Oil Gritting: TikTok's Viral Skincare Trend - Fact or Fad?

Have you seen the #oilgritting trend making the rounds on TikTok? It promises to clear your pores of pesky blackheads and reveal a smoother, clearer complexion, but is it all it's cracked up to be?

What is Oil Gritting?

Oil gritting also known as skin gritting involves massaging your face with oil for several minutes- any where from 5 to 15 minutes, which is a long time, then wiping it off with a warm washcloth. The "grits" that appear are supposed to be extracted blackheads and sebaceous filaments. Most users often concentrate on the nose and the area around the nose because of the preponderance of sebaceous filament that may be visible around it.

How to "Skin Grit":
Our friends on reddit have enthusiastically shared 3 popular approaches to skin gritting.

  1. Oil to Clay back to Oil:
    • Cleanse with oil cleanser, then apply a clay mask (let it sit for about 15 mins), rinse mask off, then massage face with oil for 2-3 minutes, and feel for grits.
    • This method is best for most users, especially beginners.
  2. Oil then Acid to Clay and back to Oil:
    • Cleanse with oil cleanser, apply BHA acid and leave on for 20-25 minutes), apply clay mask like in (1.) above, rinse mask off, then massage face with oil for 2-3 minutes  and feel for grits.
    • This method is best for users who want a deeper exfoliation, and could help with stubborn blackheads. Generally not suitable for users with sensitive skin.
  3. Oil then go to Sleep and back to Oil in the morning:
    • Go through your regular nighttime routine then apply face oil generously as the final step, leave on overnight, in the morning massage in oil for 2- 3 minutes and feel for grits.
    • This method is best for users with sensitive skin, or those wanting a simpler approach.

Pros of Oil Gritting:
  • May remove some surface impurities: The oil can help dissolve makeup and surface dirt, leaving your skin feeling temporarily cleaner.
  • Exfoliation: Gentle massaging with oil can help remove dead skin cells, potentially leading to a brighter appearance.

    Cons of Oil Gritting:
    • Ineffective for blackheads: The "grits" are likely not blackheads, but rather sebaceous filaments, which are normal structures in your skin. Also, oil gritting does not remove them permanently.
    • Potential for irritation: Rubbing the skin on your face for extended periods can irritate sensitive skin.
    • Clogged pores: Importantly, using the wrong type of oil, like coconut oil, can clog pores and worsen acne.

      The Verdict:

      While oil gritting may offer some mild exfoliation and temporary cleansing, it's not a magic bullet for blackheads or sebaceous filaments. In fact, it could potentially irritate your skin.

      Tried and Tested Alternatives to Oil Gritting:
      Here are our time tested recommendations for keeping your skin clear

      Double cleansing: This involves using an oil cleanser to remove makeup and sunscreen, followed by a water-based cleanser to wash away impurities.
      Chemical exfoliation: Products containing BHAs (beta hydroxy acids) like salicylic acid and/or AHAs (Alpha hydroxyl acids) like glycolic acid, can help unclog pores and reduce blackheads.
      Professional extraction: For stubborn blackheads, consult a dermatologist or esthetician for safe extraction.

      Pro Tip:
      Always patch test new products before applying them to your entire face. If you experience any irritation, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist.

      Bolden Take: Skip the oil gritting fad and focus on a gentle, consistent skincare routine that includes cleansing, exfoliation, and hydration.

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