Cleanse Oily Facial Skin with Baking Soda and Coconut Oil
It's possible you have already read my article about cleaning your face organically and naturally using coconut oil—maybe you think that's all well and good for me, but what about you, my reader, who has naturally oily skin? Wouldn't oil only make it more...oily?
The answer is no! Oil actually dissolves oil; however, it may be that putting more oil on your face simply isn't something that people with oily skin are willing to do. And I understand. But do not fear! There are other alternatives to help you control your oily skin.
How to Make and Use a Cleanser with Baking Soda and Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil
Your main ingredients are baking soda and coconut oil. Follow this process for four weeks, and report back to me:
Baking Soda Facial Wash:
- Take your usual facial wash, mix it in your palms with a ½ to 1 full teaspoon of baking soda and apply to your face. (These measurements are guides; if you feel an amount is too much, or you're are hesitant about the method, start with 1/4 teaspoon. You may find it is all you need).
- Rub gently into your skin. If you scrub hard, your skin will hate you and over-produce more oils almost immediately. Baking soda is a natural, soft abrasive ingredient that will gently exfoliate your skin while absorbing excess oil and absorbing odors and contaminants hidden in the skin.
- Do this NO MORE than 3 times per week, with a free day in between. If you wish to use your normal face wash in between those days, that is fine, but I don't recommend it. Your face could use the time to rest and figure out what it wants.
- As the days and weeks go by, decrease the amount of facial wash you use while maintaining the amount of baking soda you use until you are using just baking soda. Eventually, you won't even need the baking soda.
- If you want to speed up the detox process, then immediately switch to solely using baking soda and water. Mix them together to create a paste and gently rub it over your face.
The greatest failure of the mainstream facial cleanser industry is misinforming the public about the skin's need for moisture. They often claim the only moisture your skin needs is more hydration through water—and that is partly true: you need water and your skin will love you if drink at least 40 ounces every day. But your skin needs oil as well; it is what makes skin work to be soft, supple, and to protect itself from the sun, the pollutants in the air, and the wrinkles we think we'll take gracefully.
Oily skin can be problematic, but your skin is oily because it is saying “Hey! Stop drying me out!”
After you wash with baking soda, your skin will feel squeaky clean and rosy pink; but it will also be dry and your skin will want to react by creating oil. As soon as you are out of the shower and HAVE NOT DRIED YOUR FACE, dip your fingertips in some extra-virgin coconut oil and rub over your face.
Extra-virgin coconut oil is a very light, anti-microbial oil loaded with vitamin E and omega 3's. The lightness of the oil and its exceptional properties make it a perfect replacement oil on your face. Your body absorbs it well and processes it cleanly while still allowing your pores to breathe and recognize that they need not overproduce their own oil.
Do not be skimpy with the coconut oil. Be sure to get to particular areas of your face that are less oily than normal and massage well. Not only does the massage feel good and promote good skin health, but the coconut oil smells delicious and soothing.
After about four weeks—or sooner if your skin is resilient and longer if your skin was particularly mistreated before—you will find that you no longer need face wash. A washcloth and water will be the perfect cleaning agents for your face, providing healthy hydration and a soft exfoliation to slough off any dead skin. The coconut moisturizer may still be a part of your routine until the oils in your face are well balanced and secure. This can take up to a year to achieve, but I am quite fine with that. Massaging my face with the sweet smell of a tropical island never hurt me!
Did You Know Skin Is Self-Cleaning?
Our skin is meant to have protective oils. As an organ, our skin is actually self-cleaning and the oils our body naturally produces through our pores acts to keep your face clean. But our current mainstream diets and cleaning supplies—which are wrought with chemicals and biology experiments—are not giving our biggest organ the opportunity to do its job. We think we know best, so we bombard it with the very stuff that clogs it: fatty foods, processed foods, pollutants in the air, facial washes, and moisturizers loaded with synthetic chemicals. What our skin really craves is to be clean, and to breathe, and to be able to do its job.
The facial washes on the market are all great; in fact, I have tried several that amazed me in the first week. After four weeks, however, my skin reacts viciously. Suddenly, it is too dry. Maybe my hormones intervened, maybe stress, maybe my skin had simply had enough of the chemicals. But when it becomes too dry, our skin produces excess oil in an attempt to balance it back out. And then, horror of horrors, when it becomes oily my face looks like the bumpy upper hills of an ant farm.
To get a good balance, use a cleanser with natural ingredients and use it sparingly. Once your skin detoxes, trust it to do what millions of years of evolution have prepared it for: cleaning itself.
More research has come out showing that food affects our skin more than we ever thought possible. The biggest culprits are dairy, an overabundance of soy, too much meat, and gluten. If you really want to see if your skin problems comes from food, it is worth it to eliminate these things from your diet for at least 8 weeks.
If you only want to try one and see what happens, I recommend cutting out the dairy. It is by far the biggest cause of acne, blemishes, rosacea, and even eczema. You may see results as soon as two weeks. Keep an eye out for hidden dairy, such as whey in bread products. Don't like the hassle? Then only look out for casein, a direct protein of dairy. Casein is found in strange places, such as in kielbasa. Speaking of meat, without cutting it out of your diet, you can instead go for pasture-fed, organic meat and limit your intake.
And as always, drink plenty of filtered water. It does more for you than just hydrate your skin. It also helps you shed water weight, gives you energy, and makes your lips kissably soft!
Do you do something similar? Use different oils? I started with olive oil, but found it was eventually too heavy and the smell wasn't my favorite. Some other people like jojoba oil or even safflower oil. I'd love to hear your own methods, and I would especially love to hear about your results! Please leave feedback or links to pictures if you detox your skin using this method.