I am being detailed in this review because I hope it might be helpful for people who have skin like mine: 46 years old, combination, very fair, breakout prone, somewhat dehydrated, sensitive. I'm often told I have great skin, and that's because I have the breakouts totally under control with a 2% BHA. OCM messed that up and it took a while to fix. After a long talk with a famous dermatologist, and lots of personal trial and error, here is what I Iearned about OCM.
Most people cannot rub oil into their faces day after day without clogging pores and having the oil build up slowly on their skin. You can really mess yourself up if you don't dig deeper than strangers telling you online that it worked great for them. For example, the often-proposed recipe of 50% castor oil/50% carrier oil is totally wrong for most people: it is way too much castor oil, which WILL clog pores and for many will result in serious breakouts down the line, even if it seems wonderful at first.
For most people with any tendency toward breaking out, the key to a successful OCM is using an emulsifier, such as Polysorbate 80 and/or 20. There is a reason all commercial cleansing oils have an emulsifier! I've talked to many people who used OCM and it went great for a few weeks---until all heck broke loose with acne, milia, and bumps that took ages to subside. Use an emulsifier, preferably high up on your ingredient list.
RECIPE: For those who are breakout prone, I finally came up with a blend that does not cause big issues, and you can find all the ingredients online quite easily: 1/3 cup grapeseed oil (or rice bran, sunflower, or safflower---all very light, so if you're drier go ahead and use olive oil instead); 1/4 argan oil (not expensive if you buy Watts or other off-label brands; you can substitute this for jojoba or hemp oil if you're quite oily or want to spend less); 1/4 cup Polysorbate-80; 1/8 hazelnut oil or raspberry oil (these are slightly astringent; if you're on the drier side replace with almond oil, macadamia oil, or avocado oil; if you're very sensitive or itchy try oat oil instead---Avena Sativa); 2 tablespoons Polysorbate-20.
Do not---and I can't stress this enough---add essential oils. They irritate the skin at a subcutaneous level. You may think they feel great and don't irritate you at all, but the irritation takes place subtly over time at a level you do not see or feel immediately. Fragrant oils impact your skin's ability to renew and repair itself over time. Skip the lavender, mint, eucalyptus, citrus, bergamot, rosemary, etc. It adds absolutely nothing of value and it harms us no matter how nice we think it smells.
The key is NOT to massage too much or for too long if you have sensitive or breakout-prone skin. You'd only be stimulating your follicles and you don't want that. Lightly massage the oil blend in for no more than 30 seconds. There is no need to use the hot towel to 'open pores.' Dermatologists will tell you there is no such thing anyway: you can't actually open or close your own pores. Doesn't happen. The hot towel just feels good, but it can irritate your skin over time too. I skip this altogether since I have an emulsifier in the oil anyway.
So I just lightly massage my cleansing oil in for about 20-30 seconds, and rinse off with warm water. It rinses right off. All makeup is removed. I follow with a second cleanse, usually something from Paula's Choice. (I love these three, though none are good for dry skin, just normal to oily: Earth Sourced; Hydralight; Skin Balancing. Note: Hydralight does not foam, it's just a silky gel you rub on and rinse off, but it's fantastic and leaves me so clean and soft. If you must foam, skip it---the Earth Sourced is the one that foams the most.) I end with a toner: Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Witch Hazel or Paula's Choice Hydralight Toner.
I've been doing this most nights of the week for a month with no adversity so far. My skin looks excellent, though I do also use various serums and moisturizers and SPF, of course.
Here is how I got to this OCM recipe---I really hope you learn from my trial and error. I initially wanted to try OCM because oils have benefits, take makeup off so well, and the method gets great reviews. Well, ladies, I was in for DISASTER. First, I tried washing my face with organic extra-virgin coconut oil. I loved the feeling and thought I was sold, but three days into it I had the most ghastly red acne all over my face, like I used to get 25 year ago! I just about cried at the sight of myself.
It got better in a week, so I tried again with olive oil. Same thing, even worse! Truly, all hell broke loose on my face. I was so broken out, like I have not been in decades. I went crazy trying to fix this, using strong BHA twice a day until the breakouts subsided, but that made my skin flaky and dry and angry in the process. Got somewhat back to normal in a week by washing only at night with Toleriane or Cerave, splashing with water in the morning, and putting on calamine lotion and 1% hydrocortisone a few times a day. (That really works, btw! Those 2 things together are miracle workers when there is a skin crisis.)
After my personal Exxon-Valdez disaster, I decided I had to explore emulsifiers and different methods and oils, and also talk to my dermatologist who is in Bev Hills and works on "famous faces." She told me she has tons of people coming in in a panic because they jumped on the OCM bandwagon and had awful breakouts.
