This method is working great for me so far!
Skin type: I have combination/dry/dehydratated/ skin, prone to congestion in the T-zone.
I tried so many cleansers... You know there are some very gentle cleansers, but they don't remove make up well... And there are the ones leaving your face squeaky clean and also dry, stripped from natural oils... So perfect cleanser doesn't exist.
This is why I was experimenting with this method a few months ago, well, I ended up with totally messed up skin (I used jojoba oil).
Now I'm using unrefined coconut oil, I massage it in for a minute or so, after I wipe it away using a warm wash cloth. Then (here comes my trick) wash my face with extra virgin olive oil soap! This removes the oily (and dirty!) residue, leaving my skin silky. Not sure,this is still the traditional OCM, but I think this is the KEY to avoid breakouts. I'll report back for sure.
Good luck, girls!
I've been doing the OCM for a few months now and I've been very pleased with the results. Yes, it sounds unconventional, but it really can work.
I think the biggest secret to making the OCM work for you is to know your skin and modify the OCM to fit it, instead of blindly following what you're "supposed" to do. After all, how do I know if the creator of the program and I have the exact same skin issues?
I knew extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) wasn't going to work on my skin from the get-go so I never tried it, not even once. My pores clog easily, so the last thing I'm going to do is use a comedogenic oil, even if that's what I'm "supposed" to use. So no EVOO, no coconut, and no jojoba. I stick with safflower oil as my main oil. So, know your skin and research your oils, because what works for someone else may not work for you.
I also started off using just safflower oil, then slowly titrated the amount of castor oil I used until I ended up with a 3:1 ratio of safflower to castor oil, with some lavender oil for fragrance. I find that this mix works well for me. Because of the slow titration--it took a couple of months to hit my current ratio--I never had any adverse reactions to the OCM such as excessive dryness, irritation or "purging"...which to be honest I don't believe really occurs, and most dermatologists agree with me.
I don't massage until I "feel" anything coming out of my skin. I rub the oil on (not in, but on. Big difference) for a minute and then remove it. I'm "supposed" to massage it in for a few minutes, but I think doing that is asking for irritation.
I do use the warm washcloth steaming to help remove the oil, but I don't make it a prolonged procedure as I'm "supposed" to. I do it two or three times to make the oil easier to remove, then I wipe the oil off with the cloth...BTW, the pores "opening/closing" is a myth too--ask your dermatologist. But the warmth does make the oil and sebum softer and easier to remove.
I also don't rely solely on the OCM because it doesn't take much for my skin to break out. Instead, I use it as a "pre-cleanser" to remove the makeup and grime first. Then I follow with my Clairsonic and a gentle cleanser, and I use argan oil to moisturize afterwards. Again, this is not how it's "supposed" to be done, but I know what works for my skin.
I only use OCM at night. If I find my skin is getting a bit dry, I either use plain safflower oii or just skip the OCM entirely that evening.
My skin has never looked better. I haven't had a bout of cystic acne, and any breakouts I have are minimal and resolve quickly. I don't expect the OCM to prevent me from ever breaking out again...and let's be honest: if the OCM cured acne for good, then it would have made headlines long ago and the companies that make Clearisil and Proactiv would be out of business.
Now, the OCM doesn't appear to work for everyone. I've read tons of stories about people complaining about how the OCM has ruined their skin but they either a. didn't change the OCM to suit their skin, b. used poor-quality oils, and/or c. kept slogging along with using it even though it was making their skin worse.
If the OCM isn't working, try tweaking the oils you're using. Don't blindly follow a recommended oil blend that you read about online, but first think about your skin and how they would react to those specific oils. Cut back on how often you're using it--once a day is probably enough, but doIng it less frequently is perfectly fine too. Maybe consider using a cleanser/toner afterwards to get off all the oil.
Make sure you get the highest-quality oils: cold-pressed, unadulterated, and preferably in dark bottles as light can break down a lot of oils and make them go rancid. Highest quality doesn't necessarily mean the most expensive. On the other hand, cheap oils may not be much of a bargain after all if their quality is poor. Do your homework. Buying in bulk also isn't a good idea either as the oil may turn bad before you get a chance to finish the bottle.
Don't expect never to break out again--you WILL break out. As I said before, if the OCM cured acne for good it'd have made the history books a long time ago. But it should only be the one odd spot here and there, not massive breakouts. So if you have more than the odd lesion or two, try troubleshooting the OCM: What oils are you using? Are you removing the oil from your skin thoroughly? Have you changed other parts of your skincare routine? Using a new makeup? Are you at a time in your cycle when you usually break out? Any unusual stress going on?
