Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)


373 reviews

62% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$




Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I have overall oily skin which is acne prone. The last time I can remember having pimple free skin is back in my teens or every time I go somewhere sunny for my hols (the sun always clears it but within a couple of weeks being back in the UK, it slowly deteriorates. I lead a very healthy lifestyle. Don't drink or smoke e.t.c. I exercise 4 times a week, drink 3+ lts of water a day but this doesn't seem to be enough to give me the desired clear skin. I tried this method for the first time last night after having tried pretty much everything under the sun. I used 3 tsp cold pressed, pure Castor oil and 1 tsp Evoo. What I did first was remove my make up with the Jane Iredale mit, which is just a microfiber cloth which removes all make up traces with water alone. I died my skin and massaged the oil mixture over my face for about 2 minutes. I did the hot towel thing about 3 times and then again massage my skin. I then began to remove the oil with my cloth until I felt that it was gone and saw no more make up traces on my cloth. Then I used an ice cube and massaged it over my face until it melted (read about the benefits of this old trick). To damp skin I applied the Clarins Lotus facial oil and patted this in and that's it. I also use high strength Vitamin E oil (H&B) for my eyelids, eyelashes & lips. I made sure to rinse and clean my cloth and hung it to air dry ready for the following evening.
In the morning my skin was calm, one pimple which I saw was there came to the surface, which was easily removed with just washing my face with black mud soap (great inexpensive, pure product from Boots) and then moisturised with the Murad acne control moisturiser. I have high hopes for this and will report back in a month or so.
I guess the main thing is to thoroughly remove the oil, thoroughly clean the wash cloths and use high grade products. Everyone is different and this will not suite everyone but I really hope it works.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Medium Brown, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Having suffered with bouts of acne for the past 20 years, I am always on the look out for something which may prove to be the miracle cure.

I was hopeful of OCM as I had read so much about it, but I'm afraid it didn't work for me at all.

About a week into following OCM my skin started breaking out, I read this happened and it was recommended to carry on, which I did but to no avail. My skin just kept getting worse, so after a month.

Slowly my skin is calming down and clearing up.

I did experience some clogged pores being becoming unblocked when doing OCM, but I think this is more to the massaging effect and this was backed up the beauty therapist I visited when I recently went for a facial. Who said that often we don't massage our skin enough when cleansing and its especially important to massage along the jaw line towards the ears as this is where the lymph nodes lie

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Other, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I tried oil cleansing as a pre-cleanse for sunscreen. I used mineral oil, since it's so highly regarded on the skincare board and I wanted to try it myself. The kind I have is called Butcher's Block, it's a food grade quality product and only contains mineral oil and vitamin E. I didn't use an emulsifier because I read you do not need to use one (just make sure your face is really wet and to cleanse the residue off enough). I've done this maybe 3 times before writing this.

PROS: Nothing.

CONS: PITA from start to finish. The idea is simple, that the cleanser will remove the oil. Here's the problem though: IT DOESN'T. I always had a thick layer of mineral oil behind. It was beyond noticeable (in feeling) and my skin never felt clean. I have to do a second wash to get it completely off. What a waste of cleanser and time! I also didn't see or feel any kind of purging or blackhead removal, etc.

OVERALL: Doing this with an oil that doesn't have an emulsifier is pointless. It's way too much work to remove. Maybe one day in the future I'll add an emulsifier or try different oils and experiment, but ATM I have this huge bottle of mineral oil collecting dust.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Sensitive, Medium Brown, Warm

Hair: Black, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I've tried this method with just olive oil for a few months. In the morning I would rinse my face with water, and the olive oil, then rinse it off. I have acne prone skin and dry skin. Surprisingly it didn't break me out (which I thought it would), but it created this weird looking patch on my right cheek. I stopped doing this method after that, but I might start doing it again just not that often ( I was doing it everyday). I'll only do it at night, because it takes a long time to sink in at the am and I looked like I was about to deep fry my face.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

Every cleansing oil I've used has broken me out! Even olive oil and grapeseed oils break me out. I should have known. My acne is caused by my excess oil so adding more oil just breaks be out even more. My poor pores were spewing sebum like crazy! Never again.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I have used every skin care product out there for acne prone - combination skin. OCM has done wonders for me! Everyone is different so you just gotta be patient & find the oil that's best for you. I've been using OCM for three months now. For me I cleanse with EVOO & a rag, do a facial (organic honey or coffee grounds & honey) then hydrate with organic coconut oil. I do this twice a day, everyday. I used to have scaring, frequent breakouts, blemishes, etc but now I have almost flawless skin! With the exception of a few hormonal pimples here and there. I suggest that anyone who would like to try it actually give it time to work. Just like when you buy a face wash from a store you don't have over night results, I believe it takes about three weeks to see amazing things. If you break out at first, don't freak - your body is just pushing all the crap out. Good luck to everyone!