I also have a friend who is a cosmetic chemist, and she confirmed the following: no alcohol (except thickeners such as cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol, which are not really alcohol); no camphor, menthol or sulfur; no fragrance; no essential oils in your OCM; use tea tree sparingly and only when needed for breakouts/bacteria.
I really hope I've prevented a few breakouts out there with this review!
Tonight was my first night doing the OCM and I'm already a believer! My skin has never felt so clean. I had already been using argan oil after cleansing (with cetaphil) and those results were great. So I decided to enhance that by doing complete cleansing with oil. I used castor & jojoba. After toning with Peter Thomas Roth glycolic pads I didn't feel like I needed to moisturize. But, I wanted to add argan & rosehip seed oil just for an extra overnight treatment. I will update you guys on the results after using it for a few more weeks. Wish me luck!!
I really like this method! I've had moderate to severe acne for the past few years, and have been on various acne medications that were very drying. I have been doing this for a little over three weeks and it has really cleared my skin up!! My acne scars have faded significantly, I currently only have one pimple, and my overall complexion has evened out. I hardly put on any makeup now! I use 2 parts grapeseed oil mixed with one part castor oil, and steam my face twice! I recommend this method!
Words are not enough to explain how much I regret trying the OCM method.
I used to have a few small blemishes om my right cheek (they had been there for many years) and I've never had acne in my whole life except for the 1 or 2 pimples I used to get when I had my period. I tried the OCM 3 times back in february, hoping it would make them disappear. It resulted in light acne and LOTS of blemishes after LOTS of pimples. It took 4 months for my skin to clear up. And now I'm stuck with a lot of acne scars.
I tried several creams, cleansers and oils but it didn't work.
Please be careful. It's a 50/50 % chance it will work for you and I personally don't think it's worth taking the risk. Especially if you already have a pretty good skin to start with.
I didn't listen to my gut feeling and it resulted in really bad skin and acne scar all over my face.
I tried castor oil, sunflower oil and olive oil.
WHAT HELPED MY SKIN AFTER THE DESTRUCTION OF THE OCM METHOD:
Cleansing my face with unpasteurized (eco) honey and using jojoba oil (wax) as my moisturiser day and night. Especially the jojoba oil has helped tremendously against the oily skin I used to get in the mornings and during the day because of my combination skin and also because of worthless day/night creams. And one of it's many miracles is that it evens out the skintone. The skin on my upper lip is quite a few shades lighter than the rest of my face and the jojoba has even it out. And it makes my face all glowy.
The honey is supergood to my face and the combination with the jojoba totally destroyed the bactaria or whatever it was I contracted from the OCM method.
I hardly get pimples any longer, even when I'm on my period.
I just wanted to send out a helping hand to other women whose faces have been traumatized by the OCM.
At first, the OCM worked for me, but then my pores began to clog and my skin became weirdly bumpy. Also, I just was lazy and the oil would get all over my counter tops and leak from the bottles when I traveled. It just got to be a pain.
I switched to good old fashioned washcloth and Aveeno soap and my skin cleared right up. I also stopped using olive oil, as it seemed to heavy for my skin and wasn't absorbing. I switched to using sweet almond oil at night, and Avene lotion during the day (something my mom bought with Vitamin C and sunscreen in it)
I guess this method works for some, but I can't do it anymore.
-----GOOD EXPERIENCE WITH OCM-----
I have sensitive skin and I get tiny blackheads on my cheeks, nose and forehead. I've also been noticing the pores around my nose getting bigger as I age.
I read about the OCM in a novel about the Romans and how they used to slather their entire bodies with oil and then scrape it off...got me thinking!
I did lots of research before I started this and now I'm in week 5 with no problems to report!
I used a mix of caster oil and olive oil to start (the caster oil sounds gross, but thats the oil that actually does the cleaning work! You need to use it.) I used a ratio of maybe 75% caster oil to 25% olive oil. Sounds like a lot of castor oil, yeah, but I figured I should start strong to begin with and then lower the ratio later. At the end of the first week, I did get a few red bumps on my forhead and hairline, so I dropped the ratio to 50/50, then to 25% caster oil and 75% olive oil.
I use the OCM everyday, usually twice, morning and night (or if I've used it at night, I just put a hot towel on my face the next morning, wipe and apply a little more olive oil as moisturizer)
My method is this, get out two washcloths and run the water to the highest heat. I apply the oils to my face and lightly massage for a few minutes.(2-5) Then I wet one washcloth with hot water and set it on my face till it gets cool (thats like only 30 seconds), then I wipe. Then I wet the second washcloth, set that on my face another 30 seconds and wipe. Then I apply some olive oil as a moisturizer. If I'm going to be wearing makeup, I go easier on the olive oil here, since I don't want my makeup floating around on my face.
