Oil and Water My brief, traumatic foray into the Oil Cleansing Method (or: how overreaching can sometimes backfire on your skin)

washing face My brief, traumatic foray into the Oil Cleansing Method (or: how overreaching can sometimes backfire on your skin)

My goodness, I’ve come a long way in the past few years. There was a time when I shuddered at even the thought of applying oil to my skin, for fear that I’d become a walking, talking oil slick—or worse, erupt in breakouts.

Now, I not only endorse oils as moisturizers (Décleor’s Neroli Serum, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate and the recent discovery Aïny Nourishing Radiance Serum are all favourites), but I’ve actually CLEANSED my skin with oils. Yes.

If you’ve ever heard of the Oil Cleansing Method then you know what I’m talking about.

bottles with essential oils My brief, traumatic foray into the Oil Cleansing Method (or: how overreaching can sometimes backfire on your skin)

The whole idea behind oil cleansing is that like attracts like. Oil dissolves oil—and so it’s supposed to be the very best thing for removing ALL traces of makeup, grime and sebum without stripping or irritating your skin. Because if you’ve ever used a toner, you know that most regular cleansers tend to fail on the job.

In the beauty mainstream, probably the most famous example of an oil cleansing product is Shu Uemura’s Cleansing Oil, which was first introduced in 1960 and now comes in all kinds of variations for different skin types.

Shu Uemura cleansing oils My brief, traumatic foray into the Oil Cleansing Method (or: how overreaching can sometimes backfire on your skin)

People go CRAZY for this stuff—I can still recall a press trip to New York where my PR companion was on a mission to buy some, since Holt Renfrew was out of stock here in Canada—but as far as I can tell, it’s really just mineral oil. And while I don’t doubt that it works for removing makeup, mineral oil is not something I want to put on my face, thankyouverymuch. (Pretty much every facialist has told me that it clogs pores… and I’ve even read that it can accelerate aging.)

Fast forward to 2006, 2007. There have been other cleansing oils on the market but it was Dermalogica who created a mini-sensation amongst beauty editors with PreCleanse:

Dermalogica PreCleanse My brief, traumatic foray into the Oil Cleansing Method (or: how overreaching can sometimes backfire on your skin)

This product is different to the Shu stuff because it contains botanical oils like apricot, sunflower, orange and lavender instead of the nasty mineral oil.

But both products basically work the same way: you massage the oil into dry skin to remove all the grime, etc., and then gradually add some water to emulsify (it will turn white). Then you rinse with water—but Dermalogica actually encourages you to wash again with your regular cleanser. (Not sure if this is a marketing thing designed to make you buy another separate product… or because some people don’t get all the oil off and need to wash again.)

Anyway, I have used the Dermalogica product and like it much, much better than the Shu. It also smells terrific.

BUT! Ever in pursuit of clearer, glow-ier, more poreless and perfect skin… I recently came across a new discovery…

woman washing face My brief, traumatic foray into the Oil Cleansing Method (or: how overreaching can sometimes backfire on your skin)

Did you know that there is actually an older, cheaper, all-natural and some say even more effective way of cleansing called the Oil Cleansing Method (or OCM)?

It’s a bit of a cult secret but extremely popular on several beauty forums (see: here, here and here). And what it’s supposed to do is not only clean your skin but also dissolve blackheads and clogged pores, improve cystic acne, tighten pores and even improve the appearance of wrinkles.

Sounds amazing, right? Here’s what it involves:

1. To dry skin apply a blend of castor oil and either olive, jojoba, grapeseed or sunflower oil.

castor oil My brief, traumatic foray into the Oil Cleansing Method (or: how overreaching can sometimes backfire on your skin)

You need to play around with the ratios to find one that works for your skin, but because castor oil is very deep-cleansing it should only comprise 50 percent or less of your mixture. The castor oil is the stuff that really draws out the blockages in your pores. (Ewww…)

2. Massage the oil into your skin for 5-10 minutes.

massaging face My brief, traumatic foray into the Oil Cleansing Method (or: how overreaching can sometimes backfire on your skin)

Here’s where things get grody. As you continue to massage, you start to feel little grainy bits… which I understand are the clogs coming out of your pores!

Gross! Cool! Fascinating, right?

3. Drape a hot, wet towel over your face and let the steam sink into your pores until it cools down.

woman washing face towel My brief, traumatic foray into the Oil Cleansing Method (or: how overreaching can sometimes backfire on your skin)

Then wipe your face, rinse the towel and repeat a few times. There’s no emulsification step—you’re just steaming and then wiping away the oil several times. At this point all of it (along with the dirt) should be gone, so you shouldn’t have to wash your face with a regular cleanser or toner. But if in doubt, I’d wash again, since it’s very, very important not to leave any trace of that now-dirty oil on your skin.

How often you cleanse this way is up to you… but here’s what happened to me when I tried this for just a week or so:

woman with acne My brief, traumatic foray into the Oil Cleansing Method (or: how overreaching can sometimes backfire on your skin)

To say it was a total disaster would not be an understatement. A

t first, I loved the idea that I was deep-cleansing my face—who wouldn’t? I used a combination of castor oil and plain old extra-virgin olive oil. But within a couple of days, my skin got dry—like, incredibly dry and flaky.

I dropped down my percentage of castor oil to about 25 percent, and continued. But then it was like I had a rash all over my chin. Almost like an allergic reaction—I think I developed what’s known as comedogenic acne. Except then the rash turned, in places, into the worst cystic breakout I’ve ever had. Who knows if that was caused by the dryness (since a layer of dead skin can clog pores) or the oils, or a combination of both?

But at that point I had to say sayonara to the Oil Cleansing Method. And now I’m kicking myself for overreaching, because with my cod liver oil and this great stuff for rogue pigmentation issues, everything was going SO WELL. [UPDATE: I no longer recommend cod liver oil and instead prefer this.] Now, I’m working on trying to heal these little (okay, maybe not so little) suckers the OCM left as a goodbye present on my chin.

Will I try it again? Maybe. I know I definitely removed all traces of the oil, so that wasn’t what made my skin freak out. I’m wondering if I just used the wrong type of oil (olive is supposed to be more comedogenic than jojoba, for example). And overall, I’m a bit frustrated, because the testimonials I’ve read about how the OCM has transformed people’s skin are simply aMAZing. I want some of that skincare goodness!

Get the products

In the meantime, I’ll stick to my over-the-counter oils…

Have your say

Have you ever tried the Oil Cleansing Method?
If not—have I intrigued you or scared the living daylights out of you?
Got your own skincare overreaching story? Please share. (And lemme know what stuff you swear by NOW…)

234 Comments

Ashley
Monday, November 15/2010 at 1:09 pm

I use oils to clean my face. I bought it off of Etsy and while my skin broke out a bit for the first week, it was great after that! I also use a serum on my face and do regular steam facials at home.

You might just have to stick with it a little longer? Plus, I’ve heard Castor Oil is hard on your face. Maybe try more of a mix?

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, November 16/2010 at 11:34 pm

Yes possibly – I’m thinking my mix wasn’t quite right and I was allergic to something. If I do it again I’ll use much less castor oil and jojoba instead of olive oil. Or maybe just jojoba alone… I’ve heard you can still get results with that.

But first I need to wait until things clear up! I was afraid things would just get worse and worse if I kept going… I had to chicken out!

Which oils do you use?

Reply

Pink Sun Drops
Monday, March 26/2012 at 6:33 pm

I’ve been using oils on my face for about a year now. I started with olive oil, attempted almond oil, then grapeseed oil, and have been most happy with rosehip oil. My estethitician told me, I don’t know what you’re doing with your skin, but keep doing it! I’ve never tried the Oil Cleansing Method, and think I would be too scared too. I’d be afraid of irritating my skin so much by clearing everything out that it would break out to ANYthing I put on it afterwards. I feel like using it as a moisturizer does a natural cleansing over time.

Reply

Sybil
Tuesday, August 6/2013 at 9:34 pm

Michelle,
I have been using the OCM for a year now and can honestly say it works great for me. Since June of 2000 to August 2012 I had a facial every month and used her very expensive products, Eminence, so you can imagine how expensive my facials were. I loved her and still do but I am 72 and just how much younger do I want to look. Anyway, I started the OCM when I read of a 92 year old French model who uses nothing but olive on her face. Tried it, love it. Also use Avocado, Jocobo and Argon.
I use the Argon for an under makeup oil and the others at night.
The only result of the OCM was the little holes in my nose after it cleaned my pores. I love it.

Reply

Elayne
Tuesday, September 3/2013 at 7:19 pm

I read somewhere that Sophia Loren only uses olive oil on her face. She still looks great.

Reply

Andrea
Friday, August 30/2013 at 5:09 pm

I were to think coconut oil or orange oil would do good for the mix. Coconut oil because it’s a great surfactant and gentle on skin. Orange oil because it’s soothing for irritated skin and its a natural antiseptic to kill any acne.

Reply

Alia Covaci
Friday, January 24/2014 at 2:39 pm

Coconut oil is very clog poring. Vegetable oils are best with a mix of castor oil :)

Reply

Terrenae
Thursday, February 6/2014 at 3:45 pm

Be careful with coconut oil on your face. It is a great moisturizer for the hair and body but it’s a known comedogenic so if you’re someone who breaks out easily to makeups and such.

Reply

Rosie
Monday, November 11/2013 at 10:19 am

In reading the first comment, I think you should try some things differently. Castor oil, although no too comediogenic, probably should not have been used. Try jojoba. It’s closest to what our skin normally produces and not only does it cleanse the grime and keep the pores clean it didn’t make our own sebum overreact (too much). Plus, there will be an adjustment period. Use one oil only, not a mixture because if your skin does overreact, then at least you know which oil is the culprit. I would try again, use jojoba, don’t rub too much when cleansing, and deal with the adjustment period. I think you will like what you see. I use coconut oil on my daughters face since she has hit puberty and it has worked wonders. But everyone can handle coconut.

Reply

Jordan Longham
Friday, June 6/2014 at 8:19 pm

I actually had a horrible reaction to coconut oil, so that is not necessarily true. I use almond oil or jojoba oil and it works wonders! I absolutely love it, but when I first tried the oil cleansing method, I used coconut oil. It made my skin freak out. My sister breaks out from jojoba oil, so everyone is different. You just have to find what is right for you. I’ve heard olive oil is one that makes a lot of people break out. Good luck!

Reply

Morganne L.
Monday, November 18/2013 at 2:38 pm

I have had bad skin reactions to both coconut oil and jojoba oil so just be careful. I would recommend testing the oils individually on one spot before using it all over. Just a word of advice!

Reply

Diana Basilious
Wednesday, February 12/2014 at 5:54 pm

What kind of reaction did you have with jojoba oil. I think I had one too. I used. Sweet almost oil and joboba and my face swelled. Nose and cheeks :(

Reply

Amanda
Sunday, March 30/2014 at 4:06 pm

You made the mistake of using Olive Oil which is far too heavy of an oil for the face. You need to use something like Jojoba Oil (which is the most lightweight and readily absorbed as it is the oil that is closest to the natural sebum your skin produces) or even avocado oil. If you want to try again, I strongly suggest trying either or both of these oils and only using the OCM max 3 times a week and you will not be disappointed. Absolutely amazing cleansing routine that truly does work wonders.

Reply

Denise
Friday, June 20/2014 at 6:32 pm

Hi, I use the Oil Cleansing Method and I use Organic Honey and JoJoba oil to cleanse my face. I use this method when I wear makeup and on those days I do not, I just wash my face with honey.

Reply

Diane
Tuesday, September 6/2011 at 12:34 am

I have very sensitive skin and I’m using the ocm with grapeseed oil and only about 10% castor oil the grape seed oil is lighter, has a very mild astringent quality and supposed to be great for sensitive skin

Reply

Bradford Owens
Monday, April 7/2014 at 1:41 pm

Hi there Michelle,

Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I’ve been researching the formulation of cosmetic products and have happened to come across some great literature on oils. Your skin probable had a reaction to the olive oil. Simply put, this is much TOO HARSH for the skin on your face (leave it for your body, arms, legs, etc.).

As far as oils to use on your face– Jojoba reigns supreme. Its chemical composition is closest to sebum, and it works on a cellular level to correct and improve skin quality.

To treat your acne, most professional recommend a combination of treatments. Retinoids will help regulate sebum production, Salisylic Acid will help with exfoliating the skin, and tea tree oil (5% solution) will kill the bacteria (P. Acnes) that lead to inflammation.

Best of luck!!

Reply

Sara Duck
Monday, November 15/2010 at 1:39 pm

Hi M!

Great post. I too have tried that method (because I read so many rave reviews about it online) but my skin freaked out. Actually, it broke out so bad that it took quite awhile for my skin to recover. I just think it works for some skin types but not all, especially noy if you have sensitive skin (like me).

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, November 16/2010 at 11:36 pm

Oh no! Sounds like we had a similar experience. I have sensitive skin too so maybe our skin just can’t handle the castor oil.

How long did it take for your skin to return to normal? This rash I have now is driving me nuts… it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere and it’s been a week now since I’ve used the OCM.

Reply

Daquan Wright
Tuesday, August 13/2013 at 7:04 pm

Try emu oil, good for scars and rashes.

Reply

Paul
Tuesday, September 4/2012 at 2:47 pm

Agree, I tried it once months ago using Castor oil and had a bad reaction. Now I’m using just Hemp seed oil, because it’s just like our skin with a 3:1 omega 6 to 3 ratio (like our bodies), and since it’s a zero on the comedogenic chart. It’s working. I can’t use cleansers and have severe Seb Derm, Rosacea, and get acne breakouts – cystic. I’ve only just begun using it, but so far it’s been amazing. It’s the only method that has taken off all of the dead skin cells from my Seb Derm, and cleared my pore plugs without using a scrub.

Reply

Burke
Thursday, November 14/2013 at 3:17 pm

I had a similar HORRIBLE experience. I am a young adult with moderately oily skin with mild-moderate acne (the kind where people say “oh, you don’t have acne! You just have pimples”), and I tried the oil cleansing method with NOW jojoba oil, giving myself 5 weeks for my skin to adjust. I also cleansed with raw local honey at night, using it as a mask everyday, too. The breakout I suffered is the worst I’ve ever had in my entire life, worse than anything I ever had as a teenager! “Severe” is putting it mildly. My friends actually had to step in and do an “intervention,” that’s how bad my skin looks.

It’s several weeks later and I’m still recovering. Manuca honey is speeding up the healing process, but I will definitely have scarring–something I never had before, and probably never would have had if I hadn’t tried OCM. I WANTED to believe in the oil cleansing method SO much! So much that I might even try it again after I’m cleared up–maybe I didn’t learn my lesson. I’m convinced it’s my fault, not OCM, even though I followed instructions to a T and was really gentle and patient. Cannot begin to describe my disappointment. Could really use more articles like this–OCM sounds so perfect, wonderful and natural, I can’t understand what I’m doing wrong to get such awful, horrible results!

Reply

Noel
Monday, November 18/2013 at 12:21 am

I have been on the OCM for 3 weeks now, and small red bumps are appearing on my temples and forehead. It looks like a rash. I’ve also had some less to very inflamed acne lesions pop up since starting- though I expected some breakouts as a transition.
I researched a lot before starting this, because I was afraid of the method failing. Haha…. but it seems to not be working anyway.
I don’t know why it hasn’t been working and to be honest I am probably going to give-up already. I am afraid of continuing on just in hope of “allowing my skin to have a full cleansing cycle”.
Thank you for writing this article though and for the negative comments on here. Most of what I read before starting were those “miraculous” skin stories. And not enough of the legit failed attempts. It would be fabulous if I could just wish my skin into liking the OCM, like so many others. But it’s never been that easy huh :)

Reply

Mecca
Wednesday, November 20/2013 at 1:35 am

The same thing happened to me! My skin looks worse now than it ever did before and I actually went to the doctor to try to get medication to dry out the mass of pimples that appeared I my forehead and chin (places I never got acne before) and I’m definitely going to have scarring. I was using almond oil and at first I thought I had a really violent allergic reaction to the oil, but I guess this is just normal for some people.

Reply

Monica
Monday, November 15/2010 at 2:08 pm

I used to do the OCM & occasionally go back! And have made my own in the past (thanks to those sites your linked to, aren`t they amazing resources?). Great post!

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, November 16/2010 at 11:37 pm

I LOVE those beauty forums! Such a wealth of info there. And on the EDS forum there are so many recipes! I want to try the ACV toner and aspirin mask…besides OCM they seem to rave about those two the most.

What did you use for your OCM mix?

Reply

angela
Saturday, June 8/2013 at 8:57 am

hi michelle,

i tried the castor oil routine and had – have – a terrible time too.

please don’t try the aspirin mask. or vitamin c – ascorbic acid mask.

i have tried both these and had horrible burning.

i think if you have sensitive skin these aggressive things are best to avoid.

shame though

Reply

rasilla
Monday, November 15/2010 at 2:13 pm

I started doing it earlier this year, and had been so excited that I told friends about it. Few weeks later, I realized that this wasn’t for me. Didn’t do everything that people claimed, and well it was annoying. So I ditched it. But a few of my friends still do it cause it worked for them. So its one of those hit or miss things…though omg cystic would have driven me insane >_<

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, November 16/2010 at 11:38 pm

Oh too bad. Did you have any results at all from OCM (positive or negative)?

I agree, the reviews are so compelling… that’s what sucked me in. My cystic bumps are subsiding now but the rash is not budging. It really did a number on me!

