Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)


369 reviews

61% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$



Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I normally cleanse with oils once a week to once a month, depending on how congested or dull my skin is. For years I have had very stubborn, open pores on my nose that look like brown blackheads and after every facial they would just plug up again. I had tried dozens of products and treatments to tackle this problem and was never happy with the results. In desperation, I decided to use castor oil and sweet almond oil, 50/50 mix. I only use the smallest amount, about half a teaspoon in all, smooth over my entire face and top of my neck then work into my nose area for about one minute. I then place a warm to hot, damp cloth over my face and work it into my nose. At this stage I can see my nose is a lot clearer. I then repeat with the oils and hot cloth, use a creamy cleanser (Elemis Pro Radiance or Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish are good for this) to cut through most of the remaining oil but leave the skin soft. This is important if you don't want to look like a greaseball for the rest of the day. I then rinse with lukewarm water then tone with a very gentle toner (for this I use pure rosewater, with or without glycerin). I only do this cleanse occasionally but it a) unplugs my blackheads, b) removes any dead skin and c) leaves my skin soft and radiant. I've had to avoid it lately as I've had mild rosacea on my cheeks due to a product that didn't agree with me and the colder weather, but now my skin is almost back to its normal state I am really enjoying doing it again. BTW my skin is normally oily/combination and currently slightly dehydrated too. I hope this info. helps anyone with similar skin concerns to mine. UPDATE: Still loving the occasional OCM but I stopped using Castor oil once I used up my supply. I just use Sweet Almond Oil. I use the exact same method and I still get excellent results. And if you already have Dr Bronners liquid soap and don't have sensitivity to any of the ingredients you can always use a small amount of it instead of oil - it contains a large proportion of natural oils so it works well. I used the peppermint one (after I'd patch-tested) and it was very effective; I rinsed really well, used a gentle toner afterwards and a facial oil as it might be quite drying otherwise. Just make sure you avoid your eyes.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I hated this product. Upton trying, I went from having no skin problems whatsover to being covered in acne.

This OCM method works for a lot, but not everybody~!!!! Be careful and take it slow and really check up on your skin.

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

The idea behind the ocm is that like dissolves like so oil dissolves oil. And i have to say, it works.
i have a ridiculous amount of blackheads and post acne marks ALL OVER. mostly on my cheeks though, and this has lightened their appearance and dissolves and pull out the hardened sebum.
So what i basically do is take around a palm full of avocado oil. JUST avocado because i've heard that castor creates major problems for the skin (excessive purging, allergies, redness, irritations,etc) and plus, i question how it is harvested.
I take the oil and spread it all over my face first then go into the massage.

The massage:
1. Rub cheeks with palms in gentle but firm circular motions (i focus here so that the blackheads will loosen nicely)
2. Rub forehead with fingers in circular motions.
3. For the nose, do a quick and firm up and down motion. Do the same around the mouth. Especially in crevices like your cupids bow, chin and around the nose.
4. Repeat steps 1-3
5. Pull forehead in an upwards motion. then put your fingers in the center of it and drag in opposite directions.
6. To condition lashes and eyes, put on the remaining oil on it by moving your fingertips on your lashes from the roots to the ends and repeating.

That is just my massage and what works for me. I then will take a warmish hot washcloth, wring it 95% out, and put it on my face. Press it into my face for 20 seconds then start wiping away the dirty oil and nasties.
I repeat with a slightly warmer washcloth, i dont really wring this one out, just a bit.
i dry it with a clean paper towel (a new one every wash) and apply 3 drops of oil on my face and spread it with either the press and roll technique or a lymph drainage one (move your hands starting at the jaw outwards towards your ears and flush into neck. work your way up). Moistuizing with the oil is optional. Listen to your skin. I just do it to lighten my scars.

1) Change your washcloth EVERY TIME
2) Use A WIPING MOTION to make sure all the oils are off
3) Don't be afraid to EXPERIMENT with different oils. Although avocado works amazing for me, i want to try hazelnut or grapeseed to really cleanse.
4) Give it TIME. I did experience a 2 week purging phase. My face was bumpy and there were atleast 2 whiteheads per face part. It passed and left me with balanced skin.
5) Do not alternate with CHEMICAL FILLED FACE WASHES. I do this nearly everyday but when i don't, i just use a natural one im using up. I heard honey works great as well.

Remember, this doesn't work for everyone, but it does for most. Just don't give up on natural stuff if it doesn't. theres alot of alternatives out there.

