Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Oil Cleansing Method

While reading through some blogs the other day, I stumbled upon the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) for washing your face.  OCM replaces face wash (and all of the associated face cleaning products) with a simple oil mixture.  A friend of mine had recently done absolutely amazing things to her hair with olive oil, so I was immediately intrigued.

 As I am sure is the case with many of you, money is tight at our house right now. Facial soaps and lotions and toners and creams are expensive, and my skin is pretty sensitive. Plus, everything except the gentlest products send my skin into fits of redness, peeling, or acne.   So I thought, why not give this a try.  Personally, I mixed the following in a little travel soap bottle I bought at the drug store:

1 TBSP Castor Oil
4 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I massaged it into my face for two minutes or so.   Then I covered my face in a hot washcloth until it cooled twice, and finally gently wiped the oil away with the washcloth and hot water. Simple.

When trying to find your own perfect ratio of castor oil to olive oil,  remember that oilier skin needs more castor oil, and dry skin needs more olive oil (I use olive oil, but other people have had success with almond oil, sunflower oil, or other similar oils).

Day 1:
After my first washing, my skin feels pretty good.  It feels smooth and clean, but not too dry (except my forehead, which I am about to dab a little extra oil on). I am waiting for the horrible eruption of all of the gunk that has been trapped deep down in my pores.  I will let you know what happens.

Day 2:
No horrible eruption yet.  I took a shower today (and started my BS and ACV hair care routine) and washed my face again.  My skin feels so soft. I am not sure that it looks any better yet, but it certainly feels way better than my face lotions (which I have stopped using) ever did.   By the end of day two I did notice that my face is a little dry.  I think I will up the olive oil to castor oil ratio (maybe 5 to 1 instead of 4 to 1).

Day 3:
My face feels great today. No new outbreaks, and I swear that some of the old ones are clearing up.  My skin feels soft and clean. I thought about not washing my face today, but by the time I was getting ready for bed everything was a little too greasy to just leave.  Apparently it often takes about a week for all the purging to start, and then another week to get past it.  I will update you in a month or so.

Many other bloggers have covered this topic. To get some other perspectives, more info, or just some other people's experiences, start looking  here or here.  Click here to see more of my eco-friendly alternatives.

Keywords: Oil-Cleansing Method,  OCM, natural face cleansing routine, organic face-wash, olive oil, castor oil, skin problems, facial lotion alternative, eco-friendly skin care


  1. Are you still cleaning your face with OCM? If so, how do you find it now? Thanks!

  2. I’ve been using the Oil Cleansing Method for 3 months now and am astounded at the difference in my skin. I’m a 42yr old mom and have ALWAYS had skin issues. Mine were mostly attributed to hormones and food sensitivities (I’m gluten-, grain- & night-shade veggie sensitive). Before kids I would have regular breakouts in my oily T-zone, but they were pretty consistent – I felt like I was battling them every month. As soon as I turned 40 I started having awful cystic breakouts on my jawline & neck that would last for weeks and were so painful. I feel like I have literally tried every product available, from Walmart brands to high-end, with no relief. A few weeks before Thanksgiving I got desperate and decided to go back to basics and try the Oil Cleansing Method. My husband thought I was nuts putting oil on what I thought was an already oily face. Turns out my poor skin was reacting to all of the drying out I was trying to do to the breakouts and going nuts overproducing. It took a few weeks for all of the inflammation to go down and to find the right combination for my skin but I am thrilled with how much better my skin looks and feels. Here’s what I do:
    1. In the morning I wash my face in the shower with the Olay ProX cleaning brush and a very gentle face wash called “Yes to Cucumbers” Soothing Gel. I take 5 min or so to make sure I use the brush all over, especially hairline, jawline & neck. Then I use 5 drops of pure Jojoba Oil as my face moisturizer (when I get out of shower).
    2. At night I have a bottle with a mixture of: 1T castor oil, 2T jojoba oil, 2T olive oil. I rub a quarter size puddle of it all over my face & neck and then use the ProX brush to really work it in. I wash off the oil with the Cucumber gel (my skin is so sensitive that the castor oil causes too much dryness if left on) and apply 6-8 drops of jojoba oil as my nighttime moisturizer.
    Every few days I don’t wash my face in the morning, just pat some cool water on & moisturize with Jojoba Oil.
    I wish I had taken before pics because I am amazed at how soft, smooth & glowy my face looks. My breakouts are minimal, and I treat any with a small amount of Tea Tree Oil at night and they are mostly gone by morning. My hyper-pigmentation, from acne scars & sun damage, has faded significantly as well. Once a week I also do a baking soda scrub which helps to slough away any dullness. I’m a believer!!