Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)


367 reviews

61% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$



Age: 19-24

Skin: Dry, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Oil cleansing, in the most basic sense (as far as I can tell), is using only oil and then a warm washcloth to wipe the face. On my dehydrated skin, this means that whatever moisturizer I use after oil cleansing can't properly moisturize as there is a layer of oil it cannot penetrate through. While I do have success in removing my makeup with oil, I find that I need to double cleanse (follow up the oil cleansing with regular face wash) or else the next morning I will wake up with flaky skin.

I have tried this multiple times with various oils (mineral, grapeseed, apricot kernel, avocado, almond, rosehip, argan, etc. and in different ratios) and have had the same flaking day-after experience with each. As a positive, I at least did not notice any increase (or decrease) of acne.

I do sometimes use the oil cleansing method as the first step in my cleansing routine, but as a standalone it doesn't work for my dehydrated skin type.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 12/21/2014 9:11:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Life saver! I'm 17 and before this past year I always had clear skin, then all of the sudden over the summer I broke out like crazy! I had cystic acne,bumpy skin texture everywhere and I felt so depressed and spent my whole summer inside my house:( my mom was trying to help me & we started this method and after the first use my skin was super soft! It pulled out all the gunk from my skin. I still have scars from pimples but this has helped my skin stay smooth. We use hazel,grapeseed and borage oil cause they don't clog pores. I think the people who are having a bad reaction are using the oils that clog your pores such as olive oil & castor oil.

on 12/17/2014 3:21:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Curly, Fine

Eyes: Green

I think this, like many other things in skincare and for that matter life, may work wonders for one person but may not have the same great effect on everyone. I have been using different oils (coconut, jojoba, olive) to remove my makeup for years and would follow up with different cleansers. About 2 weeks ago I decided to try the oil cleansing method and give up my cleanser. I did this because my skin is dry but most moisturizers clog my pores and the older I get the drier and more sensitive my skin is getting.
I use grape seed and almond oils, I made sure to go with organic cause I feel like the quality of the oils are better. I would put a few drops of either oil or a mixture of the two on cotton round, working the oil in to the cotton. Then gently swipe over my entire face, this would generally remove all makeup with one round. I would follow up with a warm damp wash cloth. Sometimes after I would take a few drops of the almond oil and message it in my skin leaving it on.
In the time I have been doing this I have noticed some changes in my skin. My skin looks plumper and more hydrated. Also before I had a lot of cloggage in the pores around my nose and cheeks, which is not fully gone but is greatly improving.
I canít say for sure if this is a cleansing system I will stick with for years, but I can say for the winter with my dry clogged skin I have been happy with the results.
If you are wanting to try this and have read the horror stories and are scared from that maybe try using different oils to remove your makeup a few days a week and see how your skin reacts.

on 12/7/2014 12:03:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Deep Dark, Neutral

Hair: Black, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Black

AWFUL DISASTER I read up quite a bit about this I wish I had heeded the warnings here on makeupalley about oil cleansing but I stupidly ignored it I tried oil cleansing with grape seed oil as I read that its great for acne prone skin, I don't exactly have acne prone skin its more sensitive and I get acne when its irritated.

I was so excited about not purchasing any more creamy facial moisturising cleansers I thought my face would be cleansed and nourished, but to my horror my pores got blocked my skin felt so tight, dry and irritated yet at the same time it was dripping oil the whole process with the hot wash cloth pulled at my skin and exasperated fine lines and I'm only 21 I should have known ! I mean my skin doesn't like manual exfoliation at all only chemical exfoliators work peels, clays I don't know why I kept at it for a full 2 weeks.

I now have acne every where on my face its horrible I also scar after acne so its going to be a process to fix this.

