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, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

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

6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

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.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I am being detailed in this review because I hope it might be helpful for people who have skin like mine: 46 years old, combination, very fair, breakout prone, somewhat dehydrated, sensitive. I'm often told I have great skin, and that's because I have the breakouts totally under control with a 2% BHA. OCM messed that up and it took a while to fix. After a long talk with a famous dermatologist, and lots of personal trial and error, here is what I Iearned about OCM.

Most people cannot rub oil into their faces day after day without clogging pores and having the oil build up slowly on their skin. 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 often-proposed recipe of 50% castor oil/50% carrier oil is totally wrong for most people: it 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.

For most people with any tendency toward breaking out, the key to a successful OCM is using an emulsifier, such as Polysorbate 80 and/or 20. There is a reason all commercial cleansing oils have an emulsifier! I've talked to many people who used OCM and it went great for a few weeks---until all heck broke loose with acne, milia, and bumps that took ages to subside. Use an emulsifier, preferably high up on your ingredient list.

RECIPE: For those who are breakout prone, I finally came up with a blend that does not cause big issues, and you can find all the ingredients online quite easily: 1/3 cup grapeseed oil (or rice bran, sunflower, or safflower---all very light, so if you're drier go ahead and use olive oil instead); 1/4 argan oil (not expensive if you buy Watts or other off-label brands; you can substitute this for jojoba or hemp oil if you're quite oily or want to spend less); 1/4 cup Polysorbate-80; 1/8 hazelnut oil or raspberry oil (these are slightly astringent; if you're on the drier side replace with almond oil, macadamia oil, or avocado oil; if you're very sensitive or itchy try oat oil instead---Avena Sativa); 2 tablespoons Polysorbate-20.

Do not---and I can't stress this enough---add essential oils. They irritate the skin at a subcutaneous level. You may think they feel great and don't irritate you at all, but the irritation takes place subtly over time at a level you do not see or feel immediately. Fragrant oils impact your skin's ability to renew and repair itself over time. Skip the lavender, mint, eucalyptus, citrus, bergamot, rosemary, etc. It adds absolutely nothing of value and it harms us no matter how nice we think it smells.

The key is NOT to massage too much or for too long if you have sensitive or breakout-prone skin. You'd only be stimulating your follicles and you don't want that. Lightly massage the oil blend in for no more than 30 seconds. There is no need to use the hot towel to 'open pores.' Dermatologists will tell you there is no such thing anyway: you can't actually open or close your own pores. Doesn't happen. The hot towel just feels good, but it can irritate your skin over time too. I skip this altogether since I have an emulsifier in the oil anyway.

So I just lightly massage my cleansing oil in for about 20-30 seconds, and rinse off with warm water. It rinses right off. All makeup is removed. I follow with a second cleanse, usually something from Paula's Choice. (I love these three, though none are good for dry skin, just normal to oily: Earth Sourced; Hydralight; Skin Balancing. Note: Hydralight does not foam, it's just a silky gel you rub on and rinse off, but it's fantastic and leaves me so clean and soft. If you must foam, skip it---the Earth Sourced is the one that foams the most.) I end with a toner: Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Witch Hazel or Paula's Choice Hydralight Toner.

I've been doing this most nights of the week for a month with no adversity so far. My skin looks excellent, though I do also use various serums and moisturizers and SPF, of course.

Here is how I got to this OCM recipe---I really hope you learn from my trial and error. I initially wanted to try OCM because oils have benefits, take makeup off so well, and the method gets great reviews. Well, ladies, I was in for DISASTER. First, I tried washing my face with organic extra-virgin coconut oil. I loved the feeling and thought I was sold, but three days into it I had the most ghastly red acne all over my face, like I used to get 25 year ago! I just about cried at the sight of myself.

It got better in a week, so I tried again 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 trying to fix this, using strong BHA twice a day until the breakouts subsided, but that made my skin flaky and dry and angry in the process. Got somewhat back to normal in a week by washing only at night with Toleriane or Cerave, splashing with water in the morning, and putting on calamine lotion and 1% hydrocortisone a few times a day. (That really works, btw! Those 2 things together are miracle workers when there is a skin crisis.)

After my personal Exxon-Valdez disaster, I decided I had to explore emulsifiers and different methods and oils, and also talk to my dermatologist who is in Bev Hills and works on "famous faces." She told me she has tons of people coming in in a panic because they jumped on the OCM bandwagon and had awful breakouts.

I also have a friend who is a cosmetic chemist, and she confirmed the following: no alcohol (except thickeners such as cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol, which are not really alcohol); no camphor, menthol or sulfur; no fragrance; no essential oils in your OCM; use tea tree sparingly and only when needed for breakouts/bacteria.

I really hope I've prevented a few breakouts out there with this review!

28 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Dark, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

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!!


Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

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!


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Brown

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 had been there for many years) and I've never had acne in my whole life except for the 1 or 2 pimples I used to get when I had my period. 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. It took 4 months for my skin to clear up. And now I'm stuck with a lot of acne scars.