UPDATE: I now only use this a couple times a week for maintainence since most of the hardened plugs are out. I cleanse and tone with honey the rest of the time and this routine helped me become acne free for the most part and heals and lightens scars

12 out of 12 people found this review helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

Puring relief that really did help me in one day! I hope this helps everybody out there who is spending hours looking for help!

I just started OCM about a month ago. I used 1/3 hemp seed oil, 1/3 sunflower oil, 1/3 castor oil. I have acne prone skin and have tried EVERYTHING from the time i was 12 up to now 24 years old. The reason I wanted to do OCM is because I have blackheads and ice pick scars covering my entire face and now very minimal pimples every now and then. My face wasn't bad at all I just I wanted my pores to unclog and shrink. Form my research this seemed perfect. I steamed my face before hand with a washcloth laying it over my face, then rubed the oil on for about 10 mins, steamed again, and wiped off with the washcloth.

I choose the hemp seed oil and sunflower oil because they are rated a 0 on the Comedogenic rating (https://www.beneficialbotanicals.com/facts-figures/comedogenic-rating.html) so they will not clog your pores. Another important thing is Hemp seed oil will spoil easily so keep your mixture in the refridgerator and the orginal bottle of pure hemp seed oil in the freezer. It should be fine. If it starts to smell rancic throw it out and make a new mixture. I suggest not making a huge batch espcially if you are just trying it out. The first two weeks was fine. I had blackheads and plugs literally coming out onto my hands. I was super excited. Two weeks later my face exploded over night. I mean, red spots everywhere, blackheads, little white heads, and big pimples on the jawline. My face felt like a giant scab and it was so sore. It hasn't been this bad for over 10 years. I was embarssed and so sad that I felt like i was in middle school again. I wasnt sure If I was going through the so called "purging stage" or if my skin just didnt like it.

I stopped the oil for a few days and my skin didn't really calm down. I didnt want to stop because I read so many people trucked through this stage and their face bounced back better than before. So i did my research and I found that castor oil causes major problems for people. I even found some people just cut it out completely. I was afraid to change my ratios thinking it would confuse my skin even more but I went for it. I changed my ratio to 1/2 hempseed, 1/2 sunflower, a teaspoon of castor and a few drops of tea tree oil. I also learned that steaming the skin can actually irratate sensitive skin so I skipped this all together both at the begining and end. I just used a washcloth with warm water to wipe off any makeup or dry skin I had before hand. I cut my time down to 5 mins of rubing the oil on my face and i rubbed a lot lighter than before to prevent irratation as well. In stead of just rubbing the oil off with a washcloth and hot water, I also found out that people had great sucess with using african black soap (supposed to be great for your skin--walmart $5 http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/sheamoisture-african-black-soap/ID=prod6064944-product) to wash the soap off to insure all the oil was off my face. Then I either use a honey&cinnamon mask or Oatmeal&cinnamon&honey mask. The honey should be raw organic to reap the most benefits. I bought a little 8oz jar for $6 and it will last me a while since i only use about 1/2 spoon full. I don't do this everytime but when I do I normally keep it on anywhere between 20 mintues to an hour or more depending on how i feel. After I wash off with water and apply a toner of 1/2 raw organic apple cider vinegar (it is important to get the kind that is unfiltered with the mother--it will say it on the bottle, i bough braggs organic $5 http://bragg.com/products/bragg-organic-apple-cider-vinegar.html) and 1/2 distilled water. People say this was a god send for them because this is supposed to being the pH of your skin back to normal, so I tried it. Then I patted on very very little spot treatment all over my face (I just used the genaric equate brand from walmart) ***THE NEXT DAY MY FACE IMPROVED SO MUCH!!!*** It wasn't dry, the redness was decreased, the bumps also decreased. I know this seems like an overload but everything I used was all organic (except the spot treatment) so there are not any harsh chemicals in these things to kill and irritate your skin. All this together (not including the oil) cost me about $20 but it will last me for at least 3-6+ months easily.This process is only about a 10 minute thing (not including if you use the mask).

I hope this helps some of your who are researching helpful hints for your "purging" stage. Some people cant handle OCM and if this last for more than a few weeks I suggest stopping before you scar your skin. Plus there is no point in suffering if it isn't working for you. I was so sad that my skin exploded so I research for at least 12 hours before I decided what I was going to attempt to fix it. Don't freak out and go buy all these chemical masks, face washes, and treatments. They will more than likely irratate your skin and make it worse.

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Grey

I read about this when all the bloggers started raving about it. It made so much sense, there were lists of what oil is good for what so I tried.

