Oil Cleansing Method






SELF DIAGNOSIS – I have long thought I had rosacea on my cheeks and then, for a time, thought it was eczema which I get quasi regularly. But my sister helped me figure out that I more than likely had keratosis pilaris on my cheeks.  Basically it’s an excess of keratin that is trapped under the skin.  Keratin is made of skin cells, fat and sebum (skin oil).  So it made complete sense to me that an oil cleansing method (like dissolves like) would work…which it has.  Exfoliating is critical as well in order to reduce any buildup.  Additionally, ensuring that the skin is as moisturized as possible helps considerably because those patches tend towards dryness and that can make it worse


I will say that almost all of the online recommendations start with Castor Oil mixed with something else more common like olive oil or sunflower oil.  I also started that way, Castor & Avocado….but I didn’t feel that it was the right combination for me and I decided to experiment with higher quality products.  I found the Castor oil extremely drying and I found the Avocado too heavy…but it was a good intro to the process, definitely and I did see results in the first week, even with that basic formulation.  In the second week I moved to a combo of Sweet Almond Oil and Jojoba for cleansing and Jojoba for moisturizing, both mixed with different essential oils.  My current recipes are still being tweaked as I work out what is right for my skin.  If you are wanting to try the Oil Cleansing Method, you definitely do not need to work in the essential oils, I just chose to give my skin a little extra boost.

W3 Right Side


Lavender: for everything. Oily, dry, flaky, sensitive, promotes hair growth, reduces hair loss, calming.  If you have it, lavender helps/fixes it.  Seriously.  Everything.

Litsea Cubeba: mildly astringent so suitable for acne/oily, uplifting, relieves fatigue, reduces anxiety (can be drying, use in moderation)

Sandalwood 10%: moisturizing & soothing so suitable for dry skin, calming,

Basil: anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, brightens skin & hair, calming, increases blood circulation

Geranium: astringent, reduces inflammation & irritation, improves circulation, speeds healing, cicatrizing (helps scars & spots fade & vanish), promotes hair growth, reduces hair loss

Helichrysum **: antiseptic, anti-microbial, cicatrizing, anti-inflammatory, stimulates new skin tissue growth, calming, soothing to skin, fades redness, soothes dryness

** helichrysum is considered a “precious oil” and as such it is extremely expensive (ranging from $125-$350 for 5ml depending on where you look).  The aromatherapy place in my local mall sells it to me by the drop, $0.68 per drop.

Witch Hazel: not an essential oil but distilled from plants; anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, decreases oil, gently astringent, reduces eye puffiness, constricts blood vessels thereby reducing redness, tightens pores, locks in moisture and very importantly to me, eases eczema!


There are a jillion essential oils out there, some brands are better than others and the cost varies.  Not being an expert, I basically researched various oils and made a combination that I felt could work for my skin issues. Basically I figured, “can’t hurt”.  I have a couple different anti-inflammatories and anti-bacterials, a couple that work for oily skin and a couple that are more for dry skin.  Fortunately for me, my particular combinations also happen to smell quite lovely!

W3 Left Side


Truth be told, this was a little pricey to start out, I’m going to estimate approximately $75-$100.  But I will also estimate that all the separate ingredients will last anywhere from 6 – 8 months or longer and in the case of the bottles/pots, they’ll basically last forever or until I break them.


