Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)


352 reviews

62% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$



Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

***EDIT 9/14/13**** I've stopped reviewing face products and acne medications completely on all of the sites that I used to frequent (acne.org, MUA, etc) because my skin is absolutely perfect now. I haven't had skin like this since I was fifteen years old. My regimen is now completely different and I recommend it to everyone who asks because of how quick and easy it is. I do NOTHING. I don't touch my face, I don't put anything on it, I don't use any kind of soaps or oils or creams or cleansers or moisturizers. I leave it the heck alone, and it's evened itself out to the point that it is just as clear and soft as the skin on the rest of my body. Don't get me wrong, it took me three months to get to where I am now and there were a lot of tears shed and a lot of new eruptions in the first few weeks, but if you're tired of the OCM and of trying new products maybe just try leaving yourself alone. Just a suggestion for those of you still struggling with acne :)

I wanted so badly to love the OCM, I promise I really did. I love using only natural ingredients on my hair, face, body, and food! But, unfortunately, this is just not for me. I've been doing a variation of the OCM for five years, ever since high school: I used to just take a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil and smooth it over my face every morning under makeup to keep my skin healthy. I had baby skin for years because of this. Then, when I left for college, I had acne for the first time in my life--new whiteheads every day, huge cystic lumps, tiny clogged pores, blackheads, you name it! I started using olive oil on my face at night and sleeping with it on. I tried organic cold pressed coconut oil. This worked, again, for a little while. Then my worst breakout ever happened about four months ago. Since extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil were breaking me out every time I got even a drop on my face, I switched to sunflower oil. And then to jojoba oil. And then I added castor oil and started steaming and using the wash cloth and adjusting my methods every night. Some days I would wake up and my acne would be a little bit better, but most days I would wake up to minefields. I was afraid to go outside and spent every day in my house. My pimples were appearing around and on my lips and cheeks, places I had never in all my years of acne developed them before! I kept switching up my oils and quantities, knowing that, even if I was breaking out now, I just had to find the right combination and my skin would end up absolutely perfect.

Then one night I fell asleep after a long day before I had remembered to wash my face. I went to bed without any oils on my face for the first time in years. When I woke up, my skin was smoother, brighter, and much of the redness had gone down. Surprised but skeptical, I washed my face with a normal gentle cleanser for the first time since I can remember and applied moisturizer. My skin soaked up the moisturizer in under a minute. It was so dry that bits of my nose were flaking off. That was a week ago. Since then, I have cleansed my face once in the morning and applied moisturizer whenever I needed it. My skin looks better than it has in years and I'm so disappointed that this method didn't work for me, and even more so that I wasted so much time convinced that I just had to find the right combination. My skin, without the OCM, is dry, normal in regards to sensitivity, and not even prone to acne at all. Maybe the dryness in my skin is what caused the OCM to fail me, since I know that oil dissolves oil and replaces the skin's sebum and all of that. I suggest that, if you've been trying and the OCM isn't working for you, just try something else. Please.

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 2/16/2013 9:33:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I use EVOO to clean my face every night and it works great for removing my makeup and cleaning my face with out over drying it. I follow up with cleanance cleanser and tretinoin cream. That has worked great to keep my break outs at a bare minimum

on 2/16/2013 9:22:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I have tried OCM for two months now. It is probably the worst thing I ever did to my skin. I currently have a huge outbreak of folliculitis which started over my neck, jaw and has suddenly moved upwards to my cheeks. The large cysts are painful to the touch and nothing seems to be calming down the redness.

Initially I used a 80% organic first cold-pressed EVOO and 20% cold-pressed castor oil. My skin was soft and Dewey for the first two weeks. Then all hell broke loose. I decided to tweak with the ratios and trusted this was part of the purging process.

However the purging is now an all-out folliculitis outbreak that will take a long time to heal. I went to the derm for a prescription for doxycycline and topical benzaclin gel. Tis has not helped stopped the infection... I think OCM gave me a short period of soft skin but an unexpected hosts of problems.

