843 Responses to “Trying and Troubleshooting the Oil Cleansing Method: Tips For Flawless, Oil-Cleansed Skin”


Read below or add a comment...

  1. Melissa

    About six months ago, I realized that the skincare regimen I’d been using for the last 8 years or so (I’m 27, and started getting acne when I went to college) was no longer as effective as it once was. I started doing some research and trying some different products (including a Clarisonic, which I’m pretty sure was a waste of money – it felt nice, but made no difference to my acne), but nothing really seemed to be making a difference, and my skin was slowly but surely getting worse and worse. About six weeks ago, I took a deep breath and ditched my standby glycolic acid cleanser and started doing the OCM exclusively every evening (using raw honey as a daily morning facewash, as well as a face mask). I didn’t really have a “purging” period, I don’t think, but I DID discover – through painful trial and error – that my skin is apparently really sensitive, and lots of oils make me break out. Coconut oil makes me break out. Jojoba oil makes me break out. Almond oil, grapeseed oil, vitamin E oil, olive oil – they ALL make me break out. So, my skin was in pretty bad shape by the time I decided to use ONLY oils rated “0″ on the comedogenic scale and started using hemp seed oil. I wish I could report that my acne has now been banished, but it hasn’t – is it better than it was when I was using comedogenic oils? Yes. Does my skin look dewier, more refreshed, more even-toned? Yes. Do I still get break outs? Yes!!! It’s incredibly frustrating to look in the mirror and think “Wow, except for the parts of my face that have pimples, my skin’s looking really good!”

    For what it’s worth, I’ve been working on my diet, too, since the root of acne is often internal – I’ve almost completely eliminated dairy and GREATLY reduced the amount of “bad” vegetable oil and refined sugar I consume, as well as increased my intake of fruits and veggies. Hasn’t really made a big difference for my skin, although I do subjectively “feel” better.”

    Also for what it’s worth – I started out using regular washcloths with OCM but found them to be WAY too irritating to my skin when I wiped off the oil after steaming. Switching to microfiber has helped a lot with this, although I have to be careful not to wipe too hard.

    I suppose it’s possible that it’s the hemp seed oil making me continue to break out, but in terms of molecular size and whatnot, I’m not sure that’s actually possible. I’m wondering if I should start adding a small amount of castor oil to my OCM blend because maybe the hemp seed alone isn’t cleansing enough, but I’m frankly terrified – castor oil is supposed to be great at getting into your pores and cleansing, but it can also be slightly irritating and in some people can cause break outs. With diva-skin such as mine that breaks out at everything, I’m thinking it’s likely I’d be “one of those people” who can’t use castor oil. Has anyone had any experience similar to this? If not castor oil, what should I add to the hemp seed oil to boost its cleansing?

    I’m practically at my wits’ end with my skin. I’m trying to get a job, and I can’t be confident going into interviews looking like this! Also, my current skincare routine takes a ridiculously long time and is really complicated, and I’d love-love-love to cut it down AND still heal my acne. I guess it’s possible that I’m doing TOO much, and that all the different oils are just making my skin freak out, but every step I’ve added is because what I was doing before wasn’t working, either. Here’s the routine:

    - raw honey wash in the shower (I usually leave it on for a minute or two while I shave my legs)
    - few drops of hemp seed oil with a drop of tea tree oil to moisturize, plus sunscreen and makeup if I’m leaving the house that day (with my skin the way it is, I’ve been spending a lot of time at home…)

    - if I wore makeup that day, I do a few swipes of sunflower oil on a cotton ball to remove “the worst of it” before cleansing
    - hemp seed oil massage for several minutes, then steaming 3 times with a microfiber wash cloth and wiping away
    - raw honey face mask – yes, I’ve been doing this every single night for several weeks. I usually mix in a few drops of lavender and rosemary oils. For the last few nights, I’ve added green clay powder to the mix – I wouldn’t have thought I’d be able to use the green clay every night because it’d be too drying, but I’ve seen no evidence of dryness on my skin. Actually, I’m not sure the addition of green clay has done anything at all. I leave the mask on for an hour.
    - rinse off the mask, then moisturize with a few drops hemp seed, plus a drop or two of frankincense and carrot seed oils.
    - tea tree oil on a Q-tip to spot-treat pimples.
    - I’ve also tried using black cumin seed oil, both as an add-on to the hemp seed cleansing oil and as a moisturizer, and I think it does really nice brightening-toning-beautifying things to my skin, but I haven’t been able to decide if it makes me break out (and it’s not listed in the Beneficial Botanicals comedogenic ratings chart, either). Does anyone know anything about the comedogenicity of black cumin seed oil?

    I REALLY need advice! Any comments or suggestions would be hugely appreciated. I’ve done tons of reading about the OCM and so much research into different oils, but I’m clearly doing something wrong. I really want to make OCM work for me, so I don’t want to give up! (Especially since NOT using OCM wasn’t really working, either, so….I’ve got to find SOMEthing that will work!)

    • Liz

      I have also dealt with many a year of acne, and I have to say.. the number one thing to consider with topical treatment, even with natural means, is: less is more. I haven’t found an oil that I can cleanse with, personally. I use a version of face wash that is similar to cetaphil, but lacking the parabens (whole foods carries it) and finely ground sugar to exfoliate my makeup off (washclothes are too harsh). I’ve had success with tamanu oil applied as a moisturizer before bed. What you really want to do is leave your face alone as much as possible! I also use a moisturizer (and it’s the only one to not break me out) from trader joes (says enrich on the front), I think the zinc in it is really helpful and anti inflammatory. But, despite all that topical nonsense, the number 1, number number number 1 thing that I do to keep my skin clear– is avoid sugar. At all costs. I never eat dessert, I add unsweetened almond milk to my tea, I even limit fruit to 2 or 3 servings a day (especially bananas). I won’t even have something with teriyaki sauce because the stuff is so sweet.
      Here’s a recent example.. I went from totally clear to a ton of tiny pimples which have been plaguing me for about a week now because I ate strawberry granola on a camping trip. It was around 6g of sugar per 1/3 cup I think. Even that tiny amount! I also avoid alcohol, coffee, and dairy (dairy gives me cystic acne), but it would seem it’s sugar that really seals the deal. It’s a lifestyle change for sure but I think it’s worth it.

      • Melissa

        Thanks for your reply. With the dairy thing, yeah, the jury’s still out as to whether or not that’s been contributing to my acne (it’s only been a few weeks since I’ve gone completely dairy-free), but I’m definitely going to keep it up. I thought it would be really hard, but I’m pleasantly surprised that that hasn’t been the case for me – I do miss Greek yogurt, but that’s really the only thing. Clear skin would feel a million times better than Greek yogurt tastes, though.

        I’ve heard wonderful things about tamanu oil and have even purchased some, but I haven’t tried it yet. I think I want to let my skin get to a slightly calmer, healthier state before I introduce something brand-new, especially since I’m already using so many different things.

        Since you’re so sensitive to sugar, it makes sense that you’d decide to avoid alcohol, too, since that tends to be sugar-loaded. It’s strange to think that back in college (once I got my acne under control) I could – and did – drink like a fish without it affecting my skin, and here I am today, not having had a sip of alcohol in like 3 months, with my acne flaring up. Wouldn’t it be great if adult acne actually made sense??

        • Jamie

          I hope that eliminating dairy helps you! It takes several weeks once you stop taking it in for it to completely leave your system. I had to eliminate dairy from my diet when I had my son due to his intolerance of it in breast milk. I found that I felt better and my complexion looked better after several weeks of not having any. I would research yogurt though. As far as I have read, yogurt(especially greek) doesn’t have the same affect on our bodies as milk, cheese, etc…and can actually help heal your gut. I also wanted to mention that I had run across another blog post where the writer mentioned she had a lot of the same issues with A LOT of oils and switched to pumpkin oil. It has been an amazing change for her and she has stuck with it ever since. Worth looking into maybe? Also, the chemical makeup of the oil maybe the issue. Oleic vs. linoleic was something that she stressed in her blog with the latter being the better choice. Hope some of this info helps!

      • Holly

        You should really think about trying black cumin seed oil. Do some research online, and you will find this oil is amazing when used both internally and externally. I use it twice daily, mostly as a face moisturizer, but it is oil, and would work for this, too. I have had acne for 20 years, until about 6 months ago. I found mine was mostly hormonal, and the use of clary sage and geranium essential oils daily on my wrists and ankles helped with that. I also add lavender, geranium, and clary sage essential oils to black cumin seed oil and use as a moisturizer. It is one of the best oils for acne-prone skin. I just ordered it online, extra-virgin, cold-pressed. I highly recommend it!