Reply

anne
Sunday, September 22/2013 at 7:34 am

shu uemura oil gave me breakout :(

Reply

sue
Monday, November 15/2010 at 3:41 pm

i can’t speak for the OCM but have been using cleansing oils for over 5 years now and i swear by it. i use waterproof eye makeup and foundation – cleansing oil is the only thing that will remove everything completely. i have used Shu Uemura, DHC, Softymo, Shiseido (all Japanese made) and they have been great. i would not say they are just mineral oil. i have acne prone skin and they have never broke me out, ever. i use Softymo because it is cheap and effective. i don’t particularly want to make my own oil blend.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, November 16/2010 at 11:49 pm

Oh sorry I didn’t mean to imply that Shu and some of the other cleansing oils (eg SK-II) are JUST mineral oil… but I do believe they are mostly mineral oil. I know it works really well at removing makeup but I’m not a fan of that particular ingredient. It is a highly refined petrochemical that sits on the surface of your skin and yes for some (but not all) it can exacerbate acne. Personally I think there are better natural options – or if you didn’t want to make your own, the Dermalogica would be a good choice.

Reply

Jennifer
Friday, December 31/2010 at 5:46 pm

Hi Michelle! First of all I want to say I really like your website. And I also wanted to ask what the better natural options you mention are, and how to make our own if we want to. Thanks a lot!

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, January 1/2011 at 12:11 pm

Thanks Jennifer! :-)

If you wanted to do your own homemade oil cleansing, it would be basically the same thing as I described in the post – a mix of castor oil + either jojoba, olive, grapeseed, or sunflower seed oil. There is more info at this link: http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/ I think most people have to play around with the proportions a bit – although keep in mind that if your skin is very sensitive I can’t recommend this AT ALL! I would do a patch test before using it all over your face, and be careful not to do it too often – maybe once or twice a week to start, so you can monitor how your skin reacts.

As for store-bought oil cleansers, here are a few that don’t contain mineral oil:
http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P254604
http://www.purminerals.com/Mineral-Melt
http://www.dermstore.com/product_Huile+Demaquillante+-+Cleansing+Oil+for+Face_5672.htm
http://laventine.com/olive_forte_cleansing_oil.asp

I think these are less likely to break you out as they don’t appear to include castor oil.

Reply

Angela
Monday, November 15/2010 at 4:47 pm

I just started using the OCM yesterday (after I followed your handy links on the last post) and I’m thinking I might be the perfect candidate for it. I have larger pores and very oily skin. I first started having acne when I was in grade four, and have dealt with almost every kind imaginable. My skin has improved A LOT since I started taking Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil in September. I also have been using bio oil on my skin since April…after my scars have faded significantly, I plan to switch to jojoba.
Yesterday after ten minutes of massaging an oil mixture into my skin, only one gunky pore clogger thingy came out. I woke up and my skin was smooth and not oily or dry. Juuuuust right. We’ll see how it goes tonight.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, November 16/2010 at 11:52 pm

Cool! Glad to hear the CLO has improved your skin and I hope this works for you too! If I was doing it again I’d be less aggressive with the castor oil… not sure what percentage you’re using but I found even 1/3 was too much (made me super dry and flaky). And I wonder if the flakiness contributed to the subsequent cystic freak out.

What oil mix are you using? Please come back and let us know how it goes!

Reply

Angela
Wednesday, November 17/2010 at 12:50 pm

I’m currently using 50% sunflower oil 50% castor. Again, I have fairly big pores and had quite huge acne problems throughout high school and have really oily skin.
I’ve done the OCM three nights in a row now. The first night I definitely noticed one gunky thing come out…but I haven’t really had many gunky things since. I think it might be because of the incredible shape my skin has been in with the bio oil, cod liver oil combo. Also, I don’t cleanse in the morning (just water and a gentle rub with a wash cloth) and at night I use herbalism from Lush…a gentle all-natural exfoliating cleanser. That’s my secret weapon. I’ve used it FOR YEARRRS and it has been a life saver for me. It started me on the road to better skin years ago. That being said, I’m doing this OCM to see if I can get a deeper cleanse especially to be rid of the large pores on my nose.
It might be my imagination…but they seem like they’re starting to shrink…I’ll come back in a few days to report on what happens.

Reply

Angel
Monday, November 22/2010 at 12:54 pm

Ok, HUGE success. I am up to 50/50 with sunflower castor oil, and yes, a few whiteheads did surface, but BUT, all this hard stuff is coming out of my face every day. I feel good about this…again, it has so much to do with my skin type. Big pores, oily but what I would call thick skin. I’m in baby.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, November 22/2010 at 4:43 pm

Oh wow – I am so jealous! I only ever got that “grainy” feeling with OCM. And STILL suffering from the rash thingie, which I’m going to have to go to the derm about if it doesn’t hurry up and clear. I am wondering if it actually had to do with the castor oil I used – have read that all are not equal in terms of purity.

So happy it is working for you though! For everyone reading here would you mind sharing which specific brands of castor + sunflower oil you’re using, and where to buy? thx Angela!

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, November 22/2010 at 4:39 pm

Herbalism from Lush is your Holy Grail product? Ok – must investigate!

Reply

Michelle
Thursday, December 12/2013 at 10:28 am

1/3 castor oil is above the max recommended by the oil cleansing method website. They suggest for oily skin, only 30%. If you have combination or dry skin, definitely less, and sensitive skin not at all. Also, it is suggested only to massage about 1-2 minutes to gently remove oils, but not be too aggressive with it. Ad the goal in wiping the oils off isn’t to remove all oil, just the excess oil. they say there should still be a thin layer of oil that then acts as your moisturizer. I have only just started and it has dried my skin out a little (kind of counterintuitive, you would think it would make me oilier!) but so far no rashes or new breakouts. I am a little nervous because I am using olive oil (just what I have on hand) and others have horror stories about it clogging pores and causing breakouts but so far that hasn’t been the case. I also just bought some almond and tea tree oils to experiment with but will allow my face a few weeks of adjustment to the olive oil before I go experimenting.

My history with oils is this: I have been using oil as a basic moisturizer for my body for years. I just slather it on after bathing and let my skin soak it up. In the winter when I am drier I typically follow it up later in the day with some body butter to lock in the moisture. I have been using regular commercial facial cleansers my whole life and have suffered from moderate acne, mostly around my chin, that never really goes away. I started using Argan oil in place of my regular moisturizers this summer and it has improved my skin but I was still cleansing with regular soaps (neautrogena oil free cleanser and scrub) and still have constant little bumps around my chin. I am hoping using the oil cleansing method will clear that up but we will have to wait and see.

Reply

Jenn
Monday, November 15/2010 at 5:29 pm

I am a HUGE fan of the Dermalogica pre-cleanse and – because I always learn something when I read your posts – I now know I’m using it incorrectly. Jeebus. I was missing the “add water” bit. Feel like I must leave work to go home and pre-cleanse forthwith.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, November 16/2010 at 11:54 pm

Yeah the whole emulsification step is tricky. It took me a little while to get the hang of it, so not to worry! I just make sure I apply the oil to completely dry skin, massage it in for about a minute or so, and then I wet my hands and work the oil into a white lather. (Just a little water is all you need – not too much.) Then it’s MUCH easier to rinse off when you do the emulsification.

Reply

Beauty Reductionista
Monday, November 15/2010 at 6:41 pm

Great post and sorry about your skin!

Currently I’m using Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple as a pre-cleanse before Boscia’s Purifying Cleanser for my oily skin. I’ve been thinking about the oil cleanse for a while but am willing to wait until I’ve worked through the accumulation of products at home at the moment! Good to know where are alternatives to the Shu Uemura (I had forgotten about Dermalogica for a while). I’ll follow up with a comment should I ever give it a whirl!

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, November 16/2010 at 11:56 pm

Please do! I think it’s one of those things – big risks but potentially big payoff… I gambled and lost (!) but might try again at some point when my skin recovers from this rash. Ugh!

I use the Boscia cleanser as well and quite like it!

Reply

Skybluesky
Monday, November 15/2010 at 8:58 pm

Oh no! I’ve never tried the actual OCM, but sometimes I’ll put jojoba oil on my Clarisonic brush and wash my face with that, then follow up with my regular gentle foaming cleanser. I guess that’s my spin off of the OCM?

What happened to you might have been the purging period, but still, when stuff like that happens…it’s really weird and kind of not normal.

I’ve heard many good things about the precleanse, and I was thinking about buying some. Now it’s definitely on my list of things to try.

I have oily skin, and I, too, also used to be scared of oil! Jojoba oil is excellent, I’ve heard that it mimics sebum. I still haven’t gotten the cod liver oil…I’m lazy haha. But I’ve been good and I now take a multivitamin, vitamin C, fish oil, vitamin A, and vitamin D supplements. I do intend on ordering it…I guess I just want to see if what I have on hand will do anything.

In addition to the clarisonic and occasional wash-over with jojoba oil, I use Retin-A and glycolic acid (usually alternating). I also give my skin a break at least once or twice a week by just putting on a lotion with licorice extract (very light and moisturizing and calming) on top of my skinceuticals B5 hydrating gel. Their C and E Ferulic acid is good, too…it’s expensive, though. Sigh.

I’ve been battling a nasty cyst on the side of my face…it’s nearing its end but it’s gonna leave a bad purple mark…putting retin-a and glycolic acid on it at night helps a lot.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, November 17/2010 at 12:07 am

Oh wow you really like to mix things up – jojoba + Clarisonic? Cool!

Yeah, every day that goes by where I still have this rash leads me to believe it wasn’t a normal “purge” but an allergic reaction. So I just think people need to be aware that they could really eff things up with this method… OR it could work. It’s risky!

Funny you mention Retin-A… when I went to the acne clinic to get the cystic suckers taken care of before my event last week, I got the doc to give me a sample of Retin-A. He said I might not like it because my skin is so sensitive and he also mentioned it can CAUSE breakouts. I’d never heard that before. So I’ll be shelving that for now, but maybe in the future I’ll do what you do and alternate.

Skinceuticals is AWESOME stuff, just awesome if you can afford it. I have a post on deck about the CE Ferulic – did an interview with a derm a few weeks back and she said using it gives you 8x the antioxidant protection. Dems love the stuff.

One more acne clinic tip – which I probably should turn into a post. I asked about the purple marks (post-inflammatory pigmentation) and the doc said it’s best to come in and get a cortisone injection if you can because when you just let a pimple run its course it WILL cause the mark, even if you don’t pick or squeeze. Annoying.

Oh and last thing – re: your supplements. The good thing about CLO is that it will replace the need for your fish oil, A and D. So you won’t need to pop as many pills. I’m not a fan of fish oil because they’re all highly processed and actually rancid.

Reply

Jeni
Wednesday, November 28/2012 at 1:12 pm

Acne clinic??? I have seen a dermatologist for years with acne/rosacea/dermatitis, and nothing was ever offered to “get the cystic suckers taken care of”! What do they do? How can I get it???

Reply

jh
Friday, June 28/2013 at 3:52 pm

They give you a cortisone shot. But beware, cortisone damages collagen so sometimes, you get a dent that will eventually fill in as your body slowly creates more collagen.
I once got the cortisone shot (three cystic acne on the chin that would have looked horrible) and they shrank quickly instead of becoming full-blown inflamed red bumps. I never bothered again because 1) it’s expensive, and 2) cortisone does damage collagen and I don’t want to damage the sub-layers of my skin.

Reply

MS
Friday, January 10/2014 at 2:26 pm

One thing I wish I would’ve discovered sooner, is that if you feel a big zit coming on, poke a hole with a pin in an Advil gel tab and put just a drop of it on the spot or spots overnight. Voila! It totally reduces the swelling and redness and most times clears it just like that. It’s like a miracle. And very convenient: no appt needed and you prob have it in your medicine cabinet anyway. Also, for smaller ones, Neosporin is great. Clears them pretty quickly. Seems odd, but it is, after all, a topical antibiotic. And the Advil is an anti-inflammatory.

janis
Monday, November 15/2010 at 9:04 pm

Never used this method but I’ve tried using Fancl Cleansing Oil and it broke me out completely. I used it for A YEAR because I though my breakout was cause by some other stuff i put on my face but once I stopped using the Oil on my face, my breakout sort of stop. I am still using it for my eye makeup because regular makeup remover cannot remove all and using Bodyshop Cucumber Milk Cleanser for my face.

So no, I doubt I will try this. I’m scared of another breakout session! My face is scarred beyond repair.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, November 17/2010 at 12:10 am

Yikes! That’s terrible but glad you were able to figure out that the oil was the culprit. That’s what makes this method so confusing… some people purge at first but then it goes away and they get great results… whereas others, like you (and maybe me!) break out because of the oil itself.

I don’t blame you for not wanting to go near oil again! But for the scars – are they the purple marks or actual indentations? If the former, I wrote about some products here that I’ve had good results from: http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/10/27/why-hydroquinone-is-bad-for-you-albeit-effective-and-the-whiteningbrightening-line-i-recommend-instead/

I also highly recommend you look into cod liver oil as vitamin A is super duper healing for skin wounds. There are some amazing testimonials in the comments here: http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/02/the-single-best-product-evah-for-your-skin-is-not-in-fact-an-actual-skincare-product/

Reply

Mitinaga
Wednesday, September 12/2012 at 1:21 am

Cleansing oil! Living in Japan for 40 year has taught me the joys of the English language. In Japan, cleansing oil is a makeup remover. Afterwards, a face wash of some kind is always used and so written on the instructions. This is the reason for the “double cleansing” routine. Recently a few companies here in Japan have come out with a cleanser that does away with the double cleansing routine and, again, will say so on their products. So be careful!!

Reply

Anya
Tuesday, November 16/2010 at 11:52 am

I received Shu Uemura’s Cleansing Oil in a swag bag months ago but I have been too scared to touch it. I’ve had problems with acne since teen years (and had to resort to Accutane twice) so putting oil on my face is a big fat NO. I will only use it to remove eye make up but I do it with a Q-tip so it doesn’t touch the rest of the face.

I have to say that I’m baffled that people would recommend oils for oily skin. It might work but I don’t want to be the guinea pig on this one!

Hope your skin recovers :)

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, November 17/2010 at 12:18 am

Thanks A! Totally get your oil paranoia :-)
Oil Cleansing Method aside, I don’t think we need to be so afraid of oils altogether… I know derms are always telling us to avoid them like the plague but I think even acne-prone skin can get good results with them as moisturizers, depending on the oil used. (For example, Pure + Simple, a natural beauty boutique here in Toronto, has a whole line of facial oils including this one for acne-prone skin: http://www.pureandsimple.ca/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=1005&category_id=490&manufacturer_id=0&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=27)

The idea is that people with oily or acneic skin often strip their skin of oil, causing the oil glands to work overtime… whereas adding back some oil can actually help things calm down and oil production normalizes.

That said – I still think acne is mostly an internal issue. (Unless you’ve effed things up like I have with the OCM.) Is your skin clear now? You know I can’t talk about acne without pointing you towards my cod liver oil post. There are so many testimonials in the comments of people who’ve tried it and had great success with fewer breakouts! http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/02/the-single-best-product-evah-for-your-skin-is-not-in-fact-an-actual-skincare-product/

Reply

Anya
Wednesday, November 17/2010 at 1:43 am

I’ve been acne free for years (*thanks God*). I just get “normal” pimples every once in a while. I escaped the 10 year on and off ordeal with just a couple of small indentation scars.

I don’t go completely oil-free. My moisturisers have a teeny tiny bit in them (better for wrinkles) but I try to stick to oil-free for most other products. Just a touch of grease sometimes stresses me out. Haha, traumatized.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, November 18/2010 at 5:56 pm

Oh good! I’ve heard some horror stories of people who’ve had repeat rounds of Accutane only to have it stop working after about a year… I’m glad it ended up being effective for you!

I really should be as diligent as you are with skincare products, but I get so tempted to experiment all the time! I really did a number on myself this time as this rash on my chin is NOT going away. Why oh why did I think it would be a good idea to rub olive oil into my pores?

Reply

Charlotte
Wednesday, November 17/2010 at 5:41 pm

You shouldn’t have used olive oil, it’s slightly comedogenic. Instead you could have used an non-comedogenic oil like safflower, sunflower or jojoba(!) oil.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, November 18/2010 at 5:57 pm

Yep I definitely think the olive oil was the problem. And here I thought my skin was getting so resilient… I didn’t think it would ever freak out like this! If I do try again I’ll definitely go for jojoba.

Reply

Diane
Tuesday, September 6/2011 at 12:43 am

I’ve heard that jojoba can be kind of heavy too, but I’ve heard from alot of people that they like sunflower oil, grapeseed or rose oil. You can pretty much use any natural cold-pressed oil, from what I’ve read the cold-pressed part is supposed to be very important.

Reply

Sam
Saturday, November 20/2010 at 1:02 am

I’ve used Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil before, and love it. It completely removes all traces of makeup (even waterproof) in seconds, and actually made my extremely breakout-prone, sensitive skin brighter and clearer in just a few weeks. It also made my pores tighter and less visible! Only problem is that you can only usually buy in Chinatown or online. I got mine for about $10, and for that price, there’s little risk to at least trying it.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, November 22/2010 at 4:44 pm

Thanks for the reco Sam – going to look into this! This is one that you have to emulsify, right? (like the Shu ones?)

Reply

Paula
Sunday, November 21/2010 at 6:35 pm

Your post prompted me to reconsider my really poor face wash regime. I am totally scared about trying the OCM as that sounds way beyond me and my not-currently-healthy-skin-despite-my-attempts-to-clean-it. Anyway, I read Angela’s comment on using herbalism from lush and started looking into cleansers. I used the acne detective chart you linked as a guide for considering my next move. Long story short, I went out to get some proper cleanser and toner, and now my skin feels amazing. It’s all thanks to reading this awesome article!

Also, I have used Dermalogica products before without great results, but I may have been using them incorrectly… I don’t remember now. At any rate, their tinted moisturizer is still my favorite thing, because it feels light but has a powerful punch of tint. Hooray! I pray I’m on the right path to glowing skin now.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, November 22/2010 at 4:46 pm

Yay Paula! Ok now I have to know – what cleanser and toner did you end up buying?