I put my oils in a little pill bottle, but I have been looking around for a pump, since that would be so much easier to dispense it.
Olive oil as a moisturizer works amazing and makeup sits wonderfully on my skin when I've used it.
Yes, I even use the OCM on my eyes. it gets off ALL my makeup and I have never had it get in my eyes (I've even opened my eyes while they were slathered in oil)
Key to the OCM is getting the ratio right.
Also, some people actually ARE allergic to the oils and can't use the OCM...don't cry if you are one of them.
Try to think of the OCM as a face mask, instead of a face wash. The castor oil is STRONG. It can pull stuff out of your body. It's like a weird magnet oil. I have read of users massaging their face and suddenly they have all these little grains of sand under their fingers! Those are the blackheads that the caster oil has pulled out! I have never had anything that dramatic happen to me, but sometimes I feel a little thing and look down at my hands to see one little blackhead. YAY!
I've using EVOO for the last few months as a makeup remover before i cleanse with a regular cleanser at night.
I've used it before and notice more clogged pores, but i wasn't sure if it was because of EVOO or some other product i used at that time, so i tried it again, and never stopped :)
It takes off my eye makeup with no effort, and even Revlon Colorstay foundation from my face, no breakouts so far. I think it even made my skin so much better...
I take a small amount (i store it in a pump bottle) and massage into my skin for a few seconds. Then i take a paper towell/tissue and wipe it off. Then in the shower i use my regular cleanser to wash away any oilresidue.
I bought cold pressed castor oil today and i'm adding it to the EVOO because it seems to be very effective taking off dirt and oils from the pores, so i will update this soon... Hopefully i won't experiment such horrible breakouts from it as my skin has been finally ok in a few months. :)
Adding castor oil was a disaster to me, and i dind't even had to wait weeks to realize it. It took only 2 days to get (painful) breakouts on my chin and cheeks, and little bumps on my forehead, where i never breakout, unless i do something wrong, which apparently was the case... so i stopped it until it got worse. It's taking a while for them to go away, but my skin is better now. ufff...
I'm scared of using it again. Castor oil goes deep down to your pores, which means it will take all the things in your skin deep down, and they get stucked in there. That's the real danger of using it. I dindn't even steam the face, and used a regular cleanser after... and the castor oil i bought was cold pressed and bio, so i really don't get it how it can be so effective on some people and didn't worked for me...
So, i'm using EVOO again by itself and it works wonders as before :) it's a cheap and effective way to completely remove my makeup.
I have been using Albolene cleanser for several years, as I hate anything that foams or dries out my face. So, the other day I thought that instead of buying another tub of Albolene that I would make up a batch of oil to cleanse my face with. I mixed about 10% of hexane-free, cold-pressed castor, 90% EVOO, and 5 drops of pure Geranium oil (as I've read Geranium oil is great for skin rejuvenation). I slather in on my face, ensuring that I massage it into my skin very well. I've never felt actual debris coming out of my skin, as several reviewers have noted. I soak a washcloth in hot water, wring it out, let it cool down for a second, and then apply it to my face until it completely cools. Then I rinse the washcloth thoroughly and wipe the remaining oil from my face, concentrating on removing traces of oil from the hair and jawline, so I don't get whiteheads (that happened to my skin years ago when I tried the OCM). I must agree that my skin looks dewy, fresh, and moisturized. I only use the OCM at night to remove makeup. Afterward, I apply Roseseed Hip Oil and a little bit of Weleda Skin Food around my outer eyes, neck, and chest areas. In the morning, I simply use baking soda as a quick exfoliant. My routine is pretty simple. I am 45 years old and I am constantly complimented on my skin. I have very few lines. My worst complaint with this whole aging business is a few broken spider veins on my face, but overall I believe I have good skin. I tend to be a bit acne prone, however, OCM has never excerbated the issue. All I can say is give it a try and see if it works for you.
It seems like a lot of people use OCM as their actual 'cleanser'? Maybe what I'm doing isn't truly OCM but I learned this method when visiting family in Korea and it's always worked for me.
Step 1: Massage oil onto face to help dissolve makeup and any dirt/grime/oil trapped in pores from my daily activities. Use a clean cotton pad to gently remove the excess oil.
Step 2: Use a facial cleanser to remove the added oil from your face; avoid excessively hot water and unnecessary scrubbing with face cloths which can irritate the skin; pat dry.
Step 3: (Optional; I never use toners myself but my cousins do) Apply toner using a clean cotton pad.
