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Why Sleep is Important for the Health of your Skin

Why Sleep is Important for the Health of your Skin

Marion O'Leary | February 3, 2021

We’ve talked about the link between sleep and health before (read it here). Poor sleep can upset your hormones, compromise your immune system, increase your risk of gaining weight, damage your DNA and elevate your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. So if you’re feeling guilty about that afternoon nap or weekend sleep in – don’t!

The bottom line is that a good night’s sleep is important for the health of our whole bodies. However, we thought it would be interesting to look more closely at how lack of sleep affects the health of our skin. Here’s what we found.


One study showed that just a few nights of poor sleep slowed down the skin’s ability to restore a damaged skin barrier. This was thought to be caused to a compromised immune system, which is key to the healing and regeneration of damaged tissues (1).


 Likewise, a few night’s sleep deprivation reduced the skin’s hydration, altered its pH, reduced elasticity and upset the normal shedding of dead skin cells (2) 


 Chronic sleep deprivation (less than 5 hours sleep per night) was found to result in more rapid ageing of the skin. What’s more, when compared to those who slept well (7-9 hours per night), the skin of poor sleepers was less able to recover from stresses like a damaged skin barrier or redness caused by exposure to UV light. People who slept poorly also felt less happy with their appearance (3).


 Finally, a study showed that when we are sleep-deprived, others see us as less attractive and less healthy. It also makes others less inclined to want to socialise with us (4). 


 Some scientists believe that sleep deprivation in society is so common that we are experiencing a public health epidemic as a result. Causes include work and school stresses, increased use of mobile devices and other factors (5).  

 We talked about proven methods to enhance your sleep in our earlier blog. Boosting your melatonin naturally, reducing anxiety, taking regular exercise, consuming the right foods before bed, avoiding caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bed, and establishing a calm night-time routine are all key.


A good night’s sleep will improve your skin’s ability to repair damaged cells, secrete accumulated waste products and regenerate cells and tissues after the stresses of the day. Switching to Mokosh for your night time skin routine will boost your skin’s ability to perform these vital functions, so that you wake up each morning looking and feeling like a million dollars. Here’s what we recommend for the ultimate night time routine for your best skin ever: 


Make it easy for your skin to secrete waste by removing makeup, and cleansing the skin of the pollutants it has absorbed throughout the day. Our Makeup Remover & Cleansing Oil will efficiently remove makeup and cleanse the pores, without the use of detergents that can upset the skin’s barrier function. It also delivers high levels of beta-carotene, vitamin E, antioxidants and other oil-soluble phytonutrients that will feed your skin while you sleep.


Remove dead skin cells, cellular debris and excess sebum by performing a micro-exfoliation with our Facial Cleanser, Exfoliator & Mask. This will leave the skin fresh and clear, ready to absorb your nutrient-dense moisturiser to follow. It will also deliver water-soluble antioxidants including vitamins B and C, humectants, anti-inflammatories and collagen-boosting hydroxyacids.


 Restore your skin’s pH and deliver skin calming botanicals with a spray of our Pure Hydrosol Toner. Make without alcohols or preservatives, it is a pure blend of hydrosols of damask rose and lemon balm that will soothe and calm the skin.


 Deliver your powerhouse superfood moisturiser. Choose from one of our Beauty Serums (Elderberry for oily/combination or Raspberry for normal/dry/mature) or Face Creams (RichLight or Pure Face & Body). For an extra nutrient boost apply Beauty Serum and top with a Face Cream. Because our moisturisers contain no emulsifiers or preservatives, they will not interfere with your skin’s barrier function (emulsifiers are detergents), and will not disturb your skin’s microbiome (preservatives will change your skin’s bacterial population). They will deliver essential fatty acids and a range of vitamins, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory molecules that will work with your body’s metabolism to repair your skin overnight.


 Get an early night and enjoy the bliss of a perfect night’s sleep!



1. Smith, T.J et al (2018) Impact of sleep restriction on local immune response and skin barrier restoration with and without “multinutrient” nutrition intervention. Journal of Applied Physiology.

2. Leger, D. et al (2019) Acute sleep deprivation: consequences on healthy face skin. A non-invasive instrumental investigation. Sleep Vol 42, Issue Supplement 1. 