Oh and since you mentioned acne… have you seen my cod liver oil post? I always plug it when anyone mentions acne – if you read through the comments there are quite a number of testimonials about how it has helped! http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/02/the-single-best-product-evah-for-your-skin-is-not-in-fact-an-actual-skincare-product/

Reply

Kate
Thursday, December 9/2010 at 1:11 pm

I was reading about OCM last weekend and decided to try it out. I used 25% castor oil and 75% sunflower oil 3 times and I now have a terrible rash on my chin just like you said. My chin also got really flakey and dry. Did yours ever heal up? My acne has always been worse on my chin so it makes me wonder if it was an allergic reaction or if it’s the pores healing the junk out of them. I’ve stopped using OCM for now until this heals up. I might try it again if this rash goes away but I’ll be scared.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, December 18/2010 at 1:53 pm

Oh no! Sounds like we got the exact same result. That’s exactly what happened to me and it just got worse and worse – the rash on my chin and forehead (the two areas I was concentrating the OCM the most). Then I started getting those annoying underground pimples (too many for it to be the normal PMS ones I get) and I think going to the doc for cortisone shots made the whole situation explode! (I would def stay away from hydrocortisone creams.)

Anyway, I had to go back and he put me on antibiotics and some kind of sulfur cream that’s supposed to be for rosacea… he said it was an infection and I think possibly an allergy too (he didn’t say but from my research I think perioral dermatitis).

My conclusion is that OCM is like playing Russian Roulette – you just don’t know in advance whether it’ll make your skin amazing or become your skin’s worst nightmare. My theory is that A) the castor oil dried out my skin barrier to the point where bacteria got in or B) the oil itself was contaminated in some way and that got into my skin. I will NEVER try it again.

I suggest you go to a doc to get some help – as much as I was hoping it would go away on its own, it didn’t. Now I’m waiting for the drugs to kick in here. Yuck!

Reply

Sarah
Wednesday, March 28/2012 at 10:04 pm

Just wanted to post a response to the OCM debate! I have very acne prone skin, and cystic acne, and using plain jojoba oil as a “cleanser” works wonders for me. It was only when I added the castor oil, that I got the dry, flaky, skin, which I’m hoping I can get rid of. If you’re sensitive, stick with the pure oil, and skip the Castor Oil. Hope this helps someone!

Reply

Alexandra
Friday, December 31/2010 at 4:27 pm

I’ve actually heard of this before! My friend raved about how it worked for her, however she has very oily skin. Mine happens to be dry and i have tight pores, so I’m afraid to try this. I think this treatment would really only work for those who have oily skin. I know a lot of people who have put oil on their faces have very nasty breakouts for a week or two, and then it subsides. However, if you have very dry skin I would suggest using Argan (Moroccan) Oil. It’s great, and doesn’t clog pores! Josie Maran makes sells it (for about 48 bucks a pop!), but you can find other brands for half that price on Amazon.
I think I’ll play it safe and stick with my cod liver, biotin pills, and Argan Oil… they’re amazing (: Also, I’ve noticed Lush products are phenomenal! They’re all natural and have products for every skin type. I’ve achieved naturally radiant skin without bending over backwards (: Loved this article though!!

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, January 1/2011 at 12:00 pm

Hey Alexandra – definitely agree with you on the OCM, I think it’s best for very oily skin, NOT sensitive types. My skin is only now just recovering from its OCM freak-out… so it can take a really long time, definitely more than 2 weeks for me. Castor oil is nasty stuff!

Have heard mixed things about argan oil (some say it’s great others say it broke them out) so I haven’t tried it yet although I have the Josie Maran one. I’m a bit nervous to put any oil on my face now after this bad experience!

What changes have you noticed from biotin? I used to take it (for nails) but it never seemed to make any difference…

Reply

Rebeccca
Tuesday, September 3/2013 at 9:16 pm

Just wanted to add my two cents in…I’ve always had obnoxious skin-dry and flaky in the winter with deep cystic acne, over-oily with black/whiteheads in the summer, and never a moments peace when it comes to hormonal breakouts. Finally found a routine that keeps my skin 95% clear (the other 5% is always PMS related, yay.) Stop wearing foundation. No product exists that doesn’t make me break out, mineral, powder, liquid, fairy dust. Wash at night with liquid Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash, wash with water in the morning. Apply Oil of Olay Total Effects Fragrance Free Lotion morning and night. Once a week use a salicylic acid face scrub like Biore-any more and my skin gets irritated. All products are inexpensive. It’s simple. While I keep drooling over the “fad” ideas such as ocm…it’s just not worth trying. Additionally…..I don’t see any comments about this, but what someone eats makes far more difference than anything they put on their skin. Do away with processed foods and white carbs, get sleep, drink lots of plain H2O, eat your fruits and veggies, and exercise.

Reply

Mari Ohira
Wednesday, January 5/2011 at 8:53 pm

I use DHC oil to take off stubborn foundations like Revlon Colorstay. Since I’ve got very sensitive skin, I use it just before shower – the warm water helps cleaning away the oil. I’d rather buy ready-made cleansing oils, tested in laboratories, than making my own concoctions because of a bad experience with home-made masks. And DHC makes reasonably priced cleansing oils.

Also, I clean my face again with another product (Cetaphil’s Cleansing Lotion for sensitive skin) to make sure all oil residue is taken care of. It’s actually another take on the OCM called “double cleansing”, very popular these days in Japan. It is not too harsh on my skin and it works wonderfully.

Maybe you should give it a try.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, January 6/2011 at 1:48 pm

Thanks Mari – have heard of DHC but never seen it (is it in Canada?).

I did do the “double cleansing” when I tried OCM so it’s definitely not that that made my skin freak out…. I washed it all off very thoroughly with a gel cleanser every time, so there was for sure no trace of oil left on my skin.

I think there is just a small percentage of sensitive-skinned types like me out there who cannot tolerate castor oil for whatever reason. Might be the preservative in it, might be the oil itself, might be that it’s simply too drying and leaves your skin barrier compromised, letting bacteria in.

Interestingly the antibiotics my doc put me on did *nothing* whereas a roascea treatment called MetroGel that I borrowed from my mom is actually helping. (Which leads me to believe it’s some kind of dermatitis thing.) Going back to the doc yet again to see what’s up… will do a follow-up post when I’ve figured out this mystery!

Reply

Mari Ohira
Thursday, January 6/2011 at 4:20 pm

I’m wary of non-prescribed products because my skin is very sensitive – but that doesn’t mean I don’t like experimenting new things. Without prescription. :) Whatever works!

It is true that many people mistake their rosacea for acne, so the treatment actually makes things worse. I myself cannot tell them apart, but thermal water is good against both for some unknown reason.^^

Oh, DHC is from Japan. I think it has merged with a USA company. It is a rather inexpensive brand. For Japanese standards, that is. To me, it is somewhat expensive.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, January 10/2011 at 7:11 pm

Yeah I don’t know – I don’t think this is rosacea either, possibly the MetroGel just helped to calm things down after the topical stuff my doc gave me dried out my skin (I’m pretty sure he just prescribed the standard anti-acne stuff instead of *listening* to how I got this through OCM…and it started with a RASH).

Anyway, ugh – sensitive skin is just the worst. New theory: it’s some kind of staph thing that got in when the castor oil dried out my skin barrier. My doctor is completely useless so I’m trying some other ideas right now… will update soon!

Reply

shannon
Saturday, January 22/2011 at 8:54 pm

Have you tried castor and coconut oil? I find the coconut oil moisturizes while the castor oil cleanses.

I also exfoliate twice a week on top of the oil cleansing method with sugar and olive oil.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, January 25/2011 at 7:02 pm

I have not and no plans to! For my skin, castor oil is EVIL. I only used it 3x but I’m still (months later!) trying to get rid of the infection it caused.

Coconut and olive oils are probably fine, but after this experience, I’m not putting them on my face either.

Reply

Daquan Wright
Tuesday, August 13/2013 at 7:33 pm

I must say that is an interesting comment. I’m researching oils and experimenting to thicken my hair and moisturize my skin.

My oils are:

emu oil
tea tree oil
jojoba oil
sweet almond oil
castor oil

I mixed like 40% castor oil with jojoba and sweet almond oil for scalp-oil massages. I left it in overnight and the back of my head broke out (big bumps and irritated like hell). I hate to waste money, but right now I will not use castor oil on my scalp (I’ll save it for other parts of my body).

I have sensitive skin. I think tonight I will try jojoba oil+sweet almond oil (I may even add purified water since sweet almond oil is good at locking moisture in). I have some homework to do, but I’m really trying to clear up my skin. Which is weird because I read the ancient Egyptians used sweet almond oil to improve the smell/texture of castor oil.

Try emu oil for your scar, apply one drop at a time (it will cover an area the size of the back of your hand).

Reply

jenny
Tuesday, January 25/2011 at 4:53 pm

holy crap, i’m starting to think that my next to perfect skin must be almost all genetic since i don’t do any of this stuff and all i use is drugstore bought oil of olay cleanser and moisturizer. i really want to try this method though, but i’m so scared! my perfect skin is my identity, lol. I might have a mental breakdown if it doesnt work.

Reply

Kate
Tuesday, January 25/2011 at 5:59 pm

I would have to say that if what you’re doing now works for you, don’t change it! Speaking from years of crappy skin and trying everything to get it to just be okay, if I ever found something that helped clear my skin up consistently, I’d never try anything else again.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, January 25/2011 at 7:10 pm

Kate, have you seen my cod liver oil post? http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/02/the-single-best-product-evah-for-your-skin-is-not-in-fact-an-actual-skincare-product/ That’s my #1 skincare secret – it really works for clearing up breakouts. (Unfortunately the evil OCM required something stronger – antibiotics – but before I did this to myself, I’d been taking cod liver oil for a year or so and my skin was great!)

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, January 25/2011 at 7:07 pm

Yes, I think perfect skin has a lot to do with genetics and also diet… but the scary thing about OCM is that you really can’t predict what it’s going to do. That’s what makes it so risky. What kills me is that my skin was FINE before I tried it… I could pretty much use any skincare product without it breaking me out. Never in a million years would I have dreamed it could do this to my skin!

Reply

AshMichelle
Tuesday, February 1/2011 at 1:27 pm

I tried OCM for three weeks. At first my skin was absolutely beautiful! I have oily skin, and my skin was finally balancing out! My makeup was lasting longer and my pores were actually shrinking. Three weeks to the day that I started the method, I woke up and my skin was a disaster. The pimples started on my forehead that morning. By the end of the day, the entire right side of my face was breaking out. The next morning was even worse. That was two weeks ago and my skin is finally starting to calm down. My forehead is still broken out, but at least the bumps are small. I have never had pimples on my forehead or on the sides of my cheeks, but they were everywhere. I literally have not looked like this since middle school. I used a 90% sunflower oil and 10% castor oil misture only at night. I will NEVER do this again and I don’t recommend it to anyone.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, February 1/2011 at 4:47 pm

Yikes! Sounds like we had a similar experience, although it only took 3 times—not 3 weeks—for my skin to freak out. I’m with you, I would never recommend this to anyone either!

Reply

Nicole
Wednesday, February 2/2011 at 3:53 pm

My story sounds so much like yours. I had awesome skin; it was a little oily, but it rarely broke out and it was smooth and even textured. However, I got on a natural kick and came across this oil cleansing method and now I’m kicking myself for ever trying it. I used a 50/50 blend of castor and olive oil and then I moved on to castor and Jojoba and then I switched to Argan oil. At first, things were going great and my face was less oily than it had ever been but then the bumps started to appear. It’s been five weeks since I have put any oil on my face and I still have a rash on my cheeks. I haven’t been to the dermatologist yet, but that’s my next step. I was just wondering if your rash has cleared and if you found anything that has worked to get your skin back to normal. Thanks for the info!

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 4:54 pm

Hey Nicole! So sorry to hear you had the same crappy experience (although it comforts me to hear that I’m not the only one out there!). Honestly, it sounds like exactly the same pattern so I’d definitely go to a derm ASAP before it gets worse… nothing I tried at home had any effect. (And make sure you go to a really smart, reputable doctor – the first guy I saw was kind of an idiot and told me the antibiotics weren’t working when really they just needed more time.) My derm (2nd guy) said it takes 6 weeks to see results with antibiotics so you have to hang in there. Minocycline was what he prescribed for me. Next I’m going in for Vbeam laser next week to get rid of the pigmentation it caused. SUCH A NIGHTMARE!!
Anyway, good luck and let us know how you get on. Castor oil is evil!

Reply

jenny
Friday, February 11/2011 at 5:05 pm

what if you just do the oil cleansing method once? I ask because i have great skin but stubborn blackheads on my nose. I cant find anything short of squeezing them to get them out. I’m tempted to try this but just once, and then maybe wait a few weeks? maybe it was just too much for the skin to handle day after day in succession? I don’t know, just a thought.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 6:00 pm

Well, I only did it 3 times and not in succession either – I think it was over the course of a couple weeks! And it STILL wrecked my face worse than anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. My derm said if your skin can’t tolerate something then even using it ONCE can cause a severe reaction, yes, even as bad as the one I had.

The problem is you have no real way of knowing in advance… maybe you could just try it on a small area of your face, like your nose? I would hate for someone to go through what I did though… not fun at all.

Reply

harmony
Monday, February 21/2011 at 7:02 am

For those who are breaking out and getting rashes from OCM, you have to be really careful about the oil you use. First of all, a lot of oils, like Olive Oil from the grocery store, are processed and refined, and may contain trace amounts of other chemicals from the processing, which could cause a reaction. Choose organic, cold pressed oil, virgin or unrefined oils only. Secondly, you have to watch the expiration. It’s important to store the oil properly because oil actually goes bad after just a couple months (or sometimes even quicker, depending on the type). Don’t go by the expiration date on the bottle. It may be fine for cooking for up to a year, but not on your face. Rancid oil can cause you to break out very badly. So buy only fresh oil in smaller sized jars and store it your fridge. Thirdly, be careful not to introduce any dirt or bacteria from your hands or face into the clean oil. Use clean hands, and always pour the oil from the jar out onto a cotton ball or other container. Don’t touch the opening of the clean jar with your hands. Use clean cotton balls or cotton squares to remove the dirty oil from your face, or if you choose to use a face cloth, you’ll need to change it out for a fresh one. If you are not careful to get all of the dirty oil off after cleansing, it will sit there on your face and cause breakouts. If you have a hard time getting the excess oil off, you could try rinsing with an astringent or toner, and then just pat a little fresh oil on your face afterward if you feel dry. The first time I tried OCM with olive oil I broke out so horribly I thought I would never try it again. I got a rash on my forehead and cheek, and huge cystic acne on my chin. It was a nightmare! But keeping all of these guidelines in mind, I was able to start OCMing again and I never break out at all. I currently use organic sunflower oil by itself without any caster oil (I found the caster oil to be way too harsh for me). Some oils are lighter or heavier than others, you can experiment with different ones, or mix them.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, February 24/2011 at 5:55 pm

Thanks for the tips Harmony! Interesting about the expiry dates – I used new bottles of both castor and olive oils but I suppose they could’ve been sitting at the store for ages, so who knows how fresh they were?! Then again, my derm says some people just have reactions so things and there’s no predicting it. I agree, castor oil is way too harsh.

Anyway, good for you for being brave enough to try again! My reaction was so severe that I’ll not be experimenting further.

Reply

jenny
Thursday, February 24/2011 at 6:23 pm

woooaaaah. that sounds like waaaay too much work. i think i’ll just stick to my oil of olay from shoppers thankyouverymuch.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, February 28/2011 at 7:15 pm

I was thinking the same thing!

Reply

Amanda
Friday, February 25/2011 at 2:25 pm

I use OCM and I like it. However, I almost never use castor oil, just olive oil, and I only rub it in for 30 seconds or so before steaming. I use it more as a way to cleanse my face in general than to get blackheads out. Every once in a while, I get a red spot or small pimple, but mostly it leaves my skin clean but moist. I have combination skin, and rather sensitive. I never went whole hog with OCM, because it was introduced to me by someone who was using olive oil only, it was only in reading more about it that castor oil was brought up – perhaps my restraint on the castor oil and the massaging in has kept my skin from getting irritated.

Reply

Jody
Saturday, February 26/2011 at 1:42 am

I have tried the OCM with much success. I became interested in it, because so few options are available to me–I have a severe petroleum contact allergy, and I’m sure you know that petroleum and petro-chemicals are EVERYWHERE in beauty-product-land. I decided to try extra virgin, cold pressed/extracted, organic coconut oil (Nutiva, which I already use for cooking) and castor oil. I had to play around with the ratio a bit to avoid breakouts, but it was worth the trouble! My skin has been SO much happier. I personally use a blend of 75% castor oil and 25% coconut oil. I massage it into my skin, but I use a very little bit (little less than dime-sized amount). I don’t massage for very long, just long enough to give it a good rub into my skin. Then, I take a steaming washcloth and lay it over my face until it begins to cool. I do that twice…..which, interestingly enough, this whole method does not work nearly as well if you only do the washcloth once. Then, I rinse out the washcloth and wipe my face. I bought a huge pack of washcloths from Costco, and I use a clean one every night. I follow with a toner of organic ACV diluted in water. I have not really had any breakouts, or needed moisturizer at night this entire winter…which is saying something, as I live in the Midwest. Hope this is useful if someone else is considering the OCM. :)

Reply

Hannahlou
Thursday, March 10/2011 at 7:52 pm

I’ve just started using the OCM as well as trying to change other bad skin care habits. Suddenly wondered why I was trying to correct such extreme results by following them with the opposite!? Using an oil reducing cleanser which would dry my skin out and then having to correct this by adding moisture… all extreme and I figured not very good.
So I’ve been doing this just under a week now as well as using a home made moisturizing balm (beeswax and olive oil – also good for my mum’s rosacea) and I’ve come up with a couple of big’uns on my forehead but my skin is so soft and I’ve never has this result with the blocked pores on my nose. So I’m determined to stick it out…
Currently waiting on my order of new oils to try out a lighter mixture than EVOO, but I just hate the idea of going back to chemical filled cleansers again.

