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The Oil Cleansing Method: A How-To Guide for Clear, Radiant Skin

on November 12 | in DIY Beauty, Natural Remedies | by | with 353 Comments

The Oil Cleansing Method: A How-To Guide for Clear, Radiant Skin

A Note From Mommypotamus: Today’s guest post comes from Jennifer Nervo of 20 Something Allergies And Counting . . . Down. Thank you, Jennifer!

The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) is the most ah-mazing way to clean your face. It rocks my sensitive, acne-prone, dry, flaky, and yet somehow oily face’s world. Does that sound a wee bit insane? It’s probably up there with slathering your skin in beef fat…wait, I do that too thanks to Mommypotamus.

Like animal fat emollients for the skin, oil cleansing is another remedy dredged up by some free-spirited souls looking for a more natural method of cleansing their bodies.

Bless their crunchy little hearts.

The Key to Great Skin

The #1 key to better skin is diet. A nutrient-rich diet that focuses on whole foods and steers clear of processed and chemical-rich foods can heal most cases of the skin crazies. Add in the oil cleansing method, and you have a recipe for near perfect skin.

That said, many of us will sneak a slice of pizza even if it causes us to blow up like a Macy’s Parade blimp and break out like a hormonal teenager. Or is that just me?

How I Cleaned Up My Act

This is what I used to look like.

The Oil Cleansing Method_Before Pic 1

The Oil Cleansing Method_Before Pic 2

The Oil Cleansing Method_Before Pic 3

Oh Myyyyyy

We are about 1 1/2 years into a healing protocol, and I can safely go out without makeup or covering my face whenever possible. We are also well on our way to healing all of our food allergies, hubby’s gluten intolerance and diabetes, and my 4 year old daughter’s severe tooth decay.

The protocol is a hybrid of concepts from the GAPS Diet, The Primal Blueprint, Traditional Chinese Medicine, a tooth healing protocol, and food rotation in case you’re wondering what is working for us. I talk more about it on my site.

My skin cleared up just a few months into the diet changes, and acne was a thing of the past as long as I stuck to the protocol. I also lost 45 lbs and was feeling pretty good.

Then I noticed my skin was getting dry, and a little wrinkly, and kinda saggy. ACK!

Thank You Natural Remedies

Enter the oil cleansing method. I think many of us who try oil cleansing for the first time are either of the crunchy adventurous variety or desperate for a skin fix. Or both.

[Heather's note: Though it sounds counter-intuitive, certain blends of oil are great for acne because they help break down grime on our skin without stripping it. This prevents the skin from overreacting and producing more oil. It's also thought that the avoidance of harsh drying soaps can prevent premature aging]

So move over special cleansers, makeup removers, overnight moisturizers, toners, and night lotions. Oil cleansing covers it all. I certainly don’t need more things to spend my money on or that clutter up my cabinets.

The Oil Cleansing Method

The Method

  1. Get your oil mixture, washcloth, and a hand towel.
  2. Wet face with warm water.
  3. Pour about 1/2 teaspoon of oil (quarter size amount) into your palm and rub hands together.
  4. Rub fingers gently over your face in small circles for 30 seconds to 2 minutes to allow the oil to penetrate. Concentrate on areas with blocked pores.
  5. Wet hand towel with just below scalding water, wring out, and fold up to keep the heat in.
  6. Quickly wet the washcloth with super-hot-but-doesn’t-burn-your-face-off water, wring it out, and spread it over your face.
  7. Cover the washcloth with the towel to seal in the steam and to keep the washcloth from cooling right away. This is key.
  8. Leave on until the towel and washcloth have cooled to about room temperature and then wipe your face with the washcloth.
  9. Repeat 1-2 more times, but use the clean towel to wipe your face the second and optional third time.
  10. Voila! You have oil cleansed. There should be a thin layer of oil still on your skin to balance and protect.
  11. If skin feels tight after, it is recommended to rub a small amount of the cleansing oil in. I prefer to use a food-grade skin balm or hydrating oil.

Formulas & Recipes

These formulas and recipes are meant as a guide. You will most likely need to make a few adjustments until you reach your recipe sweet spot.

If your mix is too drying, add extra hydrating/conditioning oils. Likewise, if it’s too greasy or causing you to break out long-term, then add more astringent oils and therapeutic-grade essential oils like tea tree or rosemary. Play with it until you are your most beautimous self!

_______________________________________________

Oily Skin

1:3 Ratio (1 part astringent oil to 3 parts conditioning oil)

Combination Skin

1:4 Ratio (1 part astringent oil to 4 parts conditioning oil)

Dry Skin

1:10 (1 part astringent oil to 10 parts conditioning oil)

_______________________________________________

The ‘Standard’

1:3 – 1:10 Ratio of Castor Oil* to Olive Oil

A Sweet Treat (combination skin)

1 part Hazelnut Oil : 1 part Sweet Almond Oil : 2 parts Avocado Oil

No More Pizza Face (acne-prone skin)

1 part Borage Seed Oil : 2 parts Grapeseed Oil : 1 part Hazelnut Oil : 1 part Hemp Seed Oil

  • experiment with adding therapeutic-grade essential oils – rosemary, tea tree, lavender, geranium are some good choices

Some Beneficial Oils for Oil Cleansing

Almond Oil (sweet)

  • softens, soothes and reconditions

Avocado Oil

  • rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs) and Vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E
  • good for those with psoriasis, eczema

Borage Seed Oi

  • reduces inflammation and calms skin
  • promotes blood flow
  • good for eczema, acne, rosacea

Grapeseed Oil

  • well absorbed
  • non-allergenic so good for skin sensitivites

Hazelnut Oil

  • astringent
  • good for oily skin

Hemp Seed Oil

  • nutrition for your skin – antioxident, protein, mineral-rich
  • contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, and E
  • high amounts of chlorophyll
  • good for eczema, psoriasis, acne, and dry skin

*A Note on Castor Oil

Castor oil is in just about every tutorial for the oil cleansing method out there. I have been using it too but am happy to say that it is too harsh on my sensitive skin no matter the ratio. Why happy?

Castor oil is highly toxic.

Thanks to our dear friend Mommypotamus, I looked further into this little seed and found out that safe harvesting practices are pretty non-existent…as in I haven’t found a sustainable one yet.

There are a plethora of health benefits associated with it, but I can’t promote using it when its main toxin, ricin, causes severe allergic reactions and permanent nerve damage to many of the workers who harvest the seeds to make it. Bad business Big Ag.

Ricin is removed during processing, so the oil we use is deemed safe. There’s no need to run around chucking your supply into the trash. I would however consider looking to other sources when replacing it.

Are you game to try the oil cleansing method? It may just rock your world too. If you have questions, here’s a troubleshooting post that may help.

diy-beauty-ebook-coverWant more organic beauty tips and recipes?

Check out Mommypotamus’ latest e-book: DIY Organic Beauty Recipes. 

In this 198 page guide, you’ll learn how ridiculously easy it is to make your own shampoo, conditioner, lotion, tooth whitener, body balm, soap, baby products and more.

