Editor-Tested: Confessions of an Oil Puller
Gwyneth Paltrow swears by it. Shailene Woodley can't get enough of it. A new celebrity seems to be hopping on board the trend every day. Oil pulling has become somewhat of a Hollywood obsession lately. So we asked InStyle.com's own Art Director Adrian Moreno to pop open a bottle, swish back some oil, and document his experience. Here's what happened.
Why I started:Oil pulling is stated to be a detox which pulls toxins from your body and improves oral health. Various articles state a wide range of health benefits from oil pulling but the consistent claimed results I saw were: whiter teeth, better breath, skin/complexion improvements, gum health and headache relief.
The process:1. After waking up, swish 1 tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 20 minutes.2. I used coconut but you can use any other vegetable oil like sunflower or sesame.3. After the 20 minute swish (sounds like a dance move), spit the oil into the trash. Not the toilet or sink drain.4. Brush your teeth as regular once done.
What I did:Not being a morning person, adding 20 minutes to my routine sounded a bit too aggressive. Also, the thought of swishing an oil around in my mouth pre-brushing sounded a bit foul. I gave it a chance though. I didn't want to jump right in so first I tested the oil to see how I felt about the consistency. Solid coconut oil melts at around 76 degrees F so the thickness only lasted a few seconds. The coconut oil I used was La Tourangelle's Virgin Organic Coconut Oil ($10; latourangelle.com). As much as I was hoping for the Almond Joy experience, the taste wasn't overwhelming -- it was bland with just the slightest hint of coconut.
Instead of doing 20 minutes I started at 10. Within the first two minutes I started to feel tension in my jaw so I toned down the vigorous jaw twerks. It's instinct for me to swallow so I had to make sure I didn't. The spoonful soon began to feel like an overwhelming amount due to the saliva build up (gross, I know). The 10 minutes went by fast but I had a good sense of how to make the process smoother next time.
I wanted to do the full 20 minutes so I decided to start the process once I woke up and continue while in the shower (that's at least 15-20 minutes). Instead of rapid swishing I took my time to avoid tension like the first time around. There was still a large build up but the process went a lot smoother when not focusing on the actual swish.
What I noticed:After pulling, my teeth did feel cleaner. Brushing my teeth/flossing after the process, did in-fact, make my mouth feel fresher. I noticed it helped with sinus pressure/slight headaches I may have had from the previous night out. I honestly could not commit to doing this everyday but make it a point to do at least 3-4 times a week. I've heard that two 10 minutes sessions may work as well. Once in the morning and once at night. I've yet to meet a consistent puller, but wouldn't mind diving deeper and experimenting with different oils.