Reply

Jen
Saturday, April 9/2011 at 6:25 pm

Hi! I just stumbled along on to your site and I am loving it! I have cleansed with olive oil and castor oil, 90 percent olive and 10 percent castor, those were the directions for sensitive skin. It worked well. I only do it periodically, as the sight said it is not something you should do every day, especially with sensitive skin. Maybe that is why your skin broke out. I am loving this site! Thanks for all your hard work and info!

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, April 16/2011 at 12:38 pm

Welcome! Glad the OCM is working for you… I didn’t do it every day, I believe it was just 3-4 times total over the course of about a week or so. My derm said doing it just once is enough to cause a mega-freakout on sensitive skin. I think some people (like moi!) just can’t handle it.

Reply

Nomadic D
Wednesday, April 13/2011 at 12:12 pm
Phoebe
Tuesday, April 19/2011 at 3:01 pm

I just started OCM, and it has definitely caused a bunch of acne all over my right check and forehead. My left cheek is actually getting better–but I mix Castor Oil with DHC cleansing oil, which has rosemary and olive oil (I think it’s a lot more pure than evoo from a grocery). I’m going to keep trying it for a while, and hope that the acne goes away. I follow it up with clarisonic and dhc mild soap and don’t really plan on changing that, since I’m terrified of leftover dirty oil on my skin.

It’s really baffling that I can see my skin tone is getting more even and my left cheeks is looking more plump, but the rest of my face looks like I’m a teenager again. I really hope OCM works for me. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you! But you should definitely check out DHC. I love the deep cleansing oil and the Alpha Arbutin line.

Reply

Monica
Saturday, May 7/2011 at 9:30 pm

Just experimented with the OMC method 40 minutes ago. I have extremely oily skin. In the past I’ve gotten moderated success with my current regimen a cream cleanser created by Neutrogena’s Skin I.D. I also go for the occasional microderm treatment, I get o.k. results. A pimple here or there and I have large pores. However, my complexion is never great. I work-out a great deal, I run outdoors so I sweat alot. I’m wondering if I’m on the brink of disaster opting for the OMC method with such an active lifestyle. Going forward the next few weeks or days or day, I plan to use the OMC method at night and see what happens. I’ll keep you guys posted. I’m afraid :-). I’ve read so many enthusiastic testimonials. Just checked my mirror I have what appears to be a white head on my chin, was this brought to the surface during my facial?? Someone mentioned Herbalism from Lush, wondering if this would be a better option? Wish I had the magic remedy to skin care woes.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, May 11/2011 at 11:39 pm

My experience is certainly not everyone’s so you kinda have to be up for taking the risk! I noticed my skin felt drier right away and then over the course of about two months I gradually got the rash… and then the horrific blistery breakouts.

If you haven’t seen my cod liver oil post, I’d definitely recommend that you try that instead: http://beautyeditor.ca/2010/09/02/the-single-best-product-evah-for-your-skin-is-not-in-fact-an-actual-skincare-product/

Reply

Heather
Thursday, June 2/2011 at 3:26 am

This is the first time I’ve been to this site, and I never leave comments, but I felt that our experiences with the OCM were too uncannily similar to leave unsaid.

Much like you, after reading glowing review after glowing review, I decided that I absolutely had to try the OCM. After about the third day of trying it (castor oil + grapeseed oil), my skin started to break out along the sides of my face. I, however, stuck with it, thinking it was the ‘purging’ I had read so much about. After about a week, it spread down my neck and became intensely itchy. Stupidly, I kept it up for about a month, hoping it would get better. Needless to say, it did not. Even after I stopped, and switched back to everything I had used previous to looking as though I had some terribly contagious skin disease, it still didn’t go away, so I went to my GP. He said it looked like and allergic reaction, so we tried a course of oral steroids (I had been using topical steroids off and on weeks at time prior to seeing him) to no avail. He then decided to try me on antibiotics. After being on 8 days of hardcore antibiotics, my skin is finally almost clear, which tells me it was definitely a bacterial infection. I’m thinking that your theory about the castor oil somehow causing a staph infection deep in the pores is along the right track. It also makes sense looking at your experiences with various treatments. I had been using grapeseed and olive oils previously for moisturising purposes with no problems, so I honestly believe it had to be the OCM/castor oil, especially now reading about your experiences with it.

I’m really sorry you had to go through that experience, as I know full well how frustrating and embarrassing it is to have spots all over and not really knowing why. And I’m especially sorry the first doctor you saw wasn’t helpful. It makes me all the more appreciative of good doctors. As this is an old post, I’m sure your skin has cleared by now. I only wish I had seen your post before I put myself through all of this as well. Thanks for the great, informative post, and I will certainly be reading more. :)

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, June 26/2011 at 2:05 pm

Hi Heather! So good to connect with someone else who went through the exact same thing! My skin is cleared up now and I hope yours is too… the antibiotics were the only thing that worked to get rid of the damn infection. I’ve come to the conclusion that some of us just have skin that can’t handle the castor oil. I think all of this talk from pro-OCM people about “sticking with it” because of the “purging” is very misleading and harmful. It only took a few times to cause a severe reaction that I would never wish on anybody. :-(

Reply

Angel
Saturday, July 16/2011 at 3:03 pm

r u still using OCM method or no…
if yes which oils u r using now??

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, July 24/2011 at 7:52 pm

Nope, I would never do OCM again!

Reply

Donna
Tuesday, June 18/2013 at 10:18 am

I am a huge believer in natural beauty products, and I make all of my own lotions, shave lotions, etc – but I suffer from adult acne. When I found out about the OCM, I was SO excited – the science of it totally makes sense, so why wouldn’t it work? I used 30% Castor Oil and 70% Grapeseed (gentle, astringent) and a bit of tea tree. I am quite fluent with natural oils, so I knew this combo would be a great fit for me. The first two days, my skin looked amazeballs – all of my blackheads on my nose and chin had dissolved, for the first time in my life. I thought, “holy balls, this is just too easy”. The third day, I broke out in an acne-rash all over the rest of my face. I’m assuming that it’s the comedogenic acne that you spoke of. I thought that I had to work through it, so I did. I would wash my face at night, and the bumps would get bigger, inflamed, and by the morning, they seemed to be drying out. It never went away. I did it for 2 straight weeks, using absolutely nothing else, and I had to call it quits. My face has never been this bad, in my life, and I’m 38.

I’ve finally realized that natural may be great for my lip balm, scrubs and lotions, but I need chemicals for my acne. I was really bummed, I really wanted it to work, but clearly, it just clogged my pores, everywhere else.

Reply

Ana P
Wednesday, August 10/2011 at 7:25 pm

I LOVE your site and can’t believe I didn’t come across it sooner! Yes the oil cleansing method can be good…but, like every beauty situation, it depends what’s going on with your skin i think, no? I don’t believe anyone when they say their skin is one way all the time. ANYWAYS, the OCM has worked for me, but not the DYI form. I have combo. clogged prone, slightly oily, easily dehydrated skin. I have to be very careful to not break out.Fun times….
I currently use (and usually just reach for this in the winter) Earth Science cleansing cream in the morning. It’s natural oil blend and cheap! Beautiful morning cleanser and evening cleanser with a wash cloth and/or toner after. Just massage, massage, massage to remove makeup and yuck!
Oh wait….I just read the end of this post. Yes, I can see it’s not for everyone. But for anyone that can handle it from time to time, I do recommend this cleanser. Check out reviews on makeupalley.com

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, August 13/2011 at 5:33 pm

Thanks for the reco! Yes, I’d probably be ok with commercial oil cleansing products… it was the attempt at a DIY blend that slayed me. :-)

Reply

nkem
Tuesday, August 16/2011 at 8:06 am

Exactly the same thing happened 2 me. I did the oil cleansing method with a blend of castor oil and sunflower oil. I cleaned thoroughly afterwards and after a few days, i developed the worst case of acne ever. I don’t know how tto treat it. and it has left horrible scars all over my face.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 10/2011 at 2:37 pm

Nkem, I would check with your derm – I needed antibiotics to resolve the infection.

Reply

Denise
Monday, August 29/2011 at 1:48 pm

I know this is an old post but I read where you said” And while I don’t doubt that it works for removing makeup, mineral oil is not something I want to put on my face, thankyouverymuch. (Pretty much every facialist has told me that it clogs pores… and I’ve even read that it can accelerate aging.)”

While of course there are I’m sure MANY educated and informed facialists out there, this is a clear example of why one should take what they say with a grain of salt. That statement about mineral oil is downright false. Mineral oil DOES NOT CLOG PORES. It’s comedogenicity number is a ZERO( olive oil is a two) Shu Umuru chose it as the base oil probably because of this. Mineral oil is the least likely of all oils to irritate or clog pores. Also no oil has been proven more moisturizing than mineral oil.
I think mineral oil has gotten a bad rap in skin care because it’s cheap. So it’s the major moisturizing oil in the majority of cheap skin care. Cheaply made products are many times poorly formulated with lots of cheap ingredients. Secondly because it’s derived from oil( a natural and organic product by the way). Poorly formulated products can break you out.
Now do I slather my face in mineral oil? No way because mineral oil contains no antioxidants no vitamins, no minerals. Basically no added benefit besides locking in moisture. But as an ingredient in a well formulated product? Bring it on. Mineral oil besides being the best at moisturizing also helps skin care formulations “blend” better.
I love the cleansing oils. The traditional OCM uses oils straight. The commercial cleansing oils contain an emulsifier which is what mak0) es the oils “foam” and rinse off easily. Super easy to DIY. Just purchase an emulsifier(polysorbate 80) add to your oil blend, scent with essential oils if you like and that’s it. I like mine kind of like a jelly so instead of the liquid poly80I use emulsifying wax( coconut oil derived). Takes off any makeup. For everyday washing or after the oil I am a pure soap fan, though.

Reply

JS
Monday, September 12/2011 at 12:07 pm

I have very sensitive combination skin. I’ve used the oil cleansing method off and on for a few years now. It really should be done consistently for best results, but I sometimes find it too time consuming, especially for my morning routine. Anyway, when I first started, I used virgin coconut oil (never refined) along with the castor oil, and had pretty good results. Coconut oil is a very thin oil and absorbs well without leaving my face feeling coated in sludge. But the few times I tried olive oil, I found it to be way too heavy and broke out horribly! Big cystic lumps. Yuck. Many people have had bad results with olive oil, so that could have been your problem. Also, the castor oil must be pure. You can’t buy the typical stuff you find in grocery or pharmacy stores. There are all kinds of things added to it that will definitely irritate your skin (tried that stuff once too–never again). You need unrefined castor oil, which can usually be found in health food stores. 

Most people find there’s a “detox period” where things might get a little worse before it gets better. You have to give it some time to see if it really works for you (if you go back to regular cleansers, you sort of have to start all over again), but you definitely shouldn’t have major irritation or a severe reaction. I would say something is definitely wrong with the oils you’re using if you react that badly. If I haven’t been oil cleansing for a while and go back to it, I’ll get little breakouts here and there for a few days, but overall my skin is so much smoother, the little bumps and blackheads that plague my chin and jaw line diminishing greatly even after just one oil cleansing.

There’s definitely some trial and error involved, but I think OCM can work for most people as long as you make sure you’re using pure, gentle oils. And everyone reacts to various oils differently. Some can’t handle the castor oil at all (it can be very drying), and for what it’s worth, I’ve had pretty good results using virgin coconut oil alone.

I am going to experiment with safflower oil next…

Reply

Amy
Sunday, October 9/2011 at 6:42 pm

I tried the OCM and 2+ months later I’m still trying to fix my skin. It seemed to be OK for the first week or so but then all hell broke loose! It looked like I had a beard of acne! Everyday I woke up and had at least 5 new, painful, big, white heads and then there were at least 5 more that night. My face hurt so bad I could barely touch it. It was cystic acne mixed with painful whiteheads. I was too embarrassed to leave my house and I’ve been dealing with problem skin for 15 years so imagine how bad it was.

I finally went to the dermatologist and he gave me a prescription for a pill but I knew that it would just take awhile for everything to calm back down. I have so many tiny clogged pores now from this that I can’t even get rid of them an it’s not like I can really “get” to them because they are actually under the skin trapped with no real…”exit”. Not like a blackhead that you can see the top of, no these are trapped white bumps deep in my skin that if I stretch my skin out you can see SO many of them.

Never again will I try this and I thank God that I didn’t do it near my wedding day as I don’t even know what I would have done. I felt like a monster.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 10/2011 at 2:39 pm

What are you taking from your derm – is it an antibiotic? My skin has completely returned to normal so hopefully that’s what was prescribed… it does work but may take 6 weeks or more.

Reply

Angie
Wednesday, June 12/2013 at 5:45 pm

This exact same thing happened to me after I tried OCM with castor/olive and grapeseed oil for around 2 months. My entire lower face broke out in hundred of tiny bumps of trapped sebum and some swollen cysts that took MONTHS to get out. It is literally 5-6 months later and my face is finally just now getting back to normal with the help of Retin a micro, an antibiotic, Spiro and numerous trips to get extractions and microderm. if you have oily skin I would advise against this. This was the worst breakout of my life and the worst thing I have ever done to my skin. Now I have the red marks to remind me. How did yours finally take to clear up?

Reply

Laura
Monday, October 17/2011 at 12:10 pm

Ladies…here is a link for an oil cleanser for HAIR! I’m so curious about it…haven’t tried it personally, but I’d love to:

http://www.beautyencounter.com/buy/dolce-milano-sheer-oil-cleanser/811293015127/217680

If anyone out there buys or tries it…let me know your review!

Reply

Me my best and I
Tuesday, October 25/2011 at 8:12 pm

Thank you for posting about this- so it seems from make-up alley and a few other google searched there are the unlucky few that react awfully to OCM. I’m another victim, currently on anti-biotics thanks to reading this and your prompt. Can I ask what else you or anyone else did whilst taking the anti-biotics to get your skin back to normal. Currently Im using Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion on the deep swollen cysts and steaming and clay mask but not sure I should be . Doc was no help, was all news to him.

Reply

Maddy
Saturday, October 29/2011 at 6:37 pm

I switched to oil cleansing about three or four months ago and have never loved my skin more. I tried jojoba oil instead of olive, right off the bat – it’s supposed to be better for acne-prone skin – and the results just got better and better. I was able to clean much less frequently than I previously thought I needed to with a ratio of 50/50 castor and jojoba, with a few drops of lavender oil in (I love the scent, plus it’s great for acne). Within just two or three weeks, my skin cleared up, and after about 6 weeks, even my blackheads (of many, many years!) were gone! I’ve recently begun to add a little bit of honey to the mix, to help hydrate my winter skin, and it works well, as long as I mix it very thoroughly with the oil before cleansing.

One thing I learned is that high quality, cold-pressed oils makes a HUGE difference – the last time I cleaned my face, I used some new, very high quality castor oil, and not only was able to use less of it and spend more time massaging it into my skin, but after a few minutes, there were gritty little baby blackheads ALL OVER my face! It pulled up stuff that the cheap oil had left behind.

Here’s a link to my favorite website for effective, natural beauty, and the author’s take on the oil cleansing method – http://www.crunchybetty.com/nitty-gritty-on-the-oil-cleansing-method Good luck, and I hope you all find a way to enjoy oil cleansing!

Reply

Stacey
Sunday, October 30/2011 at 2:24 pm

I’ve read this whole post and everyones comments and it’s sad to say but yes, i’ve fallen victim to the horrible ocm breakout and i’ve only cleansed with it 3 times. To me it looks like a rash, a cluster of super duper tiny inflamed pores or something. First it was just on my forehead near the hairline and also on my chin and now it’s spread to my cheek. Do you think I should see a dermatologist right away? It sucks because i’m in japan at the moment and I fear I won’t be able to get them to understand my ordeal! I want to slap myself for thinking this was a good idea. Sometimes natural is not always better..How long did it take for your skin to clear up??

Reply

Sara
Sunday, November 13/2011 at 3:08 pm

I used Olive Oil Extra Virgin and did it for six months my skin looked great, then I changed the brand and what you are describing happened to me. I do not think all oils are created equally. I makes sure to steam and wipe my face well now. I use only Tantillo Extra Virgin. Not willing to risk a break out like that again. I also use fresh lemon juice after to make sure and dissolve any of the soft olive oil in my skin but only a couple times a week,

Reply

Annie
Tuesday, November 15/2011 at 5:46 pm

I do this and my skin has never been better.

When I first started I broke out but the following things helped.

I replaced the olive oil with jojoba oil
I reduced the caster oil down to about a third
I use a new clean flannel each and time wash them at 95 to make sure they are clean
I added a couple of drops of tea tree oil to clear my skin which I don;’t need now apart from around my period.

Hope this is helpful

Reply

cat
Tuesday, December 6/2011 at 6:00 pm

Guy just a quick fyi about castor oil. i tried this cleansing method myself a year ago. its really great but.. castor oil accelerates hair growth. I dont recommend using it as a cleanser for this reason. Use it on your eyelashes though as it makes them grow longer in a week or two.

Reply

annabelle
Friday, December 16/2011 at 3:34 pm

i make my own cleansing oils with a mixture of factionated coconut oil, argan oil and vitamin e. I buy an emulsifier called cromollient SCE at a place called Garden of Wisdom online – mix this in with the oil at a 10-15% ratio.

I’ve been using it for years, my skin is always clear and in the winter it stays moisturized as I dont strip it with harsh cleansers.

Reply

christy
Sunday, December 18/2011 at 9:47 pm

I am using the OCM and am happy with the results. I have been using it for about 3 weeks now with good results. Castor oil is great but it can be very drying. I added grapeseed oil and jojoba oil (which is great for oily, acne skin) and the dryness has stopped. Also add other oils in small amounts (think 2-4 drops), lavendar oil, rosemary, bergamot. Try adding one drop of tree tree oil. Don’t use regular cleanser while using the OCM, it will strip your skin of moisture. If you need to remove excess oil use alcohol free witch hazel. My understanding is that your face needs about a week to adjust to the OCM and it might freak out (dryness, zits). OCM has converted me and I even made a beard oil for my honey to soften his bear and keep his skin moist during the winter. Plus since I made it, he smells exactly how a man should!