I'm tempted to try again using mixing oils with emulsifiers as the oil should be rinsed off upon contact with water and the wash cloth isn't neccessary. the review for that method has more positive reviews

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 11/29/2014 8:14:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

Please please please think carefully before doing this 'method'. I tried it using olive oil and the first few nights I was really impressed, my skin was glowing, soft, my acne was clearing up! But then it all went to hell after a few weeks when my skin got really bumpy and irritated. My skin looks like crap right now it's like all all those weeks when I thought it was working it was actually trapping the dirt causing pimples to emerge weeks later. I'm using a regular cleanser again but my skins still all clogged up and breaking out constantly :( I also suffer from eczema and this gave me a rash on my face! You'd think oil would be moisturizing right? But no it actually gave me dry skin.. I really regret trying this and ruining my skin >:(

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 11/1/2014 8:54:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I tried ocm when I was 21 and it was awful. My face dried out but was an oily uncomfortable mess. As I've gotten older (I'm 30) I've realized my acne has been food allergy related, with dairy being the absolute worst! Once my face started clearing up I realized my skin that while still oily is quite dehydrated. Last winter I started using oil as moisturizer and while better, it still felt tight and dry. I knew cleaners were stripping it too much so I decided to give oil cleansing another try at the end of this summer.

My skin now glows! I oil cleanse at night (I often wear makeup) and use oil to moisturize. In the morning I rinse with water and use witch hazel and regular moisturizer (this helps my makeup stay a little better). My pores have gotten smaller and don't seem as blocked. I worry much less about "will all this washing give me wrinkles?". My pms breakouts are hardly anything! I also used to get a huge change in texture in my skin right before my period, which isn't nearly as bad. I do still get a cyst here and there but always on my jaw or neck - directly dairy related.

I honestly feel comfortable without makeup for the first time ever! I was the girl who wore foundation if I had the flu, god forbid my parents had to see my face. I still have some uneven skin tone but that's nothing in comparison to 98% clear skin! My favorite oils are jojoba,grapeseed, and rosehip. I'm still experimenting with mixes but so far am very happy. It makes the nightly routine longer but is so worth it.
*Edit 2/8/15*
This is still working great for me! I thought it'd be worth mentioning that I don't double cleanse, to me it just sounds like a lot to cleansing to put your skin through unless you're removing heavy makeup. Stripping my skin with even "gentle" cleansers was my original concern that lead me back to oil cleansing. Now that it's cold and dry outside my skin is a bit dryer, but NOTHING like the super dry "my face is going to crack and fall off" feeling I used to get.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 10/29/2014 10:23:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I have sensitive, combination skin, prone to clogged pores.
I heard that the OCM is good for people with clogged pores, as the oil actually dissolves the clogged oil in your pores. I was really scared to put oil on my face as it always gives me breakouts, but I wanted to give it a go.
I tried these oils for about a week each (comedogenic rating)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (2)
Coconut Oil (4)
Grapeseed Oil (2)
Jojoba Oil (2)
Sunflower Oil (0)

How I used it: I massage about 1/4 teaspoon on my dry face in the evening for about 5 minutes. Then I put a hot cloth on my face for 30sec and wipe it all off. My face is perfectly clean, soft, moisturized and a bit red.
However, I stopped doing the OCM, because it gave me a bad allergic reaction with tearing eyes and a swollen face, which is really sad, because I really loved how it made my skin look so radiant and soft.
The coconut oil broke me out the worst and after hearing about oils and their comedogenic rating I realized why. The sunflower oil worked best for me, it was the least irritating oil I have ever used. And I just used plain sunflower cooking oil.

+ Makes skin super soft
+ Gives your face a radiant, healthy glow
+ Fades red marks, helps with active blemishes + blemish marks
+ Removes every little trace of makeup
+ Makes lashes stronger and healthier

- might cause an Allergic reaction (tearing, swollen eyes), (swollen,face and lips)
- might cause rash of clogged pores

I really love and believe in the idea of OCM, unfortunately every oil I have used so far caused an allergic reaction for me. So it's really important to find the right oil for your skin type, because what might work for somebody else does not have to work for you as well. I continue to look for my perfect oil!

on 10/28/2014 9:00:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I don't know why it took me so long to try this, probably because of the "oh, it's going to stick on my fingers" reservation.

