Get That Pregnancy Glow With… Oil?!?!

oil for skin care
Image via Jennifer Bruno

My skin has been a source of frustration most of my adult life.  It’s the billboard boasting all of my hormonal hiccups, usually in the form of cystic acne and pores the size of pancakes.  Following my first miscarriage, my skin went berzerk.  My hormones waged an all out war, and my skin took a beating.  

The acne was so intense my entire face was swollen and inflamed.  It hurt to even place my face on my pillow at night.  The pain of my miscarriage kept me glued to my apartment for nearly a week, and venturing to the drugstore to find a solution for my skin seemed impossible.  

Thankfully, I have wise friends.

After hearing my hopeless complaints, two of my best girlfriends recommended the oil cleansing method (OCM)- as in clean your face with… oil.

Whuh?!?!

However strange, my feelings of desperation and perceived agoraphobia left me open minded.

The success lies in knowing the type of skin you have (dry, oily, aging, acne prone, etc.), and then mixing the appropriate oils to combat your condition.  That’s what makes using the OCM while pregnant so beautiful.

I began researching OCM only to find testimonial after testimonial about it’s success.  Still a skeptic about putting oil on top of my already greasy face, I gave it a shot.  

Life. Changing.

And even more life changing once I got pregnant.

 Using oil to cleanse your face helps dissolve the dirty oils on your skin and then replaces them with new, clean oils.

 Here’s how it works.

Oil dissolves oil.    

It’s science, y’all.

Your face, regardless of how dry it may seem, secretes oil.  Your skin needs these oils and by stripping them with normal everyday cleaners, your body’s natural reaction is to attempt to replenish the oils you removed.  By doing so, you create an icky, pore clogging, skin suffocating scenario.  Using oil to cleanse your face helps dissolve the dirty oils on your skin and then replaces them with new, clean oils.

The best part is once you’ve determined the oils most necessary for your skin type, you will no longer have to buy additional products.  Simply keep those oils on hand and adjust the ratios of your mix to battle your fluctuating pregnant skin. 

I know, I thought it was nuts at first too.  

The success lies in knowing the type of skin you have (dry, oily, aging, acne prone, etc.), and then mixing the appropriate oils to combat your condition.  That’s what makes using the OCM while pregnant so beautiful.  As your hormones change, so will your skin.  Rather than buying a new product aimed to resolve trimester-specific skin woes, simply adjust your oil mixture.

Start with castor oil.  It’s natural anti inflammatory properties make it a great base.  It’s also the “drying” agent.  It’s the workhorse combating oily skin problems.  The oilier your skin tends to be, the more castor oil should added into your formula.  If you tend to be drier, use less.  Adjust the ratio of castor oil to suit your needs.  

Olive oil is another versatile oil.  It provides moisture, nourishes, and also helps heal your skin.  In many cases, a mixture of olive oil and castor oil will do the trick, however, if your skin requires something extra, you can experiment with adding other oils until you obtain the result you want.

Jojoba, grapeseed, and tea tree oils are said to be effective with more oily and/or acne prone skin (a little tea tree oil goes a long way, so just a few drops should do), while avocado and apricot kernel oil are said to work well on dry and/or aging skin.

The best part is once you’ve determined the oils most necessary for your skin type, you will no longer have to buy additional products.  Simply keep those oils on hand and adjust the ratios of your mix to battle your fluctuating pregnant skin.  

Before I was pregnant, I used a mix of approximately 85% castor oil, 13% olive oil, and 2% tea tree oil.  As my skin took on the pregnancy glow, I backed off the castor oil and increased the olive oil ratio.  After I had my baby, my acne flared up again, so I added a few extra drops of tea tree oil.  (I use a small travel tube to mix my oils, so I’m able to change it up as needed without ever having to waste a large supply.)

Make sense?

Now that we know how to make our “cleanser”, how the heck do we use it?

Start by squeezing a dime sized amount of your oil onto your fingertips and massage the oils into your skin.  No need to wet your skin or remove any makeup beforehand.  The oil does the work.  Once you’ve massaged it into your skin, wet a washcloth with hot (but tolerable) water.  Place the cloth over your face and allow the steam to open your pores.  I let the cloth rest on my face until it cools to room temperature.  From there, I simply wipe my face removing all the makeup and dirt.  If your skin feels oily, rinse your wash cloth and wipe again.  

Simple as that.

I use a light moisturizer afterwards, but your skin may receive all the moisture it needs from the OCM, so play it by ear.  Do not use additional toners or astringents, as they strip the oils, thus defeating the wisdom of the OCM.

Not only has the OCM kept my skin from having another freak-out, it’s cheap, flexible, and environmentally friendly.  What more could an expectant mother want?

Cheers to you, your baby, and your beautiful skin!

What skin problems have you/did you experience(d) during pregnancy?

What do you think?

Get That Pregnancy Glow With… Oil?!?!

Jennifer Bruno is a credentialed trainer by day and a freelance writer and aspiring photographer by night. Raised in rural Kansas, Jen moved to sunny Florida after college where she met her husband, who married her despite hearing her sing Dixie Chicks karaoke. Shortly after saying “I do”, they moved to New York City to fulfill their dream of living amongst the bright lights and skyscrapers. They currently share their cramped apartment with two modelesque miniature dachshunds named Millie an ... More

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4 comments

  1. sounds interesting will have to try

  2. Profile photo of Melanie DenneyEditor Melanie Denney says:

    I am so happy you to know that OCM works for you! I use coconut oil to clean my face, and as a moisturizer. It has done wonders for my skin.

  3. Profile photo of Phammom Phammom says:

    I’ve not really had any.

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