    • Nicole

      You may be stressing your skin out with all of the stuff you are putting on it. I’m 26 and still get pimples around my mouth, my nose and my forehead is bumpy (clogged pores). I just recently stopped buying commercial products and started the oil cleansing method, and so far it’s definitely been improving my skin. I decided a while ago that I wasn’t going to wash my face in the mornings, only at night to take my makeup off.When I wake up my skin is the clearest it is all day, putting stuff on it may actually be irritating it right off the bat. I tried cleansing with raw honey and I didn’t really notice any difference, so I would try ditching that in the morning and just putting your makeup right on your skin, as is! You can still do a honey face treatment, but maybe only once or twice a week? Oh, and ditch the sunscreen! Wear a hat instead, sunscreen makes my skin break out like crazy. A few things to try, I am by no way an expert, but I have tried many a thing to try to cure my acne, it certainly isn’t an easy process.

      • Nicole

        Oh, and if I don’t wear makeup, I notice small white heads form on my nose, so it may seem strange, but I would recommend at least using a powder on your face.

      • Melissa

        Your skin sounds similar to mine. I don’t get many nose-pimples at all (some whiteheads around the sides of my nostrils, but those just lurk for months and never turn into pimples), but my forehead is constantly congested-looking with flesh-colored bumps and the sides of my chin, right below my mouth, like to have really awesome cystic parties. Fun stuff.

        I do feel like the overall quality of my skin is improving a lot with OCM, it’s just taking a LONG time to see any significant results vis-a-vis my acne. Even that is improving though….slowly….very slowly…(I think). I do think some of the pimples I got earlier on with OCM were simply from not really knowing how to do it. I got crazy breakouts right along my hairline until I made the connection that I wasn’t wiping the dirty cleansing oil away thoroughly enough, and shortly after that discovered that maybe that was also the reason I kept getting pimples in my EYEBROWS (yuck). So, just figuring out little things like that has already made a difference in the number of OCM-related pimples I get, and hopefully as time goes on I’ll figure out even more.

        (I’m thinking there’s a good chance I perhaps should only do OCM every other night, too. I had been OCM-ing my chest, too, which would get an occasional pimple or two but nothing too bad, but after starting OCM it started breaking out more and more….until I stopped doing it every night. Then it almost completely cleared up, in a matter of days. Magic.)

        Does ALL sunscreen make you break out? There was one my dermatologist recommended to me years and years ago called Z-Silc that had zinc oxide, making it a “physical barrier” instead of a chemical barrier that most commercial sunscreens are. It was very gentle, went on smooth, didn’t turn your face white, and doubled as a moisturizer. I never had any issues breaking out from it (which is not to say that YOU won’t, of course, but hey maybe it’s something to try), and in fact, I don’t know why I ever stopped buying it…

        I HAVE to wear sunscreen. If I don’t, aside from the obvious concerns like sunburn and whatnot, I get madcrazy dark freckles on my nose within a matter of hours – on my cheeks, too, but for some reason my nose is more freckle-prone, so it gets darker than the rest of my face, and it’s not the most attractive thing in the world to have a pale face and a tan, freckled mass protruding out from right smack dab in the middle of your face. Hats don’t cut it, unless they’re the big-floppy-brim kind, and that only “works” on me at the beach…

        Thanks for your tips!

        • Nicole

          I do have to put sunscreen on if I’m going to be outside for a while, but I’m actually going to try my hand at making my own zinc oxide sunscreen this summer, mainly because I don’t like the idea of putting chemicals on my face. I was born freckly, so while mine do enhance in the summer, I like and have no issue with freckles. I also agree with the person above. I’m lactose intolerant and gave up dairy for a while, and my skin did clear up a bit, same with when I gave up sugar for 3 weeks, but it was just too time confusing and difficult. Dairy and sugar are in EVERYTHING. I will be trying some new oils for the oil cleansing, so If I remember I’ll let you know if I find a good match! Remember that your skin needs a break, so try not to overwhelm it with a ton of stuff. Not washing in the mornings works for me, but it might not for everyone. Good luck!

          • Ohdearyme

            Oh, honey. You do realise that zinc oxide is a *chemical* too, right? Everything, all oils, all products, all matter, is made up of chemicals. Saying “I don’t want to put chemicals on my face” is a meaningless statement.

        • Diane

          I find the castor oil to be way too drying for me but I do add in some tea tree oil about once a week for a deeper cleaning, just a few drops added to the oil I pour into my hand.

          • Jill

            I used a bit of tree oil with my castor oil when I had a huge zit on my nose (abnormal for me). I had a horrible reaction to the tea tree oil and had blisters all over my nose and cheeks. Major reaction and I had to go to the doctor for antibiotics for the infection it created :-( So be careful of tea tree oil!!

    • Melissa

      Hi Melissa,
      I have had a problem breaking out with raw honey. Almost consistently, once I use honey to wash my face I get a new painful underground zit.
      However, I have discovered the key to getting rid of those guys if you can catch them in time! You just want to get it right once you feel it with a hot cloth soaked in hot water with Epsom salt. That will bring it to surface which I usually have been able to extract the next day. instead of lasting a month under my skin, they have lasted 3 days.

      Try skipping the honey, see what happens.

      As for the oil cleanse, I use 1 part sunflower oil and 1/2 part castor oil. I havent had the undergrounders in a while, but I have fewer, but still minor pimples. Also, instead of just oil cleansing, I double cleanse with the clarisonic. So here it is:
      At night wash with your oil cleanse on dry skin.
      wet your skin
      apply facewash to your clarisonic (I use TJs spa facial cleanser which is basically the same as desert essense tea tree oil cleanser)
      Wash off and pat dry.

      So far so good! But the Epsom salt is the BEST solution to the painful ones. I found it on yahoo.answers.

    • Riana

      I feel your pain. I’ve has acne since age 10 (I’m in my late 20s), but about 5-6 years ago, I discovered two things that changed my life, and face forever. Acne is not easily fixed by topical treatments, because the cause is internal. If you’re an adult female and have acne, it’s likely caused my adult female hormonal acne. There is a prescription for high blood pressure that was found to almost completely get rid of this form of acne, called spironolactone. You can get a script from your dermatologist, just ask.

      The second thing that has greatly helped me is the supplement Burdock root. Both the prescription and this supplement are diuretics and detoxifiers, they purge your body of the toxins that cause acne in the first place. I will still on occasion (maybe every 1-2 months) get a few pimples around my menstrual cycle, but they are not that noticeable and go away quickly.

      I am so happy I found these two things, and I hope they work for you and anyone else who suffers from adult acne.

    • Della

      I must first admit to being too lazy to read the other posts in reply to your asking for suggestions, so if any of this is a repeat, please forgive….
      Ok, first of all, you mentioned briefly that you use sunscreen. Could that be part of the problem? I haven’t read good things about what they put in those and so check out the ing. list.
      Second, you mentioned cutting out dairy. You should REALLY consider adding back some raw dairy into your diet. It has all the healthy enzymes and other things that make it a real health food, and none of the acid forming mucus promoting properties of the pasteurized milk products. You can do a web search to see where it is available in your local area. I have read of it being almost a miracle cure for a lot of conditions, so you may consider it to be a good addition to your nutritional overhaul. That’s it for my contribution to the wise advice department. Hope it was at least a little helpful….
      Della :-)

    • Laura

      You just described my skin :( Any luck or suggestions? It’s a real happiness sucker.
      I had the same experience with hemp seed oil and I love it and continue to use but these”boil” like spots are Lasting for months on my face. Feel like giving up….

    • Hello! I happened across your post and I can feel the frustration in your writing. Acne – and other skin conditions – truly are medical problems that often can’t be resolved simply be changing your cleansing method. The gold standard for dealing with this are the acids: glycolic and salicylic. While you can go to a medi-spa and get a “peel” you’ll hate yourself when your face is flaking off like crazy. Try low % acids – 10 for glycolic and 2 for salicylic and then move up. These acids can penetrate the pore and begin to pull debris. The challenge here is getting the pH at the right level: many products don’t do that and you’ll want products with as few additives as possible. Dr. Hilton Becker (google him) has a line of products that are active ingredients only. You won’t find them in stores. Another good source are the two masques available from Naturopathica – although I find them far too expensive for what they are. The rest of the equation is what else are you putting on your face? Sadly sunscreens are just the worst and because both the chemical and minerals are tough on skin. And they last for limited time anyway. Start thinking about sun protection in terms of clothing and hats. And finally- cosmetics and hair products. A huge no no. Check out Caroline Hirons at She has a wealth of good information.

      I respect wanting to stay with “natural” ingredients. But you’re going to have to bring out some big guns here.