3. Oyetakin-White, P. et al (2015) Does poor quality sleep affect skin ageing? Clin Exp Dermatol 40 (1): 17-22

4. Sundelin, T. et al (2017) Negative effects of restricted sleep on facial appearance and social appeal. R. Soc. Open Sci. 4 (5): 160918.

5. Chattu, V,K. et al (2018)  Insufficient sleep syndrome: is it time to claffify it as a major noncommunicable disease? Sleep Sci. 11(2): 56-64

A Luxurious Organic Stay-at-Home Spa Treatment – Part 1

A Luxurious Organic Stay-at-Home Spa Treatment – Part 1

Marion O'Leary | November 25, 2020


With all of us in stay-at-home mode, and because there has never been a better reason to indulge in some extra self-care, we have put together a beautiful facial treatment that will leave you feeling like you’ve just walked out of the world’s most luxurious spa.

You will need just a few products, and we can guarantee you will come away with your skin glowing and your mind deeply relaxed.

Our 100% certified organic treatment will deliver pure, concentrated and balanced nutrition – without the preservatives, emulsifiers and synthetics. If you don’t have the suggested Mokosh products on hand don’t worry! We have included some possible substitutes for you that you may have at home.

Step 1: Prepare your Space and Prime your Mind

You will need the bathroom to yourself and, ideally, some calming music to help you relax. Get your products together, wrap yourself in a cosy dressing gown, and close the door on the rest of the world!

Now, take a few deep breaths and remember that taking time for yourself is truly time well spent. When you feel taken care of, you will be far better equipped to be generous to others and function at your best. This is not an indulgence, and it’s not a waste of time – it’s an investment in your quality of life. So let’s being your much-deserved organic spa treatment!

Step 2: The Facial

We are going to do a wonderful double-cleanse that is not only detergent-free, it will load your skin with a range of vitamins, antioxidants, humectants and essential fatty acids, as well as skin-soothing anti-inflammatory botanicals.

Start with our beautiful oil-based cleanser, Makeup Remover & Cleansing Oil. This product removes oil-soluble toxins and pollutants and performs a deep pore cleanse. At the same time it will replenish omega-6 fatty acids and deliver vitamin E, b-carotene and other antioxidants to the skin. Its key ingredient is our certified organic pumpkin seed oil. Pumpkin seed oil is a deep brown-green colour because of its extremely high content of b-carotene – a powerful antioxidant and potent skin nutrient. We blend this with jojoba, sesame and baobab oils which will take nutrients deep into the pores, lifting away impurities and bringing precious omega-6 fatty acids to fortify your skin’s barrier.

Possible substitutes: organic pumpkin seed oil, sesame oil (not toasted sesame oil used in cooking) or jojoba oil.

Take one or two pumps and massage onto dry skin in circular motions, starting at the chin and working up to the forehead. This will take 3-5 minutes. To remove, run a soft flannel under warm water and press onto the skin. Rinse the flannel and repeat until excessive oil has diminished and your skin feels lovely and soft to the touch.

The second part of our cleanse uses our our Facial Cleanser, Exfoliator & Mask. This 3-in-1 is made from a blend of herb powders that are mixed with water to a smooth paste and massaged over the skin. It will cleanse away water-soluble impurities while delivering vitamins, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and humectants. At the same time, it performs a gentle micro-exfoliation to clear away superficial cellular debris.

Possible substitute: certified organic oatmeal, almond meal and coconut flour blended in equal quantities.

Massage the paste over the face, neck and décolletage using very gentle, circular motions. Leave on the skin as a nourishing and detoxifying mask for 10 minutes or so. While you’re waiting, take a sip of your favourite herbal tea. As soon as your skin starts to feel tight, remove using a warm, moist flannel, rinsing repeatedly under running water until all traces of powder are removed. Gently pat the skin dry.

Tone and rebalance skin pH with a mist spray of our Pure Hydrosol Toner.

Now it’s time for your Ayurvedic face massage which we call the ‘face lift’ because it enhances circulation, improves muscle tone and eases tension in the face, making you feel and look wonderful.

You will need a few drops of one of our beauty serums: Elderberry & Chia Seed Beauty Serum or Raspberry & Pomegranate Beauty Serum

Possible substitutes: certified organic jojoba oil, sesame oil (not from the kitchen), avocado oil.

For the massage, repeat each instruction 3-4 times, using a small amount of oil and pressing very lightly without dragging the skin, as the skin of the face and neck is very delicate.