About Jennifer: Jennifer Nervo is a blogger, homeschooling mama, research fanatic, and has been fondly dubbed ‘the witch doctor’ by her hubby though she prefers the title voodoo practitioner. It sounds so much more professional. On a typical day, you can find her brewing up potions, lotions, and concoctions while learning to practice sustainability with her 4 year old daughter and very tolerant husband. She loves the ancient practices that comes with traditional foods and medicines but is also very fond of her modern conveniences.

Jennifer blogs over at 20 something allergies and counting…down about a range of topics mainly focused on healing food allergies and other chronic illnesses, eating an allergen- and grain-free diet, and teaching about rotation diets for optimal healing. Find out the varied life topics that make their way onto the blog here.

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353 Responses to The Oil Cleansing Method: A How-To Guide for Clear, Radiant Skin

  1. Molly says:

    Could you give me an example of an astringent oil?

  2. angie says:

    This probably the best post on the ocm that I have read and I especially love the before and after photos. The only thing I would add is a note in olive oil and how it is hard to be sure you have a real, quality evoo which is going to dramatically affect ones results.

    • Thank you so much Angie! I love that you mentioned the quality of the oils. You are definitely correct in that it’s important to source pure, organic, and preferably biodynamic whenever possible (Mommypotamus has great sources on her resources page). I’m a purist myself, especially during healing, and like to know exactly where the oils are produced and their farming methods.

  3. [...] more here: The Oil Cleansing Method: A How-To Guide for Clear, Radiant Skin … Comments « Simple Tips To Help You Care For Your Skin | Free Pharmacy Cards [...]

    • Tani Gordon says:

      I notice that you wipe your face in the video. I’ve read that you should never wipe your face because it “pulls” the skin and causes wrinkles so its best to pat your skin instead of wipe. And you mention beef in your regimen? I wonder if there is an alternative to that since I am a vegetarian.

      • Our skin is delicate, but there’s no need to treat it with kid gloves when your diet is rich in nutrients vital to skin repair. I eat a traditional foods diet – except for grains -, and my skin is in much better shape in my mid-30′s than it was 5 years ago.

        There is no alternative for the properties that animal fat gives to the skin, but the shea butter and cocoa butter in the balm are rich in fat-soluble nutrients and wonderful for the skin.

  4. Bethany says:

    I tried OCM in the past but I think I was using the wrong oils. I think I’ll try again. One question: I’m prone to “hormone” breakouts, normally a week before I start my period. Any tips for hormone breakouts? Healing my gut perhaps? :)

    • My before pics? Hormonal acne at it’s finest. I have great sympathy for you, because I went through almost 20 years of it. Not cool.

      We’re all a little different, but the best methods for me have been no sugar, food chemicals/processed foods, or white flour (grain-free worked even better, and adding kombucha to kill sugar cravings and help to cleanse my liver. Gut healing doesn’t hurt either. ;)

      • Michele says:

        I finally went to a Naturopathic doctor mainly for my adult acne(which I did not have as a teen) She did allergy testing on me and said her results showed markers for Celiac. That I definately presented with a wheat allergy and to eat as if I was Celiac. I have also started the OCM. Right now it looks as if its drawing out the junk. How long does it take to heal ( in your opinion) once a person is OCM and cleaning up their diet? Hoping its quick, cause I am going to visit family in a week and they have never seen my face look this bad.

        • Traci says:

          I wonder if they missed your question? I have the same question but i’m assuming it’s different with each person. My daughter has this quite bad and I did also when I was in my early 20s. I’m not sure what made mine better though. lol Since your posting how is yours doing?

  5. Hello Heather,
    Love this post. I’ve been using a combination of coconut and jojoba oils for a couple of months now and love what it’s doing to my skin. I have super oily skin with acne, still, at 45 years old. My pores are smaller than ever and my skin is brighter. My question for you is jojoba oil an astringent oil?

    • Heather (Mommypotamus) actually asked me on her Facebook page about this, so I’ll paste the response. It’s funny that you just proved that acne doesn’t have one cause and one cure! Here’s what I wrote: “Did you that know jojoba oil is a wax? Crazy, right? I didn’t mention it because of that fact. A wax that solidifies at cooler temperatures just sounds like a bad idea for skin that overproducing oil, bacteria, and toxins. Acne is a funny thing though and has many causes. What would cause someone to run screaming in the night from increased breakouts will work miracles for someone else. It sounds like a great cold weather addition for dry skin protection though. I may add some to my skin balms to try it out once the weather hits “Michigan” (cold and icy) For acne, I would stick with “liquid” oils that are high in antioxidents and organic and couple that with some antibacterial essential oils – keeping them away from the eye area -until the skin clears (do some research for safety and contraindications first but I like tea tree, rosemary, sage, thyme, and lavender for battling germs; 1-3 drops per cup of oil should be enough). Did I just ramble…”

      • Brandis says:

        I have heard so many times from so many people the “liquid at room temperature” rule for facial oils and, while I’m no expert, I don’t get the logic and my anecdotal evidence doesn’t support it. I, too, suffered from adult acne and, besides diet, the one thing that helped the most was coconut oil- it itself is antibacterial and amazing for skin. But it’s solid at room temperature. And the mixture I’ve been using lately which has REALLY kicked it up and improved my skin further is a combination of palm oil, coconut oil, and castor oil- the result is solid but creamy, and I LOVE it because it’s easy to apply, feels amazing, and my skin has never been clearer or smoother. And both palm and coconut oils are solid at room temp. Furthermore, I’ve seen several sources that state jojoba is good for acne. I wasn’t aware it was technically a wax, though.

        I also wasn’t aware of the controversy behind castor oil- I’ll have to look into that more and keep that in mind the next time I order supplies.

        BTW, I also posted about oil cleansing last week: What the heck is oil cleansing?

        • You will find anecdotal advice all over the Internet detailing the benefits and/or hindrances of any product. Treatments will be very individual, so there is no definite answer for or against any of the oils. I love that you have found such a great combination for your skin! That’s why I recommend experimenting until everyone finds their right ‘balance’. You’ll notice that I listed ‘some’ of the beneficial oils. I chose the ones I feel are best for the skin while being sustainable, safely harvested, and easily available for purchase at least over the Internet.

          A note on solid vs liquid oils: If you feel the skin of your face, it’s generally much cooler than the rest of your body. It’s possible that the oils could become at least a semi-solid in some areas of the face in cooler weather and would block oil secretion. Unless you are more familiar with dermatology, I wouldn’t recommend that all of the ‘rules’ that have been passed around are falsities without much research first.

          • Eileen says:

            I’ve actually had mixed experience with coconut oil, depending on the time of year. In the summer (warm weather) my skin seems to love it. In the winter (cold weather) it causes acne. I realize my skin temperature is supposed to be consistent year-round and prevent clogging, but the coconut oil seems to be affected by the air temperature instead. Strange but true. In the summer, I don’t need oil cleansing at all & just use the coconut oil to moisturize. In the winter, I now oil cleanse with olive oil & it works beautifully. Different needs at different times.