Reply

Olivia
Monday, January 9/2012 at 11:39 pm

I use Ultrabland from Lush. Almond oil base with honey, rose water, beeswax and other goodies. It’s thick and creamy in the pot and I take a bunch in my finger rub it between my hands and massage my face and then finish off with a hot washcloth. My skin feels and looks amazing.

Reply

Allie
Tuesday, January 31/2012 at 1:31 am

For the past year or so, I’ve been having horrible reactivity issues with my very sensitive, very dry skin. I switched makeup companies and I switched skincare lines. I saw some incremental improvement but still had breakouts, flaky dry skin, and patches of eczema. After spending the better part of an afternoon researching, I decided to try the oil cleansing method with straight jojoba oil. I found lots of recipes that included castor oil, and I even mixed up a little bottle, but even at less than 25% castor oil, a quick test demonstrated that it was going to be much too harsh for my baby-sensitive skin. The jojoba has been wonderful! It’s winter, so I’m still a bit dry (and experimenting with the best way to address that), but the redness and breakouts and rashes are gone and I’m happy, happy, happy. My skin has always felt tight after even the gentlest cleansers, but no more. I only cleanse in the evening, and per the advice of my aesthetician, I use very gentle strokes and only for about 30 seconds when rubbing the oil in. I highly recommend jojoba oil to anyone with sensitive skin who is afraid of OCM. It has been a lifesaver for me.

Reply

Nicole
Friday, February 17/2012 at 8:58 am

I’ve heard that the castor oil does wonderful things, and this page pretty much sums it all – http://vegetableoils.org/castor_oil/
It sounds versatile enough to be used on a daily basis. What do you guys think?

Reply

kYLIE
Saturday, March 3/2012 at 12:53 am

I’ve been using the OCM for about 3 weeks. I REALLY think I like it. I have super dry sensitive skin. My skin did get dry & flaky at first too, but then I added more olive oil & jojoba.
I think you should try it again if you are comfortable doing so. I would try a patch test on your arm or something first though just to make sure you are not actually allergic to the castor oil.
I did break out pretty good the first week or so, luckily no cystic acne though, although I’ve had that before too – yuck. I have been doing a slight ‘variation’ on the OCM. At night after cleansing I do use a toner. It was after I broke out the first week or so, then I started with the toner at night, and I haven’t broken out now. I’m not sure if it’s from the toner that I don’t break out anymore, or my skin has just adjusted to the OCM. My friend uses it, and she said that your skin will get worse before it gets better, just like when you use a perscription cream on your face.
So, yes….I really like this method & maybe I’ll get brave & try again without the toner at night someday. I think it is shrinking my pores too, now that you mention it :)

Reply

Kylie
Saturday, March 3/2012 at 1:10 am

Ooops! (Sorry for the separate post)
I was just thinking that I also read that you CANNOT alternate the OCM with any other cleansing method or your skin will royally freak out.
(I’m not sure if it’s the PH balance of your skin that getting adjusted or what)

Reply

Abby
Thursday, March 8/2012 at 6:19 pm

Hi I was looking up if casto oil is safe to use on the face and found this site and after reading your story I dd a little more research on it and found out that some people break out in rashes after using it so perhaps it just doesn’t work for your skin! maybe if you found a substitute for it in the ocm you could keep trying it and see what’s right for you !

Reply

Sarah
Monday, March 12/2012 at 7:11 am

So I have been oil cleansing for months now. I have psoriasis and extremely dry irritated skin. So castor oil, even in the smallest amount was too harsh for my skin and it would aggressively overproduced oil to combat the irritation, which would turn into scaly dry painful acne.

Now I use a mix of primrose, camellia, and avocado oils. They are all really calming and moisturizing. I also add a few drops of essential oils of lavender, yang yang, and neroli. This seems like slot but I also was my entire body with oil now. I think the main thing with people who have issues is they are either not massaging the oil enough or being too aggressive with their skin. The acne might be because you are lifting bacteria that had settled in the deeper layers of your face and now are all coming up at once.

Reply

Christine
Tuesday, March 20/2012 at 4:45 pm

I have been using the OCM for three months now. I started out using 1/3 castor, 1/3 olive oil, 1/3 Aragan oil. My nose and forehead broke out in a flaky rash that burned so I changed my oils to 1/3 Aragan Oil, 1/3 Apricot Oil, 1/3 Avacado Oil and 3-5 drops rose hip oil. No break outs and my skin looks and feels amazing. I “wash” my face at night and put a small amout of shea butter on it after I am done with the OCM. Yes even after cleansing with the oils I still need a little moisture on my face. In the morning I wake up and put my make-up on. My dark spots, freckels and blemishes have faded, my wrinkles are gone and my face has a healthy glow. I have a friend that has very sensitive, oily skin. She uses the OCM at night and in the morning she uses withhazel with cucumber as a toner. Her face has never looked so good. Oh and my husband (who is going bald and has psoriasist) is using pure castor oil on his head and the sores on his head have vanished. I think that is you have very oily skin castor oil is OK to use but if your skin is combination or dry, dont use the castor oil.

Reply

Taniah
Monday, April 9/2012 at 12:19 pm

Hey Michelle, I was just wondering..what is your skin type??

Reply

Kristin
Thursday, May 3/2012 at 2:49 pm

Helloo! It may have been the EVOO you were using. Did you know that roughly 69% of imported extra virgin olive oils are actually very fraudulently labeled, and aren’t even extra virginal at all?! (see link below for the 411 on EVOO):

http://www.crunchybetty.com/when-your-extra-virgin-olive-oil-isnt-so-wholesome

I use a combination of Castor and Jojoba oil (which is highly recommended for oily and acne prone skin).

Reply

Kristin M
Friday, May 4/2012 at 11:09 am

I use OCM and only use about 25% castor oil. Make sure it is organic. I have read that it causes breakouts and that it is because it is pulling toxins out of your skin. Give it time to pull it all out. My skin looks fabulous. I don’t see blackheads anymore even with a 15x mirror. I use it every night. I moisturize around my eyes only with coconut oil and I put that on my lips as well. My skin glows, I never need foundation, my wrinkles are fading and so is the brown spot on my face from pregnancy 12 years ago. My pores are shrinking and I don’t have that oily sheen by the afternoon anymore. I am 45 and am constantly asked about my skin.

Reply

Natalie
Tuesday, May 8/2012 at 12:35 am

Ahhhh. Glad to see I am not alone. What a nightmare the OCM has been! Seemed great for a few weeks and now after never having an issue with acne (I am 31) my skin is a wreck. I did a course of cipro (antibiotic) almost a month ago and no improvement and then switched to gentle cleanser per the dermatologist. Had a vitalize peel from him this past thursday and no improvement – the nurse thought it was odd today when I called to ask if it was normal to breakout while still shedding skin from the peel. I am wondering if I should try another antibiotic? New blemishes pop up hourly and it’s painful and itchy. DON’T TRY THE OCM!!

Reply

Heather
Wednesday, May 9/2012 at 12:42 pm

That sounds terrible, Natalie. I really hope the derm can figure it out soon. It might be worth trying another antibiotic. Cephalexin (Keflex), 1g/day for a week was what worked for me. I think it’s more effective against gram positive bacteria than cipro would be. I’m fairly sure my breakout was probably caused by a staph organism. Though definitely don’t take it if you’re allergic to any cephalosporins, and it’s not recommended if you’re allergic to penicillin. It could have also been a case of your breakout being more inflammatory a month ago, without much bacterial involvement (and therefore wouldn’t have responded to any antibiotic), whereas now it’s very much a bacterial infection, which is how mine seemed to evolve. But especially if you have pustules (those big juicy-looking blemishes with white tips), I would still definitely be considering a bacterial infection. It might be worth bringing up the possibility with your derm anyway. It sounds like he might be at a bit of a loss, which is understandable, since I don’t think this situation is all that common. Anyway, sorry I tend to ramble. Either way, I really hope you can get it all worked out soon. Best regards.

Reply

andy
Saturday, May 12/2012 at 5:54 am

This post is hilarious! You and your oils! Now I’m intrigued by the castor/olive oil cleansing method but am scared of having the same reaction as you. I just received a sample of the Shu Uemura brightening cleansing oil (purple bottle) today but I used it incorrectly. I massaged the oil in my face with my hands then used a wet Clarisonic but it didn’t emulsify! Will try again tomorrow…
1LipstickDiaries.tumblr.com

Reply

Rosie
Monday, May 28/2012 at 10:56 am

I used the oil cleansing method using extra virgin olive oil and it made me get patches of dry skin and on other areas of my face I broke out.. i persisted and carried on for about 3 weeks, and it got slightly better but it was still an issue.
So I stopped and started cleansing my face with oats instead and I haven’t had any problems since. As well as cleansing with oats every night I massage my skin afterwards with organic sunflower oil and leave that on over night to moisturise and once a week I use a deep cleansing mask. In the morning I just rinse with water and use my normal moisturiser.
I think you just have to work out what’s right for your skin.

Reply

beth
Wednesday, June 13/2012 at 12:16 pm

Not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet.. but something I’ve been trying for the past few weeks after using the OCM 2x a week is using the Queen of Helene Mint Julep Masque. I feel like it helps to suck up the last bit of oil that might be left over on my face. I don’t do this frequently, since I don’t want my skin to dry out. But I had a though earlier today after watching some videos by Lisa Eldridge (makeup artist) on skincare of trying to use the masque as more of a cleanser (mix it with water) and after doing the OCM using the cleanser of created to wash away the left over oil. If it isn’t too over drying, this might help with getting the left over oil off and allowing for the OCM to be used more frequently. Wondering if anyone has any thoughts on this. Btw, I just found this site today and it’s awesome.

Reply

Samantha
Monday, September 3/2012 at 2:17 pm

So, what is going on with those annoying whiteheads?
One useful thing to understand is the difference between whiteheads and blackheads, and how they form. Blackheads are caused by sebum that is too viscous (and clogged with dead skin cells), which oxidizes (hardens and turns black) because your pores are large/open. The sebum actually continues to slowly build up underneath, but the top of the blackhead gets pushed out of your face at the same time (thats why, when you run your nail across your blackheads, little bits come off – the top is slowly coming out of your skin, but its building up underneath).
When you use OCM, you break down those oils. They rush to the surface, leaving an open pore behind. This is obviously the goal you want to achieve – less viscous sebum, which will naturally flow out of your skin, cleaning and moisturizing as it goes.
BUT, the reason that the oil is so viscous has nothing to do with whether your skin is clean or not – its due to the quantity of fats that your liver produces. So the oil that your skin is actually producing will remain viscous, unless you alter your diet.
So, you have to keep using the oils in order to keep thinning out your sebum. But now that the blackhead is gone, your pores are likely to shrink. This means that your OCM doesn’t penetrate the pores as easily. So the viscous oil builds up behind the pore, which it can’t get out of because the pore is shut (this is worse if your skin is also dry and flaky). This produces whiteheads.
Where people have had better results seems to be when they use thinner oils. These are more likely to penetrate the smaller pores than, say, olive oil (which is still quite viscous). Also, you need to be really particular about using the warm cloth to open up your pores (I recommend massaging the oil in a bit more AFTER you’ve opened up the pores). If your skin is dry an flaky, try massaging in a tiny bit more of the thinner oil when you are done – this will counter the effects of the castor oil, and help to keep your pores a little bit open.
Hope this helps!

Reply

courtney
Wednesday, September 5/2012 at 9:39 pm

skin always has a period when you start a new routine that it purges and brings everything to the surface. No matter what you use, its deep cleaning. After a week or so it will begin to clear. Its the process : )

Reply

Whitney
Tuesday, October 16/2012 at 12:38 am

I just tried to oil cleansing method for the first time and afterward my face felt really uncomfortably dry around my nose and lips so I did as other sites have advised and rubbed just a tiny bit of the oil back onto my skin and blotted the excess with oil blotting sheets. Not my face feels uncomfortably greasy yet dry at the same time and I think I got some in my eyes cause they’re dry now too. Idk if this will work for me because I can already see my skin freaking out and forming those ugly red marks that lurk under the skin for the next three years but don’t actually come to a head

Reply

Whitney
Tuesday, October 16/2012 at 12:56 am

Ok I just followed my oil cleansing experience up with vit e cream and my face feels a little better but honestly it’s so raw I feel like I washed my face with turpentine and a tire brush. I don’t know if I will be doing this again with another oil

Reply

Paul
Wednesday, October 17/2012 at 1:07 pm

Worked nicely for the first week, typical for me, but then pores began to plug the 2nd week.

Did an excellent job of getting the plugs out of my pores, but had to stop as it was just too difficult to get the oil residue off my skin after the hot wash cloth and cold water rinse.

Also I didn’t use castor oil, just hemp oil, because I have rosacea and seb derm, and just very sensitive skin, and my pores clog easily.

I figured the hemp oil was about as mild as any oil out there. If it’s that hard to get hemp oil off after the cleansing, then I seriously doubt castor would be a smart choice.

Reply

Sakura
Sunday, October 21/2012 at 12:35 am

hi michelle,

You know what, when I read your post, I thought im reading my very experience. We have a veru very same case. I developed little bumps on my chin and it was the first time that happened in my life. I used that cleansing oil everyday, and now I stopped it because of that incident. Maybe I will try to use it again after my pimples heal. I will try to use it maybe twice a week only.

Reply

Anida
Monday, October 22/2012 at 3:25 pm

Oh my YES! I just spent the last week with the exact same experience. I treated it with Fresh milk cream, honey, and tumaric twice a day and it cleared up like magic. I will continue to experiment but will also make sure that at least one of my daily routines includes the cream and honey facial cleans. It is a God send.

Reply

KittyWrangler
Wednesday, October 31/2012 at 1:27 pm

Sorry I haven’t read the other comments here, but the problem might be the olive oil. A study just came out that I read about on Crunchy Betty’s blog in which most major-brand extra-virgin olive oils available, when tested, were revealed to be heavy blends of all sorts of other oils and not, in fact, pure EVOO. She lists the “good” brands, so you could check there, but maybe try some other oil (jojoba! Argan!). Apparently quite a few people have problems with olive oil (and you’re only supposed to be using extra virgin, btw); it’s not my favorite. Best of luck.

Reply

mary
Wednesday, November 7/2012 at 2:31 pm

I just bought all of my oils yesterday to start the OCM!After much research,I went with a blend of grapeseed(50%),jojoba(25%),and coconut oil(25%).Plus a big splash of tea tree oil.I avoided castor oil all together,it seemed to have mixed results across the board.
I generally have blackheads like crazy,occasional cystic acne and occasional whiteheads.Not great skin for a 30 year old.
I apllied the oil and started massaging in an up and outward motion on my skin.I timed it at about 12 minutes.I then ran a very hot,soft washcloth under water and gently applied it to my face to remove to oil and open the pores.I rinsed and repeated about 3 times.
My skin was a bit red after(though not irritated)but I think it was just beacause of the massage.My skin really looked fresh and dare I say,plump.
I woke up this morning and fully expected some whiteheads or something more gnarly.None of that happened!It was some,not oily and still felt very clean.I will also add that I felt a gritty,sandy texture coming out of my skin while massaging(could be sebum plugs,could be dry skin)
I think I will do the OCM 2x a week to start.It is a bit labor intensive(but worth it)and i don’t want to shock my skin into a weird state.I also purchased Cetaphil Cleanser and moisturizer to use on my non OCM days.
I really liked the way my skin felt after,I think this is a great method of skincare but do your research to get the right mix!Good luck!

Reply

R Clark
Monday, November 19/2012 at 3:13 pm

I’ve got the same rash of whiteheads after using the OCM just twice. Has anyone tried treating the rash with tea tree oil? I’ve read tea tree oil will cure a bacterial skin infection…so if the rash is actually a skin infection, I’m thinking it might work. I’d prefer to use something more natural than harsh antibiotics. Thoughts?

Reply

mel
Tuesday, November 20/2012 at 8:54 pm

Hi! I just started OCM after having severe black heads, allegedly as a result of moving out west to a drier climate(5 years ago). Between the sun and lunch runs my skin began to become extremely clogged/bumpy as a result of becoming too dry to allow any impurities out (so i was told). An esthician said it was a result of my skin creating a layer over my pores as many of you have mentioned. Having never had acne, I thought the possibility was crazy and continued over the past few years drying my skin out with just about every product/laser available. I have switched over to the 302 line (which I couldnt say enough positive things about) and recently started OCM – its only been a week and I am starting to experience small bumps- where my pores had been clogged, and with a little push (I know I shouldnt pick!) the pore immediately uncloggs. That said, I do think its working, but how long should I allow the “purge” process to continue before I conclude it works for me? I love how soft my skin has finally become, and I know theres years of build up so I dont want to give up too soon. OCM just seems to make sense – not stripping, and not over-chemical-izing my skin is the only route I have yet to try.

Reply

Seth
Friday, November 23/2012 at 9:14 pm

I’m not shocked your skin dried out so horribly; that happened to me too. Let me assure you though, it’s not the OCM. Like many other people, the OCM has transformed my skin. However, when I first started the OCM my skin became raw, flakey and really dry. I knew it had to be one of the two oils I was using, so I eliminated one of them: castor oil. After the first time of using just pure olive oil, I noticed an immeadiate difference; my skin was still a little red and patchy, but it was noticably softer with no tightness or dryness whatsoever. Within a week of just using pure olive oil my skin was completely back to normal. What I really love about the OCM is that I never have ANY clogged pores, in fact, I can BARELY see my pores. My skin is firm and taut with no wrinkles or fine lines at all. PLEASE give this method another shot. It’s the obvious choice for anyone who wants clean, healthy, flawless skin. Have fun with it, play with oils, make your own customized cleanser! I’m now using a tamanu, jojoba, lavender mix that has worked magic on my skin. From a biochemist’s standpoint, the logic of the OCM is sound. Give it another shot, you won’t be disappointed!