1. Begin by gently sweeping the palms upwards from collarbone to chin.

2. Place the tip of your right index finger above the chin and the right middle finger below the chin, then slide up the jaw line to the right ear. Repeat on the left side.

3. Use the index fingers to massage from chin to nose along the smile line, then using the palms massage the cheeks upwards from the edge of the mouth to the temples.

4. Place the ring finger beneath the eyebrow where it meets the nose and glide outwards along the eyebrow using a very light touch, following the eye socket around beneath the eye and back to the starting point.

5. Place the index and middle fingers beside each nostril and massage up the length of the nose continuing to the middle of the forehead.

6. Using the middle and ring fingers of one hand, massage from the bridge of the nose between the eyebrows upwards to the hairline.

7. Using all 4 fingers of the right hand, sweep the fingers from left to right across the forehead, then use the left hand and sweep fingers from right to left across the forehead.

Finish the massage by gently massaging the facial ‘Marma’ points. These are energy points similar to those used in acupuncture which can stimulate the healing process. Gently massage in a circular clockwise motion using the middle finger.

1. Centre of chin

2. The corners of the mouth

3. Between nose and upper lip

4. The outer corners of the nose

5. Centre of cheekbones

6. Lower lids, just above the cheekbones – this skin is too delicate for massage, just press gently

7. Junction between eyebrows and nose, on the lower part of the eyebrow ridge

8. Temples

9. Third eye (6th chakra)

10. Crown of the head: place hands on crown of head and move back and forth rapidly

If you wish, you can finish with one of our face creams. Just check how your skin feels to work out whether any additional moisture or protection is needed. If so, apply a dab to forehead, chin, and each cheek and massage into the skin using very gentle upward motions. Choose our Pure Face & Body CreamRich Face Cream or Light Face Cream.

Your organic facial is now complete! Now is the time to do something you love that you rarely find time for. Take a nap, chat to a friend, or dig into a novel while you soak up the benefits of your organic treatment.

Understanding Sensitive Skin and How Mokosh Products Can Help You Manage It

Understanding Sensitive Skin and How Mokosh Products Can Help You Manage It

Marion O'Leary | October 15, 2020

What it’s like to have sensitive skin

One of the most common reasons customers turn to Mokosh is for help with sensitive skin. For these people, caring for their skin can be a nightmare: applying skincare products can cause itching, burning, stinging, tightness, and dryness. It can be nearly impossible to find a product that moisturises the skin without setting off a chain reaction, starting with a prickling sensation that progresses to redness, inflammation and misery. 

What causes sensitive skin?

We know that sensitive skin is more common in women than in men, and it affects the face more frequently, where the skin is thinner and nerve endings are more abundant. It is not easy to predict what will set off a skin reaction because different substances set off reactions in different people. Even in the same person, one substance will irritate, while a closely related substance will not (1). We also know that skin reactions can be triggered by special environmental conditions like low temperatures, humidity, wind, heat and sun exposure. For each individual suffering from this problem, it becomes a matter of narrowing down the substances and the environmental conditions that start the response.

What is different about sensitive skin?

The clue to understanding this condition is that people with sensitive skin have similar physical changes in their skin. The common factor is a problem with the skin’s barrier function, which makes sense. Our skin’s barrier keeps out environmental irritants and harmful microorganisms (see our blog about the skin’s barrier here) and prevents them from reaching the deeper layers of the skin and setting off an inflammatory response.  In people with sensitive skin, the outermost layer of the skin is often thinner, and the level of ceramides, the fatty, lipid layer, is often reduced (1-3). These physical changes make their skin more permeable to irritating substances. 

Changes in the non-physical barrier are another common finding. An alteration in the skin’s pH from the optimum of around 5.5 will allow the growth of harmful microorganisms in the skin. It is also known that changes to the skin’s microbiome are important – an abnormal microbiome can increase the risk that harmful bacteria will colonise the skin (you can read more about the importance of the skin’s microbiome here and here).

How can I stop my skin from being so sensitive?

There are two approaches to dealing with sensitive skin. The first is to use skincare products that will help rebuild a healthy skin barrier while eliminating practices that disrupt it.


Building up the fatty ceramides in the skin’s barrier is extremely important for sensitive skin types. The ceramides become depleted with age and during the winter months, and they are almost always depleted in people suffering from dry skin. Even acne-sufferers, who often have oily skin, can have reduced levels of ceramides and a reduced barrier function (4). The omega-6 fatty acids can be incorporated into ceramides, helping restore levels towards normal. All Mokosh moisturisers have been formulated to offer a good supply of these essential fatty acids. Keeping the skin well moisturised by applying our high-quality barrier-building moisturisers regularly, once or twice a day, will help keep the barrier functioning at its best. 


