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Cleansers - Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)

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rated 3.3(351 reviews)

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  • 62% would buy again
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rated 2 of 5 on 10/27/2013 10:33:00 AM More reviews by Martined

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

I have always had great looking skin however in fine detail my nose and parts of my chin are covered in blocked pores. I have had this since approx age 13. Over two months (Aug-Sep)I found that Caster Oil gradually reduced the quantity of my blocked pores. I am no longer using OCM and sadly the pores on my nose are more noticeable again. However I can not possibly continue OCM because the skin on the rest of my face was ruined. It became bumpy with pimples and also larger spots appeared on my cheeks and forehead where I had not ever had a breakout in my life! When my husband commented that my skin had never looked so bad it was time to give up. (As a side note I did not find caster oil at all drying). All the oils I tried had the same effect on creating spots all over my face including caster oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, almond oil and olive oil. In addition the caster oil brought out some weird pigmentation marks on my forehead. I will use caster oil again but only on my nose and chin. I go back to cleansing with a hot cloth of an evening and shower gel when I have my shower. Beauticians are shocked by this but for me it is what my skin loves best.

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rated 5 of 5 on 10/12/2013 5:23:00 AM More reviews by lawgirl07

Age: 19-24 Skin: Sensitive, Medium Brown, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Apologies if this ends up being a bit of a rant but Oil Cleansing has been an absolute wonder for my skin BUT can be tricky to get right so I want to be as thorough for you guys as possible.

So I have always had super dry skin with eczema and about two years ago, my skin unexpectedly took a turn for the worse and I also developed acne (at about the mild-medium level) for a few years. In addition to that, I had a lot of dry patches, bad congestion and sensitivity which meant that a lot of products gave me a rash.

I tried a tonne of products - everything from drugstore brands at first to higher end products as my desperation continued. Some had a small effect, some did nothing and in the bad cases, some made things even worse. It got to the point where I hated leaving the house and would spend my time poring through google trying to find a solution. And that's when I cam across Oil Cleansing.

At first, I was (like many others) a bit skeptical. In the end though, I decided to try it out since my skin couldn't get much worse, I had dry skin and most cleansers were too harsh anyway and I would be using Olive Oil - how much worse could it be than the chemical-laden cleansers I bought?

Based on everything I have read, I tried to work out the oil combination that suited me well and had amazing success. Don't get me wrong - I didn't get skin worthy of a Neutrogena ad within a week - or even a few months. But it cleared up a lot and compared to what my skin was like, it made a big difference for me.

So, if you're thinking about trying it out, my best pointers are:

- research, research research. oil cleansing is one of those hit or (majorly) miss things for a lot of people. i don't want to scare you off because for a lot of people, it's a godsend. but you also need to be aware that a lot of people do break out awfully from it. so be sure to research how to do it and the oil types that would suit your skin.

- in relation to the above, i use plain olive oil because my skin is very dry and sensitive (and i know that olive is safe for me). castor oil works well to remove impurities but it dries skin out if you use too much. coconut oil (surprisingly) works for me due to my dryness but it is very comedogenic so be careful if you're acne-prone. other oils that people sometimes add in are jojoba (suposedly good for acne) and tea-tree (good for acne, too drying for me)

- get good quality oil. this is essential.

- make sure you wash it all off. once you've rubbed oil all over your face, you have a cocktail of oil, dirt and makeup on your face so you need to be thorough here. i personally use a washcloth with very warm water, wipe everything off, fold it, use the other side and repeat until everything is gone. unfortunately for me, toners dry my skin out too much but if you can use one, use it to get any remnants of oil off.

- as a practical issue, if you're thinking of taking the plunge, i'd recommend trying it out when you have time off from work or school or uni so that if you do react badly, you can hermit it up while you fix things.

- olive oil is fantastic for removing makeup. i don't even need makeup wipes! it is close to the oil your face produces so i rub it all over my face and wash everything off.

- trial and error may be necessary. it's all about getting the right combinations in the right quantities.

- if your skin is in a bad way, don't have unrealistic expectations. it is so so unlikely that you'll find anything that will change your skin in a few days. it's all about finding what works and waiting. so while you can (and should) look forward to some results, don't have ridiculous expectations. that might be a bit of a bummer, but skin takes time to heal itself. it's all about finding out how to fix things and waiting.

Hope it helps anyone out there who it thinking about trying oil cleansing out. I absolutely love it and as another small plus, it's saved me some serious mulah.

Good luck!

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rated 3 of 5 on 10/3/2013 4:47:00 AM More reviews by blackhalo

Age: 25-29 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine Eyes: Green

I read a few pages without anyone bringing this up so I think it needs to be reminded again, so I put a 3 on everything as it's more of a review review. So many of these comments gave a poor rating and complaints of break-outs after following OCM with a major misconception, therefore doing it improperly for 1-7 days, and then coming here to give it 1 lip. I think they probably read an opinion article about it, and didn't do informed research (not that is the most scientific process to begin with). It's not a quick or miracle solution, and it's not for everyone as testing oil mixes properly takes a minimum of 3 weeks.
Unhappy people seem to be committing one of these misconceptions:

1)Using Coconut Oil and/or EVOO which are both comodogenic. These should ALWAY be patch tested for breakouts/allergy and seemingly DO NOT work for more people than they do work for. So many of these comments did their full face without testing at all for 2+ days in a row with both EVOO and Coconut and that is just one of the worst ideas I've ever heard (and I'm no guru by any stretch of the imagination). There are horror stories of 1+ month of EVOO usage resulting in severe cystic acne.

