.
WHO’S IT GOOD FOR: All skin types including normal, oily and dry skin!
HOW TO USE IT: Massage a quarter-size amount of oil into your skin, avoiding your eye area, for 60 seconds. Steam away with a warm cloth until dissolved. Follow with toner and moisturizer of choice. I love Primally Pure’s Beauty Cream. At first, it caused me breakouts but I’ve reintroduced it during dry winter months & I’m doing great with it! I use it in combination with the ACTIVE ingredient products in my routine below!
NOTE: Primally Pure explains on their website that you should allow 2 weeks for your skin to adjust to their oil cleansing method to allow for detoxification. Our skin is our largest detoxification organ & if we’ve been clogging up those pathways with harsh abrasives, comodogenic products and chemicals, we need to allow some extra time for it to adjust.
Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm
THE CADILLAC OF OIL CLEANSING
Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm is the Cadillac of oil cleansing. It contains not just a few plant oils but over 10! In an independent study, 100% of women using this Cleansing Balm reported more hydrated skin within 8 hours.
Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm contains apricot, sunflower, jojoba, avocado, raspberry seed, davana, chamomile, sweet almond, grape seed & joy tree perfume oils.
This high potency mix of plant compounds is blended into a smooth balm with mango and shea butters. It’s thick, rich and decadent and removes heavy makeup like a CHAMP.
WHO IT’S GOOD FOR: ALL SKIN TYPES, ESPECIALLY SKIN PRONE TO DRYNESS, REDNESS, ECZEMA, PERIORAL DERMATITIS
HOW TO USE: A little goes a long way with the Cleansing Balm! A jar lasts me at least 6 months! Massage a pea size amount into skin (avoiding eyes if you are prone to irritation, but I personally use this to remove eye makeup). Steam off with a warm wash cloth several times. Apply Toner & Moisturizer of choice.
OTHER USES: Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm can be used for multiple skin concerns including: sunburns, dry knuckles, elbows, knees and soles, as an overnight mask for very dry skin, as a cuticle balm, and a deeply hydrating hand cream. For an at-home foot softening treatment, rub a quarter-size amount of Cleansing Balm on feet and cover with cotton socks overnight.
NOTE: Beautycounter has an amazing 60-day 100% refund policy on new and used products! You can try these products for a couple weeks to see how your skin does, and then decide whether or not you want to add them to your skincare routine!
Store-bought oils like jojoba & emu oil
FOR THE BUDGET-CONSCIOUS WITHOUT SPECIFIC SKINCARE CONCERNS
Coconut oil can be comodogenic for some people, meaning it is likely to clog pores and make breakouts worse. I do not recommend coconut oil for most people with acne-prone skin. In fact, coconut oil ranks FOUR out of FIVE on the comodogenic rating scale (highly likely to clog pores). It can also disrupt the skin barrier, making it more prone to dryness. Yes, even oils can make your skin dry!
If doing a basic cleansing method at home that does not target specific skin conditions, I recommend choosing Emu Oil which will not clog pores.
WHO’S IT FOR: If you’re looking to clean up your skincare routine & don’t have any major skincare concerns like severe dryness, eczema or acne, play around with store-bought single oils. My skin doesn’t look “WOW!” with this method but it’s certainly a budget-friendly way to cleanse skin and remove dirt, oil and makeup.
HOW TO USE: In the AM & PM, apply a quarter-size amount of Emu Oil to your face. Massage into skin for 30 to 60 seconds. Steam off with a warm wash cloth. Follow with moisturizer of choice (my current favorites are below).
My Current Cleansing & Moisturizing Routine
Most of my skincare products come from brands I trust like Beautycounter whom I am a Consultant with and Primally Pure. I also use a couple products from Skin Actives & Skin Obsessions (two online skin retailers). I love the transparency of both of these companies and how HEALTH is the forefront of their business model and product development.
Cleanse with Primally Pure Cleansing Oil for Oily Skin – I find it doesn’t remove face makeup as well as Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm, but I love how it’s made such a difference in my pore size and breakouts.
Moisturize with Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion – this lightweight, all-day moisturizing lotion adapts to your skin’s cell structure to match its optimal level of hydration throughout the day. If you tend to get oily by 12 pm, this lotion counterbalances that tendency to keep skin hydrated but not shiny.