    • Trang

      Hey Melissa, I have a few thoughts after reading your skincare regime.
      1. You seem to be using too many products. When it comes to skincare, especially for acne-prone skin, less is more. When I have a breakout, I leave my face alone as much as possible. From my personal experience, even if some natural remedies work for you, applying them every day will make your skin get used to it and make them less effective over time.
      2. I haven’t experienced any breakout from OCM because I just use olive oil as a pre-cleansing step and then cleansing my face with a good cleanser. I’m no skincare expert, but I can see why OCM would make people break out:
      - The OCM says that it’s a more effective cleansing method because oil dissolves oil. Actually, that doesn’t mean much since the job of every good cleanser is to dissolve oil. If the oil can get deep into your pores, then it may not be removed easily with just a few wipes of hot wash cloth. Oil doesn’t mix with water. I don’t get why people can clean away the oil with just a washcloth. Think about when you get oil slick on your hand, you will need to clean it with soap. You want your pores to be clean, but you also need to make sure that no oil residue is left inside the pores. From your description, I suspect that the hemp seed oil does a good job of moisturizing and nourishing your skin but you may not remove the oil residue completely. Massaging the oil on your face for a few minutes is enough.
      - The OCM requires you to steam your face with hot water every day. This is very irritating for sensitive and acne-prone skin. When you unluckily have sensitive skin, you should treat your skin as a precious fragile gift and avoid doing anything that may inflame your skin. Warm water will be more gentle to your skin.
      - Make sure that you clean your hands thoroughly before massaging your face. Also don’t forget to wash your washcloth and pillow case regularly.
      3. I have a few other suggestions about natural remedies as which you may be interested in trying.
      - Apply salt paste to your acnes to spot treat them. It’s a tip handed down by my grandmother and then my mother. Salt paste is just natural sea salt (not table salt as it’s mixed with chemical fillers) with water, enough to soften the salt and makes it gentle to your skin. I find that the salt paste works great for bacteria-related acnes, but it does nothing for my chin acnes, which are hormone-related and only appear at the beginning of my menstrual cycle.
      - You may try using more calming and soothing ingredients. Try washing your face every morning with oatmeal. I love it as it’s gentle and soothing but still slightly exfoliates your skin. Try incorporating aloe vera, cucumber and turmeric into your skincare regime. I don’t know anyone who breaks out from those ingredients so it doesn’t hurt to try them. There’s a reason why they are often added to skincare products. Remember that if even if they work for you, you shouldn’t apply them too frequently or they’ll lose their anti-inflammatory effects. Drink more green tea, chamomile tea and lemon/lime juice (not the bottled ones) as they are all soothing drinks.
      - If your acnes are caused by hormonal imbalance, you may think about taking magnesium, zinc and omega-3 supplements. There are many reasons for hormonal imbalance, but magnesium, zinc and omega-3 insufficiency are believed to be the most common causes. Also don’t forget to sleep early and exercise every day.Yoga is particularly good for reducing stress, which doesn’t cause acnes but exacerbates them. Skincare is a holistic approach and there is no single secret for good skin but every small step helps.

      I know the perpetual pain and frustration of being at wit’s ends and unable to trust any skincare products when it comes to skincare. Good luck.

    • Nettie

      Melissa~ I feel your pain and understand your frustration. I found a product that I love that may be helpful. Thayer’s Natural remedies witch hazel. It is different than your typical hazel in that it is UNdistilled, allowing all the natural beneficial tannins to remain. It comes in an alcohol free toner in Rose petal water and aloe, or lavender and aloe, cucumber, etc. There is also a blend that is astringent and contains natural alcohol. You may want to try mix in some with your oil mixture.

    • Amy

      I hate to say this but some people just get acne because their hormones are crazy, and no amount of skin treatment can do anything about internal problems. If nothing seems to be working for you, it might be worth seeing if you have a hormonal problem by talking to your doctor. In any case, doctors can prescribe a type of antibiotic that worked for me when I had bad skin as a teenager.

      Another thing worth considering is if you are on any hormonal contraception that could be affecting it. If you aren’t (and you’re female) there are about seven types of birth control pills that work wonders on skin (this can take some trial and error). I used one called Yasmin for a while and that was great.

      Also, in response to the other person commenting, I have never heard of caffeine affecting skin (or noticed it myself since cutting it out), and making drastic changes to your diet can make things worse rather than better. The only thing I (and my friends) have ever noticed directly causing break outs is sugary drinks and alcoholic drinks (though spirits are usually fine).

      I would say that if you want to know what works, start over. Try one of the things you are doing at a time for a week or so, and see if it helps. If it does, keep in in the regime. If it makes no real difference, cut it out. By doing this you’ll know exactly what is worth your time and effort.

      One thing I can recommend is using a tea tree toner/makeup remover. Boil some water, let it cool, add tea tree oil and maybe a citrus or lavender oil to make it smell nicer. Apply with cotton wool. I do not think using sunflower oil on acne-prone skin is a good idea.

    • I’m sure you’re still getting answers and I’ve not read everything but did anyone mention Manuka honey? It’s different than raw and unprocessed honey; much more powerful medicinal aid (clinical trials have found that Manuka honey from New Zealand, made with pollen gathered from the flowers of the Manuka bush [a medicinal plant], can effectively eradicate more than 250 clinical strains of bacteria). I had an “open” place on my knee that nothing would close, no antibiotic, nothing. I finally broke down and put some on a bandaid and within 2 days a nickle size hole closed up completely. Maybe a mask made with it (and it’s edible) would work?

      Also using too much tea tree oil will dry your skin out. And if you’re using tea tree with a product like benzoyl peroxide it could leave you with red, irritated skin, and you could end up in a situation worse than the one you started with. And check out bee propolis salve. It works on our minor cuts, sores, etc., and someone on Amazon said it worked on acne (some). (Honey Garden makes a salve)

  2. Anita Hand

    Hello. I need some help here, I’ve been doing this for about 3 weeks and my skin is awful.
    I have all of the skin plagues it seems.. Sebhorrheic dermatitis.. Psoriasis.. Starting to seem like I have rosacea.. Eczema my whole life. I’ve been cleansing with hemp oil and moisturizing with coconut oil once a night. Splash of warm water and a little coconut oil in the morning. I haven’t been wearing foundation to help speed up the process of healing, so this has really been messing with my psyche. I’ve never had nice skin, it’s always been red, dry, a pimple or two. It’s never been this bad, but I’m hopeful and I want to keep going.
    What am I doing wrong? I am the healthiest person I know, I change my pillowcase every night, I never reuse the same towel. I’ll manually extract some of the worst zits because sometimes they just really want to come out.
    I’m just barely holding on to this method. Any help much appreciated.

    • Ali

      She did say in the article that many people have a bad experience with coconut oil. Maybe that is something you should cut out. I would suggest just washing with the hemp oil to see if that helps, and if not try a different oil for your skin type.

    • Dawn Roberson

      Hi Anita,
      I saw your post and wanted to reply. I started using OCM about 3 years ago now. I went through a purging period of several months; not several days like most people claim. I thought I was gonna go crazy. I gave up a couple of times and had to start over. I’m glad I finally stuck to it because once I finally got through the awful purging stage my skin cleared up and looks beautiful now. I hardly ever break out now. I did find though that the only oil I could use was Grapeseed. I tried hemp and that DID NOT work for me. I tried Olive Oil and Coconut. Both Olive Oil and Coconut are a 5 on the comedogenic scale. 5 is the highest for causing breakouts so I steer clear of those. I recently added Castor oil to my blend so I can’t comment on that yet since I haven’t been using long enough to see the full results. I also add a blend of Essential Oils to my OCM oil (I am a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist so if you need help with deciding which oils to use, let me know). Other than that it sounds like you’re doing everything else right…clean washcloth, clean pillow cases, etc….

      • Ailin

        Hi Dawn! I stared using the ocm about a month ago I was in love i had no need to wear foundation at all! I couldn’t believe it best first week ever and others complimented me as my skin looked radiant!…well after the second week I started breaking out (I have dry skin and only get one underground painful zit when it’s that time of the month) needless to say my skin looks awful as I’m trying this I have. Major underground zit middle of forehead and one right below my cheek bone with three more around it I can’t believe it. Why did it go from 10 radiant skin to weird looking and breaking out skin? I’ve been using castor oil / jojoba oil / avocado oil mix ….any thoughts?

    • Melissa

      I’ll repeat the others’ suggestions and advise you to steer clear of the coconut oil, at least on your face.

      Re: the manual extraction: just BE CAREFUL! (I apologize in advance if what I mention is what you’re already doing.) Use a stainless steel extractor, not your fingers, but wash your hands thoroughly anyway beforehand because you undoubtedly WILL end up touching your face at some point in the process. Sanitize the extractor beforehand, and I’d recommend wiping it on a clorox wipe or something in between extractions just to help keep the bacteria at bay. And only, ONLY attempt extraction on the pimples that are “just begging for it;” don’t even try if you can’t see any white pus in the middle. Clean the whole area around the pimple post-extraction to get rid of any invisible pus/bacteria, put a drop of tea tree oil on the zit, and then think of it like an “open wound” (because it is) and dab on a bit of Neosporin with a band-aid on top for a few hours. Manual extraction CAN be effective and even helpful, but it’s so-so-SO easy to have it make things worse. A LOT worse. Take it from me, as someone who – more than once – has ended up spending an entire week stuck in the house while the post-overly-vigorous-extraction scabs on her face healed up only to reveal more pimples.