2)Using Castor and Grapeseed at the same time, or a greater than 50% concentration of one of them with another oil plus essential oils. Castor, Grapeseed and essential are all drying oils, not really meant for dry-normal skin nor would I say they should be combined.
Start at 50% for oily skin (ACTUAL oily skin, because as many seem to forget or perhaps not even know in the first place dry and especially dehydrated skin can still overproduce oil) and if it's too drying bump it down, probably start at 25% for dry-normal but probably don't even use them in that case. Essential oils should be extremely diluted and proving the efficacy of them in something like this is probably not remotely realistic, IMO they come down to "I feel like I'm helping and it makes me happy and smells good and doesn't harm me so I keep doing it".

3)A broader continuation of both above which is not understanding what the kinds of oils do differently.
*For example Mineral Oil does not penetrate the skin, the particles are too large. It is used because it is generally friendly, can help soften "gunk" from pores as well as millia etc, and like Vaseline creates a barrier over the skin which seals in your natural moisture.
I've also seen at least 1 comment complaining about using Mineral Oil with Vitamin E in it. Always start with pure Mineral Oil. Any reputable article about OCM should mention this as the Vitamin E cut in greatly increases the chance of a negative reaction.

4)The above 3 are factual, this one is more controversial so I will say it is IMO. Steaming is bad for your skin, it does not to do anything beneficial except aid in extraction and can cause irritation and reportedly ruptured capillaries. You do NOT need to steam for OCM.

5)Expect the oil cleanse alone to cure acne. For some people, for some reason (like just moisturizing well enough for the first time in their life) this may actually happen, but in general you need an acne focused product as well such as an AHA or BHA chemical exfoliating pad (St. Ives, Stridex, etc.). Additionally thinking it isn't "curing" their blackheads which are not blackheads at all, only sebaceous filaments which cannot be cured.

Just to add a personal note my OCM makes my skin softer, my acne head and therefore clear faster, brought to a head and removed blackheads I didn't even notice before, and causes hard oil plugs slide out of their own accord. It also leaves my skin more moisturized so that I don't have flakiness anymore. I like it because it is cheap and simple and natural (although it feels weird to call Mineral Oil natural since the process to make it is kind of gross, we do use it on our babies!) therefore I am willing to continue it for the chance at even better long term results.

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rated 4 of 5 on 10/2/2013 6:46:00 PM More reviews by Anadgirl

Age: 44-55 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

I have to take a moment or two to write this review. I am 54 and have struggled with acne for the last 25 years. Everything I try works for a couple of weeks or so, then I end up irritated, hence breaking out more. I have super clogged skin, and it doesn't take much to set off a round of small bumps, blackheads and cysts.

I did some reading on Japanese cleansing routines and decided to try OCM. I use 50/50 Castor Oil and EVO everynight. I start by taking off some makeup with a warm washcloth, gently. I then apply the oil and massage my face for 2-3 minutes, then rinse off the washcloth with warm water and go over my face 2x, removing most of the oil. After that step, I wash with Giovanni's body bar, which is a fabulous bar of soap, IMO. After I rinse about 20x, I dampen a cotton square and put one squirt of rubbing alcohol and finish my cleansing with it...yep, rubbing alcohol! My face is smooth as a baby's bum...then I apply an OTC retinol cream. In the morning, I use a fresh warm washcloth to clean my face...no cleanser.

Once a week, I exfoliate with a 40% lactic acid peel.

About a week into this routine, I broke out with deep cysts...but for some reason I decided to stick with it...perhaps because my face didn't feel or lookirritated...in fact, it glowed...the cysts went away after a few days...I then started purging in all my trouble spots.

I've been on this routine for a month now and my face has never been calmer and clearer...I'm still purging a little, but when all that gunk comes to the surface, it goes away within a day or so...and stays away.

I can't believe how good my skin looks...I could not be happier!

Also, super important to not use comedogenic oils, like Coconut...

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rated 3 of 5 on 9/29/2013 1:43:00 PM More reviews by arielleem

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine Eyes: Green

So I have had pretty bad acne for about 10 years. My skin is really dry so it's so hard to find products since most people with acne have oily skin. I read up on the oil cleansing method and was so intrigued. I kinda over did it. I was oil cleansing every night and it felt wonderful. It's like your own mini spa treatment and you can actually feel and see the dirt being removed from your pores. Once a night is WAY too much. I broke out even worse than before and it took months to go back to normal. Now I oil cleanse once a week to pull all the gunk out and that seems to be working well for my skin. I use castor oil and switch off between sweet almond oil and jojoba oil. Will use once a week to give my skin a break from drying soaps and really pull all the dirt to prepare my skin for a new week.

