In my previous Ask Afrobella about oily skin, a lot of you had really great feedback, advice, and comments. Quite a few of you mentioned that — contrary to the typically discussed issues of black skin care — you actually don’t have oily skin, and therefore, the way I’d explained the oft-repeated “black don’t crack” adage might not apply to your skin type, in terms of having an eternally shiny face. So allow me to explain further, and make some product suggestions for bellas who’ve got parched skin. No cracking allowed around here!

Like I mentioned, I have combination skin — an incredibly oily t-zone (seriously, even my eyelids get shiny at the end of the day), with dry, acne-prone cheeks and chin. My oily extremes get really oily, and my dry extremes can be incredibly parched. I’ve been getting super arid, peeling spots on my chin, and for some reason the backs of my ears get dry and flaky. I can’t stand it. So recently, I’ve been wanting to experiment with alternative face washing methods, and after a bella in the shiny skin comment thread (thanks Brownshugaz!) suggested the oil cleansing method, I was ready to take a leap of faith.

From the fascinating website: “Do not be afraid of applying oil to your face. Oil, alone, will not bring you blemishes. Pimples, cysts, zits, blackheads, whiteheads…these are a result of several different factors including hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells and the buildup of these factors. Your skin naturally produces oil because it needs it. It is not a malicious force to be reckoned with; it is there for the benefit of your skin, allowing your largest organ to function properly. It is naturally occurring. Not only does your natural oil help lubricate, it also heals, protects, and moisturizes your skin so that it may function properly. Properly functioning skin is beautiful, clear, and glowing. Learning to work with your skin, not against it, will save you tremendously.”

Well doesn’t that sound convincing! The site recommends Castor oil or EVOO, but says sunflower seed oil is the best for facial massage. The site also recommends creating your own cleansing oil by blending Castor and sunflower seed oil. But my first attempt at oil cleansing was fancy. I went for the Shu Uemura cleansing oil. This is luxurious, heady stuff. As it should be, at $32 for the small bottle!

The whole method feels like luxury, actually — before going to bed, I put a small amount of oil in my hands, warm it by rubbing my palms together, then massage it into my face. This is gentle enough to use around my eyes to remove makeup, and I adore the smell. Like perfume and wealth. After rubbing the oil on my face — kind of like a nurturing facial massage — I rinse it off with lukewarm water. When I’m done, my skin feels soft as butta. Even the morning after, your face still is touchable and smooth and fresh. Loving the Shu Uemura oil, and the oil cleansing method in general! Bellas on a budget, this method isn’t out of your reach — Castor oil and EVOO are easily accessible, and just a drop of your favorite essential oil scent will be all you need for fragrance’s sake. Be careful around your eyes, is my only caveat there.

For bellas who feel sketchy about using kitchen pantry products as cleansers, allow me to introduce you to a new line of products that I think is perfect for bellas with dry skin — the Australian-based product line called Become. If you’ve got concerns about aging or dry skin, they might be what you’re looking for.

Become is all about gentle, effective anti-aging through hydration. Their Creamy Cleanser is exactly what it sounds like — a wonderfully moisturizing cleanser that slicks on like lotion and leaves your face soft and fresh. The Face Smoothing Gel stands among the gentlest exfoliators I’ve ever tried. Teeny beads in a golden liquid polish your face without scratching your skin. My absolute favorite product in the line is the Hydration Serum. Yes, like Ryan Seacrest and Dick Clark, I prefer a serum to a cream. Become’s serum is $59, so consider yourself warned… but this stuff is the bomb. My skin drank it up like it needed it. It’s a really light, super refreshing and hydrating elixir that kept my skin radiant and dewy. I just ran out and my face feels thirsty without it!

