Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) with Polysorbate

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10 reviews

80% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$

Package Quality: 3.9

Price: $$


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on 2/5/2009 3:17:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Blond, Other, Other

Eyes: Other


See my review on OCM to read my horrible experience with this cleanser (boils all over from my neck on up that would break when I talked and left me with purple scars for years and years) and read about how castor oil contains toxins if not cold processed.

Warning: some skin can tolerate steaming and massaging and others cannot. I found that my skin is in its best condition with rare breakouts from using the oil mixed with an emulsifier as a regular cleanser (gently massage onto dry skin and rinse off). I do not steam, I do not massage for a long period, and I do not add essential oils to my brew because I break out from these methods. I also follow with a gentle but acidic toner (see below).

I have been using an oil cleanser with an emulsifier for almost 10 years now! My skin absolutely loves it! I use a clean 8oz bottle and add the ingredients: 2/3 unrefined Hempseed oil and 1/3 Polysorbate 80. To use, I shake the bottle to disperse the emulsifiers. I put a Tbsp amount in my hand and rub it onto my DRY skin like a regular cleanser to get the makeup and excess oils off. I use it on my face, around my eyes and ears, and down my neck. It acts like regular oil until I rinse. When water is added it turns to a gentle white foam that rinses right off (thank you emulsifier). I pat completely dry.

MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW WITH A TONER AFTER to ensure you removed all the oils off the skin. I use 1-2 Tbsp of Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar per 8 oz bottle of water. I get white heads in my problem areas if I do not follow with a toner.

My skin loves this stuff! Most people can't believe I am 42 and challenge me on proving my age. Things I noticed within a month of switching to this cleanser: skin is balanced (no longer an oil slick 20 minutes after washing) and glows. It feels plump and moist. It is mostly pimple-free except when trialing new stuff like primers (which I combat the cystic pimples with Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion) and my pores stay smaller and cleaner. My face is the color of my neck (vs. shades lighter from the regular facial cleansers). I no-longer wear makeup! That is something that shocks me because I used to stipple on cream-pot type makeup, and concealer, followed by setting powder, than a layer of colors. The above makeup routine is no longer needed because my skin glows and has a nice overall color. It also has minimally aged. The wrinkles I have under my eyes have been the same since my mid 20's. I have the addition of some new sun spots (kicking myself for those couple of days when I didn't wear sunscreen!).

See my notebook for further details and options I explored when creating the oil cleanser.

76 of 80 people found this helpful.

on 10/5/2010 4:07:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Sensitive, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I too have started using the oil cleansing method. I use 80% Safflower oil and 10% each of polysorbate 80 and Peg-7 Olivate. It is amazing! It gets out lots of blackheads and whiteheads, and easily washes off with the emulsifiers. My skin is not stripped at all, but it removes difficult makeup and moisturizes my face to help keep flakyness away!

It reminds me of the precleanse from dermalogica, only without all of the essential oils added (which sadly I was allergic to)

Doing the DIY skincare saves money because I am not paying for a name brand and I end up using ingredients that I know I am not allergic to so I don't have to throw products away!

13 of 13 people found this helpful.

on 3/27/2013 1:37:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Grey

I've been experimenting with rinsable oil cleansers since Retin-A made my cheeks too sensitive to tolerate the wiping involved in cold cream or regular oil cleansing. I still needed an oily cleanser since my sunscreen just laughs at soap and water.

The actual oils I used were consistent throughout my experiments, a combination of sunflower/coconut/olive I know my skin likes.

I first tried polysorbate-20 between 5 and 10% and had trouble finding a balance where the oil would rinse clean but not leave my face feeling tight and dry.

While I was waiting on an order of Cromollient I tried with some BTMS pastilles that I had left over from other projects: 1/2 tsp BTMS to about 8 Tb. mixed oils. This went much better. The BTMS provided a lush moisturizing effect and my skin wasn't dried out. It feels slimy or slippery when I rinse it, but leaves no residue and hasn't clogged my pores. I also like the milky, slightly thickened consistency the mixture has.