      I’ve heard of people using raw honey for some of the skin plagues you listed to great effect, either as a face wash or as a face mask (or both). It’s very gentle, amazingly healing, and could help with some of the raw redness.

      Good luck!!

      • Diane

        I have dry skin and have had the best luck with avocado oil I do use coconut oil as a moisturizer and have no issues with it. In fact my skin gets very dry and tight if I don’t use it but coconut oil is not for everyone

    • Lydia

      This is some time after your post but I have personal experience with the Sebhorrheic Dermatitis. I did the Ketonazole Shampoo and though it works short term, there is always the need to get a ‘scrip to keep applying it. What worked for me personally was sea salt. For the face I mix it with warm water and for the scalp I applied it directly and let it sit for as long as I could stand. I do have to say that since I went shampoo-free, almost 4 months ago, I haven’t had a single problem on my scalp and only once looked like I was maybe going to get a breakout on my face, applied my saltwater and didn’t have a problem.
      With my acne, and I used to get some serious acne, only Livergy and Kidney-Klear from Innovita have ever worked for me in the span of the past 10 years(I’m 26). And they take care of ALL the acne!
      Hope this helped :)

  3. Carrie

    Hi, I’ve been trying to post this and can’t get it to work. Hopefully it doesn’t show up several times.

    I’ve been doing OCM for about a year. (Three mornings a week. Sunflower and castor mix.) It works ok, but I don’t feel like it is any better than when I was only splashing off with warm water as my washing routine. I still have clogged pores, dry skin, and occasionally get pimples. I also feel like my skin is more red and has red dots. I have a couple of areas I’d love input on!

    Morning vs Night
    It seems that most everyone does OCM at night before bed, but I haven’t really read a reason for this. Is it because people are removing makeup at night, or is there another reason? I don’t wear makeup, so I just splash off my face after I workout after work and reapply an oil as moisturizer.

    Dry vs Wet
    I’ve seen different instructions for OCM. Some say splash off your face with warm water first. Others say to do it directly on dry skin. I’ve tried both. For those who have had success, what do you do?

    After doing OCM or on other days when not doing OCM, do you wear other moisturizer, or should your skin be moisturized enough after OCM? (I use shea butter or sunflower oil. I don’t wear makeup.) I feel like I need the extra oil, but I worry about never really being able to get my face clean and wonder if that is contributing to clogged pores and red dots.

    What to do Other Times
    Seems like most people do OCM several times a week. What are people doing other mornings and nights that they aren’t doing OCM? I’ve just been splashing off with warm water and then reapplying an oil as moisturizer. I see in the comments that others use homemade toners with ACV, rose water, or witch hazel. What is the reason for this? Do you just splash it on and rinse it off?

    I’ve read that hemp oil is great for skin, but I only see a few comments from people who have tried it as a part of their OCM mixture. I’m currently using a castor oil sunflower oil mix, but am considering switching to castor oil and hemp. I replaced sunflower seed oil with hemp oil a couple of weeks ago as my daily moisturizer, and my skin has been really bad and pimply!!! Not sure what’s going on.

    I had never been much of an exfoliator, but thought it would help with the clogged pores on my nose and chin. I’ve been exfoliating my dry face with a dry washcloth and then doing OCM three times a week. Could the exfoliating be what is making my skin more red? Is exfoliating really necessary?

    Hoping i will get some responses. I don’t want to give up on OCM, but I don’t want to keep doing it if it’s not working or making things worse. Getting married in two months, so hopefully I can figure something out. Thanks!!

    • Erin

      I’ve been doing OCM for a while now and have noticed a change in my skin. It is much more clear and even across my skin tone. Marks go away a lot faster, it’s less flaky, and my pores look a bit smaller. I still get very small breakouts here and there, most around my mouth & chin, but not at all in the capacity I was getting before OCM.

      I use a mix of 25% castor and 75% sunflower oil. If you are having trouble with dry skin, I would suggest using less castor oil, slowly reducing it until you find the right balance. For example, if you’re using 1 part castor and 3 parts sunflower, start reducing with 1 part castor and 4 parts sunflower (20%castor/80%sunflower). If reducing does not help, then try switching the oils. There are lots of different combos. I can only speak to the castor/sunflower mix since that is what has worked for me.

      I also add tea tree oil in my mix to help with blemishes. It kills bacteria and fungus so it is good on fighting acne. It is pretty volatile if used in large quantities (drying and can burn) so I wouldn’t apply it directly to the skin. 3 drops per ounce (3 drops every 2 tbsp) of the oil mixture is plenty. There are other essential oils good for their various properties and benefits to your skin.

      Morning VS Night
      I do the OCM at night (every night) because I usually wear makeup and this really helps clean it all off. Even if you don’t wear makeup, it *could* be beneficial to do this at night because your face can collect some dirt/grime just from being out and about, from your clothes, touching your face, resting your head on your hands, lying your head down during the day, sweat, etc. I do it right before bed so all the oil and moisturizer I use has a chance to work undisturbed. In the mornings I don’t use OCM. Sometimes I’ll lightly wipe my face with a free & clear baby wipe or spray some rose water and then apply a moisturizer.

      Dry VS Wet
      I am not sure on the benefits of a wet or dry face before OCM. I personally choose to do a dry face because it the oil seems to spread around my face better and sink in.

      I do OCM every day, even if I’m not wearing makeup. I have read other instances where it said once you have balanced the OCM, you shouldn’t need moisturizer. In my opinion, it is all personal preference. I feel as though I need a moisturizer because my skin is somewhat dry naturally. I spray rose water (as a “toner”) on my face after OCM, and then use a free & clear moisturizer.

      From my research I’ve found there are traditional toners, astringents, and fresheners. Traditional consists of moisturizers, oils and extracts that soother your skin. Astringents are *generally* alcohol based which tightens the skin/pores and helps remove oil. Astringents can also be drying. Fresheners work similarly by tightening the skin, but aren’t as harsh as astringents and can contain caffeine or green tea in place of alcohol. Traditionally toners are to balance the pH of your skin after your cleanser has thrown off the natural pH of your skin. OCM is to balance the naturally occurring oils on your face which keeps the pH level balanced. So in theory, toners aren’t necessary if the OCM is working properly.

      I don’t have much knowledge on hemp oil. I think I have read that it can beneficial, but don’t know anything else about it. For some, it may be very beneficial. If you personally feel it is not helping your skin, then remove it from you skin care routine and see if that makes any difference. I have found OCM is very trial and error, as most skin care routines are.

      Too much exfoliating can irritate the skin. I used to use a Clarisonic Mia brush every day. I’ve found it was too much for my sensitive skin and have reduced it to once a week. It is *possible* you are exfoliating too much. If you have a feeling it’s the exfoliating that is causing the redness/irritation, I would reduce it to once or twice a week and see if that helps. Not every skin care tip is necessary for everyone. Exfoliating can be beneficial in keeping smooth, healthy looking skin. Plus, it can help your products do a better job because there is not dead skin/grime getting in the way.

      These suggestions and tips are things that I have tried or experienced. I’m not an expert so please don’t take this as the end all be all for advice. These are simply things that have worked for me and that I have gathered through my own personal research and experience. With that being said, I hope that I could help shed some light on your concerns!

      • Andie

        Erin, I’m curious as to how you use the Clarisonic Mia with the OCM. I’ve been using the Mia every evening with my previous skincare routine and I like it because I feel like it gently exfoliates and makes my skin softer/smoother.

        Now that I’ve switched skincare methods I wasn’t sure how it would fit into the OCM and I was kind of planning to retire it (a shame since it was a good chunk of money!). Do you use it with the oil once a week? Or on it’s own? I’d like to find a way to keep using it!


    • Melissa

      Erin’s reply is awesome, and she seems to have had a lot more OCM experience than I have, but one thing I’ll add is about the kind of washcloth you’re using. Personally, and I’ve heard this from other people too, I find regular washcloths to be really harsh and irritating on my skin, giving me patches of teeny flesh-colored “rough” bumps which sometimes turned into breakouts. I’ve had better luck with microfiber (just don’t rub hard). Regardless of what kind of washcloth you use, be sure to clean them VERY well.

      Shea butter is slightly comedogenic, too – some people swear by it, some people can’t use it (kinda like coconut oil that way). So that could be a possibility for your continued breakouts.

