Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)


359 reviews

62% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$



on 2/17/2009 2:16:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

This really cleans my pores! I'm so amazed every time I examine them afterwards (huge difference!). But I only do this once a week because I'm scared to do it more often - it feels like a super deep clean, meaning that it's too irritating (lots of rubbing and steaming) for everyday. Plus it's takes more effort/time (at least 15min ) than I want to spend. Oh and I always follow with a reg. cleanser, Cetaphil, just to make sure all the oil is gone.

My mix (8oz):
20% Castor Oil (Cold pressed & processed)
40% EVOO
30% Grapeseed Oil
10% Jojoba Oil
Few drops of Tea Tree Oil

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Update:In response to the poster who is really trying to sell the OCM- I don't "drown my skin in chemicals", I have sensitive skin that doesn't agree with this "OCM". I can't believe someone is taking a bad review that personally-sheesh! I agree with Hags 101, I had the same experience! Not to her extent, because I only did this for about a week. When I was doing it (EVOO, Castor Oil, massaged and then steamed and then followed up with toner)-I thought it was great! I could feel the little sebum plugs coming out! Even after, my skin looked really soft and "glowy", so needless to say I was impressed. Well, a day and a half after the first wash of this, I noticed the huge, bumpy cystic pimples all over my chin, cheek, and by my mouth! Nightmare! I naively thought this was everything being "purged" out of my skin. I stopped doing it, but have still noticed the big cycstic bumps that I am now desperately trying to get rid of!!!!!!!!! If it works for someone thats great, but if you have remotely sensitive skin like myself-stay away!!!

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 1/28/2009 10:59:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Oily, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

To sum up my experience with TOCM... WOW!!!!!! This has done what years of different products has not... made my skin BEAUTIFUL! What used to be extra large pores on my nose are now almost invisible and smooth... and my face just feels great. I honestly feel that I've had a miracle happen to my skin... I'm just upset that it took me 38 years to find it!
FYI... I use the organic and coldpressed oils from mountainroseherbals.com... this is imporant to keep the oil free from impurities. 60% sunflower oil, 40% castor oil and some Lavender EO.
I noticed a huge improvement the very first time I did this...
I noticed some people on MUA had negative experiences with this method... IMHO, I think it's important to use the best oils, and only sunflower or jojoba for a carrier/companion oil. Due to the properties of these oils, they pair the best and are the most nourishing and non-comedogenic. But my best advice is... do your research... find the right receipe for your type of skin and change the formula till you get it right and working for you. My wish is for everyone to be as happy with this facial cleaning method as I am!!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 1/27/2009 11:23:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Oily, Dark, Warm

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I have been doing OCM for about 2 months now and I love it! I use castor and evoo (75% castor, 25% evoo). I mixed it and put in a stainless steel pump to make it easier. I pump twice and put it on my face and massage it in for 10 - 15 minutes. I then steam my face 4 times with a hot towel. By then all of the oil is gone and I opem my pores and apply a charcoal mask (Origins). Once that had completely dried I take it off and I apply Dermalogica Anti Bac cooling masque (which has been changed to Sebum Masque) and I sleep in it. My skin is so smooth the next morning. I then use Rocky Mountain Soap Company Field and Stream bar to wash my face and exfoliate with the St. Ives Dermabrasion scrub. My skin love it!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 1/27/2009 3:13:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I started doing the OCM with various oils (including organic ones) and at first my skin felt so good! The plugs in my pores came right out and I looked like I did not even have pores they were so clean. Boy did it feel like I was pampering my skin..... until the breakouts started to happen. At first I thought that maybe my oil was expired because the OCM had worked so well for the first couple weeks (I would wake up with a couple whiteheads but just figured that I did not get all the oil off). I purchased new oil and I tried to push through the “purging” stage so many talk about. Boy was I naive.

Well, let me tell you that my skin is still suffering 5 months after I stopped doing the OCM. You see, oil does remove oils from your skin (idea behind OCM)... but how do you remove the oils that you place on your skin if water does not dissolve oil? There is also a toxin in Castor beans (Ricin) and if the castor oil is not cold pressed and filtered it still contains the toxins. I went from beautiful radiant skin from the Mario Badescu’s Enzyme Cleansing Gel (with the only problems being dark pores) to horrible BOIL INFESTED SKIN. I suffered from cystic acne around that time of the month (1 cyctic pimple), but I NEVER HAD BOILS BEFORE OCM! Even months after I stopped OCM I would wake up with huge dime sized boils (cystic looking inflamed spots) with usually two to three whiteheads on each of them. Some days it was even two or three lesions together. My face hurt and it throbbed. Some of them would break when I talked…. And others would “pop” when I gently washed my face (no washrag –just cleanser and gentle fingers). It took at least a month to clear each lesion and I was getting more daily (again… even months after stopping OCM). I had stopped wearing my usual mineral makeup because I did not want to stress my skin more by washing the makeup off. Having extremely fair skin that scars very easily I am full of scars from the boils caused from OCM. As a grown adult, I actually cried one night over this. I had to hold a cold washrag against my entire face because it hurt so bad from the boils all over (checks, chin, jawline, neck). I was really upset because I knew that it would probably take a year to get rid of the pigmentation scars left behind. The weird thing is that I got all those crazy boils on areas that were not problem areas (cheeks, jawline, neck, chin). I even read that Castor Oil can cause infections to the skin. Now I have dark purple scarring that concealor won’t even cover.