          • Brandis says:

            Well, the rules also say if you have acne you should avoid oils altogether and stick with “oil free” products, even moisturizers while using tons of irritating, drying chemicals and I think we can both agree that is not the best tact for most people. Besides, coconut oil for acne isn’t a new thing (and neither is jojoba oil). Both are frequently recommended for acne by holistic practitioners- jojoba has been proven to be an anti-inflammatory when used topically and coconut oil is antimicrobial, both properties are hugely beneficial for acne. Furthermore, coconut oil melts at about 77 degrees, give or take a degree. One’s face may be a little cooler than the rest of one’s body, but I doubt it’s below 77 degrees (unless you’re outside in super cold weather without protection). I can see how that could make some people break out when using coconut oil in the winter in cold climates, but I don’t have a problem with it even in the winter (I live in Minnesota, and I have to go outside every day to feed my chickens and gather eggs at the very least).

        • Ngoc says:

          I tried just coconut oil for a month but stopped for a few days when I got this puss filled pimple right after I got even more pimples and now its dry. I was thinking of mixing with tea leaf oil? What to you think? Also, to premix a bottle how do I deal with Coconut oils solid form to mix?

          • Aiste says:

            Have you girls read that coconut oil is highly comedogeic? It will cause acne as it clogs pores. I wish I could get a legit and verified list of comedogeic vs non-comedogenic oils. Do you know of one?

          • Rebecca Prange says:

            My pores shrunk in size and cleaned up with regular use of coconut and jojoba oils. My face is noticeably brighter, I know because people keep telling me.

          • Kaelie says:

            http://www.beneficialbotanicals.com/facts-figures/comedogenic-rating.html has a list – whether it’s valid or not, I can’t tell, but I just started using safflower as the conditioning oil (0 on the list and 3 bucks for 24 oz at Winco) and grape seed oil (2 out of 5 on the ratings list and also cheap) with a few drops of tea tree oil last night and am already feeling like there’s a difference? Perhaps it’s in my head. Anyway, in case you weren’t able to find something about this a while ago, I thought I’d let you know.

  6. ash says:

    I’ve never tried this method before, but would like to. What oil would you suggest using in place of castor oil?

    • If you are looking for something slightly drying/astringent, take a look at the “No More Pizza Face” recipe. Hazelnut oil with an essential oil boost if necessary should be a good replacement. Moisturizing oils are also important to help your skin stop overproducing oil if that’s an issue. If you read the section highlighted in green, you can read about the properties of the most beneficial oils (that aren’t considered exotic or non-sustainable).

  7. Caitlyn says:

    How many times a day do you do this?

    • How did I forget to mention that?! Thank you for bringing it up!

      You can do it anywhere from twice a day to once a week depending on your skin type. Most people seem to start with oil cleansing every night and then just rinsing with water in the morning. As oil production evens out and pores get cleaner, they move to using oil every other day to every 3 days. I usually ‘wash’ mine every 2-3 days as I feel a need for it.

      • Kathryn says:

        I have recently started this and found your blog! I have had acne my whole life but I also have dry skin. I was wondering if you had an oil regimen for that skin type? Also, I am really confused on what to do in the mornings. I’m so used to washing my face in the morning that just washing with water seems like it won’t “clean” it. And what do you suggest if it feels tight/dry after I wash it water? I have been doing tons of reading about the OCM but no one seems to really talk about what to do in the morning.

        • Nicki says:

          I agree – searching for the same info, to no avail. Feels so weird not washing or anything in the morning!

          • Amanda says:

            I know it seems weird, but that’s just because we’ve been told for so long that we need to put these harsh chemicals on our face to “clean” it. It’s really amazing how clean you feel after oil cleansing. Adding a few drops of essential oils will help re-enforce the clean feeling too.

  8. I’ve been oil cleansing for about a month, since I ran across Robin’s article on it. I love it! My oily skin is much less oily and my breakouts are certainly reduced. But that is interesting about castor oil–I’ll look into getting something else when I use up the bottle I’ve been using now.

  9. Jaime says:

    That homemade face balm sounds amazing! You mentioned you make it yourself, is that recipe on your blog already? I would love to make it.
    One other question, do you have a bunch of washclothes and throw them in the washing machine or do you resuse them? I feel like I need to buy more since OCM!
    Thanks for the great video!

    • The skin balm FEELS amazing! I made it specifically for those with eczema and other skin conditions, but it’s working great for the rest of my friends and family that I attacked with it for testing. :)

      I haven’t posted the recipe yet, because I just finished perfecting the formula but I will have it up at 20somethingallergies.com before the end of the month. And a peppermint hot cocoa recipe to go with it, since the scent combo makes me crave peppermint hot cocoa every. single. time. I use it.

  10. KaraL says:

    I’m surprised coconut oil isn’t listed as a good option – but this is my first time reading about oil cleansing. Maybe coconut oil makes a better moisturizer?

    • I know! Doesn’t coconut oil work for everything?! :D

      Coconut oil is generally not recommended, because it solidifies at room temperature and is said to clog pores. I see no reason not to experiment with it once you have been oil cleansing for awhile and have found success with it. I chose not include it in the post, because I haven’t tested it myself to say yay or nay.

      Just warm it up between your hands before you rub it on your face to make sure it’s liquid. Experimenting is part of the fun!

      • Helen says:

        I can confirm that coconut oil does not get hard in room temperature or at least not the brand I have it stays in liquid form all day. I used it on my face just once and I broke out a little. I’m wondering can I use this oil on my body? I don’t want it to go to waste since I wont use it to cleanse my face with.

        • ash says:

          helen– you can use it for anything…makes a great eye cream, or even eye makeup remover. you can also use it just as regular lotion for hands and body. i’ve found it best to do a thin layer and wait a few minutes for it to absorb. i also use it for sunscreen when i’m not going to be out long and have access to a little shade. on an unrelated note, anyone else use it for sunscreen? i’ve only tried it when swimming once and it was fine, but i’m a little more nervous about using it in water.

  11. C.J. says:

    I’m wondering about using coconut oil? It’s so healthy and unlikely to become rancid as quickly as some other oils.

    • Brandis says:

      See my take on this above- in short, I don’t agree with the “solid at room temp clogs pores” argument. I mean, if that were the case then the tallow balm would be out too, right? And anecdotal, before I knew anything about oil cleansing at all, I cured my own adult acne simply by stopping the use of all cleansers and soaps on my face and instead applying coconut oil every night. And I don’t think I mention above the main reason the logic doesn’t hold up for me is room temperature/= skin surface temperature!

      • Ivy says:

        While coconut oil is solid at room temperature, it is liquid at body temperature. It is a wonderful choice for oil cleansing, but requires a little juggling if you choose to mix it with other oils. It will not become solid on your face and clog your pores – but it may be too rich for intensely acne prone skin. However, it is a great moisturizing yet antibacterial oil for women who are battling the dreaded wrinkles and chin-acne scenario. Try it, it may work for you – but remember, there are no one-size fit all solutions. Part of the process is customizing the formula exactly to what works for you!

