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Cleansers - Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)

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rated 3.3(331 reviews)

  • Average Rating: 3.3
  • 62% would buy again
  • Package Quality: 3.2
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rated 2 of 5 on 9/4/2012 4:23:00 PM More reviews by geideja

Age: 25-29 Skin: Oily, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium Eyes: Grey

OCM is trial and error - I tried different oils and none of them worked. Castor oil caused clogged pores and rash. Grapeseed oil caused rash. Olive oil, almond oil, hemp seed oil and sunflower seed oil are very moisturizing but unfortunately, they broke me out.

When I first did OCM, my friend told me that purging is normal and it will go away in a few weeks but it didn't! If you're breaking out then you ARE breaking out! There's no such as purging except AHA, BHA and retinoids.


[edit: (5/30/2013)] I tried OCM again but it still didn't work out. I recently discovered my own cleansing balm (inspired by Galen's original cold cream) with unrefined beeswax, organic jojoba oil and manuka honey. I've been using it for a month and there is no issue with clogged pores, rash or breakouts. I know it's not OCM but this is definitely the one for my skin.

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rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 9/3/2012 12:32:00 AM More reviews by wws1980

Age: 30-35 Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Warm Hair: Brown, Curly, Coarse Eyes: Green

Yikes. Be very, very careful when deciding to try the OCM to cleanse your face. I had high hopes for this. My current method of Clarisonic and Black Soap had me almost clear but I still had one or two hormonal acne breakouts around my period. They take about two weeks to clear so I decided to try the OCM to see if I could clear it out faster and maybe even prevent them. Boy was this a bad decision! On my third day of trying the OCM (castor oil and sunflower oil), I started breaking out in tiny whiteheads on my jawline, where I normally breakout. Thinking it was part of the purging process, I proceeded for another week and it consistently got worse and worse until my entire lower cheek to jawline on both sides of my face were covered in cystic acne. I stopped OCM immediately and went to my dermatologist thinking it might be a horrible allergic reaction or something - she diagnosed me with oil folliculitis and possible staph. I' was put on a regimen of antibiotics, Hibiclens cleanser, topical antibiotics, and a steroid cream. The breakout continued for another three weeks, just getting worse and worse. Every morning I would wake up and there would be two or three new zits. It was horrible and even makeup couldn't cover the breakout. Random strangers commented on my skin which didn't help. My dermatologist did a series of AHA peels which seems to have finally curbed the onslaught of new acne, although the in-between stage of peeling + acne just added to my misery. My dermatologist has also put me on Retin A Micro to prevent future acne but I've been hesitant to start it in earnest since I've heard it also comes with a purging period.

I know the OCM works miracles for many, but sadly I wasn't one of them.

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/30/2012 12:05:00 AM More reviews by AnatomicallyCorrect

Age: 25-29 Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Background: I work in the natural foods industry- used everything from Hauschka cleansing milk to Weleda to Mychelle. It's hard to sell skin care when your skin sucks. I was put on the pill at 14- switched to Depo for a few years and came off it. Had perfect skin the whole time and woke up to the harsh reality of having sucky skin when I came off Depo.

Basically- my skin puked out all the crap it had repressed from being on hormone treatments for 10 years (surprise! my uterus is tipped which is why I had crippling cramps in the first place). It was gross.

I now run acneic, combination and sensitive. How's that for a triple threat?

So one of my friends asked me if I tried it. I happened to have castor oil at home (hematoma = cold packs).

I did about a 50/50 of castor to olive oil. I loved massaging it in and steaming it off. It felt amazing, my face wasn't tight or irritated. I cleared up in about 2 weeks- even had my friend who comes by once a month and still nothing.

So I, like a good scientist, decided I would go BACK to using my MOD skin foaming cleanser that worked okay.

Nope. Zits. On my jaw, on my forehead. What the hell. Back to oil cleansing I went and things started to calm down.

Sorry I cheated on you oil cleansing. I will be a better lover from now on.

I keep using Weleda's skin food as a facial moisturizer. My face just loves it and it's cheap too!