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I have weird skin. I have an oily forehead and chin, but dryness between my eyebrows, on my nose, and the skin immediately next to my nose and above my mouth. My cheeks are usually perfect. I get breakouts on my chin near my mouth pretty frequently. I have never had cystic acne, for the record. I gave up cleanser awhile ago because I found it was making my skin horrible. I also am a pale Irish girl with a lot of redness in my skin. I had pretty gone to just rinsing my face with straight water as a method of cleansing it. It was getting better but the dryness on my face made my makeup look HORRIBLE and no moisturizer or exfoliation I tried would take care of it. I first heard of OCM when I was about 16 (25 now) and I thought it sounded too insane to try. My mother used just vegetable oil in her teens. This isn't the way to go, but it worked for her. Her skin was perfect until she was well into adulthood and started using cleansers. I was at my wits end with the dryness, so when I happened upon OCM again about a year ago, I decided to try it. I first tried straight olive oil since that's what I had and I was low on money and eager to start. It helped with the dryness but I had zits immediately after and I wasn't happy with it. When I got money, I went out and purchased cold-pressed castor oil and jojoba oil. I did a 50/50 mix. I wet my face first, put a quarter size amount of my oil mix in my hands and rub them together to warm it up. I them spread it all over my face and rub it in. I don't find I feel any grains or anything that others report. I then wet a washcloth (I bought new washcloths that I only use for OCM on my face) and get it wet with hot water and drape it over my face for probably 30 seconds. I do this two or three times. Then I use the washcloth to lightly wipe away excess oil. When I am done, my face doesn't feel oily but just moisturized. I only do this once a day every few days and it has been AMAZING. I had no purging and the dryness is finally gone. I have no pimples at all which is the first time that's happened since I was probably 13. My face actually does feel cleaner afterwards which I wasn't expecting. I have a lot less redness as well which I didn't even think was possible. My father's whole family has the pale Irish redness going on, so I thought it was genetics I would be unable to escape! I recommend trying different oils and oil blends if this isn't working for you. Be patient. My mother uses straight olive oil now (she's 55 with combination skin and occasional breakouts) and it's working amazingly for her. And if you use cleansers, your skin will need time to adjust to the change. I went through a transition period when I went from cleanser to water, but my skin did even out. I am strictly against cleansers now.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I'm a victim of OCM. My experience was so bad that I had to write a review about it. It has been more than 2 months since I last OCM-ed my skin and the current condition of my skin is pretty lousy. My routine was to use olive oil and massage onto my face before washing it again with a face wash.

There were online articles saying that using a facial foam together with OCM will make matters worst and I'm not sure how reliable are these comments. Maybe this works best for normal to dry skin and for those who don't wear make-up on a daily basis.

Anyways... My bad experience could also be attributed from massaging the oil too much into my skin (you know how much gunk comes out with the massage). Initial trials were fabulous - i.e. clear and smooth skin. A few weeks on, my skin started to develop zillions of comedones. Whenever I wash my face, I felt like I'm touching some kind of reptile skin. My skin was bumpy everywhere, especially those areas I was happily massaging during my OCM sessions. Some of these comedones turned into cysts and some were infected. It was horrendous....

In my opinion, OCM is an unproven fad and the price I had to pay was just too much (primarily the sacrifice of my bump-free skin). I ended up going to a dermatologist for treatment. Right now, the comedones are still there and my skin is still bumpy (feels like they are never going away).

No doubt there are many positive and some good "skin-changing" experiences, I think it's best to not follow such hype without reliable professional advice on the how to correctly perform OCM, the kind of oil to use and the implications of using OCM. What works for many doesn't mean it works well for you - just need to remember this.