At the same time, it is important to avoid products and habits that harm the skin’s barrier. The main culprits are cleansers that remove important oils from the skin’s fatty barrier, depleting the ceramides. For sensitive skin, detergent cleansers and soaps should be avoided. Instead, we recommend cleansing with our two detergent-free options (find them here and here) so you can clean the skin without stripping away its oils. 


Other more subtle effects on your skin’s barrier can come from the emulsifiers included in water-containing skincare – these are detergent-like molecules that allow water and oils to form a stable emulsion (read more about them here). Preservatives, also found in all water-containing skincare, can upset your skin’s microbiome, further altering the skin’s equilibrium. Staying too long under a hot shower or in the bath, even without the use of detergents, will deplete your skin’s natural oils, while spending time in dry, artificially heated or air-conditioned environments will dehydrate your skin. Humidifying the air whilst keeping the skin well moisturised will keep your skin hydrated in these drying environments.


The second approach to dealing with sensitive skin is to avoid the common substances that cause skin reactions and trying to discover whether you have any particular sensitivities. The most common culprits in skincare products are fragrances and preservatives (5). It is also important to recognise that some skincare ingredients act as ‘penetration enhancers’ – they permeate the skin’s barrier more easily and allow other ingredients in the formula to reach deeper layers of the skin, with a much-increased potential to set off inflammation. Propylene glycol and alcohol are commonly used penetration enhancers in skincare products (6). However, it’s important to remember that everyone responds differently to different substances, so any ingredient has the potential to irritate the skin. 

How Mokosh Products can Help Sensitive Skin

We have designed our range to be as close to nature as it is possible to achieve. This is because we believe that our skin, like the rest of our bodies, will respond with health to botanical ingredients in their natural form. There has been a tendency to think that our skin is somehow separate from the rest of our bodies and that it is ok to apply petroleum-based products and chemically synthesised ingredients to our skin when we would not dream of eating them. We now know that our skin is a lot more complex than we once thought. It interacts with our immune system and our nervous system in ways we did not previously understand. For this reason, we consider that carefully selected pure botanical ingredients are both the safest and the most beneficial products to apply to the skin.

For sensitive skin, Mokosh products offer enormous benefits. They are virtually unique in that they contain no preservatives, the most common skin sensitisers, which can also disturb the skin’s microbiome. The range also includes a full complement of fragrance-free products. Our cleansers are free of lipid-depleting detergents, and none of our moisturisers include emulsifiers, which can also disturb the skin’s barrier.  All our moisturisers are rich in omega-6 fatty acids that can help restore the ceramides, helping to rebuild the skin’s barrier in all skin types. 

If you’re not sure which products are right for you, please get in touch with us using our Skin Consult service for advice on which products will suit your particular needs.  We always recommend starting out with sample or Mini sizes to make sure there are no individual sensitivities to our products. 

  1. The Prevalence of Sensitive Skin (2019) Frontiers in Medicine – Dermatology.

  2. Sensitive Skin: Review of an Ascending Concept (2017) An Bras Dermatol 92: 521–525.

  3. The Sensitive Skin Syndrome (2012) Indian J Dermatol 57: 19–423.

  4. Acne Vulgaris and the Epidermal Barrier (2013) J Clin Aesthet Dermatol 6:18–24.

  5. Allergy to Selected Cosmetic Ingredients (2013) Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 30: 307–310.

  6. Penetration Enhancers (2004) Adv Drug Deliv Rev 56: 603-18.

How to Leave the Toxins Out of your Skin Care

How to Leave the Toxins Out of your Skin Care

Marion O'Leary | September 3, 2020

When I first looked into making skincare almost 15 years ago, I quickly discovered that all was not well in the world of cosmetics. To make skincare products in the usual way, with added water, requires the addition of both preservatives and a range of other synthetic ingredients. We have talked about the problems with synthetics in skincare before, in particular the preservatives and the emulsifiers. Although I was dimly aware of this all those years ago, I had never thought that toxins could be lurking in my moisturiser, cleanser, shampoo, makeup, perfume or scented candles.  It turns out that the synthetic ingredients added to these products to give them a long shelf-life, a pleasant feel or an attractive fragrance could come at an enormous cost to our health. 