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rated 1 of 5 on 9/29/2013 7:41:00 AM More reviews by EmJay31

Age: 19-24 Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Curly, Medium Eyes: Blue

I started using the OCM as I've used grapeseed oil in the past and seen great results. I used about a 60:40 ratio of grapeseed oil and castor oil, and for the first couple days my skin looked great - it was smooth and relatively clear. But then two weeks later, I have broken out in the worst cystic acne I think I've ever experienced! My face is sore and swollen, and every day there's a couple more! I stopped using the OCM after a week and a half, but I'm still seeing the effects. I'm pretty certain it was due to the castor oil since I've used grapeseed oil for years with no problems. I did a quick google search and it seems like there are plenty of people who have tried this method and gotten the same awful results as me - unfortunately for some, it's taken months to get their skin back to normal. Obviously it has worked for some people but I would be very cautious about using this method - if it doesn't work, it's pretty disastrous :(

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rated 4 of 5 on 9/18/2013 11:46:00 PM More reviews by cherchesesmots

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

I've used OCM for many years. After going through raving reviews and condemning reviews plus a little research here and there, I concluded that our skin is a very sensitive organ. Too much of a rigorous cleansing will offset the good. Truth is, oil cleansing is not mild, and is only advised to be used from time to time to degunk. E.g. once every week or 2 weeks or even once a month. Stripping away ur face's natural balance is going to cause v bad outbreak. Like food, there is no one magical food.

Following a BHA/ AHA exfoliation , let ur face rest for a day before u do OCM, do clay mask (to suck up excess oil) the next day and follow up with another round of BHA. But even doing so can be too much for one's skin. So what I am saying is we need a range of method to chemically exfoliate then dissolve hardened clogged pores, sucking up excess oil & recovery.

If u r including castor oil into ur OCM, proceed with caution and add a drop more at a time to introduce such strong element. Then will slowly build up the tolerance. I also feel that its much SAFER to include emulsifier into OCM to prevent build up of oil together with our already easily clogged pores. Remember, blackhead is actually v common and v stubborn so be patient, be gentle to your skin and good luck!

PS// get real organic, unadulterated- cold pressed & unfiltered oil only.

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rated 5 of 5 on 9/17/2013 9:22:00 AM More reviews by caribwoman

Age: 30-35 Skin: Dry, Dark, Not Sure Hair: Black, Other, Other Eyes: Brown

Decided to give this a shot and I'm very satisfied with the results. I have an oily t zone and lots of sebums in that area but other parts of my face is dry, I mixed grapeseed oil and almond oil then massaged my face for like 7 mins then wiped with a hot towel. Best deep cleanse I had in a long time, it didn't remove all the sebums but I saw a big difference. I plan to do this once a week.

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rated 1 of 5 on 9/14/2013 8:10:00 AM More reviews by peace333love

Age: 19-24 Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Neutral Hair: Other, Wavy, Medium Eyes: Brown

Ok, first an insight on my skin... It's combination, extremely acne-prone on my lower cheeks and jawline... It's been under control for about a year or so, but i noticed some whiteheads appearing basically everywhere, little, practically invisible bumps, only noticible under a harsh neon light... And I wanted to do sth about them, so I decided to try out the OCM... I used sunflower oil, twice a day... During the first week my skin looked amazing, this got rid of my bleckheads completely, my face looked healthy and radiant, felt smooth and soft... Then week 2 came along and... BAM! My skin broke out like no other... I got acne all over my face, mostly in areas where I don't normally get them: forehead, sides of the nose, upper cheeks, just horrible... It's been like this for about 9 days now, and they're constantly going away and new ones are appearing... I think I'm gonna stop doing this all together, starting today... Might still do it once a week for a deep cleanse, but not more than that... I'm still not sure if this is just a purging period, but I just can't take any new acne, especially since before the OCM my face looked ok, nice actually... This was a bad decision and I hope the acne it gave me goes away soon... :/

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rated 1 of 5 on 9/11/2013 10:56:00 PM More reviews by bluebelleyes

Age: 19-24 Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Not Sure Hair: Blond, Other, Other Eyes: Blue

For the past four years I've tried everything under the sun to heal my acne prone skin. After reading countless blogs and reviews on the oil cleansing method I decided to try it, using various different oils. With varying success depending on the oils used I was mildly pleased with how it was going. My naturally oily skin seemed to be producing less oil during the day and my makeup was going on smoothly onto my well moisturized skin. AND THEN ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE AND MY SKIN TURNED INTO A HORRIFIC LANSCAPE OF MOUNTAINS AND CRATERS AND THERE WAS MORE RED SWOLLEN LUMPS THAN REAL SKIN. It was the breakout of the century. One that I will not be forgetting anytime soon. Nor will my skin. The hyperpigmentation and scarring will be a lovely reminder of this experiment for a long time to come.
I've read a thousand and one times by beauty bloggers and dermatologists and whoever, that the right oils will not clog your pores. And I really, really, really, want to believe it. But proof is in the pudding. No more oils for me. Ever.....ever............ever.

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