    • Taylor says:

      I tried using it once and I broke out really bad!

  12. Eve says:

    I have been doing this in the evenings, and love it. I read not to do it too frequently, and have been just doing it at night. I am wondering what about mornings I workout – is water enough to cleanse sweat etc after a workout? Or can I do this more than 1x per day?

    • It will likely depend on the health of your skin and the type of foods you eat if you can get away without not washing after workouts. You can oil cleanse twice a day if necessary, but you may not need to. Try rinsing with warm and then cool water after workouts to see if it’s enough. If not, cleansing with a thin layer of oil and a very delicate cloth should be enough (delicate like the cloth diaper I use in the video). So glad it works for you too!

  13. Jennifer says:

    I’m glad you posted this. I’ve tried OCM with mixed results over the past few months. I will be trying the No More Pizza Face Blend.
    What I’m really glad you mentioned was using a hand towel to keep the washcloth from cooling too quickly. I have thought before that that may be my problem, but other than getting the washcloth extremely hot before putting it over my face, I wasn’t sure what to do. Thanks! Just ordered my oils, I can’t wait to try them!

  14. I’m so glad you were inspired to try again! I hope the oil blend works for you. I am still continuously adjusting mine as the weather changes, but it is still the best way I have found yet to take care of my skin. As long as I follow with the skin balm (mentioned in the video), I’m in good shape.

  15. Melissa says:

    What kind of container do you keep your oil mix in? Some kind of flip top container? I started OCM several weeks ago but just pour into my hands and wanted to do an actual mix in a container that would dispense easily. Thanks!

  16. I use either small glass food containers that I keep around for various projects or a honey bear. The honey bear is more precise at doling out a small amount, but I prefer staying away from plastic whenever possible. I’m using a capers jar in my video, because I’m fancy like that. :D

  17. Danae says:

    I’ve been doing OCM for about a week, and my face is breaking out worse than usual. Did your’s get worse before it got better? Thanks!

    • The thought is that it is drawing out the deeply embedded impurities, and that it should calm way down within 2-3 weeks. It is also going to take time for your skin to adjust. My face was clear but dry when I first started, and I still broke out a little for the first 2 weeks. Try some of the suggestions below, and tick it out for 3 weeks if you can. The addition of essential oils, reducing/removing sugar, and changing your pillowcase nightly should help quite a bit.

      Here’s what I wrote on Mommypotamus’ Facebook page for another reader with the same problem: “It’s probably going to take a couple of weeks for your skin to stop flaring again. My advice would be to not wash it more than twice a day, stick with the oil combination that worked for you initially adding in some antibacterial essential oils to help , change your pillowcase every night for the first week and keep your hair off your face at night, stay away from all sugars as much as possible, *drink* your fermented juices (lol), drink green and white teas, stay hydrated, and don’t touch your face. That should keep you busy enough that you won’t even notice it. :D …but should help speed up the detoxifying and healing process too. Lavender essential oil is supposed to be good for acne scars, so you can trial that once your skin has calmed down again. I don’t speak from experience on that one though.”

  18. Christina Smith says:

    I’m really excited to try this! Never heard of it! Is Hazelnut the only astringent oil that is recommended?

    • I was looking for oils that can be pretty readily found, have organic options (extra important for problem skin), and have sustainable harvesting options. There are some others out there, but the ones I found and researched were grown in tropical or desert countries from rare or endangered plants.

      Grapeseed oil may be enough of an astringent if you’d like to try it. The addition of antibacterial essential oils and diet change will likely do the most to change any oil overproduction.

      Come back and let us know what you tried and if it worked for you!

  19. [...] it’s natural oils may seem like a good idea, but it often just triggers oil production. Try oil cleansing [...]

  20. Jenna says:

    I cannot find where to buy hazelnut oil on the resources page. Can you recommend a website? Thanks!

  21. Ashley says:

    Hi Jennifer! Thanks for the cleansing inspiration! I was wondering, I have a few organic oils already such as primrose oil, argan oil, olive oil and jojoba oil, would any of these oils be a good substitute for the conditioning oils? I saw that you said jojoba is actually a wax and could congest the skin. Is jojoba still a good moisturizing oil but maybe not a good cleansing oil? Just thought I may use up a few oils I already have before I buy some more. What are your thoughts on this? Thank you!!

  22. Absolutely use what you have first! As long as you trust the source so the oils are safe, I would definitely recommend trying them. I wrote out some of the properties of the oils to make it easier to determine which are best for your skin and needs.

    Primrose oil – high in GLA so good for healing eczema, acne, and other skin conditions due to fatty acid deficiency; since it’s good for pain, it could also help to relieve headaches and TMJ pain

    Argan oil – Vitamin E rich so good for healing acne scars, hydrating

    Jojoba ‘oil’ – easily absorbed, seals in moisture, may be good to slow oil overproduction (will depend on individual)

  23. Olivia says:

    Hey, thanks for the article and video. I just moved and I haven’t been able to find a good source for grassfed beef yet. (No homemade tallow for me :( ) Do you know of a good source for tallow taht I could use until I find a place? Thanks!

  24. Natasha says:

    I use coconut oil to massage my clients. Do you think using a steamer to heat up a towel and laying it over their bodies after treatment, would be cleansing in the same way?

  25. Cathy says:

    Hi Jennifer and Heather,

    Glad to see Caster Oil-free options here, thanks a bunch! Oil cleansing has dramatically improved my complexion. :-)

  26. [...] determined to make oil cleansing a daily habit because nothing makes my face feel quite as wonderful. My daughter has been more [...]

  27. [...] Something Allergies has a guest post on the oil cleansing method for radiant [...]

  28. Amena Ali says:

    Hi, OCM is very new to me. I can’t figure out which oils are astringent and which ones are conditioning oils. I’m trying to avoid using castor oil. Can you please list both types of oils for me so that it’s easier to figure out which blend to make. Thank you. Can’t wait to try this :)

  29. Shauna Devenport says:

    Three questions:

    1. Do you need to wash make-up off before using this method? If so, what’s the best route?

    2. How long does it take to find the right ratio that works? I am terrified of turning into a pizza face because I put the wrong amounts in for my skin! :\

    3. Where’s the best place to purchase the oils? :)

    • No need to remove your make up beforehand! The oil will help break it up and then it wipes clean away. I would steam and wipe 3 times to be sure, but it removes MAC cosmetics and the famous pink and green bottle of mascara for me on the rare occasions that I put my face on.

      I think you can find the right ratio within a couple of weeks. You will know if you face feels too dry or oily within 3-4 days and can adjust from there. For acne concerns, adding essential oils to help kill bacteria will definitely help. Look to those that are soothing to the skin and antibacterial. The best thing to do is to treat your skin gently, so only try 1-3 drops at most per cup of oil.

      I don’t think there is a ‘best’ place for the oils. Mountain Rose Herbs is a very reputable online store, but you can probably find quite a few good sources with a little digging. I like to look for small producers using biodynamic farming methods and buy directly from them when possible.

