Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)


367 reviews

61% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$



on 4/17/2009 5:55:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I wont add too much in my review that has already been said, but I have been using this method for about a month and a half now and Im really loving the results. I'm using mostly Avocado Oil, with about 1/3 Cold Pressed Castor Oil for the solution. I message it in for about 5 mins, then use a CLEAN wash clothe to steam my face for a few mins. After I don't put anything on my face, just leave it for the night with a bit of the left over residue.
That being said, I ONLY use this method at most twice a week. This is a Deep Cleaning method, and I think why so many people start to get negative results after a while is because they're using it way to ofter. So I do recommend this, however, treat it like the deep cleaning method that it is and don't over do it.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 4/13/2009 8:03:00 PM

Age: 19-24

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

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I did this for like a month, tried all different combinations of oils, but liked sunflower oil the best since it's non-comedogenic (i'm very clog and acne prone). For a while I was using a sunflower and castor oil mixture, but found the castor oil was extremely hard to wash off afterward. In the end, I wound up switching to commercial cleansing-oils (the cheaper drug store brands you get in HK or Japan) because no matter how many times i wiped my face with a steaming hot washcloth and then used a foaming cleanser, there would be an oily residue on my skin. Even with commercial cleansing there is an oily residue leftover, but I can easily remove it with a foaming cleanser. My skin can not tolerate any excess oil, even if it's supposedly non-comedogenic.

The real benefit of using oil cleansers for me is that the manual manipulation loosens up lots of the blackheads that form during the day and many of them literally fall out when I am massaging my face. So gross and satisfying at the same time.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I don't think I could ever get my sunscreen off without oil, but I've learned that it's vital to select oils that are appropriate for my skin type (oily/acneic/sensitive). My two favorites are grapeseed oil and safflower oil. Safflower oil rinses clean in my experience -- no emulsifier required. Grapeseed oil melts my make-up and sunscreen upon contact, which I'm really grateful for when it comes time to remove my Bioderma Max Fluide (this stuff sticks to skin like glue!). A microfiber washcloth soaked in very warm water will remove most of the oil, and then I follow up with a gentle cleanser to remove the last traces. I get my oils from mountainroseherbs.com. ***EDIT*** I've discovered that safflower oil has to be refined in order to be used successfully without an emulsifier. Unrefined safflower oil leaves a stubborn residue behind.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 3/28/2009 6:17:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Medium, Warm

Hair: Red, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

Just reading these reviews forms a new film of oil on my face and suffocates my pores.
I use an oil cleanser, like DHC or Kanebo to remove my makeup and follow up with a foamy cleanser and moisturizer at night. And it works great.

on 3/19/2009 11:48:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Hazel

Here's my take on the principle of OCM and those who quickly write it off as ineffective or detrimental:
1) Perhaps you haven't found the appropriate oil blend/frequency/supplementary routine
2) finding the proper, individual oil blend/frequency/supplementary routine is the result of trial and error and requires patience, not reactionary declarations of uselessness, and
3) what else are you doing for your skin?

Since the first 2 are pretty self-explanatory, and covered more than adequately by the previous positive reviews of OCM, I'm only going to hash out the 3rd point. Skin is not some wild beast to be broken and forced to do your bidding. As the body's largest organ, it's quite adept at alerting you to internal issues and, I would argue, all the belligerent, chemical-laden skincare in the world is not going to do much if you don't drink anything but soda, don't exercise, and eat poorly. I would further argue that if you *have* to use vast amounts of chemicals on your skin, your skin is probably not the real problem -- hormones, toxicity, etc. are likely to blame, and drowning your epidermis in salicylic acid/tretinoins/insert-fave-chem-here, while possibly yielding results in the short term, is not likely to really take care of any underlying, internal issue. It has taken me YEARS of trial and error to figure out what supplementary care my skin needs, but the foundation is always the same: if I stop drinking copious water, if I eat trash for prolonged periods, or -- especially -- if I stop exercising regularly my skin changes. And not for the better. So if OCM doesn't seem to be working for you, perhaps you haven't figured out one or all of points 1-3 AS REQUIRED BY YOUR SPECIFIC BODY. Nobody here can tell you exactly what oils to use, in what ratios to use them, how much water is precisely enough, etc., etc., etc., we can only tell what works for us.

For me, what works is:
Morning -- Zia Bamboo and Rice Bran exfoliant, Thayers Rose Witch Hazel, Weleda Wild Rose Moisture Cream, Alba Sun spf 20

Evening -- Weleda Wild Rose Cleansing Lotion (functionally a quasi-OCM), Thayers Rose Witch Hazel

WELEDA BIT: Using the Weleda Lotion, I apply to dry skin and give a gentle massage for 30-60 seconds, splash warm water and massage lightly to emulsify, then wipe gently with a warm, damp (not wet) washcloth until emulsified oil has been removed

OCM INTERJECTION: Every several days -- usually if I'm traveling for a weekend and only take jojoba oil to cut down on packing, or when I feel like changing things up a bit -- instead of using the Weleda lotion in the evening, I use straight jojoba oil, about 6 or so drops, in exactly the same fashion. This does not rinse as "cleanly" as the cleansing lotion, but I still follow with the Thayers and leave whatever remains on my skin overnight. I never, ever use moisturizer at night.

This routine has resulted in profound normalization of my previously super-greasy skin. My skin tone is much improved, my skin looks *healthy*. Do I jump ship in a panic during particularly bad monthly breakout cycles? Yes, occasionally. And I always suffer the rebound effects.

If using straight-up oil doesn't seem to leave your skin satisfactorily clean, I'd suggest trying an oil-rich cleansing lotion (such as the Weleda, for example), as they tend to emulsify a bit better and may get you over the psychological hump. Especially if you're just switching to some form of OCM and still feel like your face should squeak upon rinsing.