If you do all of that and the OCM still isn't working, or if you've broken out horribly, then maybe it's not for you. In that case, STOP using it. Remember, skin doesn't "purge" so if your skin didn't like the OCM, don't keep doing it in the hopes that it will get better.
I used 75% evoo and 25% castor oil for a month and at first my pimples dried up and my skin looked so nice but after doing this method for a month I started noticing small bumps under my skin. I got freaked out cause I realized they were pimples that hadn't surfaced yet. So I decided to stop doing this method and that's when all hell broke loose. I got the worst acne I had ever gotten in my entire life. I had a ton of huge pimples that hurt so badly. Now I'm left with really red acne scars. So seriously I would not recommend this method. I loved it at first and even told my friends and family that they should try since I loved the results I was seeing. But if I would have known how badly my face would turn out, I would NEVER have tried it. Please don't make my mistake. My face looks horrible now
Sincerely wish I'd tried it sooner. Years and years sooner. Putting oil on my skin just seemed far too mental. I've had problem skin since I hit puberty. I'm 25 now and I'd say I've let it affect my life and, partly, who I am as a person. Which is sad. I had terrible cystic acne for most my teenage years, but that has almost completely subsided aside from the occasional sneaky ones on my back, which I can live with.
For the last few years though, I've had gradually worsening rosacea and enlarged/consistently clogged pores (all over cheeks/nose).
I tried several different cleansers, face masks, and moisturisers, (and probably more useless stuff I don't care to remember) in hope of making it better. To be honest I think I'd also been making things worse by aggravating my highly sensitive skin. Even with mild cleansers I could never resist the urge to wash quite thoroughly twice a day. I also picked and squeezed which definitely doesn't help at all... can't overstate this enough, because I know just how hard it can be not to. SO there's my life story up until now, it's not been a happy trip for my skin if I'm honest. However, I'm a month into using OCM now and wanted to say how much I appreciate it even if it helps just one person. Put it this way, I've never wrote a review on anything before. It is that good for me.
One month in and ALL my skin problems have improved and I'm way less stressed about it all which has gotta help. My skin doesn't feel oily or dirty in the morning so I'm fine with just splashing it with water (the less I can do to it to aggravate it the better, although... I did try doing nothing for a week once and that didn't work too well!). I do moisturise currently with a light moisturiser (clinique m-gel) mixed with a drop of jojoba, but I feel the more I use OCM the less I need to as my skin seemingly adapts.
There WAS A PURGING PERIOD for a few days. Terrible ugly purging, but that's good right? I still find myself gently squeezing some crap out every 3 days or so from somewhere, usually my nose, but it comes out easier ( = less aggravation) and the general condition of my skin is SO much better now so it's a price I'm willing pay. I'm using 1/3rds castor/jojoba/grapeseed at the moment and things just keep getting better. I'll update if it all goes to **** but I'm feeling pretty hopeful right now. More than worth a go if you're having any of the issues I described.
I really think the key to successfully using OCM over the long run is to mix an emulsifier into the oil blend, which makes it rinse perfectly clean. I've read many reviews from people who had great results with regular OCM the first few weeks, and then had disasters like cystic acne or milia or other breakouts, which can take ages to subside.
Honestly, most people cannot rub oil into their faces day after day without clogging pores and having the oil build up slowly on their skin. And since OCM is especially recommended for oily and acne-prone faces, I think you can really mess yourself up if you don't dig deeper than strangers telling you online that it worked great for them. For example, the proposed recipe of 50% castor oil/50% carrier oil is crazy for most people: that is way too much castor oil, which WILL clog pores and for many will result in serious breakouts down the line, even if it seems wonderful at first. There is a reason all commercially made oil cleansers include an emulsifier. My trial and error are explained below.
I am 45, have combo skin that is going through a dry patch in cooler weather, but whether I'm oily or dry, I am always prone to breakouts, and my skin is fairly sensitive. I'm often told I have nice-looking skin, and that's because I have the breakout tendency totally under control with a 2% BHA liquid and have not broken out in ages. Until I tried the OCM, that is.
