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Cleansers - Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)

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rated 3.3(345 reviews)

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  • 62% would buy again
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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 12/8/2008 12:18:00 PM More reviews by auntnett

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel


I've only been using The Method a couple of weeks with excellent results so far. I use about a 1:1 ratio of castor and sunflower oil, maybe slightly more castor oil.

In reading a lot of the previous reviews, I see that many do not even mention castor oil when it's, perhaps, the most important part of the oil cleansing method. Check out for complete details.

Too many use EVOO, too, which can be very comedogenic - no wonder so many have breakouts.

I do steam with a warm, not hot, washcloth about three times before removing as much oil as possible with the rinsed-out face cloth (I always start with a fresh one). I follow with my regular cleanser (Equate moist facial wipes from Wal-Mart, after trying many, many much more costly cleansers, both OTC and prescription - including Cetaphil, beloved by many but not by MY skin) then alcohol-free Neutrogena toner.

Blackheads and "plugs" are pretty much gone - even where, on one side of my nose and at the base of it on both sides, I couldn't get rid of them and constant big flakes despite trying everything under the sun. Pores are much smaller appearing, and my skin gets a lot less oily (no powder at all except when I first apply my make-up, few blotters, but when I need them, the blue Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets are a lot better than the tissue type).

Both my roseacea and sebhorrheic dermatitis are happy, at least so far. Normally, I'd be as scaly and flakey as can be by this time of year with my SD. Admittedly, my roseacea has been better of late anyway, so I was afraid to try OCM initially in case it triggered a flare-up. Thankfully, that hasn't happened.

Based on reviews here, I just switched to Dermactin-TS eye cream and night time serum, which I follow with after my toner dries. So far, with the OCM and these Dermavectin products, my combination skin (more on the oily side even at 52) is moist, plump and soft with fewer than usual breakouts. I have done OCM most nights, although a few times, I've just cleansed with the facial wipes and skipped the oil - I haven't been religious about it, but still excellent results. Couldn't ask for anything cheaper, either. If any of this changes, I'll update.

**** UPDATE: 6/18/09 - still using the OCM about 3 nights a week and then cleansing either with Purpose for Normal/Dry skin (although mine's pretty oily) or the Equate wipes on the other days - OCM is too time consuming for lazy me to do every day, plus I just don't think it's necessary that often. I'm still using sunflower oil but in a ratio of about 3:1 castor:sunflower. I only mix up small batches that I'll use up within a couple of weeks, and I store my sunflower oil in the refrigerator so it doesn't go rancid. I'm not using the Dermactin Night serum any more as it was giving me some breakouts. Most of the time I'm just using some plain old Fruit of the Earth clear aloe vera gel as a light moisturizer after my toner. I am still using the Dermactin eye cream, though. I can't stress enough that EVOO or any olive oil regardless of "virginity" is not good for most people to use for OCM as it's pretty comedogenic. Check out this site for a list that scores ingredients' comedogenicity and irritancy levels - I've found it very helpful: ****

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rated 5 of 5 on 11/28/2008 7:28:00 PM More reviews by JouliaGoulia

Age: 19-24 Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure Hair: Other, Other, Other Eyes: Other

**************READ this if the ocm DIDNT work for you*********************

I LOVE the OCM, but like most regimes, they need a bit of tweaking to get the most out of them for your skin type. Here are a few of my "tweaks" :)

I started out with OO (what the ocm reccomends) and castor oil..but my beautiful results didnt last. So I switched to SUNFLOWER OIL. OMG-what a difference! Sunflower oil is incredible..its so much lighter than OO and I found I no longer even needed castor oil.

I also dont like the "washcloth steam method"--I think its very INEFFECTIVE..but thats just my opinion after steaming over a pot of water from the tea kettle..its AMAZING! You can literally FEEL your pores opening :O

One more thing--I happen to think there is a major FLAW in the OCM..something that, if done without, more ppl would have the results they are truly looking for. The theory behind the ocm is "Oil Desolves Oil" but what holds true is "Water Does NOT Disolve Oil"
Soooo-everyone is following the directions of the ocm which say to massage the oil to your skin, make up on and all, because it will cut throught the dirt/oil/and make up of the day (which it does) but then after you steam, they tell you to simply " Wipe away the oil with your warm washcloth" and then your done.