Reply

Ashlee
Tuesday, November 27/2012 at 12:44 am

I just used it for the third time last night and broke out almost instantly. I have the little white bumps on my forehead and chin and it’s spreading to my cheeks. It itches horribly! I put A &D ointment on it but don’t know if it will work. Any suggestions as to how I can get rid of this?

Reply

R Clark
Wednesday, November 28/2012 at 11:03 am

I’m having success with Derma E Skinbiotics Treatment Oil – it’s tea tree oil. I found it at a local Whole Foods type store. The label says it fights skin issues from fungus to bacterial issues and even MRSA. I apply at least 3 times a day to clean skin, avoiding areas near my eyes and mouth. I use a clean towel each time I dry my face after washing because the rash seemed to be spreading very easily. I dip a clean q-tip into the oil and dab only on the boils. I’ve been using a clean q-tip for each boil to help prevent spreading. I started with over a dozen boils and am down to only 2 pesky newer ones that are drying up quickly with the tea tree oil. I’ve been applying the tea tree oil for less than a week now and as of yesterday have stopped seeing new boils pop up. My skin did get dry and flaky in the areas where I reapplied for several days but the boils are disappearing! I hope this helps!

Reply

Leah
Monday, December 24/2012 at 1:01 am

I use ponds cold cream as my winter cleanser and love it. I just put it on before a shower then rub off with a washcloth at the end of the shower. No need for moisturizer and I wake up with less oily skin in the morning.
I am prone to breakouts and have given myself some when I don’t use a clean washcloth each time.
You can’t beat the great feeling of cold cream on your face after a dry winter day.

Reply

Lauren
Wednesday, December 26/2012 at 12:23 am

I know I missed the boat on this and am commenting about 2 years too late, but your skin was purging. As any good esthetician would tell you, it takes at least 3 weeks to adjust to a new skin care regimen. With the oil cleanse method, since it is SO different from mainstream commercial cleansing products that strip the skin and break down the acid mantle, this is even MORE true. At first, you WILL break out. No maybe, WILL… But it’s a good thing. Those under the surface break outs that would have come up anyways, probably one at a time, are all coming up at once to reveal the beautiful skin underneath!

As ladies, our initial reaction is to stop doing whatever it is that is breaking us out and then get our skin clear ASAP, but you’ll skill have all those nasty blackheads… You just have to get over the uncomfortable and vain hump.

Reply

Skingal
Saturday, January 26/2013 at 12:41 pm

I have been a professional skin care therapist and esthetician for 6 years. I have my dermalogica certificates for training as well as others. The point of doing a pre cleanse it to remove the oils dirt and bacteria off of your skin so you can cleanse your skin. Once all of that is off you still need to cleanse your skin itself. You wouldn’t take a chocolate out of a bag and eat it without taking the chocolate out of its wrapper would you? Put some lipstick on your arm wash one just with cleanser, and the other with pre cleanse and then cleanser. You will see the difference. Also the oils in professional (not drugstore) products are molecularly changed and refined so they do not clog your pores. Olive oil that us not refined is way too thick to be putting on your skin. At home skin care is also a nice idea, but not so effective. Cucumber slices vs cucumber in an eye cream is very different. The part if the cucumber that is most effective is taken in concentrate and put into the professional product. Making it way more effective. Take the time and money to buy professional and love your skin. It is more effective goes further and is mug better for your skin. It’s worth giving up a few new clothes, or some liquor.

Reply

Skingal
Saturday, January 26/2013 at 12:43 pm

Much* I phone autocorrect oopsie

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, January 26/2013 at 1:00 pm

Did you read the post? I did cleanse my skin after the OCM. I had a reaction to the oils themselves (probably the castor).

Reply

Skingal
Saturday, January 26/2013 at 6:19 pm

Oh yes I did read yours. I was responding to the other comment someone made asking about pre cleanse. :)

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Saturday, January 26/2013 at 6:33 pm

Oops! Responding from my phone so couldn’t see the thread!

Reply

Skingal
Saturday, January 26/2013 at 7:34 pm

Haha no worries I’m doing the same thing :)

Anida
Tuesday, January 29/2013 at 10:15 am

I had the exact same experience. It was so bad I had to leave work one day. It felt and looked like a chemical or steam burn. It took weeks to completely heal. I am not really sure why I tried it in the first place since I have great skin. I don’t have to do much to keep it that way.

I will continue to use the OCM on maybe a monthly basis or a few times a year. It does a great job of deep cleaning but I think that for me, it is not a good daily practice.

Reply

Julia
Thursday, January 31/2013 at 3:26 am

I tried OCM for a little over a month before giving up on it – I’ve had acnegenic skin my entire life and now in my late 20′s, am suffering from it again after childbirth and thought OCM would be my night in shining armor. I was so pleased with the results during the first few weeks but now almost 2 months later, I am left with awful patches of flakey, dry, irritated (read: angry and red!) skin on my eyelids (both sides, upper and lower lids) and upper lip. Nothing helps the dryness, anything I put on it is sucked up like a sponge within minutes. The most unfortunate part about all this is the acne that was there, that actually went away because of OCM, are now coming back because I had to stop. I am so discouraged to try it again, I’m not sure what my next step should be besides going to a dermatologist.

Reply

Catelyn
Friday, February 1/2013 at 10:01 pm

I was basically in the same situation as you when I started the OCM. My skin was 95% clear with the exception of 4 or 5 stubborn bumps. I was looking for a way to get rid of those so I tried a 70/30 mix of EVOO/castor oil. The first week was great; I broke out a little bit, but I was unplugging clogged pores and that was good enough for me. Then, by the third week, my skin was literally 20 times worse than it was before I started the OCM. I have cystic acne along my jaw and temples (something I’ve NEVER had before) and painful smaller bumps covering my jaw and cheeks. After this happened, I found out that EVOO is extremely comedogenic, so I assumed that that is what causes my breakout. I’m considering doing the OCM again with jojoba oil, safflower oil, and castor coil, since none of them clog pores. The only face products I’ve used since then (almost FOUR months ago) are ACV as a toner and the Aztec Indian clay mask, and those have barely minimized this hellacious breakout. Basically, don’t use EVOO if you do the OCM.

Reply

Naturally Monique
Sunday, February 3/2013 at 10:09 am

Hello,
I have been using the OCM for 3 weeks now. I just want you to know that my skin is in wonderful shape! I am really pleased with the results. I have very sensitive skin and I have a reaction to almost everything (Aveda, Nutrogena, Clinique, Mary Kay,). I was so nervous when I started, but I am happy I did. I use a blend of about 20% castor oil and 80% carrier oil (olive or grapeseed, my faves). I massage the oils in my face and use a hot towel to remove the oil (2x). I follow up with a an oil to moisturize (I was using grapessed but I have recently switched to Safflower Oil). Here is the hook, I only do the OCM 2 to 3 times a week (usually Sunday and Wednesday evenings). The other days I cleanse my skin with Trader Joes All-In-One Cleanser. I also use a mask on my skin Sunday Morning of Bentonite Clay, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Honey. My skin is glowing….Hope this helps!

Reply

Devan
Thursday, February 7/2013 at 3:50 pm

I had the same problem! I had perioral dermatitis prior to doing the OCM, but my doctor prescribed a cream antibiotic to clear it up. I am worried that the new bumps that showed up after doing the OCM are just a new flare up of perioral dermatitis. I have started using my antibiotic again, so hopefully it goes away. If the bumps stick around for others, you might want to see your doctor. Perioral dermatitis looks like little acne bumps around your nose, mouth, and chin, but it doesn’t go away.

Reply

Joanne
Tuesday, February 19/2013 at 8:22 am

Hi,
I make skincare and blends oils – I think it could be down to your oil blend – I find castor way too drying and in my Absolute Cleansing Oil I dont use it for that reason. Can I suggest you try sesame in your blend – it is widely used in Ayurveda. If you’d like a plant packed serum to help with your rash then email me and I can send you something that’ll hopefully help. Dont give up on it yet.

Reply

Grace
Friday, February 22/2013 at 6:33 pm

Hi! Since using the oil cleansing method, I have suffered blackhead outbreaks and some random marks have appeared on my face.

Reply

Lina
Sunday, February 24/2013 at 8:11 pm

I have been using ponds or coconut oil on my face for a month or so now and I love it my only upset is that I didn’t listen to my mom years ago. I have read castor oil is drying and will cause wrinkles so I encourage you to try it again but leave out the castor oil. When I use the coconut oil I just rub it on, leave it for a few minutes and wipe it off with a damp warm cloth. If this technique leaves behind to much of an oily layer on your skin use a hot rag but lay it on your face for a minute or two before wiping the oil off.

Reply

Apple
Thursday, May 9/2013 at 7:51 pm

Hi Linda i used the ocm and got the worst cystic and itchy acne breakout in my life. I think it was caused by the castor oil (cold press)as i started using this alone, then i mixed with extra virgin olive oil. Anyway I am now on antibiotic, eczema cream mixed at the dermatologist and epiduo. The healing process is very slow i started the meds since saturday(4/5/2013) . . the only good thing i saw fro using the ocm is that it appeared to have cleared the white heads in my nose and cheeks. now that i have discontinued the ocm the white heads are coming bak.

I am curious about the coconut oil. How is your results so far. I am trying to find a natural remedy to clean my face.

Reply

lynn
Tuesday, March 12/2013 at 10:39 am

I recently tried the OCM and for the first week, it worked great. After that, i started breaking out. More like a rash of acne. It’s been a little over a week and my face is still broken out. I’m wondering if it will go away on it’s own, or will i have to go to my dermatologist… Oh the frustration.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Tuesday, March 12/2013 at 11:25 am

I had a rash for a month or two before it turned into acne – so it definitely didn’t clear up on its own. I would suggest going to a derm for antibiotics sooner rather than later!

Reply

Juliana
Saturday, March 23/2013 at 6:51 pm

Hi. This comment might be a little outdated, since it has been two years since you wrote this article. But here I go antway:
After battling with adult acne for nearly ten years and tryyimg everything from proactiv to oral antibiotics, and achieving nothing but temporary results. I decided to take an all natural aproach to cleanse my skin.
I use baking soda with a few drops of lime just and one drop or two of tea tree oil. It works wonders to remove make up. I stopped using comercial toner a long time ago bc the cotton ball would just come out clean so i found it to be unnecessary; instead I use apple cider vinegar diluted in filtered water (concebtratoon will vary depending on what your skin tolerares) as a toner inmediately after i wash it. And very important i never ever ever put a towel to my face, I always let it airdry. This is all I use at night. During the day I apply a light moisturizer and sunscreen onlt if going out. Once a week I exfoliate with a mixture of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil coffee and sugar. And about three times a week I apply pure honey to my face and leave it on for about 30 mins.
Following this regime relugiosly mi acne has completeky cleared. I get an occasional zit here and there, but nothing major. For the first time in a very long time I can actually leave my house with no make up and no embarrassment.

Reply

Lindsay
Thursday, March 28/2013 at 3:18 am

just sounds to me like you didn’t give it enough time. your skin probably isn’t used to such deep cleansing and is breaking out due to the purging of toxins and grime.

Reply

Terrenae
Thursday, March 28/2013 at 5:37 pm

OMG I had to stop after a month because I was getting awful cystic acne allllll over. After I stopped it has gotten considerably better. Currently it’s three weeks after the fact and my skin is almost back to normal though I have these awful acne scars all over and no matter what essential oils or fading creams I use it’s going to take a while till I don’t have to use large amounts of concealer :(. This really sucky for me because before the OCM I had scar free skin, which I haven’t had in years, due to accutane treatments a few months before, but was starting to get minor break outs again and thought to try the OCM. For me Acutain has been the only thing to stop my breakouts, though not as sever as most who get put on the medication. I do get sever hyper-pigmentation due to my darker medium tan skin tone. All that being said I think I would try the OCM again and think it was definitely the olive oil that clogged my pores. I would also say to anyone wanting to try to be very proactive about breakouts. Breakouts are caused by skin irritation and not likely a ‘transition’ stage of your face adjusting to the oil.

Reply

Coco
Monday, April 1/2013 at 9:49 pm

I also had a TERRIBLE reaction the the OCM, it tooks MONTHS and usage of benzoyl peroxide to resolve it, and then my skin was ridiculously irritated because of the BP. When I first tried the OCM, I used olive oil.

I’ve recently read a lot about the acid mantle and the skin’s natural barrier, and how we are constantly destroying it by washing with foaming cleansers day and night. Since I was still breaking out, I decided to stop the foaming cleansers and try Jojoba oil to remove the makeup from my face at night. It’s been 2 days and so far so good, I basically pour a generous amount of jojoba oil on a cotton pad and gently wipe off my makeup.
I then rinse with cold/warm water and pat dry. The last step is spraying my face with some rose water to help restore the acid mantle.
My face has been through hell and back in the past year, so there’s a lot of damage and I’m not expecting a miracle, but after 2 days I did not get new breakouts.

On days where I do not wear makeup (i.e. stay at home), I skip the Jojoba oil and simply rinse my face.

So basically, if the Jojoba oil doesn’t break me out, it means that a bad reaction to the OCM might simply be due to using the wrong oil.
I really do think olive oil is terrible for acne prone skin, and that Jojoba oil (which is actually a wax) is much much much safer.

Cheers,
Coco

Reply

Angela
Saturday, April 20/2013 at 12:11 pm

Be careful using Jojoba on your face! Keep in mind, Jojoba oil is actually a wax that is similar to your skins natural sebum. Sounds good for your skin, right? Well, it actually will penetrate deep into your pores and mimic sebum, and this actually makes acne much worse, especially cystic acne. Acne is caused in part by excess sebum that clogs pores and then becomes infected with p. acne bacteria. While Hojoba can be wonderful to moisturize other parts of your body, I strongly discourage you to use on your face!

Reply

Paul
Monday, April 22/2013 at 12:33 am

Thank you Angela for this very sound advice. I agree about being careful using Jojoba, especially if you have acne prone or seb derm skin. I have both, and just learned this lesson the hard way. I tried it and I had a horrible reaction. Lots of hives all around my neck and severe burns around my lips and chin and under my nose. If you try it, I recommend avoiding the sensitive areas of the mouth and nose. I’m the boy in the bubble type sensitive, having thick facial and scalp Seb derm and Rosacea, so maybe you can get away with it, but I’d advise not risking it. Also it burned my eyes badly, any of the oil around the eyes gets in and really stings.

However, I haven’t given up using oil. I really do believe it’s all about the oil that works best for your skin. I’m really concentrating on high linoleic and linolenic acids. My seb derm is made much worse and maybe caused by too much production of oleic acid. I’m now using Grapeseed oil. Hempseed is also good, but it’s heavier, and the color and smell is strong. Grapeseed is very lightweight and calming, also has about a 6-8 SPf. I’m a red head so that really helps.

I’ve also been burned badly in the past by both hempseed oil and grapeseed in the same mouth areas. But I’ve learned, with these 2 oils, due their high linoleic acid content, they go bad quickly. You must get a high quality fresh oil, keep it in the fridge, and watch out for signs it’s going bad, then discard it.. and get a new one. My skin is great right now, but I’ve learned some hard lessons along the way. I’m using the NOW brand pure 100% grapeseed oil, and I’m happy so far….

Reply

Kate
Thursday, April 4/2013 at 8:42 am

Hi Michelle–I know this is an old post but wanted to chime in and ask a question. I stopped using the OCM a month ago and I’m still breaking out–the worst it’s ever been. I just started a 2 week oral antibiotic from my doctor, and also a prescription benzoyl peroxide cleanser and gel in the PM (Clinique Acne Solutions in the AM). Do you have ideas on when I can expect to get my skin back?? I can’t understand why it’s getting worse, 4 weeks after stopping the oils.

Thanks! :)

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, April 4/2013 at 10:01 am

Hi Kate, if I recall correctly my derm said it can take up to 6-8 weeks for the antibiotics to kick in. So a 2 week course may not actually long enough if you had a severe infection. Good luck!

Reply

Paul
Monday, April 22/2013 at 12:59 am

Hi Michelle,

I thought I’d chime in, hope you don’t mind. I’ve had acne, often cystic, seb derm, contact dermatitis, and rosacea for 26 years or so. What is working for me now is using oil to leave on my face and scalp, without the rubbing. If you use a high linoleic acid oil like grapeseed or hempseed, then the oil will help dissolve the hard oleic oil trapped in your pores and bring it to the surface without the need to rub. This will also mean, no clogging in the follicle. That’s what normal oil is supposed to do, bring it to the surface, not get trapped because it is heavy and hardens.

Then just wash with your favorite mild cleanser or just rinse with water if that’s all you need, each morning and evening before bed. I need to cleanse due to my seb derm and dead skin buildup.

Then, just put some more of that oil on after the wash, because you do not want to have dry skin, just a light film should do it. If you don’t put some oil on after stripping off the skin mantle oil by cleansing, then your oil glands with produce more thick and heavy – waxy sebum to compensate, and that is what you are tryign to stop or at least slow to a normal pace.

Also, these great oils, with their great essential fatty acids, have antibacterial properties, so they should also help to get rid of any existing acne. When I get a small makings of a pimple, I just put a little extra oil on, and within a day or 2, it stops it’s progress, kills the bacteria, and pulls the hardened wax to the surface, and heals/dries up without the infection or white head.

I feel I’m on the right path towards controlling my condition now.. I’m also supplementing with lots of omega 3′s and 6′s (udo’s/hempseed oil). Avoid omega 9′s (oleic acid), we get too much in our Western diet as is, we want the thinner lightweight omega 3 and 9. Good luck and let us know!

Reply

Paul
Monday, April 22/2013 at 1:20 am

Sorry post was intended for Kate, not Michelle..

Reply

Meg
Sunday, April 7/2013 at 1:06 am

I use the oil cleansing method twice a week and it has changed my skin for the better. I use one part castor oil to 2 or 3 parts olive oil, depending on how dry or oily my skin is. When I first started, I did get major breakouts, but I soldiered on and it cleared in about three weeks. I then realized that my skin was purging in the beginning of the experiment. My skin now is less oily (still oily but much less than before) and breakouts are at bay.