This is best used under a cream, and for day my current fave is Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15, although I do switch to Ambi Even and Clear moisturizer with SPF 30 although damn, those reviews are harsh! And there is truth in them as well — it isn’t for sensitive skin, and is kind of strong for use close to your eyes. So I’d say be careful with it, but I’ve had good results with a little dab of Ambi Even & Clear moisturizer (please note, it isn’t the ye olde Ambi skin lightener, this is a moisturizer that claims to even your skin tone while protecting you from sun damage).

My favorite night time moisturizer of the moment has gotta be Kiehl’s Brightening Botanical Moisture Fluid. This is the kind of moisturizer where you notice a difference immediately, in the BEST possible way. Loving it!

I have lots, lots more to write about Kiehl’s in the future — check out my new amiga Erin’s take on our official beauty blogger trip to the flagship store. It was beyond magnificent, and I’ll tell you my two cents when I have time. And my homegirl Lianne the Makeup Girl highly recommends the Ultra Facial Tinted Moisturizer. Lianne has practically flawless skin, so this just gives her the amount of coverage she needs. If you’ve got sprinkles of hyperpigmentation like I do, you may need a bit more coverage.

Hope that helps for the bellas with dry skin out there — and a final word of advice, adopted from Mr. Sean “Puffy” Combs — moisturize your situation and preserve your sexy now! If you’re in your teens or twenties, this is the perfect time to really make moisturizer a part of your skin care routine. Take care of your neck, too — your skin will thank you as you grow older.

What’s your favorite dry skin remedy, bellas?