:O omg! This is the part where ppl go to bed and wake up with those ENORMOUS, painful, deep under the skin pimples...and they wonder why :( YOU MUST TO USE A CLEANSER!! A very gentle, very mild cleanser of course (I like anything by cetaphil or aveeno) but there you are with oil on your face with all the dirt/oil/make up of the day mixed in with cant "wipe it away" with water--you need something to BREAK THE TENSION and the hold of the oil on your needs to come off your skin and go down the drain. If you try only wiping it away, You will leave traces behind that cause the painful cystic acne (and other annoying blemishes). I STRONGLY urge you-if you have tried the OCM in the past and had a bad experience..try it this way.

I cannot believe how many years I have spent and how many products Ive bought trying to achieve the promised glowing skin that I am FINALLY beginning to see.

Really hope this helps!

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rated 4 of 5 on 11/20/2008 4:39:00 AM More reviews by tanveer

Age: 25-29 Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Brown, Other, Other Eyes: Green

The other posts have quite elaborate techniques on How To and How Not To do an OCM... I will share my experince with you on OCM..
Like all users the first time i tried this, my face glowed like no one's business... walking down the street, a lot of women gave me second looks and the skin was dewy soft.. after that it all slowly went downhill.. i faced similar problems of acne breakouts like other users. My normally oily skin became so dry that i developed flaky patches which my moisturising lotion could not combat. I persisted for 2 weeks and finally gave up..

Cut to a month after i had quit OCM, i was still struggling with dry skin and acne that was so severe that it refused to die out on its own... it was time for some professional attention, so i got a clean-up done.. My skin settled down after that and the acne began to reduce, but skin was dry as ever... It was time for my bi-annual weekly scrub routine. Twice a year i exfoliate my face with a papaya scrub for a week, once everyday... three days into the scrubbing, my oily skin made a re-apperance... i was so relieved, having spent all my years tending to an oily skin, i was at sea on how to care for the sudden dry skin, i had no products and no understanding of what to do..
here's my take on what happened, while OCM is excellent at drawing out impurities, it does not help remove dead cells, maybe the oils cause cells to clump up together causing acne on fast cell renewal areas like the cheeks..

OCM has it's place i believe as a cleansing technique, but a weekly incorporation of exfoliating scrubs or salts or grains into the oil mixture or a separate exfoliation procedure will help prevent acne. I plan to return to OCM as soon as my exfoliation week ends.. will post my results of my second innings for members.

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rated 3 of 5 top reviewer on 11/17/2008 8:28:00 PM More reviews by funnygirl131

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

I use jojoba oil and castor oil.
I haven't seen any difference ,I wanted to see gunk coming out of my pores ;-p yup im gross ,nothing.
It does work very well and quickly removing makeup and moisturizing skin if its overly dry. I will keep a mixed bottle handy for both these things.

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rated 1 of 5 top reviewer on 11/5/2008 10:18:00 AM More reviews by Lyrics

Age: 30-35 Skin: Acne-prone, Dark, Warm Hair: Brown, Kinky, Fine Eyes: Brown

In the beginning this was really good. It calmed my t-zone down A LOT. I actually had "normal skin", even though I was slathering on the moisturiser. I was doing this every evening with a fresh wash cloth, making sure I removed every trace of oil. So for two or three weeks, my skin was doing really well. I wouldn't go as far as saying I glowed, but my skin was well-balanced and acted normal for once. In the mornings I just used to wash with ordinary water.

Fast forward three to four weeks later, and I have broken out in the worst possible way. I am acne-prone, but I haven't had this kind of break out since my late teens. Cystic spots EVERYWHERE - forhead, chin, cheeks (the most and the worst), nose - you name it on my face, it's there! And the spots are clustered to!! Almost co-joined!
I have since stopped the OCM, and am cleansing twice a day with my tried and true liquid black soap which has turned my skin around in the past. The spots are beginning to calm down (two weeks after initial break-out - you know I had to act fast) and to dry out. I am not toning with an alcohol-based toner though, but bought some pure witch hazel, which seems to be doing the trick as well. I am also doing clay masks every other day or so. I hope that my skin will be back to normal soon :-(.

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rated 1 of 5 on 11/4/2008 10:48:00 AM More reviews by Apryl47

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Blue

I tried cleansing my face with Jojoba Oil hoping to draw out impurities like it has done for others. I have always been acne prone and I went through one round of Accutane. The spot I break out most is my chin.

I suppose I should have known better because I tried cleansing my skin with DHC Deep Cleansing Oil for over 1 month and it really ruined my skin. I hasn't been the same since actually. Anyways using Jojoba to wash my face resulted in the worst chin breakout I have seen in a looooong time. I really can't remember when the last time it was that bad, I guess before I went on Accutane, which was about 3 years ago.