Therefore, people who are prone to folliculitis should keep this in mind: OCM clogs up the hair follicles before it actually gets a chance to purge or correct skin problems. In the end, it's a dangerous risk to take for a single, working woman of 28 years old.

on 2/13/2013 8:20:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I understand that people have many varying experiences with OCM depending on their skin type, so I can only vouch for my own skin type. I hope for my review to help people with the same kind of skin as myself.
- Dry, especially on the nose, cheeks, and chin (extra dry/flaky in the winter, daily or 2x daily exfoliation needed)
- No acne at all, haven't had any in years
- Somewhat sensitive with slight redness on my cheeks
- Visible wrinkles on my forehead and under my eyes
I mix 1/2 tsp avocado oil with 1/4 tsp castor oil and massage the mixture onto my damp skin for 30 seconds. I then drape a warm (not hot!) washcloth over my face, steam my face for 1 minute, and wipe the oil off my skin. I rinse and re-warm the washcloth, steam for an additional minute, and then wipe any excess oil off. I follow up with Derma E Deep Wrinkle Reverse moisturizer with Peptides Plus, let that sink in to my skin for a few minutes, and then massage a drop or two of pure avocado oil over my moisturizer. I do all of this 3 nights a week, and I use a cream cleanser and exfoliant the rest of the time.
My overall experience has been wonderful! After only a month of OCM my skin is smoother and the area under my eyes is more hydrated than it has ever been, even in the middle of winter in a cold, dry region. I have severe hereditary dark circles that will most likely never be cured, so it's vital for me to keep the skin under my eyes hydrated and smooth for my concealer to stay on without creasing. I am happy to say that my skin is as hydrated as ever, and still acne-free.
- Use the right kind of oil for your skin! Avocado is good for dry skin, olive oil is good for all skin types, jojoba oil is good for acne-prone skin... and never use coconut oil, as it can clog pores. Do a google search to find info about other kinds of oils (grapeseed, almond, etc... there are many options out there).
- Experiment with the ratio of castor oil to your chosen conditioning oil. The dryer your skin, the less castor oil you should use.
- Don't change up your routine too drastically or too often. Give your skin time to adjust, if need be. It may take some time to find the right oil and the perfect castor-to-conditioning oil ratio, but chances are, it will be worth it once you figure out what your skin needs.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 2/7/2013 11:26:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Please please PLEASE don't do this if you are acne prone! I tried this and my skin looked amazing for about a week and a half... then disaster struck. I'm not just talking "Oh no, one zit before the big dance!" disaster, I'm talking Mt. St. Helen, Mt. Vesuvius, and that giant volcano in Iceland that no one can pronounce all exploded on my face. At once.

Before you start thinking that I didn't do everything carefully or tried different ingredients and mixes with TONS of thought and research, I did. Over three months. Promise. New cloth each night: check. Tried different oils/mixes: check. Ended up and the dermatologist: check (and an expensive check at that)! I wanted this to work so badly that I, too, ignored the warnings assuming that others simply didn't do it "right." Believe me, if you have any slight chance of getting acne, there is no "right" with OCM.

The "purge" is addictive, I'll give it that. My skin appeared to be improving like crazy, but the truth is that the effects are the same as what people describe when they talk about their first drug high. It never happens as well again and it ends up destroying your life, or in this case, face. With this method there is no way for the bacteria to go except deeper into the pores so what happens is DEEP, SWOLLEN, PAINFUL cystic acne and lasting scars and marks that never seem to heal. Also regular whiteheads, milia, blackheads, every kind of bad-head on my head.

Forgive me face, for I have sinned. It has been four months since I last abused you and I'll regret it forever.

I'm so sorry for those this also happened to. I'm so sorry for the people who don't take the warnings to heart. Really. Just go get some good face wash (Neutrogena Oil free acne wash has helped with the milia) and an oil free moisturizer (CeraVe facial lotion PM is a good one) and for your skin's sake STAY AWAY FROM OCM!