First I tried washing my face with organic extra-coconut oil, since my skin seemed a bit dry and flaky and coconut oil gets great reviews. I loved the feeling and thought I was sold, but three days later had the most ghastly red spots in areas I used to get acne 25 year ago! It got better in a few days, so I tried again, this time with olive oil. Same thing, even worse. Truly, all hell broke loose on my face. I was so broken out, like I have not been in DECADES. I went crazy using BHA twice a day until the breakouts subsided but I made my skin so flaky and dry and angry in the process. Got "somewhat" back to normal in a week by only washing at night, with Toleriane, and following up with dabbing Paula's Choice Resist Toner and Earth Sourced moisturizer. Good, soothing products that did not cause breakouts.
Here is what I finally ended up doing, and I am happy with the results. I bought Polysorbate 80 (an emulsifier---you can get it on several sites that sell facial oils both in the US and Canada). I made an OCM mix as follows: 40% sunflower oil (light, non-comedogenic, good for combo skin), 10% castor oil (deep cleanser), 10% oat oil (excellent against inflammation, soothing), 20% argan oil (you can find it cheap enough to still make the blend economical, and argan oil has many known benefits---substitute with hempseed oil if it's too pricey or you can't find it), and 20% polysorbate 80. Wow, what a difference. The oil went on smoothly without feeling too greasy at all.
The key here is NOT to massage too much if you have sensitive or breakout-prone skin. You'd only be stimulating things. Lightly massage the blend on. There is no need to leave it on. And there is no need to use the hot towel to 'open pores.' Dermatologists will tell you there is no such thing: you're not actually opening or closing your own pores. The hot towel just feels good, but it can irritate your skin. I skip this altogether. So I just lightly massage my cleansing oil in for about 20-30 seconds, and rinse with slightly warm water. The oil blend rinses right off. My skin feels so soft using this method, and perfectly clean. Makeup is removed too. I've been doing this every other night for ten days, with no adversity at all so far. If I have been wearing really heavy makeup I follow up with a foaming wash and/or toner (I like Paula's Choice skin balancing products for this). My skin has never felt and looked so good. On other nights I wash with Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser, or plain old Cetaphil which works awfully well despite the negative press about SLS.
I will update in a few more weeks. Note: this blend is for combo, breakout prone, somewhat sensitive skin. You can also mix part sunflower oil part grapeseed oil instead of just the sunflower oil, as lots of people with oily and acne-prone skin swear by grapeseed.
A quick word to those who use large amounts of tea tree oil or essential oils in their blends, or who add fragrant essential oils to the mix (like citrus, lavender, mint). It is apparently a bad idea. Even if you don't feel any irritation, these things do slowly irritate the skin at a level you don't see, eventually harming your skin and impeding its ability to repair itself. Use tea tree oil sparingly. Lay off all fragrances in your skin care products, as well as alcohol and fragrant essential oils and anything that includes peppermint, camphor, menthol and witch hazel. I have this from a chemist and a high-end dermatologist who treats 'famous faces.'
UPDATE/EDIT - MAY 5, 2013:
Unfortunately the OCM ended up making me break out despite my modifications including the emulsifier and using just grapeseed oil and hemp oil. I started getting blemishes like I have not had in years, and that's even if I followed up the OCM with a foaming wash or toner. My face not only broke out but became uneven to the touch and irritated and just overall not happy. I know it's the oil and not any other products. I stopped OCM three days ago and the blemishes are drying up with the help of 2% BHA solution and some 2.5% BP right on the blemishes. Talked to my derm and she said it's extremely common for this to happen and she's gotten so many visits from women who latched on to the OCM hoopla and got serious breakouts.
There is no such thing as a 'purge.' That is a myth. When you break out from a new product it's because your skin is irritated by it and the breakouts may eventually stop simply because your skin eventually gets used to it.
Tonight was my first night doing the OCM and I'm already a believer! My skin has never felt so clean. I had already been using argan oil after cleansing (with cetaphil) and those results were great. So I decided to enhance that by doing complete cleansing with oil. I used castor & jojoba. After toning with Peter Thomas Roth glycolic pads I didn't feel like I needed to moisturize. But, I wanted to add argan & rosehip seed oil just for an extra overnight treatment. I will update you guys on the results after using it for a few more weeks. Wish me luck!!
I really like this method! I've had moderate to severe acne for the past few years, and have been on various acne medications that were very drying. I have been doing this for a little over three weeks and it has really cleared my skin up!! My acne scars have faded significantly, I currently only have one pimple, and my overall complexion has evened out. I hardly put on any makeup now! I use 2 parts grapeseed oil mixed with one part castor oil, and steam my face twice! I recommend this method!
