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Cleansers - Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)

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rated 3.4(332 reviews)

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rated 5 of 5 on 3/18/2011 5:11:00 PM More reviews by eddiecatt

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Black

I'd been doing this for about a month, and while I liked the way it made my skin feel, I was disappointed that it didn't seem to have the pore-clearing effect on me that it had on other people--no popping plugs for me. But after reading (in Kristen Ma's Beauty: Pure and Simple book) that dehydrated skin hangs on to its blackheads and whiteheads, I obsessively moisturized for five days, then tried it again. Well, wow! If your skin is dehydrated (even if it is oily, it might be dehydrated), try drinking lots of water and moisturizing conscientiously--you'll see a big difference!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 1 of 5 on 2/25/2011 12:49:00 AM More reviews by adriennesmith

Age: 36-43 Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Warm Hair: Brown, Curly, Fine Eyes: Brown

I was really excited to try this method to clear up some of the clogged pores on my face. I used a combination of 25% castor oil, 50% jojoba oil, and 25% grapeseed oil. It was amazing seeing the gunk coming out of my pores so quite naturally I thought this was going to be the way I would cleanse my skin forever. WRONG!!!! My skin looked good for about 2 days then all hell broke loose. My face erupted in cystic bumps everywhere and my skin became extremely dry to the point of peeling. I stopped the OCM and eventually my skin improved. I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment because I tried this cleansing method once again and I experienced the same terrible breakout. Well I've learned that everything doesn't work for everybody. Now it's time for me to try to get my skin under control once again.

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

rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 2/6/2011 8:51:00 PM More reviews by Hisoneandonly

Age: 30-35 Skin: Normal, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

I have been using the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) for a week now. If you have any questions about this review you can PM me:)

My skin is not in bad shape, but it isn't great either - my biggest gripe is texture. The pores on my nose are the most problematic area on my face - they are constantly full, lumpy, visible and large. Even if I find something that shrinks them a little they still manage to re-fill rather quickly. I am also afflicted with pores (albeit less problematic) in between my brows and on my chin area. While my cheeks aren't that bad - they are there also. The best I could ever hope for is temporary shrinkage - long term solutions for my pores simply did not exist. However, I am always on the lookout for a solution. I'm very self conscious of my skin since I do like to take care of myself and take pride in my appearence.

I do not have acne, so my recommendations obviously will not address that issue.

I lean on the norm. / dry side. I do have a little mid-day shine but I am not oily.

I tried the OCM with Castor Oil and Olive Oil (cold pressed). I used 3 parts Olive Oil to 1 part Castor Oil, I mixed it in my hand (I won't commit to bottling it as of yet). I massaged it in with my fingertips paying special attention to my problem areas. I went from 3 minutes of facial massage, at first, up to 5 minutes. While I was massaging in I motivated myself to continue by thinking of how nice it would be to have beautiful pore-free skin:) It will not take much motivating if you are like me and have little time for spa-like skin treatments, it will feel luxurious!

When I started nearing the end I ran the faucet to get my tap water hot and put a facial towel underneath. After a quick wringing out I placed the hot towel on my skin, with the mixture still on my face, and allowed the steam to penetrate. Once the towel cooled and I removed it for round two I noticed an immediate glow. I attribute this to the oils and the facial massage stimulating my skin's circulation. I did not use the towel to remove anything as the oils had already absorbed into my skin and there wasn't anything to remove! I applied the facial towel once again and when I removed it this time, I gently used it to buff my skin across my chin and nose (do this gently!).

Sorry if this is overshare:

While I did not feel a lot of sebum plugs coming out of my skin during the facial massage I did notice them coming out throughout the day. I noticed an immdiate difference in my pores - they looked less full. I kept up the OCM through the week. Once, I put in too much of the Castor Oil - it dried me out. I have done a lot of research on the OCM before committing to it, and this is pretty common - keep your portions of Castor Oil small if you are leaning dry like me.

Once I got Now brand Jojoba Oil I made a mixture of 3 parts Jojoba oil and 1 part Castor Oil. I have read that Jojoba Oil mimics the natural oils that our skin produces - therefore, it is the most suitable oil to draw out the impurities. I tried it today and there is less slip in this oil - it was still nice to use during the facial massage though. There are so many variants of the OCM out there and I am still finding what works for me.

So far, my pores look smaller, are a lot less filled with junk, my sebum plugs are easier to remove ( I have not had to pick them - some just come out after I do the OCM on their own throughout the day), and my skin's texture and look have improved. At the moment, this works better than any routine I have used before.

