Oil Cleansing Method

Cleansers and soap will strip the skin’s natural oils, disrupting the stratum corneum causing dry skin. see our how your skin works page for details.

Natural soaps are much better than artificial chemical laden cleansers, as they do not contain irritant substances, but they will still cause dry skin.

Most of us feel we need to moisturise after cleansing because our skin feels tight and dry. But we still need to cleanse and remove make-up, so what is the answer?

Oil based cleansing, (hot cloth cleansing)

Oil based cleansing is a revolutionary way to cleanse, nourish, hydrate and even exfoliate your skin. Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm is available in a fragranced and unfragranced version and has been designed specifically with this method in mind.

It will completely remove make-up, even water proof mascara whilst avoiding the tight, dry feeling often experienced after using soap or cleansers, leaving your skin glowing. It's like having a facial every day, in the comfort of your own home without the expense.

We advise using a product made from 100% natural oils and/or butters. such as our Beauty Balm. It should not contain water, juice, hydrosol or other aqueous substance. It should not contain mineral oils or petrochemical, synthetic emollients or paraffin based ingredients. (as some of the new high street hot cloth cleansers do). Different natural oils have very different properties, so buying a good quality cleansing oil or balm can make all the difference.

The oil cleansing method

Step 1: Warm a small pea sized dab of product in your hand and gently massage into skin to be cleansed whilst it is still dry. This is very relaxing. It can be nice to linger, take some time to pamper yourself and unwind, or do it quickly if you are in a hurry.

Step 2: Run a clean flannel or muslin face cloth under comfortably hot water and hold it over your face allowing the heat to gently lift the dirt, make-up and dead skin cells. Wipe away residue leaving clean, hydrated skin.

Muslins offer better exfoliation than flannels and dry out quickly. Towelling face flannels are nice if you like the steamy feeling.

Step 3: Stand back and admire your glowing complexion.

Why does oil cleansing work so well?

Sebum is oil based and oil will remove dirty sebum really effectively (like dissolves like). But unlike soap based cleansers, it will replace the dirty sebum with clean natural nourishing oils, rich in fatty acids that your warm skin will greedily accept and you will seal in the moisture from the cleanse.

You may not need to moisturise after oil cleansing, but if you do just use a very small amount of the same Lyonsleaf Beauty Balm as a moisturiser.

If you generally notice your skin does feel tight you may have had the water too hot, try a little cooler next time and be gentle when you wipe. Also consider drinking more water, taking an omega fish oil supplement and try avoiding substances like alcohol and caffeine which cause dehydration. 


As you wipe away the oil and moisture with your flannel dead skin cells are also removed in the gentlest way. If you use this method regularly you should not need to exfoliate so often. You should maintain that glow of freshly exfoliated skin day in day out, with out the damage that can be caused by excessive exfoliation.


If you have reached a certain age, you will see inevitably see wrinkles appearing. If your skin is the slightest bit dry and your stratum corneum is not in absolute tip top condition, these wrinkles will appear sooner and be much more prominent than they need to be.

Whilst it is impossible to halt natural ageing, addressing this dry skin and maintaining you good skin barrier function will have a remarkably instant effect on such premature wrinkles.

Liberal application of antioxidants will actually slow the natural ageing process too. Our natural face cleansers, made from 100% natural tropical oils, are bursting with them. See our free radicals page to understand how this works.

Cleanser for oily skin

The Oil Cleansing Method is, surprisingly, highly recommended for oily and acne prone skin.

It’s now thought that the use of harsh cleansers, usually recommended for oily skin, strip natural oils, actually causing skin to overcompensate producing more sebum and exacerbating the problem.

Our Beauty Balm contains only non-comedogenic ingredients, which mean it will not block pores.

Many people with Acne or oily skin may be surprised to find the outer layer of their skin is actually dehydrated. Excess sebum production makes skin feel oily, but sebum is made in the lower layers of the skin and it is only a small part of your skins moisturising system.

The natural fatty acids and lipids that bind the outer layer of the epidermis (the stratum corneum) must be in tact to prevent excessive moisture loss that leads to dry skin which cracks (on a microscopic level) allowing pathogens in, which cause spots. If you suffer with spots or acne, you may be surprised to find it is actually due to dry skin, even if your skin feels oily. The Oil Cleansing Method may well improve this situation. (See how your skin works for details)

Cleanser for dry skin

If your skin is dry the benefits are clear. The Oil Cleansing Method using our natural cleansing balms is the best option to maintain the skin’s lipid barrier’s delicate balance and avoid excessive trans-epidermal water loss, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Harsh cleansers and soap will only strip the vital oils in the outer layer of your skin.

Cleanser for sensitive skin

If you suffer from eczema or psoriasis or have any skin sensitivity you will find this method using our cleansing balms is much kinder to your skin than any soap or cleanser.

Effective moisturising

Maintaining the stratum corneum is the only effective way to moisturise your skin. Putting water on your skin (as you do when applying a water based moisturiser) simply plumps the epidermis temporarily. The stratum corneum is not repaired or maintained and the excess water soon evaporates so you reach for the tub again. No long term benefits are achieved. For more information see our How Your Skin Works page.

Calming Moisturisers

If your skin needs something more than just moisturising. You could use one of our natural calendula creams as a moisturiser after cleansing. For specific issues use our shop menus from the home page to find the right products for you.