Words are not enough to explain how much I regret trying the OCM method.
I used to have a few small blemishes om my right cheek (they have been there for many years now). I tried the OCM 3 times back in february, hoping it would make them disappear. It resulted in light acne and LOTS of blemishes after LOTS of pimples. 2 monts later my skin is still the same with bumps, pimples and blemishes.
I've tried several creams, cleansers and oils but it hasn't helped.
Please be careful.
I didn't listen to my gut feeling and it resulted in bad skin.
I tried castor oil, sunflower oil and olive oil.
-----GOOD EXPERIENCE WITH OCM-----
I have sensitive skin and I get tiny blackheads on my cheeks, nose and forehead. I've also been noticing the pores around my nose getting bigger as I age.
I read about the OCM in a novel about the Romans and how they used to slather their entire bodies with oil and then scrape it off...got me thinking!
I did lots of research before I started this and now I'm in week 5 with no problems to report!
I used a mix of caster oil and olive oil to start (the caster oil sounds gross, but thats the oil that actually does the cleaning work! You need to use it.) I used a ratio of maybe 75% caster oil to 25% olive oil. Sounds like a lot of castor oil, yeah, but I figured I should start strong to begin with and then lower the ratio later. At the end of the first week, I did get a few red bumps on my forhead and hairline, so I dropped the ratio to 50/50, then to 25% caster oil and 75% olive oil.
I use the OCM everyday, usually twice, morning and night (or if I've used it at night, I just put a hot towel on my face the next morning, wipe and apply a little more olive oil as moisturizer)
My method is this, get out two washcloths and run the water to the highest heat. I apply the oils to my face and lightly massage for a few minutes.(2-5) Then I wet one washcloth with hot water and set it on my face till it gets cool (thats like only 30 seconds), then I wipe. Then I wet the second washcloth, set that on my face another 30 seconds and wipe. Then I apply some olive oil as a moisturizer. If I'm going to be wearing makeup, I go easier on the olive oil here, since I don't want my makeup floating around on my face.
I put my oils in a little pill bottle, but I have been looking around for a pump, since that would be so much easier to dispense it.
Olive oil as a moisturizer works amazing and makeup sits wonderfully on my skin when I've used it.
Yes, I even use the OCM on my eyes. it gets off ALL my makeup and I have never had it get in my eyes (I've even opened my eyes while they were slathered in oil)
Key to the OCM is getting the ratio right.
Also, some people actually ARE allergic to the oils and can't use the OCM...don't cry if you are one of them.
Try to think of the OCM as a face mask, instead of a face wash. The castor oil is STRONG. It can pull stuff out of your body. It's like a weird magnet oil. I have read of users massaging their face and suddenly they have all these little grains of sand under their fingers! Those are the blackheads that the caster oil has pulled out! I have never had anything that dramatic happen to me, but sometimes I feel a little thing and look down at my hands to see one little blackhead. YAY!
I've using EVOO for the last few months as a makeup remover before i cleanse with a regular cleanser at night.
I've used it before and notice more clogged pores, but i wasn't sure if it was because of EVOO or some other product i used at that time, so i tried it again, and never stopped :)
It takes off my eye makeup with no effort, and even Revlon Colorstay foundation from my face, no breakouts so far. I think it even made my skin so much better...
I take a small amount (i store it in a pump bottle) and massage into my skin for a few seconds. Then i take a paper towell/tissue and wipe it off. Then in the shower i use my regular cleanser to wash away any oilresidue.
I bought cold pressed castor oil today and i'm adding it to the EVOO because it seems to be very effective taking off dirt and oils from the pores, so i will update this soon... Hopefully i won't experiment such horrible breakouts from it as my skin has been finally ok in a few months. :)
Adding castor oil was a disaster to me, and i dind't even had to wait weeks to realize it. It took only 2 days to get (painful) breakouts on my chin and cheeks, and little bumps on my forehead, where i never breakout, unless i do something wrong, which apparently was the case... so i stopped it until it got worse. It's taking a while for them to go away, but my skin is better now. ufff...
I'm scared of using it again. Castor oil goes deep down to your pores, which means it will take all the things in your skin deep down, and they get stucked in there. That's the real danger of using it. I dindn't even steam the face, and used a regular cleanser after... and the castor oil i bought was cold pressed and bio, so i really don't get it how it can be so effective on some people and didn't worked for me...
So, i'm using EVOO again by itself and it works wonders as before :) it's a cheap and effective way to completely remove my makeup.