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rated 1 of 5 on 8/24/2012 11:49:00 PM More reviews by bonstamonsta

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Wavy, Coarse Eyes: Brown

I tried this method of cleaning a few days ago and I wish I never did. I used Olive Oil and I must admit that the first night I tried it, my skin felt pretty good. In the morning, it looked radiant and not so clogged. I was really happy with the results. After a couple days, my skin changed. Just like other reviewers here, my skin reacted to the oil in such a negative way. I started developing whiteheads on places that I usually never break out, such as the jawline, lower cheeks and even near my neck. It was quite odd. On top of the breakouts, my face became SUPER-DUPER oily and I am normally combination/dry. I looked absolutely gross! I even cleansed with another cleanser after using the olive oil just to make sure that all the oil was washed away. Hence, OCM has really changed the tone and the texture of my skin in the worse ways possible. I don't want to discourage OCM to everyone because I believe that it can work for many. But for those with sensitive and acne-prone skin, I would definitely use caution. If I could go back in time, I wish I never attempted this method. Even after stopping OCM, my skin is still in bad shape and in its recovering phase. The oiliness is still there and my skin is left bumpy and horrid. Again, proceed with caution. I don't really believe in the purging process, therefore, if you begin to see and feel bumps on your face that you never had, I would stop using OCM pronto. It's not worth it in the long run. And for those who have success, consider yourselves lucky.
UPDATE: 2 Months later, I am still suffering from dreadful whiteheads and clogged pores on jawline and sides of my chin. UGH! Really wish I hadn't try OCM.

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rated 5 of 5 on 8/5/2012 12:26:00 AM More reviews by Jiyapiya

Age: 30-35 Skin: Sensitive, Olive, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

No understatement, the OCM changed my life.
My skin was just...normal. It's sensitive and uneven, but no breakouts.

Trying the OCM, learning what worked for me, and now becoming a pro at it, has opened me up to a completely different view of skincare.

For people who break out, use less castor oil.

Use olive for moisturizing, coconut for perfect skin.

I've actually gotten to the point where I feel as if foundation takes away the glow of my natural skin! Good luck!

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 7/1/2012 11:04:00 AM More reviews by HoosierGirl08

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

This is why Pond's works so well, people! Pond's Cold Cream's main ingredient is Mineral Oil, which is completely non-comedogenic. It's an easy over the counter product that utilizes OCM. You smear this all over your face and wipe off with a warm washcloth. Best makeup remover ever! I never would've thought applying oil on my face would help with breakouts but it did. My advice it to try it and put down the soap! :)

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rated 3 of 5 on 6/21/2012 10:47:00 AM More reviews by mimepanda

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I've been experimenting with OCM on and off for a few years now. The first time I tried it was when I was dealing with a lot of cystic acne as a teenager, and although the method didn't irritate my skin or dry it out, it didn't seem to improve the cysts much so I gave up within a week or so. This time, I was experiencing a small breakout about 5 months after finishing a regiment of antibiotics which had cleared up my entire face, cysts and all. I figured that since my skin was doing ok maybe OCM could help to dry out the few pimples that had cropped up. I used a mixture of 50:50 jojoba oil and grapeseed oil with a few drops of castor oil (since my skin is quite dry I didn't want to use too much castor oil). I didn't steam my face every time I used it (only used it once a day at night) but I didn't notice a huge difference when I did steam. For the first few days it was a miracle! My skin felt plump and moisturized, my blackheads decreased and the acne was going away almost immediately. I happily continued for two weeks, then woke up one morning with a forehead full of whiteheads, clogged pores, painful red bumps and two huge cysts. The transition happened so quickly. I literally had glowing, acne-free skin going to bed and woke up with a very angry, red face. I've switched to a different oil cleanser with an emulsifier and gone back for some more antibiotics and my skin is finally calming down again. Very disappointed with how this turned out, however I do agree with the other reviewers that castor oil is the likely culprit. I've moisturized my face with jojoba oil a lot and have never had a bad reaction or a breakout, so when I am done with my new oil cleanser I may try this again with just jojoba oil. Will update if anything changes.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 6/18/2012 7:25:00 AM More reviews by magnumed

Age: 18 & Under Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium Eyes: Blue

