Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)


366 reviews

62% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.2

Price: $$



Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

This is my review for the more "traditional" OCM - massaging with oil then using steam to remove said oil. I have since moved on, with much greater success, to oil cleansing with an emulsifier but I tried this way first.

NOTE: I have volitilely combination that can flip the switch between oil-slick and antique parchment in the blink of an eye. Additionally, most things (in the world) seem to either cause clogs/breakouts or compromise the pH levels, and therefore the protective barrier, of my skin. I do not have *sensitive* skin, per say, except in regards to chemical exfoliation and highly concentrated doses of isolated ingredients.

I decided to try OCM one day after having a lifetime of bad luck with foaming, cream, or other cleansers. I tried the recommended blend of *your choice of oil* with castor oil, as well as hemp seed oil (my choice) alone. In theory, massaging oil onto your face is supposed to help remove clogs because the oil binds to and dissolves the sebum in your pores. The problem hereafter is how to remove the "dirty" oil from your face when you're done. With OCM, you're meant to repeatedly steam it away with a cloth soaked in hot water.

There are two major issues with this method. One being that frequent and repetitive steaming can be damaging to the skin. The other being that this takes SO LONG. I knew little of the potential damage when I attempted OCM, so I was gung-ho about the steaming but I quickly became irritated with this method. I was using OCM to remove makeup before bed and the last thing I wanted was to spend 10 times as long on my PM skincare routine. I think some days I wasn't thorough enough, but for the most part I stuck this out for about 6 weeks (two with castor, but it seems like it was breaking me out, so the remainder with just hemp). Even when I was a bit more impatient, my skin was clean from any (detectable) trace of makeup or sunscreen when I went to sleep.

I started to notice much more clogging than usual as well as a few deep, painful pimples popping up around 4 weeks, and the original clogs that I had blamed the castor oil for hadn't improved. I had also been continuing my research on OCM and reading horror stories about severe cystic acne and notable damage to even non-sensitive skin like mine. It seemed like steaming was taking up a lot of time but not actually removing the oil, sebum, and leftover m/u from my pores. I ended up following with a foaming cleanser for a while but that sort of defeated the purpose since foaming cleansers were my issue to begin with. So I gave up and tried a few more actual cleansers before deciding to try oil cleansing WITH an emulsifier (which I'll review under OCM with Polysorbate). Adding an emulsifier just made sense to me, since the purpose of one is to bind oil to water, thus maiing it easy to fully rinse your "oil cleanser" off your face without all the steam.

Overall: I won't try this again. Oil is effective at removing makeup and sunscreen but I need something to then remove the oil, and steaming just isn't it. This method may work for some, especially if you don't wear ss or m/u that needs removing or just want to deep clean the pores every so often.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 8/6/2013 5:04:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Blue

This technique initially made my skin look and feel great, however after a few months it resulted in the craziest cystic acne I've ever experienced - which scarred and I am still dealing with the aftermath. :( :(
What I tried (for appx 4 months)
1:4 ratio -
castor oil : sunflower oil
castor oil : olive oil
castor oil : almond oil
castor oil : jojoba oil
**rotated through these combitations but none worked for my skin

Routine every other evening:
1. steam face GENTLY
2. mix oils, massage for 5-10 minutes
3. steam off gently with warm washcloth (new washcloth every day)
4. moisturize if skin felt dry/tight and go to bed

My skin was sooooo smooth, definitely reduced the number of blackheads but HOLY COW!!!! When my skin finally had had enough, I had terrible cystic acne. It's slowly clearing up and is almost gone.