I tried several creams, cleansers and oils but it didn't work.
Please be careful. It's a 50/50 % chance it will work for you and I personally don't think it's worth taking the risk. Especially if you already have a pretty good skin to start with.
I didn't listen to my gut feeling and it resulted in really bad skin and acne scar all over my face.

I tried castor oil, sunflower oil and olive oil.

Cleansing my face with unpasteurized (eco) honey and using jojoba oil (wax) as my moisturiser day and night. Especially the jojoba oil has helped tremendously against the oily skin I used to get in the mornings and during the day because of my combination skin and also because of worthless day/night creams. And one of it's many miracles is that it evens out the skintone. The skin on my upper lip is quite a few shades lighter than the rest of my face and the jojoba has even it out. And it makes my face all glowy.
The honey is supergood to my face and the combination with the jojoba totally destroyed the bactaria or whatever it was I contracted from the OCM method.

I hardly get pimples any longer, even when I'm on my period.

I just wanted to send out a helping hand to other women whose faces have been traumatized by the OCM.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.


Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green


At first, the OCM worked for me, but then my pores began to clog and my skin became weirdly bumpy. Also, I just was lazy and the oil would get all over my counter tops and leak from the bottles when I traveled. It just got to be a pain.

I switched to good old fashioned washcloth and Aveeno soap and my skin cleared right up. I also stopped using olive oil, as it seemed to heavy for my skin and wasn't absorbing. I switched to using sweet almond oil at night, and Avene lotion during the day (something my mom bought with Vitamin C and sunscreen in it)

I guess this method works for some, but I can't do it anymore.


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!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.


Age: 19-24

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

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

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.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


Age: 44-55

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

I have been using Albolene cleanser for several years, as I hate anything that foams or dries out my face. So, the other day I thought that instead of buying another tub of Albolene that I would make up a batch of oil to cleanse my face with. I mixed about 10% of hexane-free, cold-pressed castor, 90% EVOO, and 5 drops of pure Geranium oil (as I've read Geranium oil is great for skin rejuvenation). I slather in on my face, ensuring that I massage it into my skin very well. I've never felt actual debris coming out of my skin, as several reviewers have noted. I soak a washcloth in hot water, wring it out, let it cool down for a second, and then apply it to my face until it completely cools. Then I rinse the washcloth thoroughly and wipe the remaining oil from my face, concentrating on removing traces of oil from the hair and jawline, so I don't get whiteheads (that happened to my skin years ago when I tried the OCM). I must agree that my skin looks dewy, fresh, and moisturized. I only use the OCM at night to remove makeup. Afterward, I apply Roseseed Hip Oil and a little bit of Weleda Skin Food around my outer eyes, neck, and chest areas. In the morning, I simply use baking soda as a quick exfoliant. My routine is pretty simple. I am 45 years old and I am constantly complimented on my skin. I have very few lines. My worst complaint with this whole aging business is a few broken spider veins on my face, but overall I believe I have good skin. I tend to be a bit acne prone, however, OCM has never excerbated the issue. All I can say is give it a try and see if it works for you.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

It seems like a lot of people use OCM as their actual 'cleanser'? Maybe what I'm doing isn't truly OCM but I learned this method when visiting family in Korea and it's always worked for me.

Step 1: Massage oil onto face to help dissolve makeup and any dirt/grime/oil trapped in pores from my daily activities. Use a clean cotton pad to gently remove the excess oil.

Step 2: Use a facial cleanser to remove the added oil from your face; avoid excessively hot water and unnecessary scrubbing with face cloths which can irritate the skin; pat dry.

Step 3: (Optional; I never use toners myself but my cousins do) Apply toner using a clean cotton pad.

After cleansing the face; you would continue with your skincare routine which typically looks like:

Morning: Serum/Treatments; Sunscreen; Moisturizer; Eye Cream; Makeup
Evening: (Occasional: Face Mask, Treatment or Exfoliation); Serum/Treatments; Moisturizer; Eye Cream

If you're on Tretinoin (Retin-A) like I am, then that is all you need to use in the Evening for your skincare. Fewer products is definitely better in this case; leave the fancy serums, treatments, lotions for use in the morning. If your skin is still adjusting to Retin-A, then a moisturizer at night may be necessary but it should be a no-frills moisturizer without any actives.

As for oils; my preferred oil during the cooler/dry months is Apricot Kernel Oil because it's really soothing. Even after washing it off with cleanser, your skin will feel soft and hydrated (but not overly so) since some of it will have been absorbed by your skin. The other oil I use is Coconut Oil which is more slippery, cooling and drying (after wash off) in contrast to Apricot Kernel Oil. I like to use it during the summer months when my skin doesn't need the extra hydration and because I like the smell of it! It smells justs like Coconuts :). I don't bother mixing either of my oils with anything else; they work perfectly fine on their own.

Overall, I think have really great looking skin for my age, even long before I started using Tretinoin to help maintain my skin now that I'm in my 30's. I'm constantly mistaken for being in my early 20's and while I'm sure part of that has to do with good genes, I think good skincare and a healthy diet helps. I will use oils to help clean my face forever! :)

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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