      My last thought is that maybe after you work out you need more than just a splash of water to remove the sweat/salt/toxins/etc., and applying oil to moisturize after that could be trapping some of the stuff in your pores. I’m a huge fan of raw honey as a face wash, so maybe you could try tossing a jar of it into your gym bag and then, after your workout, splash your face with water as you’ve been doing, dig out a fingerful of honey, rub it into your face, and rinse. That could help get rid of any “crud” that might be left on your skin.

      I’m far from an expert on this stuff, but these are just some possible ideas!

      • Diane

        For me I find the best time to oil cleanse is after a shower, I don’t base it on time of day since most days I don’t wear makeup. If your skin is very sensitive any amount of exfoliation can be too much, I don’t rub at all with the washcloth. Just make sure your water is hot and let the steam remove the oil

  4. Natasha

    I have acne on the lower part of my face and eczema on my cheeks nose and forehead. I’ve tried so many different things to help and it seems that whatever helps the acne makes the eczema worse and anything that helps the eczema makes the acne worse.
    So then I discovered OCM, and for a few weeks I’ve been trying it. It seemed at first that overnight my face went from bad to best I’ve seen in ages. And it stayed good for a week and then got worse again. Within a week both the acne and eczema have flared up and my face is pimply and scaly again.
    I realise that I may be in the adjusting phase, or it may be because I made the mistake of starting with coconut oil.
    I think maybe I should try other oils, but have no idea where to start with needing to deal with both acne and eczema.
    Does anyone have any experience of this themselves? I’d love to know if someone has found a combination that works for both!

    • Karen Bellard

      Regarding breaking out…I have had this problem all of my life. It is much better now that I am almost 50, but I can always count on breaking out when I try new products or regime. I was watching the Dr Oz show the other day and he stated that a lot of women have breakouts because of the oil, sweat and cleaning products absorbed by their pillowcases. Made sense to me. I change my sheets a couple of times a week, but in the future will change by pillowcases more often and honestly I can’t remember the last time I washed my pillow. Ugh :(

    • Diane

      Coconut oil does not work for a lot of people, try starting with something lighter like grapeseed oil and if you feel like you are still dry then try sunflower or avocado oil, and make sure your oils are always organic

      • Natasha

        Thank you so much for replying Diane.
        I’m pleased to report that while I was waiting for a reply I kept up with the Coconut oil, just to see if it was just my skin adjusting. And wow, after 2 more weeks my skin has gone really good! I’m hoping it will stay that way.
        But now, thanks to your reply, I have a backup plan. I will get some grapeseed oil today so that if my skin takes another dip I can go straight for your suggestion.
        Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

  5. Tim

    I have been using olive oil for two weeks now and the change is incredible!!! My skin is softer stronger and less red! I only use extra virgin olive oil but I use a flannel afterwards four times with warm water to make sure as much oil is off as possible!!! Seems to work for me!!! Every now and again leave your skin free to breathe!!!

  6. Karen Bellard

    Regarding breaking out…I have had this problem all of my life. It is much better now that I am almost 50, but I can always count on breaking out when I try new products or regime. I was watching the Dr Oz show the other day and he stated that a lot of women have breakouts because of the oil, sweat and cleaning products absorbed by their pillowcases. Made sense to me. I change my sheets a couple of times a week, but in the future will change by pillowcases more often and honestly I can’t remember the last time I washed my pillow. Ugh :(

  7. Kris

    I just went out and bought the “3 ingredient” facial cleansing from your aug 2012 post…I have been cleaning my face at night and putting the oil on when I go to bed….my skin feels great!! Now I read this blog and it says to wash off ???
    The bottle I made was 2/3 jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil and a few drops of lavender….I wanted the aging antidote …..can you tell me if this blog is a follow up on the other blog…..I have been letting the oil soak in at night….should I be washing it off with warm water now???

    • Amy

      If what you’re doing is working there’s probably no need for you to change what you’re doing. This method is for people still having problems with blocked pores, spots, acne etc. Definitely don’t use castor oil if you want anti-aging.

  8. Andrea

    To those of you who have acne and have tried numerous failed attempts at the oil cleansing method (with breakouts as a result), I highly suggest using hemp oil. I don’t use castor oil at all. Just 100% cold pressed, organic hemp oil. My skin looks better than it has in a long time!

    Also, side note: You don’t even need to do the standard wash-cloth-on-your-face-method. I just massage the oil for a few minutes, rinse with warm water (the oil won’t come off), and pat/wipe my skin dry with a clean wash cloth. More simple and saves time!

    • renee138

      And you’re finding this beneficial despite not washing the oil off? Do you find that it builds up at all?

  9. John

    Hello. I heard about the OCM method here and was so optimistic. Sadly it has not worked for me. From reading the other comments I am not alone, but sounds like a trial and error process.
    I started out with equal parts castor, sunflower, and hemp seed oils. with a few drops of tea tree oil. then moisturizing with Tamanu oil.
    From some of the other suggestions maybe I am using to may oils? Perhaps eliminating the castor or sunfower oils? Should I be using Tamanu as a strait moisturizer? or just add a little to my mix?

    • Diane

      Depends on what issues you are having, if you are too dry then you would need to pick either castor oil or tea tree and eliminate the other since both can be drying. You never want to just use a very cleansing oil so do not eliminate the sunflower oil but it you want to try something else you can replace it. You can add the tamantu oil to your mixture or if you feel that it is working as a mousturizer continue using it after as long as you are only using a little bit. I use oil as a moisturizer after I cleanse because my skin is extremely dry. Also if you are very dry you may want up eliminate both castor and tea tree oils and just add one or the other once a week or whenever you feel that you need a deeper cleaning

  10. Penny

    I have naturally thick and oily skin. I used to get such wicked cystic acne that was so painful that through the night, I would claw at my face no matter how short my nails were. I turned to the oil cleaning method (in the winter time) where I started off with higher amounts of castor oil and olive oil. It worked for maybe a month or so. I noticed fewer cystic acne breakouts, but after about a month, my skin started to get those dreaded white headed pimples.

    So I decided to try to alter the recipe. I started off about 50-50, then changed it to 30-70 and so on and so on playing around with the ratios. I did this for well over six months with no results. After about month four, my skin looked sallow and ill looking and I lost that glow that I always had.

    It was about this time I got into homemade soaping and have been increasing my knowledge about oils and what I like to call exotic oils (neem, tamanu, argan etc…)

    About a year after my change to the oil cleaning method, I decided to try unrefined avocado oil with some essential oils included (1oz unrefined avocado oil, 10drops sweet orange essential oil, 10 drops grapefruit essential oil, 5 drops cypress essential oil and 5 drops pine essential oil).

    Now remember, I have wicked oily and thick skin.

    But golly!!! My skin responded to this combination like there was no tomorrow!!!

    So I decided to try something else. I decided to stop the oil cleansing method altogether as I was finding my skin just needing an extra oomph. So I turned to sea salt and honey as my face wash. Even calendar days I use a spoonful of salt to wash my face while in the shower (wash hair, pin hair up, spoon of slat gently rubbed into the face and leave on while washing/shaving the rest of me, rinse off, pat dry apply toner and oils). And odd days apply honey the same routine as when I apply salt.

    My toner became a vitamin C+ various tea (rose, green, white, peach, lemon whatever tea I am drinking when I make it even coffee) in the evening, and an apple cider vinegar+witch hazel+various essential oils (lemon, grapefruit, clove)+bee pollen+ salt+ magnesium flakes concoction in the morning.

    And my oils became a strange blend of funness!

    In a 30mL dropper bottle I add a little of this, and a little of that to make a super concentrated bottle; (most to least)
    seabuckthorn oil
    rose hip
    pom seed oil
    tamanu oil
    black cumin seed oil
    vitamin e
    With my essential oils being: lemon, sweet orange, cypress, clove, and a couple others.

    I have three other dropper bottles in my baathroom for carrier oils; 1) moringa, 2) argan and 3) unrefined avocado oil. I take three drops of any carrier oil, and one to two drops of the super concentrated and massage into my face. Some nights, I just use the super concentrated oil without the carrier oil.

    Within three days of starting the above, all the scabs I had on my face from clawing through the night were almost healed. My face was glowing. It has now been over a month since I started this, and I have seen a radical difference in my skin. As has everyone who has not seen me in a while. My skin tone has evened out, any scars I had on my face have been significantly reduced, my sun spots are fading, and my skin just feels nicer to live in.

  11. Grace

    I love the oil cleansing method! ive been using the OCM for years on and off. I do get lazy at times and decide to use conventional cleansers, but whenever my face starts to break out or becomes irritated i come right back to it. I actually incorporate my clarisonic! I first use just grapeseed on my face to remove all of my makeup, then wipe it of using a cottonball. then i apply a mixture of half castor half grapeseed and massage it into my face. I then use my clarisonic all over my face to really help massage the oil into my skin. then i get the warm washcloth and remove all of the excess oil. I sometimes leave the oil on my skin for a good ten minutes (It really depends on how patient i am that day) I love this way of cleansing…. My skin is not only clear from pimples but my skin looks instantly tighter, and I look so much younger.