15 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

on 2/6/2013 8:09:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Ok ladies I have never written a review before but I felt I needed to share my experience.First I'll tell you I am 36 and started to notice changes in my skin large pores and such.I read some reviews about the OCM and thought I'd give it a try.I used cold pressed organic castor oil and organic extra virgin olive oil.I did this on and off for two weeks.Tonight when I did it this is what happened.First I massaged the oil in for about 5 mins steamed my face with a warm cloth removed oil did it again.Then I did a long massage with more oil I'm talking 25 mins.During this I noticed little balls on my skin and couldn't figure out what they were may hands were clean where did they come from?So I took some of them off my face and looked close at them and omg they were hard oil plugs from blackheads.The more I massaged the more they came amazing!My skin has never felt so clean not even after a glycolic peel its glowing and feels amazing like it can breath.The ratio I use was 70% castor oil 30% olive oil. I realize this ratio may not work for everyone but it works for me. Good luck ladies give it a try you may love it!

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 1/26/2013 3:08:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I had struggled with hormonal acne since I was 22, and have awful red scars on my cheeks and around my mouth as a result.
I had tried everything with no success, from Neutrogena, Dermalogica, Chanel, QV Wash, Apple Cider Vinegar toners, body wash, organic brands, EVERYTHING! Nothing worked.
I used to get compliments on my porcelain skin all the time and rarely had a single pimple throughout most of my adolescence, so I was at my wits end trying to work out what the problem could be, as I wasn't even on the pill or any other medication either.
Then I stumbled across the oil cleansing method and was absolutely blown away by the results. The first time I used it I have to admit it was a little strange smearing oil across my face, especially when beauty companies constantly bombard you with these messages that 'oil is bad' and you need to scrub your skin to rid it of all of the dirt, grime and impurities your skin picks up during the day (Seriously, unless you work down a mine shaft or you're a chimney sweeper your skin doesn't get THAT dirty).
The results spoke for themselves. Immediately my skin felt silky and, strangely, happy. It felt so soothed, and my face was literally glowing- it immediately took 5 years off my skins appearance.
Long term, it has proven the best (and cheapest) decision I've made for my skin, while my scars are slowly healing I only get the occasional pimple pop up if I give into my premenstrual chocolate, sugar and general crappy food cravings.
I personally think that this method would work particularly well for those who have dry skin; I'd just assumed that my skin had become the oily type because I always had pimples but it was actually my skin's way of telling me it wasn't happy, or hydrated enough.
If you're going to give it a go, it is important to remember that you might not get the balance between the castor oil and olive oil right the first time; if you have oily skin naturally, it would be best for you to add a little less olive oil and a little more castor oil, and vice versa for drier skins.
You should notice results in about a week, if not immediately.
I like to follow up with a weekly avocado and honey mask, which always leaves my skin feeling amazing and the honey does a great job of reducing the redness of my acne scars.

I feel like I need to add that a lot of the girls who tried the OCM but it didn't work switched the olive oil with another oil like grapeseed or jojoba. Not all oils are created equal and just because olive oil isn't the most glamorous of oils doesn't mean it is no good for your skin, yes jojoba sounds more exotic and 'cosmetic-y' but it doesn't mean it will do the job properly, the original OCM is olive oil and castor oil and there's a reason for that.
So start off with the olive/castor oil version first and experiment with different variations from there, rather than the other way around. Also, use the most organic, high quality oil you can afford. It's not that expensive to begin with so don't be a complete scrooge- you'll only be disappointed.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 1/11/2013 12:22:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I tried OCM on my oily, acne prone skin for about 6 weeks. I used grapeseed oil as my carrier oil for the castor oil. I loved the whole process with the hot wash cloth and everything. It felt very pampering.
The first week was GREAT! My skin had this amazing glow and texture. I was amazed.
Then I started breaking out. I knew it was coming. The inevitable purging. Whiteheads and cystic pimples.
After five more weeks I gave up. The "purging" never subsided. Maybe I could have experimented with other oils and found something that would work... But my skin looked like crap so I just went back to store bought cleansers.
I would recommend this to those without such acne-prone skin because before I started breaking out - my skin looked incredible.

on 1/2/2013 10:12:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I am using this with my retinoid, Ziana. It seems every pore on my nose and most on my cheeks and everywhere else are clogged with hardened sebum. After spending thousands to clear my skin up and having nothing to show for it, I said enough. I looked for a natural method to rid my skin of the adult acne and clogged pores.