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Denise says:
April 10, 2008, 11:27 am
Thanks Bella. That article on oil cleansing is interesting. I want to add the use of Jojoba oil to the mix. I use it a lot. Mostly at night on my face and/or on my scalp to dissolve flakes. It is supposed to be one of the oils most like our natural skin oils. I also have been using, as of late, Rose Hip seed oil on the dry, areas of my face (those darned laugh lines) and have noticed an improvement.
Moni says:
April 10, 2008, 12:48 pm
I use MAC cleanse off oil and I love it, though I might try and experiment with completely natural oils (evoo and castor oil) to try and save a buck or two! I have similar skin to yours, oily in the t-zone and dry everywhere else, and it keeps my skin feeling moisturized but not oily. It's also great for getting the makeup off.
tip says:
April 10, 2008, 1:29 pm
Thanks Bella! My skin is VERY dry, I even have eczema. So I have tried many products, my faves are Cetaphil cleansers and moisturizers for the face during the day. At night, I LOVE Kiehls Lycopene facial moisturizing cream. It's costly but magnificent to my skin and worth every scent. When I wake up it feels like I have on a different face that is completely moisturized. I love Kiehls lip balm too. I like their tinted moisturizer but I add a little foundation for more coverage. For the body it's shea, baby. Love my shea butter or simple vaseline and baby oil also does my body good. I have never tried cleansing oil, i will now thanks to this reveiw.
Mrs.Mckinzie says:
April 10, 2008, 1:50 pm
I love to use Olay Cleansing Cloths.I am knocking on 30's door so it is time to put anti aging products to use.I also use Palmer's CoCoa Butter because it's gentle,and it never clogs my pores.
Kamikak says:
April 10, 2008, 2:16 pm
Bella, I love the Oil Cleansing Method. I started using it earlier this year after I had a breakout. I used Evoo and it worked really well. I know some much older women who swear by it and wouldn't do anything else. Thanks for the website. I also like the Kielh's products. A note to your readers**The Kiehl store gives free samples of all of their products for use before purchasing. .
ceecee says:
April 10, 2008, 2:20 pm
I just started getting serious with my facial cleansing routine I'll definitely experiment with this as well, but my face already produces oil! I think my biggest problem is I'm not sure if I have oily or combination skin. How can you tell? And I'm still trying to find a great facial moisturizer on the budget bella tip so anyone with great recommendations please pass on your tips!
missy says:
April 10, 2008, 2:48 pm
I have incredibly oily skin and Shiseido's Pureness line works wonders. It keeps my skin moisturized but mattifies any shine.
Kim says:
April 10, 2008, 2:03 pm
I'll be honest. The idea of cleansing my face with oil kind of freaks me out, but now that you've had such a great experience I'll definitely try it. Thanks for the heads up!
berrybrowne says:
April 10, 2008, 4:48 pm
i use cetaphil cream every night before bed. but i confess, as my 31st birthday approaches, i get more and more confused about my skin- which used to be easy (just water and cetaphil at night) and flawless. not i have combination skin aND it's very sensitive. sephora recommended cosmedicine and boscia's oil-free systems for me and neither knocked my socks off. ideas anyone?
Pearlsrevealed says:
April 10, 2008, 5:02 pm
As a teen, I had no money for cosmetics. My mom would only buy Noxema which was like fire to my dry/normal/sensitive/acne-prone skin and eyes. I learned to quickly rub Vaseline on my face and immediately wash it off with Ivory soap (Ivory was also irritating to my face without the Vaseline). This kept my face clean and soft. I would only break out when I did not wash my face immediately. Since January, I have been using coconut oil on my face after I cleanse. So far I have not had a break out.
Doris says:
April 10, 2008, 6:45 pm
I'm curious enough to give the Oil Cleanser a try. As a teen I had perfect skin, but every since I turned age 25 I have battled adult acne. Now at age 38 I still have breakouts. For a moisturizer I use Aveeno. It's priced right and it work very well on your face and body without the greasy feel.
misstwists says:
April 10, 2008, 9:39 pm
Hi Afrobella! This is just an FYI for Bellas on a budget. On a recent trip to Tarjay (Target) I noticed a few Kiehls products on the shelves! That's right you can now purchase Kiehls in Tarjay!
simone says:
April 11, 2008, 8:34 am
bella, just to say that the line in your post that goes "... I adore the smell. Like perfume and wealth." is poetic. feeling beautiful feels like wealth doesn't it.
LD in PDX says:
April 11, 2008, 3:13 pm
I have been using jojoba oil with 5 drops of lavender essential oil (4oz of Jojoba to 5 drops of lavender essential oil), as a moisturizer for a couple of months now and I like it. A little goes a long way too!
DH says:
April 11, 2008, 3:30 pm