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

on 8/5/2013 7:19:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I have very sensitive, acne-prone skin. OCM includes cleansing with a mixture of oils, then steaming them off with hot water from a washcloth a few times, and wiping your face with the washcloth. Oils combined with hot water...what was I thinking?! This is the worst possible combination for sensitive skin prone to breakouts. Not to mention the washcloth causes further irritation on top of that. This has resulted in breakouts all over my face, even in the areas where I hardly ever get a pimple. And I'm not talking zits, I'm talking patches of breakouts. Please please PLEASE don't do OCM if you have my skin type. I've heard it works well for some people, but a lot of people also have bad results. And when the results are bad, they're horrific in this situation. It's not worth it.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 7/30/2013 6:31:00 AM

Age: 19-24

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

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I have overall oily skin which is acne prone. The last time I can remember having pimple free skin is back in my teens or every time I go somewhere sunny for my hols (the sun always clears it but within a couple of weeks being back in the UK, it slowly deteriorates. I lead a very healthy lifestyle. Don't drink or smoke e.t.c. I exercise 4 times a week, drink 3+ lts of water a day but this doesn't seem to be enough to give me the desired clear skin. I tried this method for the first time last night after having tried pretty much everything under the sun. I used 3 tsp cold pressed, pure Castor oil and 1 tsp Evoo. What I did first was remove my make up with the Jane Iredale mit, which is just a microfiber cloth which removes all make up traces with water alone. I died my skin and massaged the oil mixture over my face for about 2 minutes. I did the hot towel thing about 3 times and then again massage my skin. I then began to remove the oil with my cloth until I felt that it was gone and saw no more make up traces on my cloth. Then I used an ice cube and massaged it over my face until it melted (read about the benefits of this old trick). To damp skin I applied the Clarins Lotus facial oil and patted this in and that's it. I also use high strength Vitamin E oil (H&B) for my eyelids, eyelashes & lips. I made sure to rinse and clean my cloth and hung it to air dry ready for the following evening.
In the morning my skin was calm, one pimple which I saw was there came to the surface, which was easily removed with just washing my face with black mud soap (great inexpensive, pure product from Boots) and then moisturised with the Murad acne control moisturiser. I have high hopes for this and will report back in a month or so.
I guess the main thing is to thoroughly remove the oil, thoroughly clean the wash cloths and use high grade products. Everyone is different and this will not suite everyone but I really hope it works.

on 7/29/2013 5:49:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Medium Brown, Warm

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Having suffered with bouts of acne for the past 20 years, I am always on the look out for something which may prove to be the miracle cure.

I was hopeful of OCM as I had read so much about it, but I'm afraid it didn't work for me at all.

About a week into following OCM my skin started breaking out, I read this happened and it was recommended to carry on, which I did but to no avail. My skin just kept getting worse, so after a month.

Slowly my skin is calming down and clearing up.

I did experience some clogged pores being becoming unblocked when doing OCM, but I think this is more to the massaging effect and this was backed up the beauty therapist I visited when I recently went for a facial. Who said that often we don't massage our skin enough when cleansing and its especially important to massage along the jaw line towards the ears as this is where the lymph nodes lie

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 7/22/2013 1:29:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Other, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I tried oil cleansing as a pre-cleanse for sunscreen. I used mineral oil, since it's so highly regarded on the skincare board and I wanted to try it myself. The kind I have is called Butcher's Block, it's a food grade quality product and only contains mineral oil and vitamin E. I didn't use an emulsifier because I read you do not need to use one (just make sure your face is really wet and to cleanse the residue off enough). I've done this maybe 3 times before writing this.

PROS: Nothing.

CONS: PITA from start to finish. The idea is simple, that the cleanser will remove the oil. Here's the problem though: IT DOESN'T. I always had a thick layer of mineral oil behind. It was beyond noticeable (in feeling) and my skin never felt clean. I have to do a second wash to get it completely off. What a waste of cleanser and time! I also didn't see or feel any kind of purging or blackhead removal, etc.