As a bonus, my nails are going through a little growth spurt since I started OCM! I am very pleased to see so many positive things happening as a result of using this method.

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 on 2/1/2011 1:47:00 PM More reviews by mrsfnulnu

Age: 36-43 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

I am surprised I am writing this review. I had heard about this method mostly on this site, looking for solutions to my entrenched and chronic blackheads on my forehead, nose, chin, and part of my cheeks. Mind you, I do not have acne, and most people would not notice my blackheads from a regular distance--but up close and without any makeup they were noticeable and had always been so since my teenage years. They were also "prolific"-large, containing massive amounts of gunk, and would re-fill within a few hours after extraction. Nevertheless, I always had a feeling that instead of being too oily, my skin might actually be too dry, even though it looked positively shiny every day. No matter what I tried (drugstore, upper end cosmetics counter, MD Forte glycolic all levels, Rx from derm for differin, Retin-A, Renova) my blackheads never went away and my t-zone was crazy, crazy oily. I could go through three or four of those Clean & Clear blue oil absorbing sheets and still have some oil left on my face.

So it was with some skepticism and caution I tried the oil cleansing method. I have been completely and utterly blown away. I started about 2 weeks ago with a 50/50 mixture of castor oil and grapeseed oil, with a couple drops of tea tree oil thrown in for good measure. Outside of the oil mixture, I have only used a traditional cleanser (Purpose liquid) on my eye area to remove eye makeup during the last almost 2 weeks. My skin (I live in MI where it is dry, cold, and dry...and cold) has not looked this good in a long, long time. The blackheads on my chin area have virtually disappeared. I am not exaggerating. The blackheads to the side of my nose (inner cheek, near nose but not on nose) are virtually gone. The blackheads on my nose are diminishing and much less noticeable. Ones on my forehead, which I used to mostly get around my hairline, are virtually gone. I cannot explain this, I do not understand it, but I cannot argue with it. I do my cleansing usually twice a day, sometimes I "warm up" my face with a hot towel before hand, sometimes I don't. I massage the oil mixture for a few minutes, then apply a hot towel over my face (repeat the towel application a few times), gently wipe, and then I'm done. I have not felt any of the pore gunk that others talked about coming out as I massage, but the gunk is going somewhere, since it obviously is no longer stuck in my skin. I can't believe how well this is working for me. The daily oil slick is almost not there anymore. I have not been using blotting powder, oil absorbing sheets, or anything else like that and the shine I used to perpetually have on my face is not there anymore beyond a healthy "glow." I am 40 years old, have a few tiny wrinkles, a few broken capillaries, and now only a few noticeable blackheads on my skin. I am happy. This is not hyperbole, and I have no dog in this fight. I just thought someone out there might be encouraged to try this method if they are struggling with stubborn blackheads. Crazy, but true. Give it a try.

10 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 1/31/2011 9:56:00 AM More reviews by redheadjane

Age: 36-43 Skin: Other, Fair, Warm Hair: Red, Straight, Fine Eyes: Green

I have been doing OCM method for over ten years. I found that it is not for everyone and I do go through spells where I stop for a few months and then start again.

I think the real key to success to OCM is to not do it as your stand alone cleansing method. I think that by using OCM everyday, you will start to see breakouts. I have found that the best mix for my combo/Sensitive breakout prone skin is 25% Castor, 50% Sunflower oil, 25% Grapeseed. Sunflower oil is probably the best for acne/Clog prone folks. It's "0" on the comedogenic scale. Grapeseed is also a Very Light Oil that has Antibacterial properties. I also add a few drops of Tea Tree oil and sometimes Oil of Oregano in the summer which is great for acne. I only do the OCM method at night and typically only 3 Nights out of the week. The rest of the time I use a Detergent free cleanser that is gentle. The OCM for me is ONLY to get Clogged Pores unclogged. The oils and doing a deep massage on my face expels those suckers out. I have never relied on this as My only Cleansing method. I consider this a treatment/Home facial. I think this is why it works for me, despite my breakout prone skin.

Here's how I do it:
Steam face for a few minutes using a hot wash cloth to open pores.
Take a few tablespoons of the oil mix and rub and massage into face for 5 minutes, the longer the better. Let in Penetrate!
Take hot cloth and place on face to steam again and loosen the gunk from the face (The castor will pull out impurities).
I repeat the steaming about twice more and then using a Microfiber cloth I gentle remove the oil residue. Then I follow with a Witch Hazel toner and moisturize. In the morning my face is soft, smooth and any clogged pores are now unplugged.