Surely all these synthetic ingredients are tested for safety?

Like most people, I presumed that if a product is on a shop shelf it must be safe, because toxic ingredients would not be permitted in commercially available products. The problem is that the laboratory and animal testing used to assess the safety of synthetic ingredients are short term tests.  There is no way to test their effects over the many decades each of us use them in the real world. Nor are they tested in tandem with exposure to other potential toxins, in different age ranges, or when skin diseases are present. This is why at Mokosh we took the decision to avoid all synthetics in our skincare. To use a synthetic ingredient that is considered safe based on short term laboratory tests was a gamble we did not want to take.

Every time I go back and check the latest science on some of the synthetic ingredients commonly used in skincare, I feel alarmed for the health of our community. But that’s not all – many of these synthetic ingredients are released into our waterways affecting wildlife and the health of our ecosystems. The good news is that you can have your healthiest skin ever without going near a synthetic ingredient. Our water-free products eliminate the need for preservatives, emulsifiers and the enormous range of potentially harmful synthetics that you don’t need on or in your body. Still need convincing? Read on!

Ingredients to watch out for


These are ‘plasticisers’ added to skin creams to improve their feel and the way they spread, they’re included in nail polish to improve its flexibility, and in synthetic fragrances in a huge range of products (think scented candles and deodorisers) to increase the longevity of their scent. The phthalates are potential hormone disruptors and known carcinogens in high doses.


The parabens are the most widely used preservatives in cosmetics. They are known to be absorbed through the skin and have oestrogenic effects in the body when present in high enough doses. Their use in cosmetics is supposed to be kept below a certain percentage to reduce the risk of causing hormonal changes. However, some studies showed the parabens were included in cosmetics at higher than the recommended concentrations. Also, they are more easily absorbed through the skin of infants and children, and through inflamed skin. The intact form of parabens – ie the active form that acts as an estrogen – has been detected in the skin, fat, blood, urine, umbilical blood and placenta of humans (1). Of particular concern was a recent study that showed even low doses of parabens can result in estrogen-like effects in laboratory animals – even at doses within the recommended existing safety limit for parabens (2). Parabens are also anti-androgenic, which means they inhibit the effects of testosterone, and may also increase the risk of weight gain. 

There are also concerns about the effect of parabens released into our water systems – parabens have been detected in waterways, and in the tissues of fish, marine mammals, marine birds and their eggs (3).


These preservatives are commonly used in skincare and work by releasing low levels of formaldehyde over a long period of time, to kill bacteria and fungi that contaminate water-containing cosmetics. Examples of these include DMDM hydantoin, quaternium-15, and diazolidinyl urea. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, but when used at the recommended concentration, they are considered safe. However, when they are present in combination with other substances such as bromopol and amines, they can form nitrosamines, which can penetrate the skin and are also known carcinogens. Formaldehyde donor preservatives are also known as skin sensitisers (4). 


PEGS (polyethylene glycols) are petroleum-based compounds that are widely used in skincare products as thickeners, solvents and emulsifiers. In themselves, they are not particularly concerning, but, during manufacture, they may become contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a probable carcinogen, and ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen. You can identify PEGS in your ingredient list by the terms PPG, PEG, and polysorbate and look for ingredients that end in –eth such as laureth, steareth, ceteareth. Although some manufacturers strip the dangerous contaminants from the PEG ingredients, there is no way of knowing whether a company does this – it is up to the consumer to request the information (5).


Triclosan is a preservative and anti-bacterial that may be added to toothpaste, mouthwash, hand sanitiser, and anti-bacterial soaps. Triclosan is easily absorbed by the skin and through the mouth. There are concerns that it is a potential hormone disruptor, and that it may also contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It also has a potentially severe environmental impact – in water triclosan can be converted to dioxins, which are serious environmental pollutants, and can also combine with chlorine to form chloroform, a probable carcinogen.