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

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'm back for a quick UPDATE 7/8/2013
Ok I'll be thankful for everyone who wrote a review! This method for me was life changing, and I can't imagine any other way to cleanse my face. Sure it can be a pain in the @ss to always do this whole ritual, not to mention taking with yourself (I travel a lot) oil (hoping that it won't spill and making your whole suitcase oily), wash cloth etc, but well it is worth it! Will be using this forever.
My skin is still not perfect but it did improved a hell of a lot.
Skin texture: smoother, firmer, looks healthy.
My skin does not feel dehydratated anymore. (yay)
Pores are almost invisible. (yay again)
No more blackheads on my nose! (YAYYYYYY)

So my tips:
After I wiped away the coconut oil with a warm wash cloth, I use soap (extra virgin olive oil soap). After the whole cleansing ritual I use rosewater to tone.
I think the key is to 'double-cleanse'. First remove make up & dirt with coconut oil, next remove coconut oil with soap, or any cleanser you prefer. HTH

Just here to say that I'm still using this method. No kidding. Oh gawd finally I'm persisent in something when it comes to skincare. I'm pretty sure I'll never use anything else. 'm using sweet almond oil, next I'll try camelia oil. Love 'em. OIL UP Ladies.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I've been doing the OCM for a few months now and I've been very pleased with the results. 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.

For example, I knew extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) wasn't going to work on my skin from the get-go. 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 oils. I chose safflower oil as my main oil, and it works great.

I started off using only safflower oil, then slowly titrated the amount of castor oil I added until I ended up with a 3:1 ratio of safflower to castor oil. I add some tea tree or lavender oil for fragrance depending on how I'm feeling when I make the bottle up. I find that this ratio 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 BTW I don't believe really occurs, and most dermatologists will agree with me.

I rub the oil on (not in, but on. Big difference), for 30 seconds, let it sit for another 30 seconds, give another quick rub, and then remove it. I'm "supposed" to massage it in for a few minutes, and I don't massage the oil in until I feel any grit/sebum plugs/etc. coming out of my skin. Reason why not: if I work that oil very deep into my skin, it's not going to be easy to get it out, especially with using just a hot washcoth. Common sense.

I use the warm washcloth steaming technique to help remove the oil, but I don't make it a prolonged spiritual procedure as I'm "supposed" to. I do it two or three times because it feels good, then I wipe the remaining oil off with the cloth. By the way, 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 don't rely solely on the OCM to cleanse my skin. Instead, I use it as a pretreatment to remove the makeup and grime first; then then I follow with my Clarisonic and the cleanser du jour. I also follow up with a moisturizer afterwards. Again, using cleansers and other moisturizers isn't what is "supposed" to be done, but this is what works for me.

Last, I use OCM only at night. If I find my skin is getting a bit dry or if I'm not wearing makeup that day, I either use plain safflower oii or just skip the OCM entirely that evening.

My routine is this: after the OCM, I follow with a gentle cleanser and the Clarisonic brush, then salicylic acid on any problem spots, Retin-A and argan oil. My morning routine is a regular cleanser with the Clarisonic, hyaluronic acid and moisturizer with SPF.

My skin has never looked better. I haven't had a bout of cystic acne, and any breakouts I do have are minimal and resolve quickly. I don't expect the OCM to prevent me from ever breaking out again. Reality check: 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.

I'm sure you've seen that the OCM doesn't work for everyone, with some even complaining that it has ruined their skin. I noted that the problems seem to have 1 of 4 causes: a. they didn't change the OCM to suit their skin, b. they used poor-quality oils, c. they didn't remove all the oil from their skin, or d. they kept slogging along with using it even though it was making their skin worse.


a: If the OCM isn't working, tweak the oils you're using. Don't blindly follow a recommended oil blend that you read some random model/beauty-blogger swears by, but first think about your skin and how they would react to those specific oils. Also cut back on how often you're doing the OCM: once a day is enough, but doIng it less frequently is fine too.

b: 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. Store your oils properly too: cool and dark places are the best.

When shopping, read the labels. Highest quality doesn't necessarily mean the most expensive oil out there. At the same time, cheap oils are not a bargain if the quality is poor. Buying in bulk isn't a good idea either, as the oil may turn bad before you get a chance to finish the bottle.

When making your oil mixture, I recommend making it in small batches. That way you can tweak the formula as you need to. I also recommend storing it in a dark bottle to help keep it fresher longer.

c: Be sure to remove all of the oil, as you can get oil folliculitis from the oil clogging your pores. If you don't want to follow up with another cleanser or toner, then put that wet washcloth on your face for as many times as it takes to get the oil off. Also, no need to massage for 5-10-20 minutes: a minute or less is fine. Ignore the urge to rub until you feel the sebum plugs--you WILL regret working that oil so deeply in.

d. Don't expect never to break out again; in fact, you're a fool if you think you never will. If the OCM cured acne for good, it'd have made the history books a long time ago. However, any breakouts should be minor. If you have more than the odd lesion or two, review what's going on: 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? Taking a new medication? Are you at a time in your cycle when you usually break out? Any unusual stress going on?

However, if the breakout is really bad, or if your skin has gotten worse since starting the OCM, then immediately 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. It just i

30 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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