  30. Sussana says:

    Hi! I can only find Avocado, Grapeseed, Almond, Castor, and Olive oils….what mixture do you suggest for my oily and acne prone skin? There´s no Tea Tree, Lavender, etc. where I live. My question is because you suggest a 1:3 ratio for oily skin, but I don´t know which oil to use as the astringent one….
    Also, how do you clean your face when not using the oils? What if you have makeup on and need to clean your face in the middle of the day? I´ve read that the oil mixture should just be used once a day, because it can dry skin if used too frequently.
    Thank you!

  31. I would suggest trying 2 parts grapeseed oil (mildly astringent) to one part almond oil for regular cleansing and then a second batch of 1 part grapeseed oil to 2 parts almond or avocado oil for additional cleansing and midday makeup removal. I would highly suggest extra sessions of oil cleansing with a more moisturizing blend over using harsh cleansers that cause a skin imbalance and may not remove the makeup as well.

    Makeup is generally bad news for problem skin. I would try to avoid it when possible and consult the almightly Google for some homemade versions for days you want something, but don’t want to put your full ‘face’ on. It’s one thing that will still break me out and turn my skin red when I use it. Oil cleansing makes my face feel so much better once it’s been removed.

    Most people only need to splash some water on their face to rinse off any dirt and add a thin layer of the oil mixture to protect the skin and control oil production if the skin feels tight after rinsing.

    • Michelle G. says:

      I, too, break out from make-up. I have switched over to a mineral foundation – but be sure to get one that DOES NOT contain Bismuth Oxycloride… it is an irritant and burns and itches. I like Everyday Minerals – works pretty well to even out skin tone, no Bismuth Oxycloride, and is pretty inexpensive. 100% Pure and Real Purity make some awesome cosmetics too… check those out! I LOVE Real Purity’s natural deodorant… the only stuff I’ve ever bought that is non-toxic and actually works. I like both company’s mascaras as well.

  32. Lynn says:

    Hi,
    My baby girl (2 months) has very dry patches. Her doctor said it might be eczema. I want to use some of these amazing oils for her but dont know if they are safe for baby.

  33. All of the oils but castor (not used as a moisturizer anyway) are safe for your daughter as long as they’re organic. I wouldn’t recommend anything non-organic for little ones, especially those with skin conditions.

    I am posting a winter skin balm recipe on my blog next week that is perfect for sensitive skin and eczema if you would like to give the recipe a try. I would also suggest using raw, organic body butters in place of oils because they are better at holding moisture in and are very healing.

    We used raw organic shea butter exclusively for my daughter until I created the skin balm, and it was amazing. She used to have eczema and still has dry, itchy skin (we’re still in the process of healing).

    If your munchkin has eczema, I would also look into food sensitivities and removing chemicals from your home – switching to natural laundry detergent, vinegar for fabric softener, natural clothing materials with no flame resistance, etc -.

    Good luck! I know the trials of a sensitive baby well. Mine’s 4 and still has a ways to go. :)

  34. Lynn says:

    Thank you so much Heather and Jennifer. I feel so aweful about her poor sensitive and dry skin. None of my boys have had that. I just ordered some organic oils and will give them a try. I got some red patches on my cheeks during this pregnancy and thought it would go away after delivery but no such luck. It might be Rosacea so I will have to try some other oild for myself too.
    Jennifer, I just saw you posted that balm recipe. Thank you so much! I am very excited to make it. You website is so full of awesome information. I will have to study closer.
    I have been very good at cooking healthy for my family but I havent given much of a try to making other products other than laundry soap and lip balm. Heather, I just got your DIY Organic Beauty and it looks amazing.
    I have 5 kiddos so finding time to make more things can be difficult but it is so exciting! :)
    Thanks again!

    • Heather says:

      I hope you enjoy the book, Lynn! I think you will find that many of the recipes are not very time consuming :)

    • Lynn, Heather’s new book IS amazing! I have had a blast working my way through it and am in love with the shine boost rinse.

      I really hope the skin balm works out for you. I changed the formula for heavy duty winter care and it’s been perfect for us. My daughter isn’t itching even when we skip a lotioning session. Such a relief! You can also break off small chunks of the bar and melt it in your hands for a thicker application.

      Good luck and have fun playing with all the new fun recipes!

  35. Jackie says:

    I’ve been using the OCM for just under two weeks. Seven years ago I had EVERY type of zit on my face and started using Proactiv, which pretty much made me a poster child for the product. I regularly get compliments on my skin (after Proactiv), but it does dry my skin out pretty bad (and therefore makes it more oily) and I had to start using the extra strength version because I was still getting cystic acne every so often. As of the last few months, it seems like I get at LEAST one cystic zit a month even using the extra strength Proactiv religiously! They take weeks to heal and leave a hyperpigmented spot even when I leave it completely alone. I had no idea what else to do and I was scared to try anything but Proactiv for fear of breaking out again, but then I came across OCM. I’ve been using 1 part castor, 1 part EVOO, 1 part jojoba and some tea tree oil nightly. I’m still on the fence about it. My face definitely feels more balanced, is less oily, and has no dry patches. I’m not too impressed with the texture of my skin (it always feels like there is a layer that needs to be sloughed off if I put anything on my face, currently looking for something good to exfoliate) and haven’t noticed any significant improvement in the tone. Unfortunately, I’m starting to break out. I know this could be part of the process but it’s so discouraging since my face has been so clear for almost a decade! I’ve certainly had worse break outs, but never this bad since starting Proactiv. I’m having a really hard time sticking to it, but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and keep at it for a couple more weeks and hope things clear up…

    • Jackie,

      Skin problems can be the source of many of our insecurities, so it’s very hard to let go and try a new treatment if you find one that helps to control your issue. In this case, like all chemical dermatological products, you are only temporarily controlling and masking the symptoms of a bigger issue.

      Oil cleansing helps to balance the skin, but the underlying issue has to be dealt with. Give yourself permission for your skin to rebalance and heal itself and concentrate on that during any breakouts.

      Give yourself 4 weeks if you can to see an initial flare as your skin detoxes and then subsequent healing. An application of apple cider vinegar (preferably raw) as a toner 30 minutes before oil cleansing will help to kill bacteria and dry up blemishes and then the oil will help break up impurities and balance your skin. As I mentioned in previous comments, change your pillowcase nightly, keep your hair clean and puled back while you sleep, and concentrate heavily on eating a clean diet.

      If you want to see a permanent change, move to cutting out all processed foods including anything but raw dairy and increase your intake of probiotics and liver-cleansing foods. You also may be reacting to allergens in your diet, so that’s another avenue to look into if removing processed foods aren’t enough.

      Acne is ultimately a sign of a compromised liver that can’t remove the excess hormones and toxins from your body fast enough. Your skin then becomes the major detox organ.

