Paleo Skin Care Options

Note from Sarah: Katie of Wellness Mama is back with another interesting and informative post on skin care. Be sure to see what else Katie is writing about over at her amazing blog by clicking here!

Many of us go to great lengths to avoid chemicals and man-made ingredients in our foods, but what we put on the outside of our bodies can often be another big source of chemical exposure.

Just as we don’t need factory made foods to enjoy eating delicious meals, we don’t need a cabinet full of chemical cocktails to maintain a great complexion. In fact, the natural options are less expensive, easier and more effective. Drinking enough water and consuming enough beneficial fats also help improve complexion.

Below are my two favorite natural skin care options in order of simplicity:

Natural Skin Care Options for beautiful skin

Easiest Option: Microfiber

For a truly natural option that will remove dirt, make-up or oils without even the need for a soap, I use an antibacterial microfiber cloth. With just warm water, microfiber will clean the face (and body) and the silver fibers in the cloth will kill any bacteria that the cloth picks up.

For those prone to dry skin, following this gentle cleansing with a tiny bit of coconut oil or homemade lotion will keep skin from becoming dry.

This method is great for traveling (all you have to pack is the cloth), for guys who want a simple solution, or for women who like a no-hassle way to remove make-up and clean skin.

Best Option: Oil Cleansing

I was skeptical when I first heard about oil cleansing, but the method makes sense and after using it, I will never go back. This method leaves skin soft and very clean. It also removes make-up and moisturizes, so no extra products are needed.

Even those with oily skin can benefit from this method since the natural oils help remove excess oils from the skin and help the body re-balance oil production. No suds or detergents involved so it doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils!

The oil cleansing method can be done once per day (usually at night) an typically no other skin care is needed. The natural oils help keep skin from aging and drying out.

What You Need:

  • Castor Oil – this oil is naturally antibacterial and is very purifying and cleansing. It balances the moisturizing properties of the other oil.
  • Olive, almond, jajoba or other liquid oil – I use olive oil since it naturally has a very similar pH to the skin.
  • Essential Oils (optional- I use lavender)
  • A washcloth
  • Hot tap water
How to Make:
  1. Mix the castor oil and other oil in the correct ratio for your skin type. Typically the more oily your skin naturally is, the more castor oil is needed. For oily skin, a 1:1 ratio of castor oil to other oil is often used, while those with dry skin often only need a 1:4 ratio of castor oil to other oil. Experiment and see what works best for your skin type. If you find your skin getting dry, try reducing the amount of castor oil.
  2. Add Essential Oils if using. I use 20 drops of Lavender essential oil per 1/2 cup of prepared mixture.

What to Do:

Turn on the faucet with hot water.

Wet your face with warm water and make sure to have a wash cloth handy. Rub a quarter sized amount of the oil mixture into hands and massage in to face for at least 30 seconds and up to 2 minutes.

Thoroughly wet wash cloth with hot tap water and place over the face. This will open pores and help remove the oil mixture. Leave on for 20 seconds or until it cools. Rinse out the wash cloth and continue doing this, rubbing gently, until all oil is removed and face is clean.

Gently pat dry. No moisturizer should be needed, thought some people benefit from a small amount of coconut oil or natural lotion as the skin adjusts.

 What do you use for skin care? Ever tried Oil Cleansing? Share your tips below!


  1. Jen Johnson says

    I just started using the Norwex face cloths about a month ago and moisturize with jojoba oil. Loving the process so much that I decided to sell the Norwex products as a side gig. They really are amazing. My face has never looked better. Loving this way of life. Simplifying is amazing!!

  2. says

    Have you ever used Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner? It’s helped me with break-outs, but I need to try the oil method again. I used to purchase a deep cleansing oil from DHCare but it’s pricey. I will try your mix instead :)

  3. Renee says

    I started this about a month ago and love it! I’m very lazy and just mix it in the palm of my hand. My skin glows and it’s great for removing all the makeup. I finish with jojoba oil as a moisterizer.

  4. LA says

    I’ve been using OCM for 6 months now. It has made the difference in my skin that I had hoped every product would do for me since puberty. I never thought to add EO though. Can you tell me why you do that? Is it just for the smell or another property of the EO? Thanks.

    • Becky M says

      The essential oils can be beneficial in treating skin conditions as well. For example, I mix in 1 drop of tea tree oil (known for its antibacterial properties) for my acne prone skin. Other oils can be used for dry, oily, or sensitive skin.
      When I first attempted the oil cleansing method, my face broke out worse than ever, so I stopped it, and just began using water to wash, followed by apple cider vinegar, and then jojoba oil to moisturize. After my acne had calmed down, I continued to use the apple cider vinegar, but I began adding 1 drop of tea tree oil into my jojoba oil each day. Now I’m doing the oil cleansing method once per week (1/3 castor, remainder jojoba), along with the ACV and tea tree/jojoba. This is probably too much detail, but for my sensitive skin, changing right over to the OCM was unsuccessful, so a more gradual introduction to this method may be necessary for some.