OVERALL: Doing this with an oil that doesn't have an emulsifier is pointless. It's way too much work to remove. Maybe one day in the future I'll add an emulsifier or try different oils and experiment, but ATM I have this huge bottle of mineral oil collecting dust.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 7/15/2013 8:37:00 PM

Age: 18 & Under

Skin: Sensitive, Medium Brown, Warm

Hair: Black, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

I've tried this method with just olive oil for a few months. In the morning I would rinse my face with water, and the olive oil, then rinse it off. I have acne prone skin and dry skin. Surprisingly it didn't break me out (which I thought it would), but it created this weird looking patch on my right cheek. I stopped doing this method after that, but I might start doing it again just not that often ( I was doing it everyday). I'll only do it at night, because it takes a long time to sink in at the am and I looked like I was about to deep fry my face.

on 7/13/2013 1:13:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

Every cleansing oil I've used has broken me out! Even olive oil and grapeseed oils break me out. I should have known. My acne is caused by my excess oil so adding more oil just breaks be out even more. My poor pores were spewing sebum like crazy! Never again.

on 7/11/2013 10:44:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Blue

I have used every skin care product out there for acne prone - combination skin. OCM has done wonders for me! Everyone is different so you just gotta be patient & find the oil that's best for you. I've been using OCM for three months now. For me I cleanse with EVOO & a rag, do a facial (organic honey or coffee grounds & honey) then hydrate with organic coconut oil. I do this twice a day, everyday. I used to have scaring, frequent breakouts, blemishes, etc but now I have almost flawless skin! With the exception of a few hormonal pimples here and there. I suggest that anyone who would like to try it actually give it time to work. Just like when you buy a face wash from a store you don't have over night results, I believe it takes about three weeks to see amazing things. If you break out at first, don't freak - your body is just pushing all the crap out. Good luck to everyone!

on 7/1/2013 12:56:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Curly, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I have weird skin. I have an oily forehead and chin, but dryness between my eyebrows, on my nose, and the skin immediately next to my nose and above my mouth. My cheeks are usually perfect. I get breakouts on my chin near my mouth pretty frequently. I have never had cystic acne, for the record. I gave up cleanser awhile ago because I found it was making my skin horrible. I also am a pale Irish girl with a lot of redness in my skin. I had pretty gone to just rinsing my face with straight water as a method of cleansing it. It was getting better but the dryness on my face made my makeup look HORRIBLE and no moisturizer or exfoliation I tried would take care of it. I first heard of OCM when I was about 16 (25 now) and I thought it sounded too insane to try. My mother used just vegetable oil in her teens. This isn't the way to go, but it worked for her. Her skin was perfect until she was well into adulthood and started using cleansers. I was at my wits end with the dryness, so when I happened upon OCM again about a year ago, I decided to try it. I first tried straight olive oil since that's what I had and I was low on money and eager to start. It helped with the dryness but I had zits immediately after and I wasn't happy with it. When I got money, I went out and purchased cold-pressed castor oil and jojoba oil. I did a 50/50 mix. I wet my face first, put a quarter size amount of my oil mix in my hands and rub them together to warm it up. I them spread it all over my face and rub it in. I don't find I feel any grains or anything that others report. I then wet a washcloth (I bought new washcloths that I only use for OCM on my face) and get it wet with hot water and drape it over my face for probably 30 seconds. I do this two or three times. Then I use the washcloth to lightly wipe away excess oil. When I am done, my face doesn't feel oily but just moisturized. I only do this once a day every few days and it has been AMAZING. I had no purging and the dryness is finally gone. I have no pimples at all which is the first time that's happened since I was probably 13. My face actually does feel cleaner afterwards which I wasn't expecting. I have a lot less redness as well which I didn't even think was possible. My father's whole family has the pale Irish redness going on, so I thought it was genetics I would be unable to escape! I recommend trying different oils and oil blends if this isn't working for you. Be patient. My mother uses straight olive oil now (she's 55 with combination skin and occasional breakouts) and it's working amazingly for her. And if you use cleansers, your skin will need time to adjust to the change. I went through a transition period when I went from cleanser to water, but my skin did even out. I am strictly against cleansers now.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Back to Top