      As to exfoliating, you may be reacting to a combination of the feeling of a layer of oil on your skin and rough skin from detoxing. Sugar makes my skin rough every. single. time. I eat sugar. As soon as it’s back out of my diet, my skin is as soft and clear as my 4 year old within 2-3 days.

      Look at your skin as a warning signal for a need to increase your health instead of a pox on beauty and you’ll quickly move in the right direction!

  36. Amanda says:

    I’m not trying to be negative here. I’m just looking for answers. I’m a 33 yo with skin that looks like a teenager. I eat a real food diet and even went completely grain-free to see if that would help my skin. It helped maybe a little, but not enough to say, “Wow! I found the answer.”

    Why is my skin the way it is and I have friends who are overweight and eat highly processed, chemical laden food and their skin is GORGEOUS?!?!

    • Sometimes frustration gets the better of all of us, especially when you are working hard to get and stay healthy and seem to have more problems that other people who treat their bodies like a trash dump. The god news is that it can be fixed and that they will be far worse off than you in the long run.

      You are likely reacting to some of the foods you are eating and/or products you are using on your skin. If can take up to 4 weeks to detox from chemicals and/or foods that are making you break out, so that’s frustrating too.

      I’m 34 and the pics above are from only a few years ago. I was in the same boat as you up until a couple of years ago. If it helps, my brother told me yesterday that I look 17 again. :) The hard work is definitely paying off.

      A couple of suggestions would be to remove all sugar and dairy from your diet or only include raw dairy and focus on liver cleansing and foods that nourish the skin. I find kombucha to be very helpful and my wonder food. Nettle tea, fermented cod liver oil, fish eggs (I freeze them and take like pills), chlorella, juicing, dry brushing, only all-natural food grade beauty products, and going grain-free were all very helpful for me.

      My skin now stays completely clear as long as it’s well nourished and I continue with regular detox/liver cleansing. As soon sugar sneaks into my diet again, my skin almost immediately shows the reaction with redness, rashes, breakouts, and roughness. It’s enough to send me back to kombucha and my favorite detox methods every time!

      I wish you much luck and fortitude on your journey. You WILL get there!!

  37. Edyta says:

    Hi I have never used oils to clean my face.My skin is very dry with acne and dark spots.What combinations I can use to improve my skin.Thank you.Edyta.

  38. Anna says:

    I need your help! I started using OCM about 3 weeks ago and all of a sudden I have little pimples all over my face as well as couple monster pimples popping up. I have to admit I am a chronic pimple popper.. I just can’t help it, I can’t stand to see them on my face. I have been using 2 tsp castor oil with 1 tsp jojoba with a few drops of lavender essential oil at night. Then in the morning wiping my face with a witch hazel/lavender oil astringent. Before starting this I had acne prone, oily, sensitive skin, I used to only use proactive. Then switched to a sulfate free face wash that was the only other thing that wouldn’t break me out. I use bareminerals make up and had gotten fed up with all the “oil free” moisturizers that were supposed to help my face not get so greasy during the day. I do love the way OCM has made my face not get oily during the day but these pimples have got to go. Any suggestions for switching up my ratios or trying a different oil combination.

    • Anna, it sounds like you have a great routine started. You can try switching out the jojoba oil for a light oil (jojoba is a wax) like olive oil and rotate your essential oils every 3 days to increase their effectiveness – example: 3 days lavender, 3 days rosemary, and 3 days tee tree, and then start over with lavender -. Also, check out the previous comments for some other tips for helping acne-prone skin like changing your pillow case nightly.

      Remember also that the key to clearing up your skin will be diet related, so you may want to look into foods you may be allergic to and those that affect our hormones like dairy and soy products.

      I would also stay away from make up for a couple of weeks, so your skin can cleanse itself. I know that’s a tough one, but it should make a big difference.

      Come back and let us know what changes you made and how it worked for you!

  39. Sonya says:

    I have read about good benefits about using vitamin E oil after OCM as a moisturizer. However, I saw couple sentences about it in various articles but nothing in detail. Do you know if it’s better to use the capsules and break it or buy the oil? Is there a certain IU that’s better? I read something that said I should dilute it. Is there a brand that is better? Thank you for any help.

    • I’m sorry I can’t be more help, but I don’t use anything that’s not natural on my skin. Vitamin E oil is from an isolated nutrient (not found in nature) and is often synthetic.

      I would follow up with an oil that is naturally high in E like hemp seed, avocado oil, or more stable butters like beef tallow or shea butter. They are naturally balanced and include many extra nutrients that our skin needs for repair and renewal like Vitamin A.

      I have very good luck with raw shea butter and my skin balm [http://www.20somethingallergies.com/diy-healing-skin-balm/] for acne scars (now gone) and the less than youthful skin that is beginning to make an appearance with mid-30′s creeping up on me. My skin actually looks better now that when I turned 30!

  40. Hi Jennifer, Thank you so much for this great tutorial. My daughters and I have been trying OCM for the last few days, and we love it. The three of us go into my bathroom and watch your video for our nightly ‘spa treatment’. I’m afraid I might be slightly allergic to the castor oil, though. Which oil would you recommend substituting for the castor oil? I have pretty normal skin, maybe a little dry because of the cold weather. Thank you so much for your help! : ) – Becky Avella

  41. Molly says:

    I really want to try the oil cleansing method, but I have a question. I know you are only supposed to “wash” your face with oil once a day and only splash your face with water in the morning. I work out in the morning before I go to work and get all gross and sweaty. Should I wash my face with a cleanser after I do this?

    • I can’t imagine only being able to splash water on my face after a really grimy workout. ;) That is an option if it feels clean after, but you can also use a toner of witch hazel or diluted apple cider vinegar after rinsing well with water or even wash your face by oil cleansing.

      If oil cleansing twice a day is too irritating, you can use a second blend the is more conditioning for your evening wash.

      I just started using equal parts jojoba oil and olive oil with a touch each of grapeseed and castor oils, because the winter air was really drying my skin. Within 12 hours, my skin was amazingly soft and moisturized again. The oils really do make all the difference!

      • Dawey says:

        I tried witch hazel but my skin is so dry- Rose Water is much better as a toner for dry skin. Just s tip! (and it smells nice too)

  42. Becky, it’s so great to hear you’re doing it as a mini spa treatment with your daughters! That gave me an ‘awww’ moment. :) It’s exactly how I feel when I’m doing it, especially with the cold, dry weather that is Michigan in the winter.

    You can swap out the castor oil with hazelnut or grape seed oil to see if your skin reacts better to them and/or adjust the ratios so there is more conditioning/moisturizing oil in the mix. Some people even leave the astringent oils out, so you could try that also during this time of the year.

  43. B says:

    I have a question about using this oil method during pregnancy. I looked up to see if some of these oils are safe for pregnant women and it looks like some are not safe. Any recommendations for oil cleansers for pregnant women? I’ve been battling breakouts most of my life…

    • B,

      I see you went anonymous so Heather didn’t need to delete your comment. I’ll answer here, since I don’t have your e-mail address and I’m sure there are others who have similar questions. Feel free to e-mail me at jennifer AT 20somethingallergies DOT com if you have any private question you’d like answered. And a big congratulations to you! :) :) :)

      I actually don’t know of any oils that would be harmful for cleansing during pregnancy. Be sure to watch out for warnings, but most of your cautions should be on essential oils. You may do well with a witch hazel or diluted raw apple cider vinegar toner about 30 minutes before cleansing and up to 3 times daily to help control bacteria during those fun hormonal breakouts.