I only recently tried an oil blend with slightly under 10% Cromollient and I think on balance I prefer it slightly to the BTMS just because it's easier to rinse clean and does have a clean feel under my hands when it's completely rinsed off. It leaves my skin feeling even softer than the BTMS did. I think about 7 or 8% is going to be the right amount for me, otherwise it can be drying, but unlike polysorbate-20, there is a "just right" place I can find with it.

Bottom line, I'll use up the BTMS I have left but reorder the Cromollient.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Green

I have been using 9 parts hemp seed oil, 1 part polysorbate 80 as my PM cleanser and makeup remover for about 2 years now and it's about the best thing I have ever done for my face. I have combination, (very) clog and acne prone skin that isn't sensitive really, but hasn't reacted well to any foaming, cream, or other cleansers in all my 29 years. I originally tried the non-emulsified, massage-and-steam method of oil cleansing (which I reviewed separately) but didn't have a great experience. One day I was reading about someone who added polysorbate 80 to her oil to bind it to water so it would rinse clean and this sounded so... logical. My issue before had been that the oil would remove all of my makeup and suncreen and felt as though it was getting into my pores and cleaning there too BUT (excessive amounts of) steam were not fully removing the oil (and whatever gunk it had collected) from my pores. SO my face would look and feel clean, but I was getting an increased number of clogs and breakouts.

Enter an emusifier. The point of adding the polysorbate (or other emulsifier) is simply to bind the oil to water when you're ready to rinse. So I simply apply the oil mixture to my dry face, massage gently until I am satisfied that I am thoroughly clean, then rinse with normal, lukewarm water. When I add the water it even creates a tiny bit of lather, which makes it easier to get every last bit of eye makeup without being too rough on the delicate eye-area skin.

I initially started this with the thorough massage recommended with non-emulsified OCM but found that was too much for every night (yes, this method removed everything thoroughly enough that if overdone, I get dry!). So now, and for roughly a year and a half, I use the oil as I would a normal foaming cleanser most nights - just massage for a few minutes and rinse off. I only do a lengthy, deep massage about once weekly or when I feel like I need it (i.e. if my skin has been oilier than usual lately, if I've worn far more makeup than usual, etc).

After cleansing, my face feels clean but not stripped, dry or tight and looks even without any redness or irritation. I have had perhaps around 5% of my usual clogs/breakouts since about a year ago as well - though I don't think oil cleansing ALONE has done this, but the cleansing in combination with my other skin care rituals.

This is a really cheap cleanser too. I buy my polysorbate from GoW and the bottle I have (which I *think* is 4 ounces. since the larger size was out of stock last time) has lasted through nearly a year so far (probably have enough left for one more bottle of cleanser).

I really love that this rinses away clean and negates the need for a follow-up cleanser. I would recommend anyone who has had trouble finding a cleanser try this method BUT make sure you are using an oil that you KNOW works for your skin. I use hempseed because it's one of the only ones that doesn't break me out, I also use it as a face and body moisturizer and in some food so I always have it on hand anyway. I would highly recommend trying out whatever oil you want to cleanse with as a moisturizer first - otherwise, if OCM doesn't work for you, how will you know if it's the method or the oil?

13 of 13 people found this helpful.

on 10/8/2013 7:47:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brown, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I started using this method and my mixture is very similar to what other reviewers are using. I use 8 parts Hemp Seed Oil and 1 part each of Peg-Olivate and Polysorbate 80 liquid (roughly 10% each...I eye ball the amount and add each part to a small glass jar with eye dropper top). I first remove my eye make up with eye make up remover as the oil seems to make my eyes cloudy or something and the on dry skin (and on top of face make up), I smear a very generous amount on to my face with clean hands. Sometimes I spend a long time working it in to rough feeling places, areas that are more clog-prone (my forehead, chin, and nose areas) before washing off. Sometimes I just rub in quickly and rinse off with warm water (I use in the mornings as well, but use far less and wash quickly).

