Oil Cleansing For Beginners with May Lindstrom Skin

The idea of washing your face with oil might be mildly (to extremely) terrify, especially if you have oily, combination or acne prone skin. The aversion is completely understandable but before you dismiss this highly effective cleansing method on name alone, let's talk about sebum and basic chemistry.

What is sebum?
If you have experienced or still experience acne, it's likely you're familiar with sebum. For those who don't know, sebum is an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. These glands are found all over our bodies (with the exception of the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet) and they exist in abundance on our chins and foreheads. Sebum is essential for skin to function properly: it prevents too much water from getting in our pores and retains necessary moisture.

While sebum keeps skin healthy and hydrated, too much sebum can cause breakouts, acne and an overall oily complexion. It makes sense to think that washing away the excess oil would prevent breakouts, but that's only a temporary fix given that sebum production occurs underneath the skin's surface. Stripping your skin of sebum can lead to dry and cracked skin. Our amazing bodies will also try to compensate for the lack of sebum by producing - you guessed it - more sebum. The key is not to strip your skin (prompting the sebaceous glands to work overtime), but to balance your complexion - nourishing skin while also removing dirt, debris, excess oil and other nasty things that cause breakouts.


So how do we penetrate the protective barrier that sebum creates without stripping it all away and sending our sebaceous glands into overdrive? Ready for some basic (and I mean basic) chemistry?

Sebum is only able to create this protective layer because it's made up of fats, which do not dissolve in water. According to the solvent principle of "like dissolves like," it turns out that the best thing to dissolve oil is oil.

Oil cleansing is the best way to remove dirt and excess oil. This cleansing method dissolves the oil that has collected impurities and hardened in your pores without leaving your skin even remotely greasy. All you need is a clean wash cloth, hot water and, of course, a great oil cleanser. Even though it seems counter-intuitive, oil cleansing is the best way to keep skin nourished, moisturized and balanced.

Now that you're inspired to start a new skincare ritual all you need is a good oil cleanser. Something that has the right combination of oils and a scent that will have you looking forward to washing your face. One of the oil cleansers we're loving right now is The Pendulum Potion by May Lindstrom Skin.


May Lindstrom Skin has some truly luxurious products: the smell of The Jasmine Garden is pure bliss and The Honey Mud is both decadent and delicately floral. The Pendulum Potion is just as exquisite. It combines some familiar ingredients (macadamia seed oil, avocado oil, plum kernel oil, sweet orange peel oil) with some not so familiar ingredients. Here's a list of the more exotic Pendulum Potion ingredients that you may or may not have heard of:

Tamanu Oil: Native to Tahiti, the Tamanu tree produces green fruit which contains nuts. These nuts are packed with fatty acids and have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, moisturizing and healing properties. They also have naturally occurring UV protectant properties and were used in ancient Polynesia for mild sun protection.

Camellia Oil or Tea Seed Oil: Extracted from camellia sinensis (the tea plant), this oil has antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Balsam of Peru Oil: Balsam of Peru Oil is not globally exported on the same level as most popular essential oils. It's extracted from the Myroxylon tree, native to Central and South America. Another anti-inflammatory, the smell of this essential oil - a mix of vanilla and cinnamon with a hint of clove - can help reduce stress and anxiety.

The Pendulum Potion also doubles a body oil - just apply to damp skin immediately following a shower, or drizzle it into bath water, or wear it throughout the day for a subtle, grounding perfume.

You can shop the Pendulum Potion here and check out the rest of the May Lindstrom Skin products here.


Oil Cleansing with the Pendulum Potion 

The Ritual: After shaking bottle, distribute 4-6 pumps into palms. Press into dry skin, then wet hands and gently massage. Follow by cocooning a warm, steamy face towel over face and neck, gently sweeping upwards. Hold, rinse and repeat until skin is soft and cleansed.
The Result: Revel in a complexion that is nourished, restored and thoroughly fed.



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