Combinations of toxins and confounding factors

Unlike the sterile and controlled environment of the laboratory, in the real world, our human population has a range of genetic backgrounds, all with different abilities to metabolise and eliminate toxins. It is also important to remember that the skin barrier is less effective in the very young and in the old, and in inflamed or damaged skin. This means that a safe dose of a toxin for a healthy adult may not be safe for a newborn baby, or the developing foetus in a pregnant woman, or a child with eczema. Finally, we are exposed not just to one potential carcinogen, like those poor laboratory rats – we are exposed to a cocktail of them. The air, our water and our food all contain toxins at various levels, and when we add known carcinogens and hormone disruptors from our cosmetics, even in small doses, we are performing a very uncontrolled experiment in safety on ourselves. There is really no way to predict whether the toxins in our cosmetics will be the final straw that tips us into a serious disease state.

Reducing your toxic load

We are able to exert some control over the level of toxins in our bodies by our choice of food, water and cosmetics. Consuming whole organic foods as much as possible, drinking good quality filtered water, and choosing clean, toxin-free skincare makes sense. When it comes to skincare, our award-winning range proves that you don’t need synthetics in your skincare to have beautiful, healthy skin. In fact, we regularly receive messages from our customers telling us that since switching to Mokosh, their skin issues are resolved and they have their best skin ever. Making the switch to clean, nutrient-rich skincare was never so easy!


(1) Matwiejczuk, N. et al (2020) ‘Review of the Safety of Application of Cosmetic Products Containing Parabens’. Journal of Applied Toxicology.

(2) Sun, L. et al. (2016) The estrogenicity of methylparaben and ethylparaben at doses close to the acceptable daily intake in immature Sprague-Dawley rats. Sci. Rep. 6: 25173

(3) Julian, C and Magrini, GA. (2017) “Cosmetic ingredients as emerging pollutants of environmental and health concern.” Cosmetics



What’s all the fuss about Oil Cleansing?

What’s all the fuss about Oil Cleansing?

Marion O'Leary | August 11, 2020


We often hear that cleansing is the key to healthy skin. The daily accumulation of ‘dirt’ on our skin in the form of makeup, pollutants, dust, our own sebum and dead skin cells can result in dull, lifeless skin and sometimes blocked pores that can cause acne. The important question is how can we cleanse our skin in a way that doesn’t interfere with its function, that will also help it become healthy and resilient? We believe we have the perfect answer, and that you will soon be saying goodbye to those foaming, liquid cleansers you always thought you needed.

The problem with detergent cleansers

Many of us grew up with the idea that the antidote to dirt and oil on our skin is good old-fashioned soap, or at least a liquid detergent cleanser that leaves our skin feeling squeaky clean. It makes sense. Soaps and detergents destroy bacteria, dissolve oil and wash away dirt. They do that very well. The only problem is that they don’t stop with the excess oil and dirt, they can also attack the oils and proteins on our living skin. These specialised oils and proteins make up our skin’s all-important barrier that keeps water in our body, and bacteria and irritants out. Overuse of detergents can also disturb our skin’s microbiome, increasing the risk of skin problems. 

Of course, not all liquid cleansers contain detergents as harsh as SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate).  Modern technology has led to the development of liquid cleansers that use very mild detergents, that are well tolerated by many. But everyone’s skin is different, and our skin changes as time passes. The truth is that any detergent has the potential to harm the relatively sensitive skin on our face. The result of damaging our skin’s barrier can vary from the development of dry, flakey skin, to the onset of red, inflamed and itchy skin that we know as eczema. 

Our skin cleans itself

Our skin continually renews itself. Cells, proteins and lipids of the epidermis that make up our skin barrier are being constantly manufactured, and as cells mature they move outwards until they are eventually shed, or exfoliate, from our skin. In addition, our sebaceous glands secrete sebum into hair follicles, that we see as pores. The sebum then covers our skin and hair, continually forming and renewing our own natural moisturiser. It helps keep our skin water-proof and also has some anti-bacterial function. Because our sebum and skin are being constantly renewed, it does, in a fashion, clean itself. Detergent cleansers can remove too much sebum, and can also destroy the lipids and proteins that keep our skin intact. 

Our approach to skin cleansing is to work with our skin’s natural processes. Our Facial Cleanser, Exfoliator & Mask works with our skin’s natural exfoliation by aiding the removal of dead cells and other debris that can clog our pores – read more detail about this here. Our Makeup Remover & Cleansing Oil dissolves the dirt on our skin that can block pores, allowing the free flow of sebum and removing excess sebum build-up. It does not strip the skin of sebum indiscriminately like a detergent does. These two products facilitate the skin’s self-cleansing process using only skin-supportive and skin-feeding botanicals.

How does oil cleansing work?

