Oil Cleansing – Should I do it?

Hello lovelies! I’d like to start today off with a little story time, and then move on to something educational. The story I have to tell is about my experience with oil cleansing and how I went from hating it to swearing by it.

First of all, if you don’t know what oil cleansing is, let me explain. Pretty much, it’s using straight up oil to wash your face rather than using commercially created facial cleansers. If your skincare journey was anything like mine, it was always shoved down your throat that people with oily skin should always use oil free products. So, reading about people washing their faces with straight up oil seemed crazy to me! But then I read about how well it worked for people and how it completely cleared up their skin, so I had to try it.

Now, all that everyone was saying was to use coconut oil mixed with baking soda for a cleanser and just coconut oil as a moisturizer. So I tried it.

I HATED it and so did my skin.

When you switch to oil cleansing, your skin goes through a kind of detox where it gets rid of all the toxins and chemicals and buildup from the commercial cleansers. So, your face looks like whitehead city for about 2 weeks and then it clears up. I had read about that before I started my new regimen, and I was prepared for my skin to do that. BOY did it detox. But then 2 weeks went by and it looked the same, and then 3 weeks, and 4 weeks… My skin was the worst it had ever been. It was crazy oily and the original breakout just got worse.

While my skin was freaking out and I  was freaking out, I did some research about what I was actually doing to my face and why it wasn’t working. There’s actually a lot of science behind oil cleansing and a lot more options than just coconut oil.

Carrier oils, such as coconut, olive, jojoba, and avocado oil, have many factors to them that can determine whether or not you can use them on your skin, but one of those most important factors is the content of linoelic acid vs oleic acid.

Linoleic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid and an omega-6 fatty acid. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid and an omega-9 fatty acid. All you need to know about that is that these are good fats for your body, but depending on your skin, the oil you use should be higher in one than the other. Oily, acne-prone skin is typically high in oleic acid and low in linoleic acid. When your skin is low in linoleic acid, it causes thick and sticky sebum that clogs pores and, therefore, causes breakouts.

SO, the takeaway is, if you have oily acne-prone skin, then you’ll want to use an oil that is high in linoleic acid and low in oleic acid. If you have dry skin, you’ll want to use an oil that is high in oleic acid and low in linoleic acid. If you have combination skin, then you’re going to have to experiment and see what will work best for your skin. Either way, everyone has to experiment and figure out what oil is going to work best for their skin!

So now, let me give you the breakdown of different oils and what their ratio of oleic vs linoleic acid is.

Oils High in Linoleic Acid

Safflower Oil: Oleic-8-30% Linoleic-68-85%

Black Cumin Seed Oil: Oleic-22.6% Linoleic-55.6%

Hemp Seed Oil: Oleic-10.71% Linoleic-56.48%

Evening Primrose Oil: Oleic-8.4% Linoleic-72.6%

Pumpkin Seed Oil: Oleic-23.3% Linoleic-57.2%

Rosehip Seed Oil: Oleic-13.9% Linoleic-57.2%

Grape Seed Oil: Oleic-16.2% Linoleic-44.1%

Soybean Oil: Oleic-22.7% Linoleic-52.9%

Wheat Germ Oil: Oleic-12.1% Linoleic-58.4% (This oil is highly unrecommended because it’s crazy high on the comedogenic (pore-clogging) list.)

Sesame Oil: Oleic-39.21% Linoleic-45.69%

Pomegranate Oil: Oleic-6.2% Linoleic-7.1%

Kukui Nut Oil: Oleic-25.4% Linoleic-39.8%

Castor Oil: Oleic-3.93% Linoleic-4.32% (This is probably not the best oil to use with your skin but it has many great benefits for the rest of your body!)

Oils High in Oleic Acid

Avocado Oil: Oleic-63% Linoleic-9.8%

Apricot Kernel Oil: Oleic-64.2% Linoleic-28.3%

Hazelnut Oil: Oleic-79.2% Linoleic-12%

Shea Nut Oil: Oleic-73.15% Linoleic-13.71%

Macadamia Oil: Oleic-53.8% Linoleic-1.8%

Sea Buckthorn Oil: Oleic-28.4% Linoleic-6.8%

Olive Oil: Oleic-55.28% Linoleic-17.84%

Sweet Almond Oil: Oleic-66.6% Linoleic-24.8%

Palm Fruit Oil: Oleic-41% Linoleic-9.5%

Coconut Oil (refined): Oleic-4.39% Linoleic-0.95% (coconut oil is also high on the comedogenic list)

Coconut Oil (unrefined): Oleic-5-10% Linoleic-1-2.5

Argan Oil: Oleic-42-48% Linoleic-30-38%

Tamanu Oil: Oleic-41.4% Linoleic-29.7%

Flaxseed Oil: Oleic-21% Linoleic-16%

Jojoba Oil: Oleic-5-15% Linoleic-5%

So there you go! As you can see, coconut oil is not only super high on the comedogenic list, but it has virtually no linoleic acid, not good for my skin.

To be completely honest, the first time I looked at this list I was like, okay?? What now? And I picked a random oil off the list and luckily, it worked amazingly!

I have been oil cleansing for a little over 2 years now. First, the horrific experience with coconut oil, and then when I discovered this list from minimalistbeauty.com, I chose pumpkin seed oil, and never looked back! Now I also use a spray that has grapeseed oil in it and my skin is beautiful. Still oily but definitely less so and my acne completely cleared up. I only get breakouts now when it’s near the time for getting my period!

This is what the 4 ounce bottle of pumpkin seed oil looks like and this lasts me about 6 months!


So now that you’ve seen the list and have picked an oil to try, I recommend going to mountainroseherbs.com to buy. This is the only place I’ve ever bought my oils. This company is AMAZING and prides itself on sustainability, I highly recommend purchasing from them.

When you get your oil, the best way to wash your face with it, is by steaming your face first for 15 minutes or so to open up your pores, and then by just washing. If you’re like me and don’t have time for that everyday, you can try washing your face in the shower after you’ve been in there for a couple minutes. You can also use a little bit as a moisturizer but I don’t personally like doing that.

And that’s it! If you’ve found an oil that works well for you, your skin should be hydrated,  supple, and bright all the time. Hopefully, if you’re suffering from acne, your skin will clear up as well!

Let me know your experiences with oil cleansing or if you’re willing to give it a try now!

Love and light,



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