After cleansing the face; you would continue with your skincare routine which typically looks like:
Morning: Serum/Treatments; Sunscreen; Moisturizer; Eye Cream; Makeup
Evening: (Occasional: Face Mask, Treatment or Exfoliation); Serum/Treatments; Moisturizer; Eye Cream
If you're on Tretinoin (Retin-A) like I am, then that is all you need to use in the Evening for your skincare. Fewer products is definitely better in this case; leave the fancy serums, treatments, lotions for use in the morning. If your skin is still adjusting to Retin-A, then a moisturizer at night may be necessary but it should be a no-frills moisturizer without any actives.
As for oils; my preferred oil during the cooler/dry months is Apricot Kernel Oil because it's really soothing. Even after washing it off with cleanser, your skin will feel soft and hydrated (but not overly so) since some of it will have been absorbed by your skin. The other oil I use is Coconut Oil which is more slippery, cooling and drying (after wash off) in contrast to Apricot Kernel Oil. I like to use it during the summer months when my skin doesn't need the extra hydration and because I like the smell of it! It smells justs like Coconuts :). I don't bother mixing either of my oils with anything else; they work perfectly fine on their own.
Overall, I think have really great looking skin for my age, even long before I started using Tretinoin to help maintain my skin now that I'm in my 30's. I'm constantly mistaken for being in my early 20's and while I'm sure part of that has to do with good genes, I think good skincare and a healthy diet helps. I will use oils to help clean my face forever! :)
I can't say I hate it, but I have sensitive and acne prone skin and I was told by my dermatologist to stay away from any oils. Even though this is just the cleansing agent which you'd rinse away later with other type of cleanser and water, but still... it's oil~ You have to massage the oil into your face for at least 30 seconds but less than 1 minute to dissolve makeups; oil will turn milky white as it emulsifies (add tiny amount of water and massage again BEFORE you rinse the cleanser out). If you skipped that step, you'd end up with clogged pores and horrible breakouts.
If you wear heavy makeups (sunscreen, primer, foundation, setting powder, blush, and bronzer), then this is your best choice to take makeups off; and also the only way to take stubborn mascara off in one step.
I later found this method not the best for me and replaced it with cleansing water (I only wear BB cream spf 40+). For the mascara and eye makeups, I'd still use a separate makeup remover (Neutrogena). For this Neutogena eye makeup remover, I always dampen the cotton pads with it and hold them on the eye lids for at least 15 seconds and lightly sweep across the lids without pulling the skin under.
Cleansing water provides mildest cleansing ability and adds lightest burden to your skin because you would not need to worry about the film most oil and cream makeup removers leave on your skin.
Back to the topic, I personally would avoid this oil cleansing method as I've tried multiple times and never really gotten any good results. However, this is the best way to remove all stubborn and waterproof makeups, so... just consider if your skin can tolerate the heavy and thick oil and if you have the patient to massage the product + finish off in the right amount of time, then you are good to go!
For starters, I would like to say that I am a 32 year old who has had acne and redness since the teen years.Everything clogs my pores. I have HUGE pores. Even glycerin clogs my pores because it is film forming(my skin NEEDS to breathe or else it freaks immediately). Silcones make me break out in white bumps. Other moisturizers and soaps just give me acne cysts and whiteheads, black heads. In comes Hemp Seed Oil. My first time trying oil cleansing I made a really huge mistake...I involved water. I don't know how everyone else uses OCM but I'll tell you...my skin BROKE OUT so much from it when I involved rinsing with water, or wetting my face before using the oil. . I will also tell you that I am sitting here with uninflamed, perfectly clear, bumpless, blackheadless skin, with NO redness at all. Like matte finish. Yes, I am a man and yes I still want perfect skin like anyone else. NOW I OCM again BUT...I take hemp seed oil to my DRY face and massage it in to small areas. I literally have tiny grains of hardened oil coming out of my pores as I do it. I wipe each section with a dry towel as I go. I continue massaging oil in until I am getting no more grittiness on my hands. Do NOT rinse with water. Just go to bed. Or go on about your day. Hemp seed oil will fully absorb within 10-20 minutes and your skin will not look greasy. I can't believe I have clear skin for the first time in my life. My other tips to those of you like me, who have suffered with bad skin for many years?? DO NOT EVER wash with drying OTC soaps. IF you must wash your face to gently exfoliate and cleanse with something else (I do every couple days) USE GROUND OATMEAL (colloidal oatmeal). Grind some whole (not instant) oatmeal in your coffee grinder and add water to it. It is an amazing cleanser and has moisturizing properties. DO NOT use moisturizer. SInce re-starting OCM with Hemp Seed Oil ...i have clear, wrinkle-less skin with no imperfections. Literally. Just don't use water!!! Let your skin breathe!! Never use regular moisturizers, or cleansers. There is no adjustment period. It just works. You should never get more pimples when you start...only see your present ones disappear!!