Finally, I'm not suggesting that OCM is going to work brilliantly on all skin. But if, for some reason, it doesn't work, I'd personally suggest trying to figure out *WHY* your skin seems to require harsher cleansing methods, rather than decrying the entire process as silly. I am down with science -- totally, completely down: I lovesit -- but our ancestors have been ambling about for tens of thousands of years, and they weren't all doing so with acne, trailing tubes of Retin-A. I'm just sayin' . . .

18 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

on 3/13/2009 10:36:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Green

Edit: I just realized my review might be misleading. The OCM has not made my broken capillaries disappear--when I said my complexion was better, I mean that my skin had a nice dewy, supple look to it. But anyway, I decided not to use the OCM anymore because the steaming made me nervous (as I am still prone to broken capillaries). I use a variety of gentle, chemical-free bar soaps now and they work fine.

WOW!!!! My skin has not looked this good in ten years.

I have fine, sensitive skin with a pinkish undertone. I had been using Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel twice a day for about 6 months. It has AHA's in it, but I figured it was okay since it didn't sting or anything. But suddenly, one day with no warning at all, I had broken capillaries ALL over my face. No extra sun, no extreme heat/cold, etc. I'd also been using topical acne medication (clyndamycin, Duac, Differin) on and off for about 13 years. I am no chemist/skin genius, but my assumption is that all the alcohol that I slathered on my face twice a day helped create my wrinkles at age 25 (yay!) and all the harshness of all of the above probably thinned out my skin or made it weaker in some way and it finally said "I've had it!"

Anyway, that's enough background. I stopped using ALL chemicals on my face (physical sunscreen only) and began using the OCM method.

I started out 6 months ago, originally I would use some EVOO and some organic Castor Oil (slightly more EVOO) and massage it into my skin for about 2 minutes, then wipe it off with warm water. I'd follow with PURE aloe as a toner. Then in the morning I'd just splash my face with warm water.

This worked all right, but it wasn't until I switched to my current routine 2 months ago that I began seeing great results:

1. Every morning and evening, I pour a quarter-sized bit of EVOO (brand is Pampa, bought it specifically for this) into the palm of my hand and follow with a dime of organic castor oil (brand is The Palma Christi - got it at Whole Foods).
2. I rub together in my hands and then massage gently into my face for 2 minutes.
3. Then I take a washcloth, soak it with very hot water, and wring it out completely.
4. I drape it over my face (it doesn't burn, it just steams) until it is room temperature (about a minute or so?)
5. Then I massage my face again to get rid of anything that it had steamed out.
6. Then I wet the washcloth (with warm water this time) and gently wipe all areas of my face.
7. Finally, I splash my face with cool water to close the pores. (Note: some recommend to add a tiny bit of oil to the face afterwards if it feels dry. I've tried this twice and broken out the next morning both times.)
8. Pour a few drops of pure aloe (my brand is Aubrey Organics) onto half of a cotton ball and wipe one side of the face, then use the other half to wipe the other. I have found that this gets rid of excess oil so that I my pimples are minimal.
9. Pour 4 drops of Mountain Rose Herbs Rosehip Seed Oil into your hand and dab it across my forehead and around my eyes (this is for those damn wrinkles). Wait a few minutes for it to soak in.
10. Massage a small amount of PURE, unrefined shea butter into my face. I get mine from The African Store in Cincinnati. Wait a few minutes for it to soak in.
11. Spread Mexitan SPF 30 sunscreen (physical sunscreen only) all over my face, neck, etc.

Doing this both in the evening AND in the morning has made a dramatic difference. But nevertheless, this works wonderfully and I occasionally have a pimple or two, but my skin looks so much better otherwise that I don't even care! ;)

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

on 3/10/2009 2:14:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

Unfortunately, this method did not work for me. In fact, it severely irritated my skin after using it for a week and gave me a rash of eczema bumps on my forehead and chin. I also have increased clogs on the sides of my face. It made the skin on my cheeks look more radiant, but that was the only benefit. I have the same results when I used oil cleansers as well, which I like to use to remove makeup, but I can only use them on small regions of my face. I would suggest using it on small portions of your skin first to test it out.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 3/1/2009 10:47:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Tan, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

So, I tried ocm for the first time tonight using 25% cold pressed castor oil, 75% evoo, and a drop of lavender oil. I kept feeling a film on my face even after several passes with a warm, wet cloth, so I followed with a gentle aveeno cleanser. I then moisturized with a mixture of jojoba and olive oil. This felt way too heavy on my face, and I got freaked out at the idea of cystic acne, so I cleansed again with some bb tomato cleanser, then used diluted acv toner and olay night cream (probably too much messing around with my skin, but I was really scared to leave oil on my face after reading about some of your experiences!).
My skin is not acne-prone, but can be blotchy and dry (more so as I near 30). Recently I've experienced a very oily t-zone, plus red skin, milia and blackheads on my nose. The ocm got to most of the blackheads, and some combination of all the stuff I did really evened out the tone, and seems to have brightened and moistened my face quite a bit. There are a lot of positive reviews here, but I'm going to heed the warnings, and only try this once a week for the time being. After all, if this really is a deep cleansing, then it follows that it doesn't need to be done daily. I mean, I wouldn't use an abrasive scrub or a masque everyday because I don't want to irritate my skin or strip it of its natural oils. The same applies to ocm, IMO.
If I have no breakouts in the next week, I'll try ocm again. I'm definitely going to cleanse very gently afterward to make sure all oil is gone. I'll use the acv toner again, and then try moisturizing my cheeks and forehead with jojoba (these areas are extremely dry and wrinkly thanks to winter weather), but I don't know if I'm brave enough to use it all over yet! I'll update as soon as I can!

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.

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