Reply

Louise
Monday, April 8/2013 at 10:05 am

I use a great Australian product for my OCM called Moogoo. It’s all natural and they have different formulas for different skins. I use the combination and its great. I have a family history of extremely bad eczema and have sensitive skin and this product is fantastic. I also use their milk was for the mornings. Check out moogoo.com.au – worldwide shipping and it’s amazing!!!

Reply

Erin
Friday, April 19/2013 at 9:42 am

I have skin that is thick and prone to congestion. I’ve tried all sorts of things to get of the acne and blackheads.

OCM didn’t do much for me when I tried it years ago, but I didn’t stick with it. It didn’t make my skin worse, but I do think the type of oil makes a difference.

I’ve been using a commercial twist: the hot cleanser. I’ve been using Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser. It’s definitely helped in my quest for clear skin.

Reply

Colleen
Sunday, April 28/2013 at 3:06 am

I have sensitive skin that is acne prone with constantly clogged pores, and I’ve been considering OCM. This article and the comments are definitely turning me off of the idea a little bit, but I thought you guys might be interested in this handy little web page:
http://www.beneficialbotanicals.com/facts-figures/comedogenic-rating.html
It shows the comedogenic ratings of oils, waxes, etc..
I’m sure it’s pretty arbitrary, but overall a useful reference. If I were to try OCM, I might go with sunflower oil. I’m allergic to mineral oil, and I wouldn’t put olive oil on my face if you paid me :p Have any acne-prone people tried it with sunflower oil (for more than a couple of weeks)? If so, how did it go?

Reply

Hannah
Monday, May 20/2013 at 9:57 am

Help me out, guys! Last week, I came across about this Oil Cleansing Method/Oil Massage(exactly like Michelle’s step by step description of it but without the steam) which was supposed to get rid of blackheads and tighten the skin. The description was so promising so I decided to try it out. However, after a day or two, I noticed that I’ve developed some pimple-like rashes which are very itchy. They won’t go away. What do I do? Help me please!! =(

Reply

Lynn
Monday, May 20/2013 at 10:48 am

Hi, my face did the same thing and got so bad with blackheads and whiteheads. Since April, my face just started getting back to normal. But it didn’t start to go away until my dermatologist prescribed my oral antibiotics (doxycycline) which I took one daily for 30 days. If u go that route, read the insert carefully. With that I continued my normal face routine of twice daily wash with 5% benzoyl wash morning and night, morning clindamycin phosphate topical lotion (topical antibiotic), and nightly retin-a. My advice, if the breakout does seem to be going away, start the oral antibiotic ASAP.

Reply

Dara
Thursday, May 23/2013 at 9:23 am

I have just started on OCM yesterday. I was reading several comments posted on this website and realised that people do not do it everyday. I have also read that one should not mix OCM with commercial cleansers as this will confuse the skin, I am wondering if we don’t do OCM everyday, how does one clean her face on those nights when she is not using OCM? Will appreciate some advice. Thank you.

Reply

Rachel
Thursday, July 25/2013 at 8:19 pm

I’ve heard that people have great success use raw, organic honey. You can google it, but you basically use a bit on a wet face like any other cleanser. It moisturizes the skin, is antibacterial, and has other skin benefits too. I currently use Burt’s Bees gel cleanser because I want to use it up. Then I’ll probably try raw honey.

Reply

silly fox
Friday, May 24/2013 at 12:05 am

I tend towards sensitive skin, which had been increasingly sensitized at the start of the year. But started moisturising with oil a few months ago, and noticed a great improvement. THEN I tried OCM… and I had the same problem as you describe. I feel like the cleaning was too intense… it was okay once or twice a week, but gradually left my skin dry and–then suddenly–a dry, flaky, pimply rashy mess. Now I’m being treated with antibiotics for perioral dermatitis. Don’t know whether it’s a coincidence, the oil caused it, or if my doctor has it wrong. :(

Reply

Karenfromkansas
Sunday, May 26/2013 at 7:40 am

I have had acne since I was 14 and tried wverything to make it stop. Now I am 40-something. I started dry washing with sunflower oil – just rub it in and wipe it off with a dry cloth. I never use water. I haven’t had a breakout in months! Love it! I tried it with the castor oil but it didnt work as well n Also, I apply neutrogena healthy skin lotion that has aHA’s.

Reply

Jennifer
Friday, June 7/2013 at 3:14 am

I suffer from blackheads I was using OCM for about a couple months and made the mix for oily skin. I was rubbing it in for way too long (sometimes about 30 mins) and at first, it made my skin so nice and soft and seemed to clear it up so nicely. A few weeks in however, it started to take a nasty turn. I started getting pimples where I had never gotten them before and a few weeks later, my face is covered in blackheads and tiny bumps.

I’ve been off it for about 2.5 weeks and it my skin seems to go up and down in recovery. Is this something that will eventually regulate itself or is it something I need to see a dermatologist about??

Reply

Angie
Wednesday, June 12/2013 at 5:58 pm

I also had a terrible experience that many have talked about on this site that happened to me after I tried OCM with castor/olive and grapeseed oil for around 2 months. My entire lower face broke out in hundreds of tiny bumps of trapped sebum and some swollen cysts that took MONTHS to get out. It is literally 5-6 months later and my face is finally just now getting back to normal with the help of Retin a micro, an antibiotic, Spiro and numerous trips to get extractions and microderm. If you have oily skin I would advise against this. This was the worst breakout of my life and the worst thing I have ever done to my skin. I rarely had pimples before this. Now I have the red marks to remind me.

Reply

Rachel
Thursday, June 13/2013 at 7:44 am

I used the same mixture… except I used about 90% organic extra virgin olive oil and 10% castor… and I had the same type of breakout in the same spot, my chin just to the side of my mouth. The breakout started after using the oil mixture for about 2 weeks and it was actually painful, I’ve never had real acne before so this truly blindsided me. I still have residual small acne blemishes there (a month later!) and they’ve now become very itchy. I would give anything to go back and NEVER use the oil-cleansing method, especially because I’m getting married in 3 months and feel like I’ve ruined my skin.

Reply

Ali
Sunday, June 16/2013 at 3:52 am

I started using the OCM about a month ago with castor oil and olive oil. Even though I didn’t notice a huge difference I did notice my skin wasn’t oily and my skin felt smooth with a slight glow. After a couple of weeks I started to break out a bit probably b/c of my washcloths. I read depending on what detergent and/or fabric softener/sheet you use can cause problems.
My friend gave me her bottle of DHC Deep Cleansing Oil face wash. I am really pleased with it. I wash my face with it every other day and just use wet cotton pads to wipe on the other days.
Still not a huge difference but an improvement that I am pleased with. My pores appear smaller, complexion more balanced.

I do suggest to do an allergy test on inside of arm with any of these oils. I did it with the castor oil, DHC, olive oil even though I use it in cooking.

Reply

Bea
Monday, July 22/2013 at 10:15 pm

I have been using the a version of the OCM for 7 months now. I used to get cystic zits on my chin and have not had a cystic zit since the day I began! I stopped using the castor oil after a few weeks because I didn’t love what I had read about it. Reintroduced it and had problems. So, now I just use olive oil (big old jug of olive oil in the bathroom is pretty funny).

Reply

Cindy
Wednesday, July 24/2013 at 7:34 pm

Sooo, it looks like I’m a few years late, but here’s my experience with OCM and recommendations:

1) I used EVOO with castor and yes, it was a total disaster.

2) I then tried other carrier oils – jojoba oil, rice bran oil, argan oil, hemp seed. Hemp seed oil was the best! So light and non-comedogenic.

3) Best combo for me: 80% hemp seed oil, 5% jojoba, 5% castor oil. This really helped all the plugs come out and I have been cystic-acne-free since (it’s been about about a year). Doing OCM in the shower seemed to help.

4) I now only use OCM once a quarter for a super deep cleanse. In between, I use other natural facewash from independent brands that I find at craft fairs or etsy.

Reply

Rachel
Thursday, July 25/2013 at 8:15 pm

Hello! This was a great article, but I’m so sorry to hear you had problems. Maybe it was the olive oil. The majority of olive oil on the market isn’t “extra virgin” like it’s labeled (you can do a quick google search to find the details). Having organic, pure oils is the most important thing for doing this oil cleansing thing.

For anyone who wants to try this do NOT USE OLIVE OIL! You have no idea what you are really putting on your sensitive skin.

If you’re willing to try again, look for an organic, pure, and cold-pressed (hexane-free) carrier oil other than olive oil. Take care!

Reply

Jessica
Saturday, July 27/2013 at 12:00 pm

I know I’m a little late to the party! I just wanted to say don’t give up on the oil cleansing method already! I didn’t read all the comments so someone may have already mentioned it but….. Castor oil is actually pretty harsh / drying. Even if you have super oily skin you should only have about 30% and for sensitive skin about 10% is recommended!

Reply

Margaret
Wednesday, August 28/2013 at 10:47 pm

I think you would have better results without massaging for such a long time and using a cleanser afterwards. I am an aesthetician and we use the dermalogica precleanse and it works wonders. It allows your cleanser to do it’s job without having to cut through the makeup. I wouldn’t recommend using just any oils on your face, coconut oil should be fine.

Reply

Emily
Thursday, August 29/2013 at 12:16 pm

Do you think perhaps you used it too often? It sounds like the mixture was right, but did you do it every day? perhaps it was too deep-cleansing for your skin. I break out more when I overuse my Clairisonic skin brush because I’m stimulating excess oil production and in effect traumatizing the skin.

Did you ever try it again, maybe once or twice a week instead? It sounds like an effective treatment for removing blockage, but too much of that would definitely lead to break outs!

I’m sorry for your experience, hat sounds super distressing :(
Thanks for the detailed review!

Reply

Jade
Thursday, August 29/2013 at 6:36 pm

Hey, so I’m hearing a lot of good things about various combinations of oil for the face. A lot from the comments and some from other beauty gurus. This might sound like a silly question, but I have both a lot of black heads, some break outs, and rather oily skin naturally. Would I just compound the problem if I tried an oil cleansing method?

Reply

Paige
Tuesday, September 3/2013 at 6:25 pm

The molecular size of jojoba is the closest thing to the molecular size of sebum (our skins own oil that it produces) so it’s small enough to be absorbed into each pore without clogging. Coconut oil is the next smallest, which is still also small enough to be absorbed into each pore. Olive oil is actually too big, so it sits ontop of skin and is a lot harder to be absorbed. Also, it depends on the size of your pores. My advice would be to try a different oil to mix with, considering its individual molecular size.

Reply

ggg
Wednesday, September 4/2013 at 12:36 am

You know, it might be the olive oil’s fault. Most plain old olive oil you find around is not even olive oil. So it could very well be that this is the reason why this oil cleanse did not go well…

“In 2007 only 4% of italian olive oil leaving Italy was actually pure olive oil. Fake olive oil has the similar profit margins as cocaine trafficking with none of the risk. About 70% of the olive oil that comes into the US is thought to be a fraud.”

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1kfoy5/what_is_a_dirty_little_or_big_secret_about_an/

Reply

chrissy
Wednesday, September 11/2013 at 12:35 pm

I actually came to this post, BECAUSE of my poor results from OCM. And looking for what to do now that I have the worst skin of my life. I have been doing OCM for 2 months and I don’t know what is what at this point. I don’t know if I’m doing too much, not cleaning enough?? Wrong ratio? Wrong oil?Should I stop, shouldn’t I? My face is broken out into an all-over cystic outbreak that I cannot control.

Reply

Anna
Friday, September 13/2013 at 6:55 am

My brief traumatic foray into the OCM:
I have sensitive, dry skin with blackheads and red discoloration that gets oily throughout the day. Jackpot? Yes, I think so, too.

I startet using coconut oil for my hair and would rub it into my skin once in a while, and I liked it. Then I came across the OCM and thought: hey, this might be IT!! Years and years of expensive non-comedogenic hypoallergenic skin care, goodbye! Right? Wrong.

After a brief encounter with olive and sunflower oil that freaked out my skin completely, I did some research and bought apricot kernel oil and castor oil. I let my skin heal first before I would use it. 1/10 of castor oil in the mix freaked my skin out AGAIN. I tried fo 1 1/2 weeks, thinking it would be “purging” but then I couldn’t bear it anymore. I got pimples on my cheeks, where I NEVER get pimples, and my forehead felt like sand paper.

After a week of giving my skin some time out I started again, this time with only apricot kernel oil. Didn’t make it any better. one week and that was it. I’m still trying to get rid of the blackheads on my forehead that seem to be UNDER the skin for some reason. But thank god the big pimples are healing.

My body and my hair loves oil. But just not my face. So I will use the oil for moisturizing my body. At least I did not buy it in vain.

Reply

Wanja
Thursday, September 19/2013 at 9:27 am

My skin was all perfect till I strated using OCM after all the hype. Worst decision EVER. My once perfect face is now a nightmare

Reply

Gülşah
Friday, September 20/2013 at 2:46 am

as i know, olive oil can make some kind of things on to skin. i started to use OCM last nigh. i use castor oil and jojoba oil. as i researhed jojoba oil is best about balancing the cebum on the skin. using the castor oil less and more jojoba oil will make your skin best of it.

olive oil and almond oil can irrated the skin and clog pores. so use these only on your hair, eyebrows or lashes :D
no one want any kind of increadible breaks out right ?

jojoba oil rocks!

I’m really sorry for your skin. when you decided to OCM again, use castor oil, jojoba oil and of course tea tree oil with rose water as a toner.
i have combination skin by the way.

Reply

Elena
Wednesday, October 2/2013 at 4:51 am

Same happened to me. I start using coconut oil to cleanse my face and the first two-three days was perfect. My skin loved it, then the breakout came … I stopped using it and yesterday I decided stop taking it cause the pimples did not stop and don’t know what else to do … I’ve change my fish oil to Green Pasture FCLO 4 days ago. I will try to be patient and wait but maybe I have to change my skincare regimen? I am using Bioderma to clean, apple cider vinegar diluted in water as tone, a Caudalie serum with a spf 15 Ducray fluid and same for the night with Nuxe Nirvanesque Cream instead the spf15. Everything is non comedogenic.
I am looking your regimen but can’t find the european botanical stuff you said in your post …
Thank you!!

Reply

Augusta
Thursday, October 10/2013 at 11:56 am

I had the same experience. In the first couple of days my skin looked very nice and clear, no blackheads to be seen.
After one and a half week pimples started to show up. Normally I have nice, pimple-free skin, my only problem is blackheads and a few dry spots. At first I thought that it might just be my skin reacting to my change of cleansing method, but now, after a month, I’m one big pimple breakout. As soon as one pimple seems to dissappear, two new pimples shows up.
I went to talk to a dermatologist today, who said I should go back to the old routine, as oil of course doesn’t hydrate skin (and something about what happens when you try to combine oil and water, but I guess we all know)

So I guess I’ll return to my old cleansing method.

Reply

brianah
Monday, October 14/2013 at 9:48 am

I have lived in Miami all my life and was plagued with HIGHLY SENSITIVE oily/combination skin or so i thought. The constant heat and humidity discouraged me from coming outside without make up, primer, or some type of mattifier. I’ve been in and out of several dermatologist offices and put all sorts of topical treatments- from steroids to texturizers and even pills. I found it absurd because i dont really have acne. I went out a sought other’s consultation and spent money on Philosophy’s products, Clarins, Kiehl’s, etc just to name.FEW I have occasional breakouts on my cheeks and forehead, which is why I finally said enough is enough. I am a very holistic person and I dont believe that all of these ingredients are destined to be consumed by our bodies so i do what little i can to better myself from the inside out.

I started out using Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap- rose or mild (in the bar form because I find that the liquid one has to be diluted because it is highly concentrated and i dont have time to figure out the right water:soap ratio for my face). Ive been using that for 1 year and my face has cleared up so well and produces less oil. I went to my dermatologist to get a mole removed and she gawked at how great “her medicine” was working for me, until i told her i stopped using it MONTHS AGO. The ingredients on the soap are all oil with the addition of a saponifying agent that is no longer present after the soap production is completed. I started researching and questioning the scientific links -like attracts like, and i saw how it applied to my fickle skin and then i ran into the OCM

its been two weeks and on the first day my skin looked more dewey and glow-ish but i didnt mind as long as my regular sebum production was increased. I used olive oil. Steam my face, and wipe it off with witch hazel/rose toner from whole foods. I didnt experience “the purge” because my skin is already used to using oils to cleanse it i guess. After a few days my skin became DRY and FLAKY…rarely happens. I then added castor oil to the mix not knowing that this oil was a detoxifier and had a drying effect. I’ve read that olive oil is comedogenic and is a leading cause as to why people are discouraged by the OCM. I didnt let up. I used less castor oil, and continued with the olive oil as i saw no negative effects from using it.

I rotate with oils now, as your face/body gets used to things and they sort of “stop working” I use olive oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil. Sweet almond oil is really hydrating, and I prefer to use it to moisturize my face after doing the method. I use my toner to tone my face IF i feel it necessary, particularly after wearing heavy makeup. I still wash with Dr. Bronners if im pressed for time or if im wearing heavy make up..Otherwise i just follow the regular OCM and always keep fresh white wash clothes handy and separate.

I would have never thought in a million years that I would have well-balanced skin. I dont have bags under my eyes, just lines or wrinkles or whatever they want to be (im only 20) and the extra moisture has decreased them significantly. Acne scars and dark spots have faded and smoothed out–> IN JUST 2 WEEKS i want to add. I see a major difference in my skin. Listen to yours and do the right thing.

Reply

Elena
Wednesday, October 16/2013 at 7:11 am

Just to update … I started the FCLO two weeks ago and my skin is feeling better everyday. I’ve reintroduced the Oil Cleansing method with Jojoba this time (instead of Coconut) and my skin is loving it! Now, I am using the Tamanu Oil after cleansing and before SPF in the morning and the Nuxe Nirvanesque in the evening and I have never had this clean, hydrated and glossy skin … incredible!!