If your skin tends to be dry in some areas and oily in others, Countermatch adjusts itself in each of those areas to provide the optimal level of moisture! IT IS INCREDIBLE! I also apply the Countermatch Eye Cream to increase hydration around my eyes and help with puffiness.
Cleanse with Beautycounter Cleansing Balm – This balm is a nice, thick paste that doesn’t absorb too quickly into your skin, so you can really give your skin a good lymphatic massage without it drying up or absorbing! It removes all my face & eye makeup by steaming away with a wash cloth.
Moisturize with Countermatch Intense Moisture Serum then Adaptive Moisture Lotion & Eye Cream – this serum is even lighter than the moisturizer (didn’t think that was possible!) yet provides SO much hydration! Since using this combination, my skin has been free of redness and breakouts and my pore size has decreased noticeably!
WEEKLY ROUTINE ADDITIONS
Beautycounter No. 3 Balancing + Charcoal Mask
If you’re following a nightshade-free diet or want to get more veggies in your kids without using sugary store-bought ketchup, this is a fun & easy make-at-home Veggie Ketchup option!
Will someone please explain to me why my Archie comic books from the 70’s called ketchup catsup? And is that pronounced “cats-up” or “cas-up”? Archie comics taught me how to read but it also taught me some really antiquated words for a 90’s child. Like “going steady” and “bee’s knees”.
Well, this catsup-ketchup is my recipe of the week! Not only is it AIP-friendly but I also made sure to make it sweetener-free… including natural sweeteners like honey and maple sugar! While I include those in moderation, I’d rather not pair my daughter’s vegetables with even a little sugar.
Thankfully, beets are crazy sweet on their own, especially when combined with carrots and butternut squash. The veggies are cooked in bone broth, coconut aminos and two different vinegars. I made sure to not make this recipe too vinegar-y though. You can easily adjust the recipe for your palate though!
If you’re looking for more kid-friendly healthy meals & lunches, I’ve been trying to post more of those on Instagram! Here’s an example of what I pack for portable, finger-friendly school lunches & snacks.
US Wellness Plain Shredded Beef that I seasoned with Primal Palate Garlic & Herb seasoning in the cast iron + roasted sweet potato + roasted broccoli. Snacks were fruit-based with some protein: clementines, collagen + coconut bars, freeze-dried blueberries & bananas & a chopped up That’s It Bar! I LOVE those fruit bars!
You may be wondering what those yummy looking chicken nuggets are in the photo? They are a recipe by my friend Michelle Hoover of Unbound Wellness! They’re so popular & I’ve made her other popper recipes which Grace has enjoyed! They need to be served with a little something-something and this Veggie Ketchup is perfect!
If you make the poppers, your babe (or you) will be getting 4 different vegetables in one sitting: sweet potato, butternut, carrots & beets… AND bone broth! That’s what they call a win-win-win-win! Get Michelle’s Sweet Potato Chicken Poppers recipe on her site!
Sweetener-free & no bake fudge made with almond butter & pumpkin then topped with flaked sea salt… fudgin’ amazing.
Hi healthy treat lovers! This will be my last blog recipe before Christmas, and it’s a gooooood one. I have 14 million fudge recipes on this website & I’ve thought long and hard about doing a healthy fudge ebook. Mostly for my own pleasure.
Real food fudge is just so much fun to make! You can combine fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and always flaked sea salt into something healthy, satisfying & decadent enough to take to parties.
I dubbed this fudge “hoarder-worthy” because you may not want to share. I recommend hiding your fudge in the vegetable drawer under something like Brussels sprouts. No one will find it.
No one looks in the vegetable drawer but you. I developed this handy trick once I met my husband who has never met a tray of cookies he can’t eat in one sitting.
This fudge is…
Sweetener-free – just a few softened Mejdool dates in this recipe!
Made with creamy, protein-rich almond butter. You can use any nut or seed butter though – even coconut butter!
Flavored with pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, pistachios and flaked sea salt!
Extra addicting because it’s drizzled with a sugar-free homemade chocolate made from cacao & coconut oil!
Almond Butter Pumpkin Pistachio Fudge
- 4 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup creamy almond butter
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, softened, divided
- 1 teaspoon Primal Palate Pumpkin Pie Spice or Cinnamon Sugar Cookie Spice
- 1/3 cup shelled pistachios
- 2 teaspoons cacao powder
- flaked sea salt
Place dates in a small bowl covered with water. Microwave for 30 seconds then drain.
