To answer that in one sentence: the worst beauty idea you will ever try. Apart from maybe a vampire facial a lá Kim K. It is so horrid, it makes the featured image on your blog all blurry because it is shuddering at the thought of it.
Oil Pulling in theory very simple. You get a table spoon of solid coconut oil, let it melt in your mouth and swill it about for a minimum of twenty minutes. You then spit it in the bin (not down anything connected to a drain, as when the oil cools it will solidify again and block it.) Easy.
The theory behind the practise comes from traditional Indian dental practises. It is said that doing oil-pulling daily, on an empty stomach will help draw out the toxins; although it is primarily focused on oral health, some people claim it will also improve your overall health, one of the main (apparent) results that has had the beauty world in a tiz is that it supposedly whiteness teeth.
Various practitioners also claim incorporating oil pulling into their regime has helped with sleep problems, skin conditions, headaches and reduced their risks of cavities.
When I first heard of oil pulling I thought I’d give it a go – after all, it sounds simple, it sounds like a small miracle. Do almost nothing for twenty minutes and let it whiten your teeth, improve your skin and give you a good night’s sleep.
That said, when faced with a lump of the white stuff, I bottled it and opted for a heaped tea-spoon sized portion as opposed to a table spoon full. When you first take the oil in your mouth, it doesn’t seem too bad. Then it begins to melt. It feels like you have an iceburg floating in your mouth on a sea of grease. Which in essence, I suppose you do. When it finally melts completely – which can feel like a long time coming- it’s time to begin swishing.
After the first few minutes the idea of it doing you some good begins to wear thin, after ten minutes you begin to think about quitting. I am not a quitter but a mouth full of lukewarm grease does this to a girl. Towards the end of the twenty minutes (trust me it was twenty minutes, I was counting down) my cheeks ached and my mouth felt horrible, it didn’t even taste like coconut towards the end, it was pure oil.
To be totally honest, when I did spit it out, my teeth did feel cleaner and smoother. They might have looked a tiny bit whiter, but I’m not too sure that isn’t just wishful thinking. Despite practising oil-pulling for a week, I wasn’t convinced that my teeth look any better (I’ve done my make-up the same for both photos so it doesn’t interfere with tooth-whiteness.) That said, now I’ve put the before and after photos together, I think they do look noticeably whiter, what do you guys think?
As for sleeping better, better skin and reduced risk of cavities? Well I can’t say I’ve being sleeping any better. There have been about two nights this week where it hasn’t been much of a sleep, and more like a black out, but both times I’ve still woken up tired. Maybe it was all the toxins coming out, instead of mixing in with the oil, but my skin seems to have gotten worse this week. Apart from the odd bulbous zit around the time of the month, I’m generally pretty lucky when it comes to spots. This week has had me reaching for the concealer.
So, what happened to me after a week of oil pulling? I was tired, and suffered from bad skin, though my teeth did feel slightly cleaner in the moments after the oil pulling and do look a bit whiter in the photo. As for the reduced risk of cavities, I guess we’ll have to wait for a dentist appointment for that one.