Average Rating 4.4/5
Review by bonetaapplebum
Update 04/15: For those of you with dryer skin types, make sure you use no more than 20% castor oil when mixed with another oil. A little goes a long way! I know there are a lot of controversy in regards to the oil cleansing method, but personally I have found it to be the most effective way of cleansing facial bacteria while promoting moisture and suppleness (yup.. that's the dream!). If you are struggling with acne prone and unbalanced skin (i.e., high oil production yet a dry and flaky surface), you should read on.
I am a fantastic triple threat of acne prone - flaky - and extreme oily skin type. I was baffled for years in trying to find the right cleanser and exfoliant for my finicky skin. I tried cleansers that are advertised as "acne fighting" that contain tea tree oil and salicylic acid, which unfortunately not only didn't perform up to expectation (because when you think about it, all the acne fighting ingredients are sadly washed down the drain within a minute or two, rendering them utterly useless), but also aggravated my pre-existing acne by drying out the surface of my skin causing more bacteria to flourish, and making me look completely hideous while wearing powder make-up. Why not just exfoliate away the dryness, you say? Well, since my skin is already sensitive and dry from the sulphates in harsh cleansers, chemical exfoliants like BHA and AHA further irritated it while manual exfoliants (no matter how gentle) required scrubbing, which as anyone knows, is not good for the little red volcanoes on your face just dying to burst. So strike one for the acne fighting cleansers.
I then moved in a complete direction of trying gentle, soapless or lotion based cleansers in a desperate attempt to save my dry flaky skin. Cetaphil just made me feel like a complete greaseball, while not at all practical for anyone who wears heavy-ish make-up like myself. I even tried Pond's, after reading some positive reviews on here, but ended up with the same solution: greasy finish, inadequate cleansing, and the cleansing method itself was entirely too time consuming as I would literally go through a stack of cotton pads in attempt to remove the cleanser from my face. Strike one for the gentle cleansers, then.
After reading the theory behind the oil cleansing method (i.e., oil dissolves oil), I thought I'd give it a try. I am now on week 2, and there had been a significant reduction in my pore size/oil production. Since my skin feels soft and supple after cleansing (and not tight and dry with a water based cleanser, or greasy as hell with a lotion based cleanser), i can now apply a lower concentration chemical exfoliant with ease (I use Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion - another gem!). The combination of the two is now putting my skin back on the right track - acne free, flake free, less oily and more balanced.
Everyone does the OCM differently, but castor oil is usually used as base. You may also use jojoba oil (as I have in the first few days), but many people found jojoba oil does not have strong enough cleansing properties as castor oil, and I actually experienced a range of tiny bumps while using jojoba. I now use a 1 part castor oil, and 2 parts grapeseed oil (a great oil to use for those with combination skin types) for dilution. I warm the oil in my hands, then apply to a dry face using gentle circular motion. There is no need to use a make-up remover prior to this. After massaging about a minute or two, I use about 3 cotton pads soaked in warm water to wipe the oil and make-up off my face (1 for each part of the face; I find this a more sanitary way than using washcloths - as well, cotton pads feel gentler and less tugging on the face than a washcloth). I then follow up with an AHA for pm. In the mornings since my skin still feels balanced and clean, I seldomly feel the need to wash my face (in fact, cleansing once a day should be adequate to remove a day worth of dirt and bacteria off your face) with anything but water.
If you had the patience to read up to this point, I strongly suggest going out to your local health foods store and get yourself some castor oil + another thinner oil (grapeseed, sesame, sweet almond) and try the OCM tonight. More info can be found at http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com