      Remember to clean up your diet as much as possible to help clear up your skin and feel baby and mama right! Removing sugar, most grains, and pasteurized dairy should make a significant improvement. I’m going to write a post on acne soon based on all of the people who are looking for help, so I will keep pregnant and nursing mamas in mind when I write it.

  44. B says:

    would you be able to email the answer to me and erase my last post (question) as others don’t know about my pregnancy (yet) and my picture is right there on your website! ;\

  45. Christina Smith says:

    For “A sweet treat” do you think that substituting Jojoba for avocado oil and grapeseed for hazelnut oil would keep it as a good combination for combo skin? I’m having an easier time locating organic jojoba and grapeseed ;)

    • Patty says:

      I’d love to try this! However, I have mild to moderate rosacea and have always been told to stay away from getting my face too hot or too cold. Do you think this still might help? Thanks for the OCM post, and any advice.

      • Patty,

        I think oil cleansing will be great for your skin. I would avoid steaming with hot water and only use warm to relax your pores and draw toxins and then a cool water rinse to finish. Finish up with a healing balm like this (http://www.20somethingallergies.com/diy-healing-skin-balm/). Add in healing oils like evening primrose if it doesn’t start to relieve the redness within the first week.

        Also, use very soft towels to wipe the oil away. Chinese (Indian are even better) prefold diapers would be my hands down recommendation for their gentleness. You can pick up a 6 pack at any baby store including Babies R Us or search the almightly Google for an online store.

        Rosacea is caused by an imbalance in the body and compromised elimination pathways. It’s likely that your liver isn’t able to filter out toxins correctly and needs some additional support (like most of us).

        If you are interested in pursuing it, look into food allergy testing (http://www.20somethingallergies.com/what-were-all-about/genova-allergy-tests/). A combination of avoiding major allergens, following a rotation diet, and eating only whole foods will likely make rosacea and many other symptoms that may be bothering you a thing of the past. I have a very, very long list of symptoms that have disappeared during my healing period and I’m still going!

    • Absolutely! The jojoba is wonderful during the winter. I have started using it this last week when my skin became too dry, and it worked miracles within a day. I had to dial back on the amount already, because my skin is completely nourished again. Oil cleansing is just freakin’ crazy cool!! lol

      The recipes are just guides on where to start when it seems a little overwhelming and people aren’t sure about concocting their own. Feel free to play and experiment until you find your best blend (it’ll also probably change with the seasons, stress levels, eating habits, etc.).

  46. Justine Raymond says:

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

    • Love such a detailed routine! Thanks for sharing Justine.

      You can also try to swap out hazelnut or grapeseed oil for castor to see if it helps with the dryness and sensitivity. I am finding that playing with the oils has made my skin moisturized and soft for the first time ever through the winter.

      I am using grapeseed oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, with just a couple drops of castor oil (nor recipe yet, just experimenting), and it completely changed my skin – that was getting really dry – in 12 hours.

  47. sarah says:

    i have start OCM since two weeks and this is my 3rd week ..in the first 2 days i used 2:1 castro and oilve oil twice daily but i notice thtat my skin get irritaed and exfoilate alot so i reduce the ration 1:1 once daily up unitl now i noticed there is a little improvment but latelly iam haveing alot of breakout is this normol should i keep useing it or give up

    • That much castor oil is too drying for my face too, so good for you to keep experimenting with the amounts! I have tweaked my formula at least 4 times now with the changing seasons. It’s definitely worth the little bit of extra work, and it’s no different than the 3-4 products I had to buy and rotate through for the same reason.

      Oil cleansing doesn’t cause breakouts, so, if you are still experiencing them, it’s because of foods or toxins that you are putting in your body that cause imbalances. There are many natural remedies for breakouts that you can try that kill bacteria like apple cider vinegar or witch hazel as a toner 30 minutes before oil cleansing, tea tree oil dabbed on blemishes and then clay spot treatments to help draw out impurities. Experimenting with natural products is so much more fun that buying chemical after chemical and hoping for the best.

      You can also try removing all pasteurized dairy (or all dairy) and sugar/corn syrup, etc. for 2 weeks to see if there is any improvement. There may be other foods that cause acne, but these are 2 main contributors.

      I have been looking into face reflexology, and it is amazing how much the breakouts on your face correspond to areas in your body that are not working correctly. If you consult the almighty Google and type in ‘face reflexology’, you can see some examples of it! Pretty cool stuff. :)

  48. [...] allowed me time to experiment in other areas of my “beauty routine.”  I have started Oil Cleansing and LOVE it.  I have noticed that it has drawn out some deeply clogged [...]

  49. Ming says:

    Hi, first of all, thank you for the explanation and video. I’ve been suffering from bad skin on my face for years. I came across this method hoping that this would help but I’m not quite sure if I’m doing this right. I bought Castor Oil from Heritage products and grapeseed oil from the supermarket. Just wondering if these oils would work the same?

    And I’ve tried washing my face with a mix of 1 teaspoon of castor oil and 3 teaspoon of grapeseed oil. the amount i massaged was like quarter of my palm and i keep on adding while massaging, practically i massaged around 4 teaspoon of the mixture onto my face. Am I doing that wrongly? Please guide me thanksssss

  50. The oils work a bit differently but can both be used in the same mixture. If your oil mixture is too irritating or drying, try reducing the amount of the oils you’re using now and add in a conditioning oil like olive oil.

    I am currently using small amounts of castor oil and grapeseed oil (probably about a 1:8 ratio of astringent to conditioning) mixed with larger amounts of olive an jojoba oils. I didn’t measure this time around, but it’s working well for me right now and feels so good to my dry winter skin.

    You can add as much oil as you like while you are cleansing, but you should only need about a half to one teaspoon full of oil for your whole face. A thin layer that lets your fingers slide easily across your face will be enough to clean it and will make clean up easier too. But if it feels better to add in more, then feel free to use as much as you want!

    • Ming says:

      Hi, thanks for the reply, i washed my face using the method twice yesterday and today when i rubbed my clogged area, dirty stuff came out. i am assuming that it’s working for me now. but it does feel a bit oily after washing my face.

  51. Jackie says:

    Update: I stuck with it for a month and a half and, unfortunately, my face looks worse than ever. The breakouts never cleared up and actually got worse, even with trying different combinations of oils, keeping my hair off my face, etc. I was so hopeful because my face did very balanced, but I’m now broken out in places I never broke out before (lower cheeks/just above jaw line…what???!). I hope it works out for those of you that are trying it and that my experience isn’t discouraging, but I’m going back to Proactiv and hoping things clear up :(

  52. Tara says:

    Ive been using ocm for a few days and having the hardest time not washing my face with a cleanser in the morning to kind of feel refreshed — any ideas??