Once in awhile if I feel like I have peeling or my skin needs a little manual exfoliation I will use a washcloth (soaked in warm/hot water, not scalding water) to remove the oil and make up and then rinse my face once more with just water to make sure its clean.

This method is working very well on my previously very clogged skin. I also switched my make up back to something I knew didn't clog my pores, I tried a foundation that was awful for my skin. I also follow-up at night with more hemp seed oil as needed. Or I use a 2% salicylic acid toner (alcohol free). All products are from Garden of Wisdom. excpet the hemp seed oil. This I just buy at the health foods store.

Current regimine:
wash face using OCM Oil Cleansing Method with Polysorbate/Peg Olivate
Hemp Seed Oil as moistuizer
spot treat as needed with Persa-Gel Clean & Clear BP gel
mineral make up (Meow cosmetics) and Glow Minerals concealer as needed
mineral/powder sunscreen (Jane Iredale)

wash face using OCM Oil Cleansing Method with Polysorbate/Peg Olivate
Hemp Seed Oil as moistuizer if dry
2% salicylic acid toner - Garden of Wisdom if skin is congested

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

on 2/1/2014 6:43:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

I am loving this. Effective, non-irritating, and easy to rinse. My current recipe for 5 oz of cleansing oil is:
2 ounces castor oil
1 ounce rice bran oil
1/2 ounce grapeseed oil
1/2 ounce avocado oil
1/2 ounce apricot oil
1/4 ounce Cromollient SCE
1/4 ounce Polysorbate 80

This makes a golden-colored, clean-rinsing oil with no scent.

I can use this for a nice long facial massage, makeup removal, and all around cleanser. I rinse with a cool washcloth (my rosacea can't handle a hot washcloth or steaming session). I've toyed with more expensive oils but this is my favorite combination so far. I've not had a single problem. No purging, no dryness or oiliness. I get my emulsifiers from lotioncrafter and they are pretty economical since you use a small amount with each batch. Also posting this review in the OCM topic.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

on 12/21/2014 3:47:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Neutral

Hair: Black, Straight, Coarse

Eyes: Black

So I have noninflamed acne. Mainly white heads and blackheads. I've been using the acne.org regimen, but I was just so tired of the flakiness. And I read a bit into hemp oil being good for solving these issues of noninflamed acne because of its balanced omeg 3-6 ratio and appropriate amounts of linoleic acid. I tried the regular OCM and then this one, thinking it'd be more convenient and better. Honestly just made me break out more. Not anything crazy or inflamed, but slowly my skin started building up all these white heads on my cheeks (where I usually don't get them). I used proportions most people typically use. And I even continued to use the acne.org treatment after cleaning my face with OCM. After doing this for at least a month, I stopped and went back to the regular acne.org regimen with a foaming wash. Still recovering and doing extractions now that I'm on break and have more time to take care of my face. But honestly this whole thing was not really worth it for me.

on 8/31/2015 7:53:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

I mix mineral oil with about 20% polysorbate-80. 15% leaves too much residue behind for me. Mineral oil is non-reactive, the most inoffensive of cleansers for most people. I do two cleanses to remove my makeup and SPF and it works wonderfully just using my hands and water to remove. I use the same in the mornings, but only once. I use Retin-A every evening and this OCM has worked well with it because it does not irritate AT ALL. The two ingredients are both very cheap and effective.