I have done tons of research on OCM since I stopped using it. If I ever dare to use OCM again (because of how well it cleansed my pores, moisturized, and balanced my oily skin so that it stopped overproducing oil) I will be adding Polysorbate 80 and Peg-7 Olivate into my formula. Peg-7 is a water soluble Olive oil ester and Polysorbate 80 is a water soluble emulsifier that disperses oil and water. What this means is that they will help the oils rinse clean with water (something that will not happen without these ingrediants …even with using a cleanser after OCM). Add 5% of each into your formula. I would also use only up to 20% of organic cold pressed castor oil from either GardenOfWisdom.com or MountainRoseHerbs.com. Another oil that could be helpful if you are acnegenic is Safflower oil high in linoleic acid. See http://www.makeupalley.com/user/notepad/d_E_S_S/ for more information on how to figure out which oil is oleic or linoleic and what this oil can do for your skin.

Please make sure that you do not use the oils you have laying around in your kitchen. Those oils could be expired or spoiled from exposure to sunlight or air.

Also everyone's skin reacts differently to OCM. Some can’t use heat with OCM so they just massage and wipe off without steaming. Other people’s skin cannot handle being massaged for a lengthy amount of time (because they are severely acnegenic) so they only massage 2-5 minutes max. Others do not even massage. Make sure that if you do use the steaming method that you frequently change the washrag during the rinsing/steaming cycle and to use fresh water each time. A hand drying bathroom towel is the perfect size for these cycles.

****EDIT I found my perfect skin cleansing oil! I tried others like DHC - but I broke out from them -probably due to the essential oils. I have been using my own brew for 1 1/2 years now and my skin rarely breaks out (1 pimple every 3 months!!!) and my pores stay clean for 3 months (vs 1 week after extractions!) I have really congested and very oily skin and with the homemade cleanser my skin stays balanced and just gets lightly dewy after 8 hrs (vs oil slick after 20 minutes!). I use an 8oz bottle: fill 2/3 with Hemp Seed Oil unrefined, 1-3 Tbsp Castor oil (more for more congested skin, less to none for dry skin), 1-2 Tbsp Rosehips seed oil unrefined to counteract the dryness of the castor, and I fill the remaining bottle (almost 1/3) with polysorbate 80. I found that I did not necessarily need the Peg-7 Olivate - although adding a mix with the polysorbate 80 makes my skin softer. I have to follow with a toner such as witch hazel mixed with 1/3 water or floral water (both from MountainRoseHerbs.com) because I find that since my skin is in great condition it can feel too tight after straight witch hazel because of the alcohol content and the drugstore witch hazel is much more drying than the good stuff from MRH. Mario Badescu also makes really great toners that balance the pH in the skin. After toning I spritz my skin with Calendula floral water from MRH because it keeps my skin from getting oil for the entire day!! Now I started using the clarisonic and those tiny under the skin, skin colored bumps have disappeared! I need to try the deep brush head to see if it will keep my pores looking cleaner longer since the sensitive head does nothing more for my pores than the DDF Revolve or Olay Pro X brush. Good luck and message m

41 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I have to agree with PinkMademoiselle. I did the Oil Cleansing Method, and I, too, got cystic pimples. Thankfully I didn't scar, but I had to enter school looking like a time bomb.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 1/6/2009 9:14:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

One of the ancient methods for cleansing skin and evading wrinkles off skin perhaps in the long run!

I have seen my grandma and mom do this ages..my grand mom at 90 and my mom at 72, I can see these methods working without any kind of high end product or chemicals like retinol.

However, I had to do a little experiement and eventually broke out till i got the right combo of oils. And i did spend money on pure coldpressed oils. Luckily got only the smallest bottles.

In my opinion pure castor oil is a must, prsonally like Homehealth virtually no odor. Please do not buy old stocks especially sitting in shelves for long in Indian/ middle east stores. For a decent price, you can get from whole foods or any health foods store.

Try safflower oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, olive, jojoba, rosehip, wheatgerm, ricebran oil, grapeseed oil. You can also use pure almond oil, calendula oil, wild rose oil. But be willing to experiment with the combo. I like the recipe to be simple for most cost effectiveness and still have same wonderful effects.