I tried several combinations olive oil, grape seed oil... I don't even remember the rest. I tried some different cloths.

What I do remember that my face was breaking out like crazy, even when I didn't massage it, I changed the oils- just not for me.

Now I use oil by Shu Uemura. Yes its not homemade and pure oil and I don't have to use the cloth.
It works, my dehydrated skin isn't dried out but my acne is at bay.


Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Combination, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I have tried OCM previously, using laxative -grade castor oil and grapeseed as the carrier ; starting tonight, I am using cold-pressed castor oil with, unless I break out from it, my Neutrogena body oil. I like the feel of the cold -pressed so much more -not so thick and tacky. Will add updates periodically ...UPDATE- The cold-pressed castor oil has been great; I apply it, then add Purpose or some other liquid cleanser. No breakouts, no overdrying- will continue to use!


Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

i have been using OCM from Nov.2012 until now. I have dry/combination skin, yet still get adult acne often (i never have acne problem when I was in my teenage). it improves my skin texture, reduce my blackhead, more hydrated. I use coconut oil or jojoba oil with or without castor oil, with essential oil(lavander, or rosemary, or others) added.

massage with any 'cold pressed' and 'organic' oil are important.

I use warm to sightly hot water with the microfiber cloth, but I never rub my skin with cloth. I just put the cloth on my face with some pressure until the cloth becomes the room temperature. then repeat it for several times, until I do not feel any oil sit on my skin.

OCM needs some patience every night, but it does do a deep cleansing, and work for my skin in the cold dry climate, and so cheap to get a bottle of organic jojoba oil with some essential oils,which last so long time, so I keep doing it every night, and very happy to live without any shop-bought cleanser.

If I have make up on, I put one layer of oil, massage, and wipe away, put another layer of oil, massage, massage, more oil, then warm cloth on my face. it just takes more time, but so clean. love it.

------------update 25/Oct/2014: I am still using OCM. I had tried out different oil mixture, but I came back to the simple just coconut oil, due to my laziness. however, the effect of pure coconut oil is still amazing.
I add the facial massage into my daily routine, which totally give a huge difference to the texture of facial skin, even though I sitll have a lot of pigmentation.
what I did:
1. a quick wash: use coconut oil to clean the makeup and dirt, with microfiber cloth.
2. facial massage: when my face is clean, I use a generous amount of coconut oil to my whole face and neck. massage, and massage for as long as I want. my facial massage is inspired by Lisa Eldridge.

I did this daily ritual, while having a bath daily. so I have used quite hot water, which I am not sure it is ok. but I use very generous amount of oil, so my skin never feels dry.

I also use coconut oil for washing my face in the morning. the only different from my evening face washing is a short/quick wash without massage.

------------update: feb/25/2015 during the winter, my skin got very dehydrated and dry. I use OCM as usual, but I also use coconut oil for facial moisturizer. my skin LOVES it. after I use coconut oil three times for OCM in the evening. first time is quick to get off the dirt and sunscreen. second and third time is to massage and let oil sit on my skin and wash off with microfiber clothes. Then, i add coconut oil between serum and lotion. after lotion, i put one more layer of coconut oil. I used so much oil. my face is very greasy after i put them. but i massage and let it sit. I wear a shower cap, so my hair wont get greasy. I thought i might break out, but after two weeks experiment, my skin LOVES it. it is the first time for many years, like 8 years, my skin feels hydrated in the winter. but i think my skin is very dry and dehydrated type. so the huge amount of oil is actually what my skin needs, a discovery. So, extra virgin and cold press coconut oil and OCM are MUST.

continued >>


Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I used this for 4 months before I gave up, so it's not like "hey I'm going to try this for a week or two and then write a review on makeupalley on how bad it is because I went through a purging state". I didn't go through a "purging" state at all. But after a couple of weeks all my issues I thought was vanished for good came along, all my pores started to clog up. But I never ever thought it was my beloved oil that was the cause of it all. THEN I started to develop cystic acne. Still, I just thought it was because of hormones or whatever. I finally came to realize I was ruining my skin with this shit. It's been over two years since I stopped this method and I can almost manage to look at my skin without makeup, but this is only because I've gone through a lot of medications and skincare line. Sad part is how wrecked my skin looks with all the acne scars that will take a lot of time to heal, if they ever do so. Just because something is natural doesn't necessarily mean it's meant to belong on the skin!! This may work for some, but still, be cautious with this because you never know how your skin is going to react.

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.


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.


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!

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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