  • Jojoba oil, 125ml, $20
  • Sweet Almond Oil, 125ml, $15
  • Essential Oils, 5ml, $5-$8 (litsea, basil, geranium, sandalwood, lavender, helichrysum ($0.68/drop)
  • Bentonite Clay, 2oz, $4
  • Witch Hazel Distillate, 125ml, $8
  • 2 4oz glass bottles w/ droppers, 1 2oz pot, 1 4oz spray bottle $10
  • WHAT ELSE IS HELPING? I haven’t worn makeup since July 11th which I feel can only have helped and I’m starting to feel more confident and accepting of my makeup-free face, especially now that my skin is evening out.  I use a bentonite clay mask once a week for deep detox (bentonite clay mixed with ACV until it’s spreadable, left to dry for 20-30 minutes and then rinsed off) and I very lightly brush baking soda mixed with water or my cleansing oil over my face one morning a week (as far from bentonite day as possible) to help slough off any dead or drying skin.  I try very hard not to touch my face…which is much easier now that my skin is less itchy and irritated.
  • THE PROCESS Every other day before bed (or every day if I’m noticing increased redness or irritation), I do a complete oil cleanse.  Massage the cleansing oil into dry skin for two minutes.  You need to open your pores to let the cleansing oil in to adhere with the “pore gunk” so you can get rid of it, but a hot cloth (as per most of the internet directions) against my face seemed like a bad idea.  So I run a sinkful of very hot tap water, put a towel over my head and, after the first 2 minute oil massage, I steam my face for 2 minutes.  Then I repeat the massage for 2 more minutes and then remove the oil gently with a warm, wet face cloth.  This is followed up by a very cold face cloth right against my skin which feels SO good!  Once the cold cloth is done I gently wipe on Witch Hazel with a little cotton pad and then pat on a good amount of my moisturizing oil and then go to bed.  In the morning I run my wet hands over my face, pat my face dry, repeat the Witch Hazel and then pat on a teensy bit of the moisturizing oil.  That’s it!  As above, there
Bentonite has amazing toxin-drawing properties!

Bentonite has amazing toxin-drawing properties!

  • BENEFITS So far I’ve noticed that my skin feels….more normal and even.  Regular. Not oily.  Not particularly dry.  It looks clearer and the redness and bumps on my cheeks are steadily decreasing.  I didn’t have a huge “detox” reaction which some people notice, I got around 7-10 pimples over the course of a month that I would not normally get in spots that I would not normally see them so I assume that was my detox.  I noticed that by the end of the day I do not have oily patches at my temples or around my nose like I normally would, my whole face is uniform and balanced looking.  I have noticed that my periods of angry-redness are much fewer and further between and the redness in my cheeks seems less and less disturbed by contact with anything.  Before, I would barely brush my cheek and it would flare up and now, nothing.

W3 Front

WHAT SUCKS? Err…nothing?  The number of washcloths that I go through? Seriously though, it’s a really simple and uncomplicated procedure with no chemicals and no obligation towards huge pharmaceutical companies that may or may not be ethically led and which spend millions on advertising to tell you that you aren’t good enough as you are, you NEED their products to live a full and enriched life (sorry, stepping off soap box).

Long post, sorry.


30+ Hour Bone Broth

Once again, the summary is at the top!

SUMMARY Get bones from butcher, properly raised animals…bones are cheap!  Get feet too! Roast them for 30 minutes if you want, not required. Put bones, carrot, celery, garlic, S&P, onion in the crock.  Fill with water. Lid on, low temp, come back in 24 hours.  Put broth through a mesh strainer into jars. Leave headroom.  Let cool.  Freeze.  Drink daily.  Try to heat on the stove rather than the microwave…you just spent the better part of 30 hours slow-cooking it, better not to nuke all the delicate nutrients!

I welcome my sister’s input on this topic as she has been creating bone broth for longer than I have.  I avoided getting involved in bone broth for…..what, 4 years now?  Obviously in my travels of the paleo/grain free blogosphere, I’ve read about the many wonderful benefits of bone broth and tried to put it out of my head.  For a few reasons.  First, I knew that I could not make bone broth with conventionally raised animal bones but I did not want to source properly raised bones.  Second, I thought it would be a shittone of work.  Third, I didn’t want to only do it for myself (this one I could explain to you but it would take paragraphs).  Fourth, I didn’t think I would like it, and finally, I didn’t want to spend an assload of money on mason jars to store it.

So….at a good quality butcher about 5 months ago (first hold up eliminated!), I purchased chicken bones (called a rack), a tray of feet and a tray of gizzards.  Threw them in the deep freeze and tried to forget about them.  I even tried to give them to my sister but she wouldn’t take them.  A little under a month ago, with a weekend totally to myself and a deep freeze full to bursting, I decided to get those bones turned into broth.  I texted my sister for her recipe (my modified recipe below) and fired up the crockpot.  I wasn’t fully committed to the process yet and so I basically half-assed it and broke 3 carrots in half, broke 3 celery stalks in half, cut an onion in half, poured in some ACV and a handful of coarse salt and peppercorns, tossed a full bunch of whole parsley in and filled the rest of the space with water.  Turned it on low and walked away. That was Friday night.  By Saturday morning it had turned into The Nectar of The Gods.  And….in that first mug, holdups number two and four were blasted.  No work whatsoever and delicious!  I think that weekend I drank about a litre of it myself….just kept dipping into the crockpot and replacing what I took off with more water.