I've spend hundreds -- if not thousands -- of dollars on cleansers. I am a total product junkie. I've been weening myself off of the chemicals, little by little. I'm a health nut, and it makes no sense to invest so much of my energies on being healthy, while slathering carcinogens on my skin because I am vain.

A friend of mine has gorgeous skin, and I commented on it.

She told me when she became pregnant, she started oil cleansing, using olive oil and castor oil.

I googled, bought some organic castor oil, I always have organic EVOO on hand, and have been using it for a week.

I simply cannot believe how soft and gorgeous my skin is. I feel these very small plugs come out every so often while I massage, and just keep going, I don't even spend tons of time with the "wet washcloth" after the fact.

I have been using L'Occitane's cleanser in the blue pump bottle to get rid of "too much," but my skin is absolutely amazing, and I have great skin already.

I wipe my fingers over my chin and cheeks, and there is nothing but smoothness and suppleness, no exfoliation involved.

Whole new game. I am well over the 40 mark, have combo skin getting dryer and dryer on my cheeks by the year, still oily in the T-zone, though my zone is reversed: chin and nose area can get congested.

I've been using a mix of approximately 70 percent EVOO & 30 percent castor oil.

I cannot imagine not doing this at least several times a week for the rest of my life.

It's not the price, which is ridiculously inexpensive, given what I have spent on skincare during my life (had Accutane treatments in my early 30's even), it's the results.

Absolutely clarity and easy cleansing.

Mind blowing.

on 10/25/2014 9:52:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Dry, Medium, Cool

Hair: Black, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I usually have pretty skin by my self, completely perfect with no lines, milia or pimples, only some very unnoticeable blackheads here and there. However, my skin is very dry, and without a good moisturizer it feels kinda stiff and stretched.

Then I started on a Prednisone treatment, which completely ruined my skin. I got huge blood filled cysts, flakes of skin fell of my face, my skin looked dull and dusty. Black heads popped up everywhere and if i tried to touch them, the skin around broke like cracking glass. I bleed a lot!

I wanted to try Korean skincare since it is cheaper and more advanced than modern western skincare. I read about the Holika Holika Soda oil cleanse and stumbled over a blog review that highly recommended it. I ordered, but since I had some jojoba oil in my bath room drawer, I decided to start it at once.

Needless to say, the jojoba oil massage really softened my face and gave me a beautiful glow. The first night i though I saw improvements, but the second night I used MD formulations face and Body Scrub first, and massaged it into my skin for about 40 minutes and felt that I got a completely new face. It is soft to touch. I have arthritis, so massaging longer than that is not possible for me. There are hardly any blackheads left, the scars I got from the cysts don't seem so irritated and there have been no new cysts. I got some small "normal" pimples that I just can pop without bleeding or scarring, but I don't know if they were caused by the oil or just popped up coincidentally.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 10/20/2014 2:40:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Tan, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I wanted to try OCM to revive a dull complexion, to even out the texture of my rather normal skin, and to prevent future breakouts. I used jojoba oil, since it is one of the closest substances to our own sebum, and one of the least likely oils to clog our skin. (I've used it often before as a moisturizer, and know I don't have problems with it.) I followed instructions. I felt numerous blackheads dislodge into the oil and believed that the OCM was really effective at unclogging pores. So I kept using OCM, for approximately 5-10 minutes a day.

However, after trying OCM for 1.5 weeks, my face erupted with clusters of deep liqueous pimples, especially on my cheeks and chin, where I never break out. I had 20-30 serious pimples at a time, substantially red around the outside of each pimple, with whiteheads in the middle. Although I have been getting rid of them through vitamin supplementation and a variety of topical treatments, there are still more pimples coming to the surface, weeks after ceasing OCM. Once the pimple is no longer a bump, due to treatment, left behind is a hyperpigmentation (red) mark that might take months to fade, that requires additional attention.

It appeared that OCM indeed stimulates the oil production for some people, rather than "draws" out the oils as a skin "cleansing" method. For me, OCM was a skin "destroying" method. I never had acne this horrible, even as a teenager. I wouldn't recommend this method.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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