Reply

Pearle
Friday, October 18/2013 at 1:57 am

Been studying oils for a bit now and just wanted to say if you are breaking out do NOT use olive oil or coconut oil! You’ll want to use something lighter. Also, the wash clothes you’re using, make sure you’re not using fabric softener when you wash them and only use them once per wash. Hopes this helps!

Reply

Katie
Saturday, December 14/2013 at 3:00 pm

I’ve literally just discovered the OCM over at Crunchy Betty – http://www.crunchybetty.com/nitty-gritty-on-the-oil-cleansing-method
Loving it so far, but I think that sometimes you just need to experiment with different oils depending on your skin type, everyone is different!

Reply

QSav
Thursday, January 2/2014 at 5:40 pm
sdavis
Sunday, January 12/2014 at 6:11 pm

I use the OCM every so often but it is suitable for my skin to use it about once every four days. I find when I do it like that my skin is soft, less blemishes, the dark spots fade, and it’s supple. I just use Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), i believe when you start trying to mix different oils it gets complicated. The only problem I have with it was a couple of years ago I used it for a week straight and my skin dried out and it looked horrible.

Reply

Lisa
Thursday, February 6/2014 at 5:36 am

I too had a reaction after using the olive oil for 5 days and then adding a little bit of castor oil. I luckily read these posts on my 6th day and my skin had developed some painful bumps so I stopped using this method. Since then, which is 4 month ago, I have had to use clay masks about once to twice a week, because I kept breaking out completely. It is getting better now. I never used to have zits and to have them become itchy and flair up in odd places, has been stressful. Chanels white clay has been very helpful and I also used other brands where I mixed clay with water.

Reply

Harriet k
Thursday, February 13/2014 at 7:32 pm

I am a 25 years old college student suffering from acne since about 9 years old. Since I was little, I’ve always had acne with a weird twist of oily skin in the summer and super dry skin in the winter on certain parts of my face. I have tried many drugstore products – neutrogena, olay, burt’s bee, etc – and even the more expensive brands such as proactive, dermalogica and some other brands from sephora but none has really worked. In fact, they gave me more acne then before I started using them. After trying so many drugstore brands, I decided to try Citrsu Clear recommended to me by a dear friend. Citrus Clear has a very attractive scent to their moisturizer which my boyfriend loves. The product is very smooth and gentle, and absorbs very quickly. It leaves my face oil free for at least 6 hours and more depending on the weather and activity. I have not seen any new pimple since I started using Citrus Clear.

Reply

Hayley
Sunday, February 16/2014 at 6:48 pm

Please try it again with Jojoba Oil! I had a similarly aweful experience using olive oil, and I know castor oil would be too harsh for my sensitive skin.

Since I used a mixture of jojoba & grapeseed (to make it cheaper – the jojoba is the most ‘neutral’/safe oil in general) I have seen my pretty untreatable acne that I have had for 20years reduce by around 80-90% and the texture of my skin is dramatically improved. I use oil cleansing at night, and do a manuka honey mask every morning (around 20mins whilst I eat breakfast).

I had recently found that the oil cleansing is I credibly good even immediately for quickly removing blackheads & it is pretty much the only thing ever that has left my skin looking smooth, calm & glowy immediately afterwards.

I hate thinking about how much money I have wasted trying out the latest gimmick in branded skincare. It really makes me sad more people (including men with acne) don’t know about this less irritating approach to treating skin conditions. I will *never* go back to mainstream skincare, it is more expensive and does the exact opposite of what it promises.

Reply

halcyon
Friday, March 7/2014 at 1:35 pm

Did you “definitely remove all traces of the oil” just by adding water? LOL (Not possible. Oil and water don’t mix.) Maybe that’s the problem.

Reply

Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, March 7/2014 at 2:04 pm

LOL. No. I used cleanser.

Reply

Sana Dar
Tuesday, April 29/2014 at 8:30 am

I used castor oil to clean my makeup off and then I washed my face and applied dermalogica rich repair cream which also contains castor oil, I woke up with a red bumpy face…looks like its been cooked….what shall I do

Reply

Dee Maree
Thursday, May 1/2014 at 7:45 pm

Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil helped heal any bad reactions my skin would get from products. Leave it on your cleansed skin overnight without any other product and use it in the mornings as a moisturizer too. It will heal your skin FAST.
Did you use pure, hexane free castor oil or the cheap stuff from a drusgtore?
I can’t even use the pure stuff even cut with another oil….way too pore clogging.

Reply

Dee Maree
Thursday, May 1/2014 at 7:30 pm

I don’t do OCM. I would never put a hot towel on my face. Using a good natural oil as a daily and nightly moisturizer will do the trick on it’s own of cleaning out the pores. Btw, avoiding hard tap water all together will do wonders for the skin. I use Simple makeup remover wipes as they are more gentle than even the gentlest of cleansers I’ve ever used. Then I wet cotton pads with distilled water to remove any makeup residue. Then I spray my face with Avene Thermal Spring water spray and I apply a small amount of oil while face is still damp.
My skin went from dry flaky rosacea hell with rashy rosacea bumps and pustules including hormonal acne to pretty flawless skin minus the slight redness/flushing caused by rosacea. Also helped tremendously with fine lines and any hyperpigmentation.
My daughter has eczema and takes hemp seed oil internally and I use the berry oil and seed oil and it calms it right down.

Reply

Dee Maree
Thursday, May 1/2014 at 7:36 pm

btw forgot to mention the best oils to use:
Nutiva Hemp Seed Oil (has to be refridgerated though and it green colored but doesn’t stain skin)
Sibu Seabuckthorn Seed Oil (this is my go to oil and also is a great natural exfoliator! also helps tremendously with eczema flare ups)
The SeaBuckthorn is nutrient packed as well and works great but it will temporarily “stain” the skin orangey-yellow for about 30mins-1hour making it a better option for nighttime.
Jojoba oil is good but more on the drying side. And it’s actually a wax. I find it enlarges pores. But this is a better option than most other natural oils for cost effectiveness, long shelf life and convenience.

Reply

Dee Maree
Thursday, May 1/2014 at 7:50 pm

Clarification: The seabuckthorn BERRY oil will temporarily stain skin. The seed oil will not.

Reply

bettiepage
Monday, May 26/2014 at 1:41 am

Folks, you are way over-complicating this OCM thing. I completely cleared my acne (AND reduced my fine lines) by giving up cleansers and only using organic HEMP SEED OIL on my face. No castor oil! Everyone says
“use x amount of castor oil” but no one can ever agree on how much won’t cause too much irritation. Well, yeah, castor oil is an irritant. You don’t need it. The whole point of OCM is that oil dissolves oil. You don’t need castor oil to “cut” the oil or whatnot. Also, you don’t need hot towels (too drying and harsh).

This is what I do: Squirt about a tablespoon of organic hemp seed oil in the palm of your (clean) hand. Slop it onto your face and gently massage for a few minutes. You will feel dry skin exfoliating, and tiny plugs coming out of your pores. Then, with a clean towel, wipe the excess oil off your face. Splash some cool water on your face and you’re done. Really. You don’t need anything else. This has been a miracle for me. I do it every day and it has solved so many skin problems for me: cleared my acne, softened fine lines, made my skin dewy, reduced the redness.

Reply

Del
Tuesday, May 27/2014 at 3:43 pm

OMG!! So glad I came across this post!! I have had a similar reaction to OCM as well.
So my story is a bit long. I have been taking anti biotics as well as Benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin combined with Newtrogena oil free fash wach with salysilic acid and neitrogena oil free moisturizer for combination skin for the past 2 years until last summer, at the end of the summer, I started having little bumps on cheeks. When I went to see my derm last December, he suggested me going under Accutane. After reading the side effects and such online, combined with my dislike for chemicals and drugs, I decided to take the matter in my own hands and try putting oil in my face, OCM. I had always used coconut oil as an eye moisturizer and would put it on the top of my cheeks as well as on cheeks sometimes. Since, coconut oil had never given me any problems, I figured why not? I started using coconut oil around the middle of December and did not have a problem (I was still taking my anti biotics). Starting the beginning of January, I switched the coconut oil I was using (which was whole foods 360 virgin coconut oil, the one I had been using for years) to Nutiva extra virgin, unrefined and the pure one and still my face did not have a problem. I was using that coconut oil at night and jojoba oil in the morning as OCM. I do not recall having major skin issued with those oils. I stopped taking my antibiotics in the middle of January and still no major skin problems; my skin was not cystal clear but it with a little foundation just on my cheeks was enough. I continued this. I had gotten this justneem facial soap from just neem.com and their clay mask which was raved on DR.OZ on Valentines day, they had coconut oil as well as sunflower oil in them. I initially was having those tiny bumps on my cheeks but severe and I could only feel them but no one could notice and I think they were starting to go away, if I am not wrong. After about 2 weeks of using my OCM with those products, one Sunday I woke up, I think it was either 1 st or 2nd of March, I just loved how my skin felt and did not wear any make up that day and then I started using this natural body butter on my face starting that week, which had shear butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil as well as other ingredients and I felt my skin started having those tiny bumps again but would not go away for a while, but still not severe. come, spring break, starting March 14th, when I went home, my brother said my skin looks better and that I proved my dermatologist wrong by these natural stuff haha That Saturday night, I tried this other natural product, this face scrub with the same of shea butter, cocoa nutter, coconut oil and bunch of other oils and started the very next day, I had a lot of these tiny bumps that were very visible. So that whole week of spring break, I stayed in and tried to figure out what was causing and stopped everything I was using, including my coconut oil and such. That is when I started checking online and came across a page of oils of oleic acid and lineloic acid and purchased evening prime rose oil. Until that arrived I was only using jojoba oil on my face without coconut oil and my skin was getting okay with the tiny bumps, getting less noticable. Then the primerose oil came start of April. I started using that, then started to dilute it with jojoba oil and my skin was, I think, starting to get clear and then it got worse. I even noticed that when I would wash my face twice a day, with the OCM with these oils, I did not like the results compared to washing once a day. I reduced the amount of primerose oil to about 2 drops to 10 drops of jojoba oil and my skin having a lot of tiny bumps and my face got worse. I never had this severe reaction to coconut and jojobal oil mix (coconut at night and jojoba in the morning). I remember when my mom and brother came to pick me up from school about 2 weeks ago, they went “what the hell happened to you skin?” So now, I do not want to go outside as my skin is really bad and stopped everything and regretting using all those oils and products all at once. I now do not know if the issue was coconut oil (I do not want to believe this as 3 months of using this did not give my skin any severe reaction) or jojoba oil (still doubt it as I have been using this for longer) or primerose oil (this I think would have been the cause) or I do not think if it has been the juse neem products (which made my skin almost clear combined with coconut oil and jojoba, so doubt this one). I am now using my justneem soap and even stopped using their lotion about days ago as I now have no idea what has gone wrong with my skin. I just want my old skin back, even though it was not perfect, it never prevented me from stepping outside.
I used to think this was an allergic reaction and have an appointment with an allergist/immunologist tomorrow, but now I am thinking if that even be worth it since now I know what might it have been. IDK if I should just go to my dermatologist. After about 2 weeks of no oil and just my neem products, mom says my skin had gotten much better than how I’ve had come home so IDK if I should just let it be or go see someone.
I just want to be able to step outside and just want my skin back!!!

Reply

Sarah
Tuesday, June 17/2014 at 7:44 am

Michelle,

I’ve been using straight castor oil in my face going into the second week now. Yes, I had some stuff come to the surface but not too badly as ive always had pretty clear skin. Now my face has calmed down and it is looking amazing! I’ll be 36 in two months and I’ve noticed fine lines around my eyes have been disappearing and other small wrinkles Id developed over the years! I’m hooked on the oil cleansinv method and I encourage you to give it another try. I was prepared to try for a month and then give up if my skin got worse because I’d read that castor oil does bring stuff to the surface of your skin. After just two weeks I’m sold on this cleaning method!

Reply

Mel
Monday, July 14/2014 at 11:07 am

Hi all,

I tried OCM, and I have figured out after a 5 month journey what exactly happened to my skin. I used a mixture of castor oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil with a few drops of lavender oil. At first, my skin was AHMAZING. Like pure and perfect and soft. No bumps, no redness….just smooth and creamy. This lasted for about a month and a half (so anyone that is only two weeks in is not in a position to report conclusively on this).

I started getting these flesh colored bumps under my skin a couple of months into the regimen. I thought maybe I just need to exfoliate or that the “purge” was coming and it would be over soon. I mixed in a bit of brown sugar every now and then to exfoliate and that seemed to help at first.

Fast forward two months and my face is covered in scars and red marks from what LOOKS like cystic acne (which I’ve never had before). But here is the thing…it isn’t acne. And it isn’t an allergy. There is no bacteria or pus…just hard tannish plugs that the skin does NOT heal around no matter how long you leave it. They poke out and can be manually extracted, and when they are…it is hard rice grain looking plugs.

Naturally I thought some oil was clogging my pores, and I gave it a rest and quite OCM. But a month later, I am STILL getting these plugs that get raised and red and LOOK like acne. But they are not. It isn’t even as simple as oil clogging my pores. I figured out I had keratosis pilaris (basically overproduction of keratin) in my hair follices. The bumps were mostly along the cheeks and jawline (the beard area but I’m a woman with no real trace of facial hair at all).

How does that relate to OCM? Castor oil (and olive oil to an extent) is pretty well known for stimulating hair growth. How? It increases keratinization! What I was pulling out of my skin was that keratinzed bit, not a regular acne sebum plug. That’s why it wouldn’t heal if left alone like acne usually does. The skin just couldn’t naturally push it out, so I’m left with traumatizing scars and new bumps every day. My follicles are essentially changed from the effects of the oil, so I’m not totally sure this will ever go away.

Unfortunately, there isn’t really a good way to combat overkeratinization other than moisturizing….but that doesn’t really help much and I already have oily/combo skin. But at least I know now what happened with OCM and why it doesn’t work for so many people.

Reply

Roseanne
Saturday, July 19/2014 at 7:26 am

I did OCM for one week. For the first few nights I used castor oil, avocado oil, and jojoba oil and massaged the oil in for a minute or so before steaming/rinsing, etc. Then I switched to only castor oil and avocado oil because I didn’t want to make things too complicated, but I massaged the oil for longer (10-15 minutes) the last two days since I had been told that it took a long time to get the blackheads to start coming out the first couple times you do OCM. Through most of the week, my skin looked no different except it felt less dry and seemed soft. My blackheads also seemed to be getting slightly worse, not better, but I assumed this was part of the “purge”. Also, later in the day, my face would feel oilier than it normally would, but not to an extreme degree. Then my skin started breaking out really rapidly. I started getting these painful, angry pustules all over my face, especially the sides of my chin. I got more than ten of these. Also, some painful bumps started to form around my chin area. I stopped OCM and immediately used my old cleanser and various topical acne products (ones that had been prescribed by a dermatologist but I hadn’t used in unison for a while since I was concerned that my regimen had become too complicated and harsh. But this time I figured I needed to get out the big guns.) The next day (today) more of the bumps formed pussy heads, just as I predicted. There are still a few bumps left (which are painful), so I assume I am going to get more pustules over the next couple days. I just hope that the ones that have already formed will dry up and go away if I keep using my old cleansing/topical product regimen from the dermatologist. After reading a ton of posts on this blog and other blogs, I really think that my acne is caused by how my body is reacting to the foods I eat. This is probably why my acne meds from dermatologists never worked for very long (if at all). So trying to find some miracle facial cleansing regimen is not going to cure my acne. I think I need to return to my old regimen for a while and focus my energy on cleaning up my diet and detoxifying my body. There are diets out there that are supposed to help clear up acne, so we’ll just see how that goes. I am in my late twenties, so there is no reason for my acne to still be this bad after all this time unless I have not been addressing the real source of the problem.

Reply

Kavita
Wednesday, July 23/2014 at 11:19 pm

Hi, I’ve done some research and saw that castor is known to dry out your skin and is recommended for people with really oily skin. Coconut and olive are tricky also because they encourage pimples if it’s not the right kind… If you check crunchy Betty’s site you can see how she made her oil cleansers. I think it helps with essential oils added into the mix. They are a natural way to heal all sorts of problems. And her recipe will show you a dyi way.
I ordered living libations sea buckthorn best skin ever which had amazing reviews. I would definitely encourage you to try it because every thing is completely natural and high end quality. As long as you don’t mind spending on these expensive products. But I think our face is worth it.

Reply

Kavita
Wednesday, July 23/2014 at 11:30 pm

I also forgot to add that jojoba is safe to use on acne prone skin. I used to use neutrogena, clean and clear, clearasil, aveeno, proactiv (which blackened and peeled delicate skin by my jaw and temples) and others which I can’t think of at the moment. I’ve recently been using a face wash, benzoyl peroxide, a moisturizer and sometimes an AHA moisturizer from acne.org. It did clear up my acne but I wanted to try a more natural approach since these chemicals can still irritate depending how you use them.

Reply

Josh
Tuesday, August 26/2014 at 11:36 pm

Ok, I’m obviously several years late on this post, but I have been researching like crazy for the best treatments for blackheads. I rarely get pimples, but I suffer severely from large pores and black heads. I came across the OCM just by searching for blackhead cures. It seemed like a miracle until I dug deeper and found this article with all the negative posts about it. I have tried everything for the blackheads and nothing gets rid of them. I have even mashed them out and it looks better for a few days, but they always come back. I’ve come to peace with my large pores, but I can’t get content with these blackheads. There has to be something that will help. I am almost 24 years old and I have had them ever since I hit puberty. It’s strange because every inch of my skin looks healthy and smooth. (I get comments all the time about the skin on my arms and how smooth and flawless it looks) All except for my face, the large pores, the blackheads… I’m desperate to find something that will get rid of them for good and have been desperate for years. I probably won’t try the OCM now after reading this article and so many negative posts about it. My face is quite oily but I still believe I may have more negative side effects from it than beneficial. If anyone has ANY kind of helpful tips/treaments for blackheads I would be extremely grateful.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Sites that link to this post