I wonder what could be added to make a solution where the polysorbate does not separate out. I have not tried heating the mixture, mind you. It doesn't really bother me to have to shake the bottle but I imagine it would be more convenient not to have to do that.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Other, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Black

Yesterday I started using OCM with polysorbate 80 twice (morning and night) with a recipe from a reviewer below (hags101): 1/3 polysorbate 80 and 2/3 hemp seed oil. I have a lot of clogged pores, few cystic acne, and dehydrated skin (so it can be oily). This formula rinsed clean with water, no residue, yet not drying. So I don't follow with a foaming cleanser. My skin becomes very soft after the oil cleansing. No plugs came out yet, unlike when I did traditional OCM with castor oil and almond oil (but it broke me out too). So I will add a little bit of castor oil in the mix next time and see how it goes. I kept my hemp seed oil and the cleanser in the fridge. Yet when I put it on my face, it's not freezing cold at all. I followed it with an ACV toner.

UPDATE 27/12/15: I added castor oil because I got loads of clogged pores. Lo and behold now I got cystic acne all over my face, I think it's because I'm allergic. I'm still recovering from it even though I've stopped it a week ago

on 4/19/2017 7:52:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Dark, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Curly, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

Years ago I tried the OCM and it really didn't work for me, the time and oil choice were problematic.

Then last year I started reading about AB methods and one which I read pointed to an effective but gentle routine of a oil based 1st cleanse - to emulsify the sunscreen, makeup, sebum. Then a 2nd water based to cleanse the skin. So I set off on finding an emulsifying oil cleanser. I tried a few but I really wasn't in love with any. I already knew mineral oil didn't work for me unfortunately and that narrowed my choices somewhat.

Then I read about making my own and as I like being a mixtress I bought a huge 500ml bottle (dont be like me, go smaller a lot smaller) of polysorbate80 from Amazon. Then set about trying out oils...first I started with Hemp Seed oil and it took me a while of finding my % sweetspot. With this oil it worked out as 15-20%, my skin liked this oil better than any commercial oil cleanser I have bought. But it is a finicky oil to store.
I moved on to Grapeseed and jojoba oil, very drying, which surprised me. Jojoba on its own was a little better.
Now I am using Almond Oil with approximately 20% polysorbate80.
How I use it - PM, a fair amount into palm of hand, rub hands together and lightly massage over entire face and neck. Then I rinse my hands and use the water to emulsify the oil on my face, it turns milky at this stage. And proceed to rinse off. Sometimes I use a wash cloth to lightly exfoliate but not every night. Done.

I like Almond well enough, I feel it cleanses my skin and doesn't dry it nor cause breakouts. It basically does what a cleanser should do. It is a basic cost effective oil. Infact I am able to just use this as my 1 stop makeup remover/sunscreen remover skin cleanser at night. My skin really doesn't need a 2nd water -based cleanse aftetwards, I used to use micellar water on a cotton round, mainly to check that I got everything off with the oil cleanse. It did every time. Stopping the 2nd cleanse just meant less dehydration.

Now as polysorbate80 is really a solbuliser (hope I spelt that right?) It is when water is added that the emulsification wizardry happens. This also means the oil will separate from the polysorbate80 when left standing. So you have to remember to shake before each use. Not a problem but that is why there are emulsifiers in commercial oil cleansers to effectively mix both.

Would I buy again? Most likely, however there are a few other solbulisers that I want to try, and I will prob try a sunflower oil as a base as well. It is washed down the drain, so I just want the best oil for the job.

My skin type - combination to Oily (short Tzone) when dehydrated or irritated (can get dryness and flakes around mouth). Sensitive to a few ingredients. Clog prone.


1 May 2018

Now I have used up the hemp seed oil, I found I could use 10% polysorbate80 and 90% HSO. It cleansed my face beautifully and I didn't need a 2nd cleanser with this. Only the storage issues and it is difficult to travel with. I was meant to find some high linoleic sunflower oil but became distracted by pumpkin seed oil with its long shelf life. (12-14 months). I found I need more polysorbate80 (15%) to help emulsify with water and I need to second cleanse as well as I felt a residue with it. Hey ho. So different oils need different amounts of emulsifier to work on skin.

I will always make my own oil cleanser, no ingredients my skin doesn't like and I can use a good amount to massage away sunscreen and makeup.

7 of 7 people found this helpful.

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