Now that I had a giant crockpot full of this stuff I had to figure out storage.  A little voice in the back of my head reminded me that I’d seen some mason jars way in the back of the garage in a dusty, cobwebby, broken down old box.  Ray’s ex-wife used to do a lot of canning and those jars were leftovers from many years gone by.  Mine now!  Once I knocked the (enormous) spider carcasses out of them and ran them through the dishwasher, I realized I had at least a dozen 1 litre jars and another dozen 500ml jars.  I bought some sealer lids for about $10 and the final holdup was gone.  Part of the jar issue was also where to store the filled jars so I basically evicted everything old and freezer burned from our fridge freezer and moved the broth in.  Easy access to pull a jar every day and easy to see what stock is there.

All that was left was my desire to get Ray on board.  For the first week I heated it up in the mornings and took it to work with me, offering to make him some every other day or so.  The second week, when I’d acquired pig bones and feet (which Ray was interested in seeing/learning about), I poured him a mug the evening it was done cooking and he’s been a broth hound ever since.  I chalk it up to not pestering, to answering questions as they arose and his relative interest in the process.  Plus, the house smells so good when it’s cooking!  The only thing he did ask me to do for him is to skim the fat until he gets used to that texture and the fact that conventional wisdom is BS.  Can do, buddy!

So, want a recipe?  SO easy.  We like chicken the best but the pork is good also.  When the pork bones/feet are all used up next weekend I’ll get some beef bones and a calf’s foot and I will try my hand at a beef broth.

My crockpot is huge, adjust your bones/veg accordingly.


For every batch I use:

3# bones, feet, gizzards, skin, tendons etc, roasted 30 minutes at 400F first if you want

3-4 carrots

3-4 celery

3-4 smashed garlic cloves

1-2 yellow onions depending on their size (no onion peel, makes broth bitter!)

3 bay leaves (from my bay plant)

a palmful of coarse salt

a palmful of peppercorns

about ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 head of fennel (use the top green part) or dried fennel seeds

a few sprigs of fresh rosemary

About 2 tbsp each dried thyme leaves (not powder) and dried rosemary leaves in the chicken one.  A sprinkle of sage if you have it

A bunch of parsley (I don’t use parsley anymore, I don’t like the aroma it gives the broth, but most recipes will call for it)

My sister uses a dried chile and I know recipes call for star anise which I don’t have but want to get


I run the crockpot on Low for around 26-30 hours before straining and jarring.  With the pork bones I bottled about half after 20 hours and then replaced what I drew off with more water and cooked another 12 hours.  If I’d had time that weekend I would have let the second incarnation go for longer because it seemed to be getting even richer in the second round.  My sister does a remouillage (a weak stock made by re-simmering bones that have already been used to make stock once) after she’s done jarring the main brew and then she uses that in place of/in addition to water in the next week’s simmer.  I don’t do that but I can understand why it would be preferable!

My broth never gels.  I’m not too concerned with that since we also take a gelatin supplement every day. I suspect I’m not using enough bones/feet for the size of my crockpot since I get an “almost” gel every time, but the flavour I get is good and the bones are basically paste when I’m done so as far as I care, I’m getting maximum nutrition from them.  We have our broth in the evenings, around 8pm as a nice wind down for the day.  I like going to bed with a broth tummy and whether it has anything to do with it or not, I have been sleeping great.  As much as I don’t want to wish my life away, I’m looking forward to broth in the winter and I think we’ll go through more of it after walks and outings in the cold….which is good because winter = cold/flu season and broth = nature’s elixir.

I usually let the jars sit out until they have cooled and are only warm to the touch, then I cap and freeze (leave an inch of headspace at least to prevent explosions).  Food-safety wise, I should probably cool in the fridge before freezing…but I don’t have room so I don’t worry about it.  I always refrigerate one jar which is the next day’s dose….mainly to see if it gelled or not.  Usually “not” or “barely”.

That’s it.  Bones, crock, time, jars.