Funny thing is that this happened the very next day! It was very weird actually because I've never had a reaction like that before. Some people will say that my skin is just purging but I know better now because I thought the same thing when I used the DHC Oil and it turned out that my skin just does not like oil slathered on it.

I have a theory on why this is not working. Apparently Jojoba oil closely mimics human sebum. So you would think that putting an oil on your face that is so close to your own wouldn't be bad for it right? Well, what do they say happens when you over wash your face? That your skin over-produces oil and then in turn makes you break out. So why would you want to put extra oil on your face when you have been told that too much oil will make you break out? Ha!

Well anyways, I'm sure it works for some people but it did NOT work for me. In fact, I was using a moisturizer that had Jojoba oil in it and that made me break out as well. Boo!!!

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rated 2 of 5 on 11/4/2008 4:36:00 AM More reviews by Shadow11

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

Like the last two reviewers, I really wanted to like this cleansing system. The first 2-3 weeks that I used it worked really well and my sensitive, break-out prone skin seemed to be responding very encouragingly to it but then my skin started to break out in the worst way. I persisted with the system for a few months hoping it would balance out, but it never did. I came up in nasty, cystic like spots as well as smaller whiteheads all over my forehead and down the sides of my cheeks and the black-head prone areas in the small crease of my chin and the sides of my nose were more clogged than ever.

I was very thorough about removing all traces of oil after each cleanse (once a day at night), even using a fresh face-cloth every time but nothing helped so I have had put an end to the entire thing. My skin is taking ages to heal up now. One plus about this system that I have noticed though is that my (normallyy rather oily) T-Zone seemed to calm down and was much less oily and this has continued even though I have stopped using this cleansing system.. All in all I thought it rather strange that my skin was making less oil but I was breaking out more and I am very disappointed because I really hoped that this would be my HG cleansing system, but I'm afraid that my quest continues.

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rated 2 of 5 top reviewer on 11/4/2008 1:51:00 AM More reviews by lelaelena

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Tan, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Green

Oh I wanted this to work soooo well.
What can I say I am just unfortunate I guess.
I did 50/50 sweet almond and castor and really massaged like a maniac.

No pore gunk coming out (boy was I looking forward to that) no amazing improvement. But thankfully not horrible breakouts from it (my skin is ridiculous, minerals make it go cystic haywire, but i can drench it silicones and oils and it does nothing).

So what it is for me is a gentle makeup and eye makeup remover that takes a long time.

Not worth it.

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rated 1 of 5 on 11/2/2008 2:48:00 PM More reviews by JVicious

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Red, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

Let me preface this by saying that I really prefer a more natural approach to skin care, so I was eager to try this. I loved that it used products that weren't filled with chemicals, and were even in my kitchen cupboard (save for the castor oil).

I really, really wanted this to work for me. I did it every night for 3 weeks. I loved the ritual of massaging my face and feeling the little bits of blackheads and sebum popping out. My skin was soft and I thought my skin was clearing up. I thought wrong, unfortunately. Even though I switched from olive oil to jojoba oil to grapeseed oil, nothing really 'clicked' with my skin and the third week in I developed a bunch of little bumps on my forehead, cheek and jaws line. I thought this was purging so I carried on. Alas, big mistake! These bumps went from being mildly unattractive to full blown cystic spots. I NEVER got cystic spots until then. I had to stop.

It's been almost 5 weeks since the cystic fiasco and my skin still hasn't recovered. I have clogged pores all over my forehead. I feel as though it will take quite a few months for my forehead to clear completely. I'm quite upset as I have a huge bottle of castor oil left over (perhaps I'll swap?) and grapeseed oil too. At least I can cook with the latter!

Moral of the story: User beware. I'm glad, albeit a little jealous, that it has worked for others, and I wish it worked for me, but my skin is far too finicky and lets me know this with a vengeance. I'm still searching for my natural HG cleanser. I'm bent on never using chemicals again.

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rated 5 of 5 top reviewer on 10/27/2008 2:58:00 PM More reviews by rocknride

Age: 44-55 Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Hazel

I love the OCM and the results. It simplifies my night routine of make up removal and is very inexpensive. I massage the oils into my skin for about 5 minutes and that's it. I do use a microfiber washcloth to steam and wipe away the oils. They rinses out easily and dry quick.y I have blemish prone combination mature skin. I now use grapeseed and castor oil because it is lighter than using olive oil. I swear by using the OCM nightly and the aspirin mask a couple of times a week.

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