  12. Meg

    Is it OK to do the ocm twice a day? I realize it’s probably too harsh on my skin, however I have work during the day (makeup worn) and school at night. This means the only time I can go to the gym is during my lunch break. I use the ocm take off all the sweaty makeup after my workout and then reapply makeup to finish out my day. What should I be using to take my makeup off at night then? Anyone else have this problem? Also, I am currently using hemp seed oil and tamanu oil with a few drops of tea tree oil. If anyone else is using these oils, what ratios have worked well for you? I have struggled with acne for YEARS and have very sensitive, dry skin. Any help would be so appreciated!

    • Amy

      Just use a different makeup remover instead of OCM. I make one which is just water, and tea tree oil, and it removes makeup without really doing much else to your skin (use less tea tree oil if your skin is dry, or a different essential oil altogether). That way you can save OCM for before you sleep, or whichever time suits you.

  13. Stephanie

    Should i store my OCM blend in fridge. Or my oils.of neem and.jojoba? Thanks!!

  14. MayaW

    I started using the OCM with just jojoba oil, and after cleansing I do a spot treatment with neem oil, and although it will take time for my acne to clear, I can feel the difference in my skin!

    Also, when I am super lazy, I put on jojoba and wait, then walk into the shower and do the OCM there, I find it works well in making my skin softer to say the very least.

  15. Michelle


    I’m just starting the OCM process this week. I’m not sure if I will have time to do this twice a day so I also bought a bottle of Burt’s Bee’s Radiance cleanser. I figured that I could use that in the morning and OCM at night since Burt’s Bee’s is supposed to be natural. I am just switching off of Proactiv so I assume that there will be a big adjustment!

    Any thoughts on using Burt’s Bees in the morning and OCM at night? Or will that delete any good results of the oils?


  16. Linda

    Use your washcloths only once!! After that bacteria starts to grow and will definetly cause acne. Plus you are spreading the acne bacteria you are cleansing off your face. This is a must if acne is a problem for you. Start there, it may not be your oil mix.

  17. Hope you can help me out with the following Julie ! My husband and I have been using the OCM for some time with great results (him with a very oily skin uses it about twice to three times a week, me every day with my combination skin). I have 2 sons one well into puberty (with acne, hormones and all) and another on his way to it. For my son with acne I just cannot find the right combination, he breaks out every few days and cannot stop scratching and popping them on his forehead(ieuw) and he says that it also feels dry a lot too. I have tried the combination for oily and now for normal but I’m not sure what to do … I use almond oil combined with castor and a few drops of tea tree oil in it to help inflamation. Hope you can help ! grts, D@nielle

    • Mandi

      D@nielle: I have had adult acne and 2 teenage boys with acne. 1-2 times a weeks mix baking soda with warm water into a paste. This will stop the oozing of the pimples. Spread over face and leave on until it dries. Use plenty of warm water and a cloth to remove mask. splash face with cold water to close pores. Then use one of the oils for moisturizing as baking soda dries up the pimples. Grapeseed oil is the most neutral and works very well. dryness causes itching. In the meantime, just keep fingers away from face and don’t use too many different products for cleaning. Hope it works. google search natural acne treatments

  18. Amy

    I have extremely sensitive skin that is prone to breakouts and oily on my t-zone and dry on my cheeks and around my mouth and nose. My skin is very fussy and the only cleanser I have found to not make it mad is SpectroJel.

    Two weeks ago I decided to try oil cleansing because I am trying to cut out some of the chemicals I put on my face.

    Week 1 I used a 1:3 mixture of castor oil and jojoba oil
    Week 2 I used jojoba oil on its own

    I have developed a slight rash on my face (little red bumps). I’m thinking it is probably the jojoba oil so I am going to switch to using grapeseed oil this week.

    I’ll comment again to let you all know how that goes! :)

  19. Lil B

    I started OCM about 5 days ago, after recommendation from 2 friends. It is very nice and I look forward to seeing how it goes long-term. I use it 1x/day in the evenings in the shower, and in the morning was my face with pure honey. I’ve always had acne, now at age 24 and on the pill it is better but I still get flare ups (specifically around my menstrual cycle). Anywho, I was curious to see if anybody else is uncomfortable inhaling the oils in their blend w/ the towel over your face. Although I don’t feel any adverse affects thus far, I worry about whether it is safe to be inhaling something as strong/astringent as tea tree oil (I use a very small amount – like 1 drop of tea tree to 5 tablespoons of carrier/castor blend). I don’t see very much information about adverse affects of inhaling tea tree oil, other than if the oil is impure/mixed with other harmful substances. Maybe I’m just claustrophobic, but I’ve been doing the top half of my face and then the bottom half so I can breath during the process. LoL. Any thoughts?

  20. Jenn

    Thank you so much Crunchy Betty for the wonderful advice!

    OCM – 3 weeks In

    My skin care regimen:
    skin type: oily with blemishes, blackheads and white heads

    50% jojoba/50% castor
    add: tea tree oil
    Microfiber wash cloths. I bought a set of 12 and I only use them once before washing

    Night Moisturizer/Treatment: tea tree oil and tamanu oil

    I did have a few zits after starting, although I expected this because I could feel them under the surface of my skin prior to starting. I now have zero white heads. I no longer get oily during the day. I can finally after 33 years say that my skin is balanced. I realized all the products I was using previously were overstimulating my skin and causing breakouts. I just wish the old acne scars would fade.

  21. Nadja

    I’ve been trying the OCM for 2 weeks now and my skin is drying a lot! I do it every night.
    I have combination skin, and am using about 20% of castor oil, 80% of sunflower oil and few drops of argan oil in the mixture. After rinsing my face with cold water (someone said it close the pores) I still need to add few drops of argan oil on my face at night and in the mornings.

    At first I was steeming my face with warm water but read somewhere the water needs to be hot. I just came across a website and it said the water can’t be hot otherwise it will dry the skin. So what is it then? warm, hot or hot hot?
    There were only 2 days where I could feel improvement but then things went downhill.
    Since I spent quite of bit on these oils I want to make them work instead of switching!!
    Any tips will be appreciated!

    • Amy

      The post says that if you are experiencing dry skin, either reduce the amount of castor oil, do OCM less often or reduce the temperature of your water. If I was you I would use the same oil combination but try doing it every other day with water that is bath-warm.

  22. Sonya B

    Thank you! I’ve been toying around this idea for a year and I am so happy I took the plunge! I have normal to oily skin in the summer, and my face is a little sun damaged, bigger pores and a little aging now that I’m almost heading into my 30′s (and had some nasty habits in my younger partying years), so I’m doing the 2/3 castor oil, avocado oil and apricot kernel oil with rose hip seed oil. I also use vitamin e under my eyes. First time and I could see the difference immediately. I will NEVER EVER go back to chemical laden and pricy skin care lines and systems. I’ve shared this page to about 3 other girls so far. Thank you again!!! Xoxo

  23. Cathy

    Wow, I must’ve been real lucky. The first time I tried the OCM, I didn’t know what I was doing. I used pure grapeseed oil and I didn’t properly rinse off the oil. This time, I blended a 20% castor oil and 80% grapeseed oil mix and it worked pretty perfectly. I just massaged my dry face with the oil and then I heated up my washcloth by running it under the shower head and when it was warm, I wiped the oil off, rinsed the towel, wiped my face again, rinsed the towel multiple times until my skin felt like it had no more residue. After I showered the rest of me, most of my itty bitty whiteheads and blackheads were gone. I’m trying a 25% castor oil blend this time to see if I can get a slightly less oily finish. Though, my homemade alcohol-free tea tree oil toner is working great with the OCM.

  24. Jess

    Hi. I just wanted to share my experience with the oil cleansing method. I started the OCM in Jan. 2014, hoping to control the occasional breakout. I read every single review, website, ect and was completely convinced this would work for me. I also bought Liz Wolfe’s guide Skintervention, and felt completely educated and equipped for this transformation to natural skin care. I tried the OCM for about 2 months, making suggested adjustments during this time, and to make a long, painful, story short, it was the worst experience I have ever had, as far as skin care goes. It is now 6 months later and I’m on antibiotics, gone to the derm numerous times for extractions and cortisone shots, and just now is my skin getting under control. Please, please, be very careful trying this method. I felt almost brainwashed by all of the reviews and success stories, but remember this DOES NOT WORK FOR EVERYONE. I had the worst breakouts of my life during and AFTER this. I am all about all natural, but this is a very “different” type of skin care that just does not work for everyone.

