This summer I shared my new hair cleansing routine, the No-Poo Method as well as my recipe for super cheap (read: pennies per load) homemade laundry soap. Well, I’m happy to report that I’m still practicing at least one out of the two: The Homemade Laundry Soap lives on and is working quite well for us. John has even mentioned how fresh and clean our clothes have been, so we’ll be sticking to it for now.
The No-Poo Method, however, died a few weeks ago. I went two months strong with NO shampoo and NO conditioner - a sheer miracle for this grease ball – opting instead for baking soda and apple cider vinegar washes as “shampoo” and “conditioner” respectively.
While I did find that my hair was fresh, clean, more voluminous and produced less oil, what didn’t work for me was the tangling issue. I have long, fine hair that’s been highlighted several times and has left my ends brittle and tangly. I gave it plenty of time and employed numerous methods to get around the issue (less baking soda, brushing my hair before showering, using the vinegar wash on all of my hair). It didn’t matter how much apple cider vinegar rinse I put in my hair, it just wouldn’t comb out. It was literally a 10-minute process just to get a paddle brush through all of my hair and even then I couldn’t get a brush from root to end.
Needless to say, the No-Poo method is a great, natural hair cleansing method for some people, it just isn’t for me. But the good news is my hair has still been producing noticeably less oil since starting no-poo and though I’m back to using traditional shampoo and conditioner (Pantene and Fructis) I’ve only been washing every other day, no exceptions. For now, I’m happy with this routine.
Another fun hair tip for my fitness friends? My friend Lisa told me that the day after shampooing, she just blow dries her hair after working out instead of washing it again. Even though your scalp is technically sweaty, the blow dry airs it out and freshens it up and even leaves your hair’s texture in a better state for styling. I gave it a try myself a couple times and must admit it works pretty well. For the most part though, I stick to shampoo/conditioning every other day (no matter how sweaty my scalp gets on the second day – hello top knots and messy buns!).
OK, onto the Oil Cleansing Method. I heard about this from Tsh at Simple Mom and was absolutely intrigued.
I’ve had mildly troublesome skin ever since my freshman year in college – oily skin, occasional breakouts, blackheads almost all of the time. Like most girls with similar skin issues, I’ve tried just about everything out there to stabilize my skin and keep it clear: Proactive, clean and clear, retin-a, Neutrogena washes, masks, scrubs, etc. The last method I tried was using sulphur-containing medicated wipes from my dermatologist. But realistically, I don’t want to spend the money on those wipes as they’re quite expensive, or pay for semi-annual trips to a dermatologist. Plus, they contain sulphur; I just don’t feel comfortable with that in the longterm.
So with that being said, I started using the Oil Cleansing Method about 2 months ago and have been faithfully doing so ever since. For a brief explanation of why using oil on your skin is healthier than soapy, chemical-based washes, read Tsh’s original post. Based off of her recommendations, here’s how I went about implementing the oil cleansing method into my routine.
Because my skin is on the oily side, I do a mixture of 2.5 Tablespoons castor oil (read about castor oil here and here) and 1.5 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Then I add a few drops of tea tree oil as it’s supposed to help with breakouts. If you have drier skin, use more olive oil and less castor. Normal skin types should go for a 1:1 ratio.
At night on dry skin with my makeup still on, I pour about a teaspoon (quarter-sized amount) of oil onto my palm, rub my hands together and then start massaging it all over my skin and eyes. It’s important not to “scrub” and instead focus on gently massaging it all over your skin.
Next, I run a clean washcloth under hot (not scalding) water, ring it out, and quickly place it over my face and let it steam for about a minute. Then, I rinse and wring the cloth and proceed to gently wipe off all of the oil (and eye makeup) from my face. It should feel clean but not over-dried – you don’t need to go over areas more than once maybe twice.
Because olive oil has the same pH balance as human skin, it’s really an ideal moisturizer, meaning you don’t need to add any additional moisturizer after cleansing. If I have any trouble spots, I’ll dot the blemish with a little tea tree oil or Clean & Clear On-the-Spot Treatment with salicylic acid. This usually clears it right up.
Though it’s only recommended to do the Oil Cleansing Method at night and simply rinse with water in the morning, I work out most mornings and don’t feel comfortable going without washing before applying my makeup. So I lightly wash with Olay Total Effects 7-1 Anti Aging Blemish Cleanser followed by an oil-free moisturizer that’s supposed to help with breakouts that I found at Target. It’s a good routine for now and I have very minimal breakouts as a result. Plus, I feel like my skin has a bit more “glow” and dewiness to it, which I love.
To help with blackheads (which I tend to get in my T-zone) I simply use a baking soda paste. Every few days while washing my face in the morning with the Olay wash, I simply tap my finger in some baking soda a few times and dot it on my forehead, nose and chin. Then, I scrub lightly for about a minute, rinse it off and apply my moisturizer.
This little trick has helped keep my skin noticeably clearer even when I lean in close to the mirror to really examine my skin.
Sorry for the long-winded post, but I suppose there was much to say! If you have any questions, suggestions, tips or otherwise, please share them below! I always love hearing about what methods work for other people and how I can make improvements to my own skin care routine.