  5. says

    Thank you so much for sharing these! I have super sensitive skin and love finding homemade, natural skin care solutions. I’m definitely going to be sharing this post.

  6. Danielle says

    I tried this right after reading this post. My skin feels soft and supple. I used castor oil, sweet almond, and a touch of emu and tea tree oil. This approach makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the great post.

  7. LEO says

    Hey Sarah! I never put comments on blogs, but this post required that I do so. I’m psyched about the Castor Oil as I started researching and it’s good for so many things. My mother has neuropathy in her feet and hands and this is supposed to do wonders for that as well! Can you tell me though, do you use organic products? I found this one, and I’m more inclined towards it as I try to use everything organic.

    Look forward to hearing your response. Thanks, and I love your website and the video you have up of the paleo mayo. My 7 year old daughter loved it too. She wanted to watch it over and over b/c of your cute children. :)

  8. Karen B. says

    Did you leave out a step? <> Are we kind of buffing the skin? doing what? rubbing? rinsing the cloth? both? Or are we continuing to put the hot washcloth on the face as it cools. If that’s the case, how many times before rubbing gently?

    Am I just not reading something here?

    Also, if my skin is very, very dry, should I use castor oil at all? I’m assuming that it tends to dry the skin.

    Sorry for all of the questions but my skin care is the last step in going completely organic, grassfed, all natural (even make my own candles) and It’s something I’m really uneducated about. thanks in advance!

    • says

      You just apple to wet skin and rub gently in a circular motion for about two minutes and then use the hot washcloth to steam it off. If your skin is dry, I’d try a small amount of castor oil and more moisturizing ones like jajoba, olive or avocado.

  9. againstthegrain says

    I’ve been using the OCM for close to a year. Now 50 yoa, I wish I had known about this method decades ago! For many years I resisted using washcloths at home because I didn’t want to deal with wet wash cloths all the time. But I always used washcloths when staying in hotels (where someone else is doing the laundry!) because I could count on my skin improving, esp if I washed my face with a washcloth for a few days in a row.

    I use an extra virgin olive oil that I buy online direct from a California olive grower (packed in gallon containers and shipped) because it’s what I happen to have on hand for cooking. I use a tiny funnel to fill a clean small glass bottle with pump dispenser that formerly contained a moisturizing lotion. Each pump delivers about 1/2-3/4 teaspoon of oil into the palm of my hand, which is the perfect amount for me. I hold my hair back out of my face with a head band (even when heading into the shower), and massage the oil on my dry facial skin (I don’t wet it with water first), avoiding the outer 1″ or so near my hairline, esp if washing my face at the sink (otherwise the hairline can become too oily). I use the hot wet washcloth like you do, giving my face a gentle scrub, and rinsing the cloth a few times, esp if I’m also removing makeup (works wonders to remove makeup, esp mascara).

    I’ve tried the oil and hot wet washcloths by themselves, but I get the best results from using both together. This method has smoothed and mostly eliminated the non-acne sand-paper texture of the skin along my jawline which developed as my skin has changed from oily to normal/dry with age and peri-menopause. After fighting teenage acne, then later adult acne for years, Cetaphil was my facial cleanser for about 20 years, before it began to leave my skin too dry. But with this economical OCM, for the first time in my life, at age 50, I’m getting compliments on my skin.

  10. says

    Great post! One thing that worked wonders for me though is argan oil (the pure kind, not the ones with additives).

    I swear, Moroccan ladies are just plain gorgeous.

  11. Janine says

    I have read this post three or four times. I have what I consider, the worst skin in the universe. I break out with everything I put on my skin. From lip balms to certain soaps, to just touching my face.

    I want to try this, but I must say I am scared.

    I used Proactive for a year, but after going paleo in August, stopped using it, because of all of the ingredients.

    I guess my question is where do I start? having super oily, sensitive skin, should I start with the castor oil?

    Thanks for any input, I want a more natural solution for my skin…I am going to buy the washcloths today!

  12. Laney says

    I love OCM. I used to use a combination of cold-pressed sunflower oil and castor oil (with a little added tea tree oil to help with my acne issues). I used to have terribly oily skin, but OCM really helped to balance it out. These days I don’t bother with the whole OCM routine and just massage a little coconut oil into my skin every couple of days. Sometimes I’ll use a loofah in the shower, but that’s about as involved as it gets and my skin has never been clearer or happier.

    Now I’m curious about apple cider vinegar as a toner. Maybe I’ll try that once the summer rolls around.

  13. Kerry says

    Love this idea. My skin hasn’t been the same since having kids. My whole body is dry. Also to the woman looking to go organic with her skin care… my favorite book is Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano. She explains how and why to use natural products on your skin with lots of ideas and tips.

  14. Caitlin Ricci says

    Should the oil cleansing be done once a day or twice? Morning or evening? I have very dry and sensitive skin but am working on upping my water intake to what I actually need in a day. Hoping to be totally off cosmetic chemicals by spring.

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