In ayurveda - there are three types of skin -Vata, Kapha, Pitta..Please google and find more if you are interested. And different oils act differently, vry very true. So it is highly possible for people having breakouts that they might be using the wrong type of oil. To add to the complexity of skin chemistry..we can also vata-kapha, kapha-pita, and so on..these are kind of permutation/combinations of the 3 varieties. There are also specific foods for these types of body nature. I do find that very interesting. Some foods may be liked by us but may not be good for our system. I am reading more about it, so will update and share as and when i find products or concepts appropriate in this site.

For me castor oil + unrefined golden color not toasted sesame oil (or coconut oil but sesame is my fav) works the best. I added drops of pure tea tree oil to the mixture for some antiseptic properties. I dont know if it helps in controlling oil induced acne but i find it interesting that it does have a extra clean effect. In summer time, i am planning to add a few drops of neem seed oil as it can balance the oiliness of the skin.

I broke out with usage of pure imported olive oil, jojoba oil (great for hair thought), almond oil (surprising as it is a very light oil ). I have a small roll-on rosehip oil thing from some sample..i dont use it regularly so i cannot comment. I do know Ricebran oil is rich in Vit E , i see that in asian stores, ihave not tried it so far. Since my current formula works wonderfully well, i have no plans to change it till i have issues.

So taking this mixture i massage my face and neck outward with firm but gentle strokes. I do this for 10 minutes just that i like the feeling. then i put a bowl of water in microwave heat it up and the put a wash cloth in it, squeeze it and gently apply on face and neck. Repeat till the heat is reduced on cloth.

Then i go straight to shower..exfoliate the dead cells with brownsugar and honey. And i do use a bar soap - i got something fancy some months with green tea, it works well without drying. Follow it with a light lotion like cerave. Then when am ready to get out, i apply sunscreen.

I do this only 3 times a week. My facial and neck skin has been wonderful. I dont plan to do this for my whole body (my body skin is dry but face is combo-oily, weird huh) as it just would take hours to get it all soaked in. I have been trying this on face and neck on and off mainly due the fact that it takes a real good time. But off late i have promised myself to stick with routines which have helped me and this surely is a keeper!

I would surely say that sticking to this method has minimized my intense need for overnight miracles in a bottle (oh did i not write reviews on philosophy products?? Sure i should do that one day as i spend a lot of money on that!).

Thanks for reading with patience!

14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

on 1/3/2009 4:54:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

What I love about OCM: It's customizable! Or at least that sounds better than saying I don't follow the rules. Here's what I do:

1. Remove eye makeup with a cleansing towelette. Not a necessary step. But since everything gets mooshed around your face when you do the OCM, I hate seeing little bits of mascara everywhere.

2. Apply oil to dry face. Mine is 80% grapeseed oil with 20% cold-pressed castor oil.

3. Let oil soak into face for two minutes while I brush my teeth. Again, not necessary, but I have to brush my teeth sometime, and why not let the oil have a couple extra minutes while I do?

4. Massage oil into skin for five minutes. I use gentle to moderate pressure with fingertips only. This is enough to get my fair skin very rosy, so I don't dare do anything more aggressive.

5. Wipe off oil with a cotton cleansing pad.

6. Apply Lumene Lift Touch cleanser to dry face and massage it around. Does this sound like I'm doing the OCM twice in a row? I guess I do. But *this* is the step where all the blackheads and sebum plugs come out of my skin. I don't know why that is, but this is my favorite part, and I would never skip it.

7. Rinse with water and wash with Kiss My Face Pure Olive Oil Soap. Not prescribed by the OCM, but I've had significantly fewer breakouts since I added this extra step. Whatever OCM says, I don't like the idea of leaving the gunky oil on my skin, even if I did wipe 90% of it off.

The whole process takes about 10 minutes. I don't steam my face since the water in my bathroom faucets takes about a year to heat up.

Regarding breakouts: When I first started using the OCM with castor oil, I used the cheap castor oil from the laxative section of the drug store (20% blended into 80% grapeseed oil). Maybe it was a coincidence, but I developed several large subterranean cystic pimples that week. I dumped that oil and started over with a blend using cold-pressed castor oil from the health-food store, and I've had no cystic acne since. After two weeks of use, I'm still getting breakouts, but these are small pimples that crop up and then disappear surprisingly quickly. I'm willing to stick it out and see if this is the purge that other reviewers have mentioned.

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 12/22/2008 3:54:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

1 part EVOO 1 part Castor Oil 1 Part Weleda Calendula Oil.

My skin is very oily in the T-Zone and Normal-dry on the cheeks.

I have experienced only one bout of breakouts with this method which I attribute to using a new makeup and falling asleep in it after a night on the town (oops!)