  25. Sidra

    I am fairly new to the oil cleansing method. I just started using it three weeks ago, and my skin has been improving so much!! I have less redness, less blackheads, and less acne! I could actually see my pimples getting smaller! I used the oil I already had at home, which was almond oil, that I used for my hair. I was planning on getting coconut oil after it finishes, but after reading this I’m reconsidering that!

  26. 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 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.

  27. Zhanna

    I cannot get the washcloths clean! I’ve been doing OCM for about 6 weeks now. So far, so good. But my washcloths are smelling like rancid oil. Any tips to get the oil out of my washcloths?

  28. Tess

    I have tried many cleaners in my life time and the method that
    Works amazing for me is the OCM and then I follow with a quick suds up of
    Face soap, on a day I may feel more oily than usual.
    I found a simple natural and all vegan brand at wholefoods,by forest nymphs
    Bath and body company. It works great for me. Another good one is by Loreal, but not
    As natural.

  29. Andie

    I’ve recently decided to try the OCM for a second time after a failed attempt about two years ago (which failed I think partly because I was incredibly fed up with my skin and trying way too many things, and also because I was using EVOO). I know a lot of it is trial and error, and each person’s skin will react differently, but I wanted to get some advice/suggestions, particularly on using tamanu oil.

    I have castor oil and sunflower oil for my main blend, and I wanted to either add in the tamanu oil to that or use it separately as a moisturizer.

    I have combination skin, so at times it can be really oily and at other times incredibly dry. Super annoying. I’ve been using a prescription acne medication (after washing with Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash – which I actually think dries my skin out quite a bit), and while I feel like it’s been keeping the acne mostly under control, I really don’t like using something so strong on my face. It leaves a white reside on my skin, pulls it tight and can be slightly uncomfortable, and it bleaches out pillowcases and clothes (I’m also pretty sure the random highlights in my hair are because of it, haha). I also wake up with my face feeling pretty dry and flaky in areas.

    I used the OCM combo for the first time last night (I just mixed it in my palm, did about half and half castor and sunflower oil and then added a little bit of the tamanu) and my face felt a little oily when I woke up this morning (maybe I should do more castor oil and less sunflower?). I can feel several pimples coming in, but this was from before last night. According to my old routine I would normally start applying more frequent and heavier layers of my prescription on those emerging pimples, but I’m not sure how to approach it with the OCM. Do I spot treat with the tamanu? Do I need to just accept that it’s going to happen? I know there’s an adjustment period to using the OCM, but once it’s established is there any kind of damage control you can do if you feel yourself starting to break out?

    And regarding the tamanu, if I mix up a slightly larger bottle of the castor/sunflower mix, how much tamanu should I add? Should it be a third of the mixture? (I’m hoping not since it’s more expensive.) Or I should I use it as a moisturizer after? I feel weird about leaving oil on my face without washing it off, but I know some people have said that works for them.

    I also have a bottle of tea tree oil, should I add a few drops of that? How many different ingredients are too many? I don’t want to freak my skin out anymore than necessary.

    Any help or suggestions would be so appreciated! I really want this method to work for me because I remember when I used it 2 years ago my skin felt SO soft and wonderful, other than all the pimples. And I much prefer the idea of cleaning with something gentle and natural.

    Thank you!!

  30. Patty

    Has anyone washed there whole body with oil cleansing?

  31. Patty

    Has anyone used the oil cleansing method on their whole body? And what about using baby wipes instead of a wash cloth??

  32. I use jojoba oil with tea tree oil every evening. I don’t wash it off with a washcloth. I either jump in the shower and rinse it off or splash water on my face over the sink until it feels like I’ve rinsed off the excess oil. My face is not *nearly* as oily as it was a couple months ago when I started and it’s not nearly as red either!

  33. Sally

    I use a combination of castor oil and jojoba oil and add essential oils. I think I have just lavendar and tea tree in the mix I’m using now. If you’re breaking out, adding tea tree oil should help.

    Also, I’ve been using coconut oil as a moisturizer for my body and face for months and haven’t had a problem. Until reading this post I hadn’t read or heard that it could clog pores.

  34. Talia

    Hi, I have VERY sensitive skin and most soap gives me a bad rash and itchy/burning skin all day. I was wondering if you could use the oil cleansing method on your entire body, not just your face. It seems like a perfect idea but Ive never seen a thread on it and was wondering if it was safe.

  35. MicrobKid

    Hi! I’ve started OCM 15 days ago (I keep a journal to keep track of my skin’s progress), and at first I used 1/3 castor + 1/3 jojoba + 1/3 safflower.

    My skin was dewy and looked fresh for the first few days. Then last Saturday on Day 12 I got rash-like bumps all over my skin (they don’t have puss or anything, just small bumps). That freaked me out, so I changed my blend to 1/5 castor and 4/5 jojoba (omitting the safflower because I thought the jojoba should be “good” to my skin). I also used baking soda for exfoliation on Day 13 just because my skin texture felt rough (don’t plan on doing it more than once a week).

    Now it’s Day 15 and I’m starting to see small pimple-like, red bumps appearing on my cheeks (areas that usually don’t have pimples and are usually clear).

    I tend to have more pimples/hyperpigmentation on my forehead and chin (hormonal acne).

    So… Maybe I’ll wait until the end of the week with the castor + jojoba oil blend?

    If not, I’m planning on using 1/5 castor + 4/5 safflower, since safflower oil should be a 0…

    Still troubleshooting my OCM. I really hope this will work.

  36. Anna D

    You say to take out the coconut or olive oil, but you don’t say what to replace it with. Any help please? There are a lot of comments with not enough time to go through them all :/

  37. Alex

    I’m not trolling, I swear.
    After reading your post I very eagerly want to try OCM. I was very happy to see that you suggested brands to use. Even happier was I when you provided a link to Mountain Rose Herbs, which you mention is what you use.
    I went on their site in search of castor oil and noticed that theirs says it’s “Expeller Pressed/Refined”…is their refined version okay to use?

    Please help. Thank you in advance.

  38. Lulabelle

    I tried the oil cleansing method twice. Once with spectacularly bad results and once with mixed results. I have what I call ‘low burning’ acne. It doesn’t really burst up into a large pimple, it’s more like every pore is slightly infected. It makes my face look generally red and unhealthy. I read an article about oleic vs. linoleic acid on the face. Basically it said that oleic acid causes blocked pores and pimples and people who have skin problems naturally have skin high in oleic acid. Linoleic acid, however, cleanses acne-prone skin. It gave a huge list of oils high in linoleic acid, and another which was more like half-and-half linoleic and oleic. I chose one for cleansing (borage)and one for moisturizing (oil of evening primrose. I’m 35 and my skin is better than it’s been since I was 12. I think for people with really bad skin, you don’t need castor at all, and you should look for something very ligh in linoleic acid. Even the sunflower oil you list is actually more balanced between the two- not high in linoleic. I really think I’ve found what works for me. Wish I’d known about this 20 years earlier.

  39. Ailin

    PLEASE HELP!!! I don’t want to give up ….

    I stared using the ocm about a month ago I was in love i had no need to wear foundation at all! I couldn’t believe it best first week ever and others complimented me as my skin looked radiant!…well after the second week I started breaking out (I have dry skin and only get one underground painful zit when it’s that time of the month) needless to say my skin looks awful as I’m trying this I have a major underground zit middle of forehead and one right below my cheek bone with three small red tiny breakouts around it I can’t believe it. Why did it go from 10 radiant skin to weird looking and breaking out skin? I’ve been using castor oil / jojoba oil / avocado oil mix ….any thoughts?

  40. Ailin

    PLEASE HELP!!! I don’t want to give up ….I stared using the ocm about a month ago I was in love i had no need to wear foundation at all! I couldn’t believe it best first week ever and others complimented me as my skin looked radiant!…well after the second week I started breaking out (I have dry skin and only get one underground painful zit when it’s that time of the month) needless to say my skin looks awful as I’m trying this I have a major underground zit middle of forehead and one right below my cheek bone with three small red tiny breakouts around it I can’t believe it. Why did it go from 10 radiant skin to weird looking and breaking out skin? I’ve been using castor oil / jojoba oil / avocado oil mix ….any thoughts? I use reg towels.

    Skin type: dry skin/fair with freckles/lines around eyes and forehand/29 years old.

  41. maina

    Hey, I’ve tried the OCM for 25 days now, and my skin is getting worse than it was before.

    I have bumps all over my forehead, side of nose, and chin, the texture is frankly disgusting.

    I’ve been using 1/5 castor + 4/5 safflower, and I’ve been doing it every other day, using 2 wash cloths to wipe my face every time I do it. I’m thinking about stopping the OCM and just let my skin rest (and hopefully these awful bumps will “fade” away. I’m not sure if that’s even possible).

    Maybe I’ll just do the OCM once per week or something, once my skin has rested.