As I said, I think if you treat the OCM as a Facial treatment a few times a week instead of a daily cleansing method, people might find it works well for them. It took many years of experimenting but for me this is the best method. The rest of the week I just use a gentle non-detergent cleanser like Purpose cleansing gel. It keeps my jawline and cheeks clear of Clogged pores. Between the OCM and Enzyme masks, I am able to keep my skin acne free and happy.

29 out of 29 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

rated 5 of 5 on 1/15/2011 10:20:00 PM More reviews by arvetka

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool Hair: Black, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Green

I love this method. I found reviews here in summer and Iīve been using it for 5 months or so now.
My skin isnīt oily...I have oily t-zone but nothing terrible. My main problem are blackheads and clogged pores on my lower cheeks, scars from cystic acne I suffered from last year.
Anyways...this oil cleansing method works great for me - when I donīt do it too often. Every day is too much for me, my skin gets dry and flaky plus some new bumps show up.
I usually do OCM three times a week now and Iīm very happy about it. I use 50/50 castor oil and flaxseed oil (this mix is less drying) or 50/50 castor oil and sunflower oil (I find sunflower oil more drying but it cleans better as well).
I put a small amount of oil on my damp face, massage it for a minute and wash it off with a couple of cotton balls. Then I cover my face with hot wet towel for a minute and repeat.
I usually wash my face with Lush Coal Face soap afterwards. When I feel my skin is too tight I only use Bioderma Sebium Micelle Solution. I always moisturize after.
This method melts my blackheads, makes my pores smaller and my skin is glowing and smooth.

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rated 5 of 5 on 1/11/2011 11:50:00 AM More reviews by artsypirate

Age: 25-29 Skin: Combination, Medium Brown, Warm Hair: Brown, Curly, Fine Eyes: Brown

First I want to start off by saying I don't really get acne only an occasional pimple here and there. When I tried this a week ago my face was totally clear except for some stubborn white heads on my nose, chin, and cheeks.

I've had a problem with whiteheads for *years*. I've tried everything to get rid of them. Facial steaming, scrubs, overpriced pore strips, and I regularly used a skin care tool for awhile but NONE of that got rid of all of them like the OCM did. Within the first 10 seconds of massaging the oil onto my face the whiteheads dissolved completely! My skin has been smooth and whitehead free without any more treatments for a week now.

I highly recommend if you get whiteheads.

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rated 4 of 5 on 1/11/2011 7:11:00 AM More reviews by Yuu

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine Eyes: Brown

This is a temporary review as I've only been doing the OCM for a short time (4 times so far), I will update once I can see what the long term effects are.

The procedure I follow is basically standard: I start with a dry face with no pre-washing or anything. If I have makeup on I will wash it off before the OCM, though you should not have to because the oil should remove makeup. I keep the oil on longer as I massage it in slowly taking my time so I don't want to risk the makeup getting into my pores along with the oil. I get enough oil to generously cover my face and slowly massage it in for about 3 minutes or so until I can feel the sebum plugs starting to come out. Then I massage for 2 or so minutes more until I don't think there's anymore coming out. Next I steam my face with a hot (not burning hot) wet (but not dripping) towel to my face and hold it there until it is cooled. Sometimes I will do this twice if I feel that my face was not steamed enough. Doing this with a towel usually takes most of the oil off your face, and I found that if I started to massage right after without applying more oil, dead skin will rub off, a lot. I do it gently so it doesn't hurt and my face does not get raw from the skin rubbing off. At this point I either stop or put some more oil on and repeat the process once more. To finish off I wet my towel again with hot water and wipe off all the oil. With the OCM some people will tell you to leave your face as is after wiping off and use some of the oil to moisturize if it feels too dry because the OCM is supposed to balance your oil production, but I don't want to take the chance of the oil clogging my pores so I do an after cleanse with a foaming wash to get all the oil off and moisturize lightly with a gel-cream/aloe gel/a few drops of non-comedogenic oil. I do this ever 2 days or so. The OCM also exfoliates for me so I don't want to overdo it.