The first few times I used the OCM, there were literally dozens of "kernels" of solidified sebum that were freed from the pores on my nose, chin and cheeks.

My skin was glowing and soft. I had new skin really. I am very happy with this method.

I now add a few drops of Garden of Wisdom's Blueberry Exfo Serum once a week and massage it into my skin as usual. I leave the mixture on my face for 15 minutes.

I use a baby washcloth to steam my face- hot water. Once I have steamed and removed the oil, I use a few drops of Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Castille Liquid and massage that into a lather.

After rinsing generously with hot water, I mist my face with a weak Glycolic Toner diluted with Rosewater Witch Hazel. I then apply 1 drop of Skin Actives Every Lipid Serum and my chosen Moisturizer (Skin Actives).

Sometimes I will apply dry heat from a small personal heat lamp to detoxify my skin while the oil is on my skin. I have found this effective in releasing more of the plugs from my pores.

ETA: I have been using the OCM for three months.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 12/16/2008 1:42:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

Skin type: combo/dry/extremely sensitive that's prone to clogged pores on the nose and forehead but very few whiteheads.
IMO cleansing with oil is a technique that can be personalized to suit the user so don't feel that there's only ONE right way to work with oil. I've been using oil as a cleansing tool for years and have tweaked my approach numerous times to suit the season or my current skin's needs. I've used it alone and before facial cleansers, however based on my skin type my skin likes oil + very warm water + cold-pressed soap best. Basically I model my method after Erno Laszlo's cleansing method with a few changes for convenience. I've been doing this specific routine 2x per day, morning and night, for about a month and my skin really glows and is hydrated, calm and baby smooth. I have zero dryness and less oil in my t-zone. I look like I'm doing routine facials! There has also been a near compete reduction in sebum build-up on my nose and forehead, too. When I look closely, my pores are paler and shrunken because there's significantly less stuff in them.
First stage: oil on dry skin. I use any oil that's available and like them all. I'm currently using avocado oil, sweet almond oil and even melted shea butter. What the oil does for me is break down my sunscreen, sebum and makeup while giving my secondary cleanser a moisturizing boost. That's pretty much it. I massage it in GENTLY for about 30 seconds or 60 seconds if I'm feeling generous, but beyond that is a waste of my time and when I did it I only found it irritated my skin. That goes for extra firm massaging - too much pressure just irritates my skin.
Second stage: rinsing with moderately warm water - washcloth added for facial 'steaming'. I don't use hot water - that's too irritating for my skin. However, moderately warm water (comfortable bathwater temp) is stimulating and purifying and feels comfortable upon contact. Basically I rinse my skin with generous handfuls of water about, oh, I guess about 8-10 times then I gently hold a soaking, moderately warm plush terrycloth washcloth against my face for a few seconds, then rinse the cloth and repeat about 3-5 times. The warm water supposedly improves the skin's circulation and promotes tissue drainage...according to Dr. Laszlo. By this stage of cleansing I notice that my skin already has taken on a soft pink hue, which I need to add is "very very" different than ruddy, hot-looking or flushed. It just looks healthy. The added rinses also help to remove excess oil. Who'da thunk? lol
Third stage: cleansing with cold-pressed soap. Now don't I sound fussy by using not just any old soap, but a cold-pressed soap? Truth be told I find cold-pressed soaps to be gentler and less drying than synthetic soaps (Dove), traditional soaps (Ivory) or liquid cleansers (foaming face washes or cleansing gels). My favorite soaps are ones from Chagrin Valley (Honey Butter or Rhassoul Clay for when I'm feeling dirty). So, after all that rinsing I then massage a generous lather of soap onto my skin and work it in gently for about 15-30 seconds. If my skin doesn't feel completely smooth during this process I add more soap to a baby washcloth and gently wash my skin with this for a few seconds more.
Fourth and final stage: final rinse. Basically I rinse my skin "at least" 10 times with the moderately warm water then I go at it with tepid water for another 10 rinses. Note: my skin doesn't feel squeaky clean after the final rinse. It feels clean and not greasy but I do sense a slight residue on my skin. You can try a 2nd soap wash at this point but I don't because I found it too drying.
All I do afterward is apply a few drops of a treatment oil (loving Garden of Wisdom's Rosacea Oil Blend) and a moisturizer (Eucerin Q10 Firming Cream). That's it.
So why do I give it a score of 4? It's a bit of a hassle to do this routine. Timewise it takes me about 2 minutes to wash my face. Believe me, the process is completely worth it but it still can be a pain when I'm tired or in a hurry. But I don't get the same glow to my skin if I skip the oil. After a day or two my skin just starts to look less vibrant. It still looks great but with the oil I get a facial-quality glow about me. So hi-ho, hi ho, it's off to 'oil my face' I go.... :) continued >>

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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