I have no words. I have very acne prone skin, and I get bumps and imperfections from all cleansers I've used. After trying proactiv, neutrogena, vichy normaderm line and many, many more I accidentally stumbled upon the oil cleansing method while i was reading beauty articles online. I was very hesitant to put oil on my skin. I did my research well. I read every single review on the OCM here on MUA, and from various other websites, because I wanted to be sure I'm not exacerbating my skin. I'm 16 years old with moderate acne (atleast I had before

This review is based on a use of 5 months
time consuming

I dont have to do it everyday, I can do it every two days and still have good skin
Has cleared me from all my blemishes
Leaves my skin so soft
I use about 30% of castor oil and 70% sunflower seed oil. This works well for me, the sunflower oil dilutes the castor oil and makes it easier to remove. I recently switched from OCM to Vichy normaderm but gosh i regret it. After 2 weeks i switched back to OCM and now my former breakouts are almost gone and swelling has reduced. The OCM is the best thing that has happened to my skin and I will continue using it and modify the formula as my teenage acne goes away.

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 6/9/2012 1:17:00 PM More reviews by bludvls849

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Warm Hair: Black, Wavy, Coarse Eyes: Brown

This review may be a bit premature as I've only been doing this for a week, but I will update as I go along.

Background: I've had very clog and acne-prone skin for the past 3 years. My skin easily scars, and I have plenty of hyperpigmentation and redness on my cheeks and some on my chin, primarily from hormonal acne. At the same time, my skin is very easily dried out and requires very gentle cleansing. Lately my skin has been more sensitive than usual, and products I typically use turn my skin into a dry, red mess. With acne. Yay!

OCM transformed my skin overnight. It's not that my skin goes from scarred to glowing and perfect, but it's FAR less red and irritated. I massage a couple of drops of jojoba oil onto my wet face and neck in the shower, massage for a few minutes, then massage in cetaphil and rinse off. Sometimes I'll VERY lightly scrub with my salux to get off any excess oil.

I'm still perfecting this. My skin isn't SUPER smooth in the morning like it is when I use my Olay spinbrush (which I've eased off of to give my skin a break) but it's far less flaky, itchy, and overall calmer.

Update 12/7/12: This is just okay for my skin. This doesn't break me out like crazy, nor does it cure everything. My skin has been pretty terrible for the past few months (stress is pretty darn terrible for the body!) and have had to get on a course of oral antibiotics to bring my skin back under control.

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rated 4 of 5 on 5/30/2012 12:28:00 PM More reviews by Lowecj

Age: 30-35 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Neutral Hair: Blond, Straight, Medium Eyes: Blue

I read a few negative reviews from people with my skin type but I tried anyway and I had fantastic results but realized there is TRICK TO MAKE THIS WORK. I am fanatic about my skin and therefore did LOTS of research before diving in. I have been using OCM for 5 months and my skin has a nice glow, soft, my skin tone has improved drastically. I get couple pimples monthly which is hormonal and easily treated by a dab of pure essential tea tree oil (yes, it's safe in full dilution despite what some say)
The trick to the OCM is MAKING SURE YOU PURCHASE THE RIGHT OIL FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE. Olive oil is listed as 2 under non-comedogenic oils which isnt bad but a 1 is better. The best oil to use for oily/acne prone skin is jojoba or grapeseed. I also recommend using USDA Organic oils to make sure you know what you are buying. I buy mine from Aura Cacia, I use but they sell at lots of places.
I have had most success with using 2 tbsp jojoba, 1 tbsp grapeseed and 1 tbsp castor oil with 5 drops patchouli essential oil to tighten pores. Make sure you put oil in dark glass jar and store in cabinet or dark place. Never leave in sun, it will change the formula. I make a fresh batch every 4 weeks.

I tried 50/50 mix of jojoba & castor oil but didnt like that formula as much and reduced the castor oil. I have also used Argan Oil for it's anti-aging properties but noticed that did result in small breakout. The next batch I plan to try a few drops of tea tree or lemon essential oil to add antiseptic quality.I add a little something to each formula every few weeks just to change it up and see if there is better formula for my skin.
I also use a hydrosal after cleansing and a green clay mask (green clay from Queen Helene or GOW) 3 times a week. I also use the Juice Beauty Apple Peel twice a week a couple days after the green clay. I may exfoliate more than most but my skin is thick, oily with med-large pores and benefits from being extra clean.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No