The idea behind oil cleansing is that oil dissolves dirt and oil, and the excess is removed with water, warmth and a soft cloth. It’s that simple – no detergent, no antibacterials, just simple pure plant oils and your skin is left clean and refreshed, rather than dehydrated and itchy.

Here is how you do it:

  • gently massage the cleansing oil onto your skin for 3-5 minutes.

  • during the massage, the oil will combine with excess sebum, dirt, and other impurities.

  • rinse a soft cloth in warm water. Some recommend using steaming hot water, but because excessively hot water can damage your skin, we recommend keeping it at body temperature. Press the warm cloth onto your skin for a few seconds to warm and absorb the oil, then rinse the cloth in warm water and repeat 2 or 3 times until your skin no longer feels oily.

  • follow with toner and moisturiser, or if your skin doesn’t feel completely clear, use our Facial Cleanser, Exfoliator & Mask to perform a gentle exfoliation and remove any oil remnants. To tone, we recommend our Pure Hydrosol Toner (no alcohol, emulsifiers or preservatives) and either our Beauty Serums for oily/combination or normal/dry skin one of our Face Creams (no emulsifiers or preservatives).

  • most people like to oil cleanse between 1 and 3 times per week.

Can I perform oil cleansing if I have oily skin?

While oil cleansing will benefit all skin types, if you have oily skin, we have some very good news! Oil cleansing will benefit oily skin because (i) it helps to keep your pores clear, and pore blockage is one of the main causes of acne (read more here) , (ii) it helps remove excess sebum without damaging your skin’s barrier. We talk about how a damaged skin barrier can also contribute to the development of acne here. (iii) if you oil cleanse with the right oils, you can actually help reduce the amount of sebum produced by oily skin. Oils abundant in linoleic acid not only help restore the skin’s barrier, they can also regulate the amount of sebum your skin produces, and have also been shown to reduce the size of microcomedones, or blackheads. We discuss this in our acne blog here.

What makes our Makeup Remover & Cleansing Oil ideal for oil cleansing?

Not all oils are suitable for skin cleansing. The more saturated oils, like coconut oil, can clog the pores, while oils high in monounsaturated fatty acids, like olive oil, may not bind well with sebum or penetrate the skin’s pores, and in oily skins will contribute to the fatty acid imbalance that can lead to increased sebum production. Neither of these oils would be suitable for oily or combination skin.

The ideal cleansing oil is rich in the omega-6 fatty acid linoleic acid and other oils that have the ability to penetrate the pores and blend with sebum. An additional benefit of linoleic acid-rich oils is their skin barrier-building properties, which are important for all skin types (read about the role of essential fatty acids and the skin barrier here) and their ability to normalise sebum production in oily skin. Secondly, we consider that performing oil cleansing is a great opportunity to feed your skin, so we chose the most nourishing combination of oils we could find to help nourish your skin while you oil cleanse.

We chose pumpkin seed oil as the major ingredient for our cleansing oil. It is a dark, richly coloured oil because of its very high content of b-carotene, or pro-vitamin A. It is also rich in vitamin E, making it extremely rich in antioxidants, and contains abundant anti-inflammatory phytosterols and high levels of the all-important linoleic acid. Next, we added jojoba oil, which is unlike most botanical oils in structure, being more like a liquid wax than a triglyceride. Its unusual chemical structure allows it to blend easily with sebum and penetrate the pores without clogging. This allows our cleansing oil to reduce sebum build-up both on the skin surface and in the pores, which is particularly beneficial for oily skin. Jojoba oil also contains vitamin E and other antioxidants. The third component is baobab seed oil, which is also rich in linoleic acid, b-carotene, vitamin E and phytosterols. Finally, sesame oil has high levels of linoleic acid, and has both antioxidant and antibacterial properties. In Ayurveda, sesame oil also considered one of the most beneficial oils for performing self-massage or abhyanga.  These four oils work synergistically to deeply cleanse your skin in the most gentle and effective way, leaving it fresh and clean, and beautifully nourished.

Removing Makeup

We formulated this product to be multi-purpose. Not everyone wants to oil cleanse, but because of its gentle, yet extremely effective cleansing action, it makes a beautiful Makeup Remover. Just remember that when you use this product to remove your makeup at the end of the day, you are also performing a gentle cleanse, helping protect your skin’s barrier and microbiome, and feeding it potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytosterols. Now you can really sleep easily.