Hey ladies, I was on another blog and saw this: This was a very hot topic on this site, so I thought you all may be interested.
heyheyhey says:
April 11, 2008, 3:39 pm
I read your dry skin post, even tho my face has more oil fields than Texas (see how much I like your blog?). The cetaphil SPF moisturizer caught my eye. How's that really working for you, with the combination skin? I'm mostly oily, with patches of dry by my nose (WTF?), and getting up there in age, so I'm all about the sunscreen. I use Neutrogena's Helioplex SPF70, which goes on dry, sweep some powder, but by noon I totes got my shine on in my T-zone. Frustrating! Is Cetaphil any better? Anyone else have suggestions? Summer months are coming, and I want protection, but can't sport this hi-pro glow.
The Frugalista Files says:
April 12, 2008, 12:23 pm
YAG! You are it!
The Frugalista Files says:
April 12, 2008, 12:24 pm
Lu says:
April 12, 2008, 2:57 pm
I use castor oil and wipe it off with a hot towel- my face feels so clean! i still get shiny skin tho.Pfft. Maybe it takes a while.
Kiss Kiss Beauty says:
April 13, 2008, 3:26 am
You know, I remember reading in the Lucky beauty editor's column about her experience with this Shu Uemura cleansing oil. Apparently she has acne and uses a retinoid, which makes skin sensitive and on the dry side...anyway, she raved about this product. With her experience and this review, I really want to try this. Maybe when I run out of my current facial cleanser. Also, for ladies with oily skin, I love love love Derma Doctor's Tease Zone - it's a light, unscented, water-based mattifying lotion/gel. The product info says it has "oil-absorbing polymers" that absorb excess oil throughout the day. It works GREAT for me and my shiny, oily skin. I can go from 9-5 without an oil slick. I highly recommend it.
Danielle says:
April 13, 2008, 2:59 am
Now I love the different ideas everyone has added, and it would make sense to keep your skin moist rather than keeping it dry. But my question is, where can you get oils like castrol oil, jojoba oil, and lavender essential oil? I'm a proactiv gurl myself, but like many others have found out, if you stop using proactiv for one split second, it can easily mess your face up worst than before, so I 'm definitely trying new ways to better my skin without making it worst. Though I will admit they have a great moisturiser, and daily oil control.
dominican_enigma says:
April 13, 2008, 1:54 pm
Those products look amazing. i will be adding the serum to my regimen.
Sumatra77 says:
April 13, 2008, 4:06 pm
I just noticed that Cetaphil has castor oil in it, which might be that secret ingredient that makes it cleanse without drying. Hmm?
Jamaicandiva says:
April 14, 2008, 12:43 am
I love that you tried the OCM & are influencing more people to try it, b/c it really is true & it really does work!!! Like you, i have combo/oily skin, & YES my eyelids get soooo oily by the end of the day!!! It's gross! i thought i was the only one!!! Anyway, about a year ago, I tried DHC's Olive Oil cleanser, which is supposedly Japan's #1 cleansing oil. . . i liked it alright, but it just didn't really do THAT much for my skin other then making it very dry when i washed it off (it foams when you add water). Recently, however, i was reading someone else's blog & found out about some home-made Oil cleanser they made using 2 parts EVOO to 1 part Castor Oil. I tried it and WOW!!! i noticed a difference immediately!!! After using it for a couple of weeks my skin was much better & actually seems to be less oily!!! Of course, being a skin care junkie, i heard some raves about a new high end line & stopped using my cheapo hand made face wash, and. . . let's just say i'm back to cleansing nightly w/ my Oil wash!!! I updated it for my skin & since i'm so oily i use equal parts EVOO & Castor Oil (CO is what dissolves the oil on your face & purges your pores) & i love this ratio!!! Also, I learned from another blog to rub the oil into your face, then take a washcloth & soak it in hot water, wring it out, & place it over your face until it cools off, so you create some steam & let that absorb the oil, kind of like in a spa facial. It is SOOO RELAXING!!! Repeat this a few times, then use the washcloth to gently rub off any leftover oil & VOILA!!! you will look & feel like you just had a facial! Sorry that was so long, but to anyone who is skeptical, you really MUST try this, b/c i'm telling you, i have the most oily, sensitive skin on the planet, & this actually works!!! My skin was so gross when i first tried this, that even tho i would cleanse faithfully every night, using expensive washes that just stripped my skin, when i used the OCM, i could actually FEEL the dirt & gunk coming out of my skin & i could SEE it on the washcloth!!! I have also now converted my sis & mom to using this. . . & to think i've wasted hundreds of dollars on expensive washes. . . this costs like 5 bucks to make enough to last me all year!!!
Jamaicandiva says:
April 14, 2008, 12:44 am
to clarify, when i say OCM i mean Oil Cleansing Method!!!
LBellatrix says:
April 15, 2008, 11:25 am
My skin tends to be dry but I've never had any serious problems with it in terms of breakouts, blemishes, etc. I really lucked out in the genetic pool there...and in fact that's what I used to tell people who asked me about my routine. It wasn't until recently that I realized that not everyone started moisturizing at age 14 like me... Re moisturizers: Mine have gotten heavier as I've gotten older. My mother started using vitamin E cream on her face a couple of years ago and I followed in her footsteps except I got the kind without mineral oil (by JASON). I'm using the lowest dose (5000 IUs).
paradisebird says:
April 19, 2008, 8:32 pm
I used Dr. Hauschkas cleansing milk, facial spray and rose cream during the winter which can be very cold here(germany). Last month i gave weleda iris cleansing milk and night cream (which i also use as as moisturizer for the day)a ry and i am still vry happ ith the rsult. i Think i will switch to the ir day cream when its armer outside. Their hydrating face mask is also great! Those natural products works better for me!
Brandi says:
April 19, 2008, 11:04 pm
I switch between Cetaphil cleaner and Shu Uemura when I'm wearing makeup. Shu Uemura is fabulous! It removes even waterproof makeup in one step. So if you wear makeup daily, you might want to give it a shot. One less product clogging my cabinet!
CaterFly says:
April 26, 2008, 11:40 am
Try Tea-tree oil ladies! I mix it with my facial wash (I switch between Noxema and Cetaphil) and my skin feels great! I get many compliments!
Sonia says:
May 10, 2008, 12:49 pm
OK, I shelled out the $32 for the Shu Uemura cleansing oil and all I have to show for it is a whole lot of pimples. I have combination skin and have been using a Nutrogena or Clean and Clear cleanser and hardly ever got pimples. They controlled my face rather well and don't cost $32. Chupse....... Or perhaps I am doing something wrong?
bella says:
May 10, 2008, 11:15 pm
oh no! I'm sorry to hear that, Sonia. My skin's been responding really well to the Shu Uemura. At night I slather it on, massage it in, then rinse with warm water. Haven't gotten a major breakout yet -- knock on wood. How have you been using it? I guess not everything's going to work for everybody, but I'm sorry it's such a costly item that isn't working for you.
Jean says:
November 2, 2008, 4:43 pm
Thank-you for your writing . Interesting article . To cleanse your face , I think that you may enjoy this posting on skin care
pauline says:
May 8, 2009, 3:41 pm
I am SO glad i purchased the "Made from Earth" detox and renew products. Its is the healthiest microdermabrasion out there....and its all chemical free... I have only used them for the last 2 weeks and WOW! I almost didn't use it last night because i thought my skin was already pretty smooth but i couldn't resist - i was just too excited. First, let me say that i am 29, a student in graduate school. When i first went to college for many months my acne progressively got worse. I tried Proactiv but it was too drying, other drugstore brands (that used to work until my skin worsened), and even went on a prescription for a month for acne (i hated it). Then i began trying products to retain moisture - and i LOVE the Made from Earth Vitamin Enhanced Moisturizer for that. Having success with it encouraged me to try their detox also - which is the "rooibos Tea Face Scrub". I wanted to try it because while much of my blemishes are gone, my skin doesn't look very healthy. I have some scars that blend with my freckles and my skin tone looks terrible. I wanted professional microdermabrasion but i am a college student - not gonna happen on my salary. Plus, I am super healthy and dont want to put any harmful chemicals in my body or on my skin. Luckily i did splurge and spent around $120 on this kit and i am so glad i did.. .it comes with a discount of you buy both rpoducts together. . . It has removed some of the dry skin patches near my nostrils and left my skin even softer! Softer than i ever imagined! The combination of the scrub daily and the enhanced moisturizer have greatly reduced my blackheads and my skin feels firmer. This will be in my skin care routine FOREVER! For a graduate college student, this is a bit pricey - but it works! So stop wasting money on cheaper things that don't work and try this. I bought online at ...some reviews also said its cheaper to buy online
Hall says:
August 16, 2009, 10:08 pm
Please do not keep posting because then I would have nowhere to find such great information like this!! :(
betsy says:
April 16, 2010, 3:31 am
I never heard about oil cleansing, and even I never tried cleansing oil.For cleansing my my face I use wipes. I will now thanks to this review for sharing their views. Does it work for acne porn skin also? I think it’s good for only normal skin.
skinsavey says:
May 27, 2010, 1:36 am
I love trying out new lotions and potions’ here I found this product from myskin. I am trying this for the last 2 weeks and the results are awesome– i am just too excited