At first, nothing much happened. I mean my skin felt nice and it didn't break me out. But then. after a week of using this, one night I was massaging the oil on my face and it felt like tiny grains of sand were on my face. I looked at my hands and I kid you not, at least 30 sebum plugs were there, with even more coming out. I was amazed. It took a while to soften them I guess (the retinoid probably helped too) but NOTHING has ever been able to clean those out of my pores. Nothing. They've been clogged for years and I've finally found something that works.

It sounded absurd at first, washing my crazy angry, acne prone, scarred up oily skin with oil. But after researching, it makes sense. Since then, I've also switched to a cleansing conditioner instead of shampoo & conditioner and I've had excellent results.

My routine changes every night based on my skins needs. Because of the retinoid I use every 2 nights, my skin is dryer some days. I've had the best results:

On normal days: 20% castor oil, 20% grapeseed oil, and the rest jojoba.

On dry days: 20% grapeseed, the rest jojoba. Maybe a dash of avocado oil if I'm SUPER dry.

On oily days (rare): 40% castor oil, the rest jojoba.

On days I have pimples surface from retinoid use I add a few drops of tea tree oil. It seriously ZAPS zits, but can be extremely drying.

I apply the oil on my face and massage for 5 minutes, put a hot wet rag on my oil covered face until it starts to cool, then wipe and massage/rinse till my skin feels clean. Then splash with cold water to help close the pores. I wait 30 minutes then apply my retinoid OR moisturizer (never both). In the morning I just wash with water (or a gentle cleanser if I used a retinoid the night before to clean it off my skin). Wait 30 minutes and apply Skinceuticals Serum 20, wait another 30 then moisturize if peeling.

I've had wonderful results so far. I'm breaking out from the retinoid purging process but nothing out of the ordinary. (This is my 2nd go round with them so I knew what to expect)

I bought all the oils at Whole Foods, and even 3 or 4 oils is cheaper than buying an entire skin care arsenal.

It's worth a shot if you're like me and have got nothing to lose.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 1/2/2013 9:32:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I have had oily/acne prone skin for years and have recently started researching holistic methods to reduce oil specifically.

This method seemed silly at first, but I was so fed up with oily skin I was willing to try anything before resorting to pills like Accutane, while decrease the body's production of sebum (oil), have scary side effects.

I use a mixture of castor oil and olive oil and within the first use I had less oil the next day.

For me that is big as I would usually use up to three oil blotting sheets a day- I would sometimes even use the first one only two hours after putting on my makeup in the morning.

I've been using this method for almost a month now, so I think I'm out of the woods of any side effects and breaking out. My skin seems less dry (I would have patches of oily and flaky) and some of my acne scars have lightened.

1. dip finger into olive oil and then dot on eyes to take off washable mascara (I don't have to buy makeup remover anymore either!)
2. drop or two of olive oil massaged onto entire face
3. drop or two of castor oil massaged onto entire face
4. place a hot damp wash cloth over oily face for a few seconds until cool.
5. wipe off
*note that by using this method I have eliminated more products: this removes eye makeup, concealers come off, and my face feels moisturized after the cleansing rather than tight (with soap cleansing my face was so stripped of natural oils that I had to immediately use a moisturizer afterwards)

I would recommend anyone with oily skin to give this method a shot, because if it works for your skin it will not only be healthy but will save you money! Castor oil was only $6 at drugstore and I already had kitchen olive oil.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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