In a food processor, combine dates, almond butter, pumpkin, 2 tablespoons coconut oil and spices until smooth.
Spoon mixture out onto a parchment-lined plate. Smooth and spread mixture with a rubber spatula until 1/2-inch thick. Sprinkle with pistachios and a generous amount of flaked sea salt.
Transfer to freezer and freeze for 2 hours until very firm.
Melt remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil in microwave. Stir in cacao powder. Drizzle over the fudge and watch it harden within a minute. Slice fudge into desired pieces. Store in freezer and let rest on countertop 10 minutes before serving. Fudge will be too soft if stored in fridge.
LOOKING FOR MORE HEALTHY PALEO FUDGE RECIPES?
TOLD YA I LIKE FUDGE!
One of my biggest passions in the women’s health community is to help educate and inform others about better-for-you and the environment skincare, makeup and household products.
Below you will find (3) easy safer skincare swaps to make over Thanksgiving weekend with the added bonus of free products & shipping!
We often think that just because something is safer to use, it’s not as effective. That is simply untrue. We have the research and resources in 2017 to create products that WORK but don’t cause a toxin overload in your body. You don’t have to be relegated to using coconut oil for everything – especially if you have specific skincare concerns that require more muscle.
For years, I didn’t use deodorant or foundation or fancy hair products because I thought I only had two options. Don’t use the toxic products lining drugstores and department store shelves OR use them. I didn’t know there were other options out there besides making my own products at home.
Honestly, making my own skincare products became pretty exhausting, and I found my skin looking less and less vibrant with my coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and jojoba routine. Fine lines around my eyes started popping up and vinegar wasn’t cutting it for breakouts.
Thankfully, I was introduced to a couple skincare & makeup lines I trust and love for their dedication to transparency and responsible ingredient sourcing.
I’m going to share with you how to swap out some of your go-to toxic products for safer versions that are effective and beautiful!
SWAP OUT YOUR BABY WASH
Newborns are already born with almost 300 toxins in their cord blood. If that statistic doesn’t knock you off your feet, then maybe the list of ingredients in America’s most popular baby wash will. Some of the below ingredients are considered safe like citric acid and glycerin but the large majority are associated with health concerns like immunotoxicity, allergies, organ system toxicity and eye irritations.
Johnson’s Baby Wash Contains: Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, PEG-150 Distearate, Glycerin, Polyquaternium-10, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance. EWG SKIN DEEP RATING: MODERATE HAZARD
Beautycounter’s Gentle All-Over Baby Wash is safe for even the most sensitive skin and contains a mix of plant-based ingredients and safe synthetic to cleanse your baby without stripping away moisture or adding a toxin load to their bathtime! All of Beautycounter’s products are EWG Verified which means they have been screened through the most rigorous standards for human and environmental safety standards.
SWAP OUT YOUR FOUNDATION
Foundation is a non-negotiable makeup item for many of us. It adds an extra dose of hydration, hides blemishes, dark spots, scars and unevenness and helps set our blush and bronzers. But many store-bought foundations like Dior Nude Air Serum contain ingredients that are illegal in Europe & Canada, have a high propensity towards allergic reactions & even have legal use restrictions in cosmetics. No thank you!
Beautycounter’s Tint Skin Foundation is a medium-coverage, lightweight foundation that gives your skin a luminous glow without looking or feeling oily. It provides buildable coverage so the first layer feels like a tint moisturizer and the second layer has the look of a thicker, high-coverage foundation. It is one of Beautycounter’s best-selling products for good reason & one I use everyday to even out my complexion.
Need help choosing your color? Use our FIND YOUR SHADE GUIDE!
SWAP OUT YOUR DEODORANT
Woo-wee, this is a big one if you are dedicated to leading a lower toxin lifestyle! Conventional deodorant contains a mix of ingredients like carcinogenic aluminum and hormone-disruptors that can be problematic, especially because they are applied directly on our armpit lymph nodes and near breast tissue.
Not to worry! PRIMALLY PURE has just released an updated version of their best-selling non-toxic deodorant (made with ingredients you can eat!) that is even more powerful than their old version! It stops more stink and controls wetness more than the old formula while still being suitable for sensitive skin!
Primally Pure’s BRAND NEW Charcoal Deodorant has an impressive list of non-toxic yet effective ingredients including kaolin clay and charcoal to help detox underarms and tallow and coconut oil to moisturize skin. A small amount of baking soda helps stop smell without causing irritation!