  42. I use clarisonic brush for deep pore cleansing and for my oily skin.

  43. Bec

    Does anyone know how to moisturise with the oil cleansing method? I have read a lot on cleansing and not a lot on moisturising.

    I use almost no castor to most sweet almond oil to cleanse, and that seems to work- any more sweet almond will cause pimples…however I moisturise with coconut oil at night and a than during the day before putting on makeup and have such dry skin, I can’t seem to keep it moisturised! I’ve tried aloe juice abs gel but they don’t seem to solve the dryness problem.

    I have also tried jojoba to no avail. Has anyone else had this problem?

  44. kate

    It seems there is a lot of acne out there. Really, you guys, this condition is caused by DIET….too much cooked food will not be that great for the skin either. Focus more on fresh food, and your skin will glow, and all those pimps will disappear. And how come there is no mention of doing this OCM with hemp oil??? It’s the best, as it does
    not clog pores. Visit the Practicalbohemianbeauty website, she has some great tips…and she tells you exACTly how to do it with hemp oil….

  45. marti

    I’ve been using the OCM for three weeks now. While I have noticed some real improvements I have also began to break out in an area that was once clear. I have since lowered my castor oil dosage and raised the sunflower oil dose. After a small break in cleansing (4 days)I have started a new system where I cleanse every other day. I guess my question is how long should the adjustment period take? Should I try a different oil to end the new breakouts? HELP!!!

  46. B

    I’m in the same situation. I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve read that if after a few weeks you’re still reacting badly then maybe try a different oil. I also started on sunflower and it was horrible for me, and since I’ve read a lot of things saying sunflower probably isn’t the best. Try lowering the castor way down to no more than 15% of your mix, and I’ve read great things about hemp seed oil. That’s what I’m going to try next, as well as jojoba. People also say not to do the full steaming deep cleanse more than a couple times a week. Less is more. Good luck!

  47. Sarah

    Hi I used sunflower oil at first too and it made my skin horrible. I switched to jojoba and castor oil at about a 10:1 ratio (I have pretty dry skin and didn’t want the castor oil drying me out) and it made a huge difference. Took a few weeks for my skin to start clearing up once I switched but it’s been great since then so about a year now I guess! Hope this helps :)

  48. Melissa

    Here’s the answer you don’t want to hear: everyone’s “adjustment period” is different. Some people have no purging period and adjust right away (those tend to be the Evil Mutants Who Have Had Perfect Skin Their Whole Lives, and we don’t like to talk about them). I’m 6 weeks into OCM, and while I don’t think I really had a “purging” period, I’m only just NOW starting to see a gradual improvement in my acne compared to what it was before I started OCM.

    That said, if you’ve been using your blend for a few weeks and your skin is looking “irritated” in addition to still having pimples, you might want to try a different oil. It could be that your skin doesn’t like castor oil, at all – from what I’ve read, it can cause breakouts and irritation in some people. It PROBABLY isn’t the sunflower oil making you break out, since it’s considered completely non-comedogenic, but everyone’s different, so it might be. Add or remove oils from your regimen one at a time so you can figure out what’s causing issues, and give it a week (I know, it’s hard) to notice any effects before changing something else.

    If you’re breaking out in an area that was once clear, well, don’t have an answer, because I’m in the same boat. The only possible explanation I can offer is that, since you’ve been doing OCM for 3 weeks, it could be hormone-related. Sorry, wish I could give you a better hypothesis than blaming it on your period… :-/

  49. maina

    Hey, I’ve been having the same problem. So I just want to ask if you’re still doing the OCM for your skin? I’ve lowered my castor oil amount, and increased the safflower oil. I’ve also started doing the OCM every other day.

  50. Ali

    Your 10:1 ratio is 10(jojoba) and 1(castor oil)?

  51. Diane

    The period theory could be right, most of us tend to break out more here and there, tea tree oil helps without drying my skin out, I found the castor oil to be way too drying for me no matter how little I used so I just use avocado oil and occasionally add a few drops of tea tree oil when I feel I need something more. I also use grapeseed oil instead of avocado when I am not as dry


  1. [...] step and the thing that has made the most difference however, has been the oil cleansing method (OCM).  Yes, I SLATHER MY FACE IN OIL DAILY.  Like many aspects of natural health, the [...]

  2. [...] acne or dryness. I had both, and both are enormously improved. You can read about OCM here and here; read the comments on the blog as well for other suggestions. I do advise reading up on this before [...]

  3. [...] Crunchy Betty: Troubleshooting with the oil cleansing method [...]

  4. […] I stumbled across this post while looking at info for tweaking my oil blend. Crunchy Betty is a favorite of mine for OCM info, and I found this article extra interesting. More on OCM by Crunchy Betty […]

  5. […] Reevaluate my process of the OCM (oil cleansing method) courtesy of Crunchy Betty […]

  6. […] her blend, and she sang the praises of grapeseed oil. So I did some nosing around and came upon this article over at Crunchy Betty – where I first learned about this method to begin with – which sealed the deal. I cut […]

  7. […] also suggestions about cleaning your skin with honey, which was lovely when I tried it, or with food-grade oils, which I also found to be easy and effective when I gave it a go. And it works for babies […]

  8. […] are a couple extra articles for troubleshooting and more detail: Oil Cleansing from Wellness Mama, OCM Trouble Shooting from Crunchy Betty, and Mommypotamus’ followup […]

  9. […] in the evenings, and the result so far wasn’t great. But I’ve just found out why on Crunchy Betty’s blog: Olive […]

  10. […] but sometimes they do. I’ve been co-washing my hair for nearly two years. I’ve been washing my face with oil (most of the time) for about a year. Both of those things sounded like, well, total bullshit to me […]

  11. […] a year ago, I tossed my store-bought facial cleansers and switched to the oil-cleansing method. (I use castor oil, grapeseed oil, and a couple of drops of tea tree oil in mine.) I still get acne […]

  12. […] be the only person who would rather get what they asked for instead of a surprise.  Anyway, Crunchy Betty has plenty of ideas and instructions on the OCM.  She is the reason I use oil to cleanse my […]

  13. […] So here’s the deal: breakouts on the chin area are leaving (YAY!). My forehead, not so great. The breakouts are coming again in the same area that I was dealing with when I broke up with the BC. Fortunately, it’s not any worse…yet. I’ve read that sometimes when your skin reacts to an oil with breakouts it’s because you may have an allergy to the oil itself. My brother has a severe nut allergy and my mother was allergic to the almond oil. It has me wondering if choosing sweet almond oil as my starter oil was a great idea. I’ve ordered some Sunflower oil and Tamanu oil to test run. I read about Tamanu oil from an article on Crunchy Betty. You can read it here. […]

  14. […] mau tahu lebih banyak tentang minyak untuk metode pembersihan wajah ini bisa lihat disini dan silahkan coba mana minyak yang cocok untuk kondisi kulit […]

  15. […] less than your fancy 5-step regime and is so easy to make!  Click here to learn about the method, then click here to fine-tune it.  If you want to experiment with more DIY cleaners, check out this […]

  16. […] Instead, I recommend finding an oil or mixture of oils (below) that works for your skin and is easy enough for you to obtain.  Here are generally the oils that are used for different skin types (from the Crunchy Betty blog): […]

  17. […] few months ago, I tried the oil cleansing method. I mixed up some therapeutic grade grapeseed and castor oils, put a few drops of lavender and tea […]

  18. […] quite a bit of research on what types of oils to use for different skins types and this site from Crunchy Betty  and The Oil Cleansing Method were the most […]

  19. […] Crunchy Betty (awesome tipps and […]

  20. […] Crunchy Betty: Troubleshooting the Oil Cleansing Method (with new tips and information correcting the original post) […]

  21. […] The theory behind using oil to cleanse the skin goes back to high school science class 101. Oil and water don’t mix. On the other hand oils and oils do. So, by massaging a cleansing oil into your skin, it effectively dissolves the unwanted pore clogging oils in your skin and when the cleanser is wiped away your skin is left clean and fresh and moisturised too. Here is some info about the oil cleansing method. Another good explanation can be found here. […]

  22. […] of cleansers, since they’re on your skin for such a short period of time, so I either use the oil-cleansing method for cleaning my face or this African black […]

  23. […] started out with the oil cleansing method. My main sources on this can be found here, and here. Per the info I found, I started out using equal parts of castor, avocado and jojoba oil. I was […]

  24. […] If having issues with oil, look at this article to help you find different ones […]

  25. […] the oil cleansing method. I decided it give it another go. I bought grapeseed oil after reading this post. Crunchy Betty has a wealth of info on natural […]

  26. […] The side effects vary. For some, they say it clogs their faces like nobody’s business and makes them even worse and it takes months to clear out the clogged pores. But there are those […]

leave a crunchy comment ...