The oil blend I use is 50/50 castor and sunflower oil. Some people don't want to use the castor oil but it is what cleans the pores and my main reason for doing the OCM is to unclog pores so there is no substituting it for me. I chose sunflower oil to thin out the castor oil because it is cheap and non-comedogenic. If I ever run out, and if the OCM works for me, I will use grapeseed oil instead though because it has antioxidant and astringent properties and has no smell compared to the sunflower oil I got from the cooking aisle (I know, doesn't sound like a good idea but it was on sale! I already shelled out for a bottle of castor oil and I don't know if OCM will work for me so I was not up to spending more at the health store).

Day 1: I felt 1 or 2 grainy things, but they were small and indiscernible on my oily fingers. I was a bit disappointed because I thought a lot of plugs would come out. I steamed with a pot of water and not a towel. Skin was soft and normal (usually dry) after the cleansing and I did not have to moisturize. I used a 25/75 castor and sunflower blend to start out.

Day 2: I had left over oil mix from the first day and impatient to see results, I tried it again the very next day. A bit more plugs came out, but only a few more. This time I steamed with a towel and was rubbing on semi dried face and a whole bunch of grainy things came out. But they were bigger and had some black fibres in them. I now know that they are actually dead skin from the surface, and either fibres that got onto my towel or the little hairs on the face. Skin is even softer (from being exfoliated no doubt).

Day 3: A few days after day 2. Mostly the same as the last time but I used a 50/50 mix and afterwards I had to moisturize because my skin felt dry. Less skin rubbed off.

Day 4: A lot of plugs came out while massaging, and more after steaming. I now re-apply more oil after steaming so I don't rub my skin off. The pores on one side of the cheek are noticeably less clogged but the stubborn blackheads on the side of the nose are still there.

Overall I'm happy with how it's going. I got 1 cystic pimple and a few whiteheads since starting but I can't tell if it's part of my normal breakouts or the OCM purging. I rarely ever get cystic pimples though. It takes me ~ 15 minutes each time but it's worth the hassle and mess for me if it's actually unclogging my pores. I'll come back and update after a month.

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rated 4 of 5 top reviewer on 1/10/2011 1:50:00 PM More reviews by RMutt

Age: 30-35 Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Brown

After hearing raves about the OCM, I thought I would try it out. I didn't have great results with jojoba or olive oil. I now use about 6 parts flax oil to one part castor oil. The other tricks I've learned are to do it after a hot shower (but dry skin first), heat the oil in warm tap water by putting the oils in a glass and submerging the glass in the sink with warm water. Heating the oil a bit really makes a difference, as does really massaging your skin until you feel the plugged pores loosening. It makes my skin very soft and doesn't make me break out and I have acne prone skin. It's a good once a week ritual, but I wouldn't do it more than that. Sometimes it encourages white heads to rise to the surface so a quick once over with a washcloth scrapes them off without too much trauma to the skin. I think you have to find the right oil for your skin (most people use sunflower oil but I find flax to be smoother and less drippy). I finish up by dabbing a mix of rosehip, hyssop, camelia & jojoba oils and leave these on overnight. My skin feels happy, calm & buttery in the am.

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 1/7/2011 2:48:00 PM More reviews by ColdFire

Age: 19-24 Skin: Oily, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Brown

I gave OCM a shot after feeling like I'd tried everything to help with my acne. I liked the idea of using natural products on my face, so I thought I'd give it a go.
I did OCM for about 6 weeks before giving up. I tried castor, grapeseed, tea tree, and jojoba oil in varying concentrations. At first I used about 60/40 castor and grapeseed oil with a few drops of TTO, and it worked great. The oil production on my face decreased greatly, and my skin felt so good. No flakes, no oilies, just smoothness. I did experience some bumps under the skin that never built into full-blown pimples, they just stayed there. I thought maybe it was purging but they never went away.
On the whiteheads I already had, OCM dried them up and they healed pretty quickly. Any inflamed red pimples flattened out and the redness went away gradually. The little bumps never went away and eventually spread to new parts of my face where I'd never broken out before, like my forehead. Then some of them started to build into cysts and they still wouldn't go away.
Basically, OCM gave me glowy, supple skin that was marred by weird and stubborn breakouts. I fiddled with my oil mixture, tried different steaming methods as well as the frequency of steaming, I tried toners, I tried different moisturizers and topicals...eventually I got frustrated and just quit altogether. I wish it had worked better for me, but now I'm trying the regimen, which is working brilliantly. Thankfully I didn't spend too much money on OCM stuff, but I wasted a lot of time trying to make it work.
If you have tricky skin, give it a try because it really works for some people, but be prepared to do some research and meddling before you see results, and just know that they might not be the results you want.

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