    • Ming says:

      im new too. i OCM every night and i just rinse my face with comforting hot water using a washcloth and finishing with cold water. feels marvellous whole day..

      and just wondering if i can use a facial steamer for this coz im not good with the washcloth steaming

    • What about trying a toner? You can make your own (Mommypotamus’ DIY Beauty Recipes book has a couple good ones) or buy a natural toner. Witch hazel is good if you can find one without too many additives.

      If it’s not enough, try oil cleansing in the morning instead of at night or both until you find what works best for you.

  53. [...] I clean my face with oil. Seriously, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I [...]

  54. Kim says:

    I’ve been using the oil cleansing method for a few years now w/ olive oil + castor oil. I have a separate bottle of olive oil for making the cleanser which has been sitting around for months. Is it still okay to use this oil to make a new batch? How could I tell if it’s rancid? And if it is rancid, does it matter since it’s texture of the oil doing the cleansing, not the nutritional properties?
    Also, how big of a batch do you make at once? I use a little bottle and make about 3 oz at once which lasts quite a while. Even if I start with fresh olive oil, do I have to worry about it going bad by the time I get to the end of the mixture?

    • As long as no water is introduced into your oils, they will last quite awhile, years if good quality and properly stored. You should be able to tell if it goes off by a rancid smell.

      I wouldn’t use anything on your skin that has gone bad. It should be treated like the inside of your body, since your skin absorbs anything put on it.

      For a good measure, try to make a batch that you will use up within a year at the longest. Many people prefer only to make a batch that lasts for a month or a few weeks.

  55. mike says:

    Your face has drastically cleared up. I have oily skin and can’t seem to find the right treatment for my acne. I can’t stand it!… I will give the oil cleansing method a try My face looks worse than yours at least you didn’t get the acne cyst on your jawline like i do those are the worst. We have a steam room at work in our gym, would this still work if i apply the oil to my face and just sit in there for a while?

    • Take a look at the face mapping article I mentioned earlier in the comments (http://www.eruptingmind.com/chinese-face-map/). It will help you see how much acne relates to to what’s going on inside your body too.

      I think the steam room would work great, but I wouldn’t leave the oil on for more than 2-3 minutes. You can rinse your face with water after you work out, use a toner that includes tea tree oil, then hit the steam room before you oil cleanse. That would help kill bacteria, and the clogged oil and debris in your pores would be loosened and should come out more easily.

      Exercise and the steam room are also a great way to remove toxins from your system. Much of it is probably coming out through your skin. I always had the same problem.

  56. Meredith says:

    I have adult acne all of the sudden and am so wanting to help it! I was wondering what the measurements were ont the oils. If I have acne prone skin what is one part..is that 1 tsp and two parts 2 tsp? Thank you so much for your help!

  57. Jennifer says:

    I started OCM about a week ago. For the first time in ages, I my face is not red, itchy or burning from chemicals and coconut derived products found in so many products (I’m allergic to coconut). At 40 I still suffer from acne and have pretty oily skin and I don’t think I’ve ever had a day in my adult life where I didn’t have blackheads on my chin and nose. The result for me was noticeable after the first time. I was pleasantly surprised when I woke the next morning with no new breakouts (like I expect to after using oil). Oil cleaning shouldn’t be to surprising, it’s been used through history regularly, it’s just not common place with all the lab inventions these days. It was definitely a “duh” momment for me. I’m currently using a combination of caster oil and sweet almond simply because they are what I had on hand. I’m mixing every other day to tweak and find the right balance for me as I feel I’m a little tight a couple hours later. I’ll try other astringent oils as the castor dwindles. So glad I found method. Gives me a little boost knowing I can find the things I need to take care myself the way I need to.

  58. Ana says:

    Hello, I have been reading about the OCM in many websites, however there are a few things that I would really like to clarify. For example, should I do the OCM in a daily basis? I am asking this because other sites recommend to do it only “regularly”, if this is so, how should we clean our faces on the days off? Well, in case you recommend not to do it every day. Thank you very much for sharing your experience.

  59. Heather says:

    Forgive me if this has already been discussed, but how frequently should I be doing this? Do you use any other cleansers/toners/masques/ or moisturizers?
    I am a little nervous to try but I have just spent a ton of money on an all organic line of product, but its just not working! UGH!

    Thanks!

  60. Lori says:

    I have been using the OCM for about 2 weeks and the moisture balance of my face is definitely improved. However, my blackheads seem to be getting worse. What ratio of oils have you all found helpful for this specific skin issue? What is the best substitute for castor oil?

    • It sounds like the trapped debris isn’t getting out of your pores or it is more noticeable because deeply embedded ick is working it’s way out. Be sure you are steaming your face and wiping it thoroughly. I recently tried using a microfiber cloth for extra exfoliation, and it worked quite well on the blackheads I have left though I’m a little hesitant to use synthetic cloths regularly. A baking soda ‘microdermabrasion’ scrub is also helpful.

      The best oils are going to be very individual. Grapeseed oil or hazelnut oil can be substituted for castor.

  61. Dawey says:

    I just started OCM tonight and it never occurred to me that I can’t use my regular face wash in the morning and on nights I don’t do OCM. I wear makeup everyday and I also workout everyday so as you can imagine I really need to clean my face often! I don’t plan to do OCM more than 3 times a week- what should I do? Thanks so much! (Btw these instructions are fantastic)

  62. LoraLynn says:

    I’ve been using OCM for several years now. I’m a diehard fan. HOWEVER, with prolonged use of castor and olive oil, I seem to develop an allergy to them. It happened with my lip balm and now it’s happened around my eyes where I take my make-up off. I’ve changed my make-up several times to make sure it’s not that, but it seems to be worse when I clean my face. The next morning, my eyes are all red and itchy. My question is: what should I try instead? I use coconut oil for moisture during the day, but it wasn’t really all that cleansing when I tried it. (My skin is dry.) Jojoba oil and grapeseed? I was doing a 4:1 ratio of olive to castor. Almond oil?

  63. [...] for your own skin care needs. For some great info and tips on the oil cleansing method, check out this post on the Mommypotamus blog. For an occasional exfoliator, add a little bit of baking soda to your olive oil. (*Note: I keep a [...]

  64. Melinda says:

    Jennifer, I am using the oil cleansing method and putting the oil on my face after the cleaning because I am so dry. Do you have a post on the moisturizing balm that you put on at the end of your video? Thanks for posting

  65. [...] already a Primal Life Organics customer.  I use Trina’s amazing products, do a little OCM, seldom wear makeup, and did a huge overhaul of the bathroom a few weeks ago where I ditched nearly [...]

  66. Taylor says:

    I just started using OCM and so far it’s going pretty well, though my skin is still adjusting. The problem is this: I am a biologist and I frequently travel to areas (i.e., the jungle) where hot water is simply not available. Can you think of any ways I could adapt OCM for use with cold water and limited towels? If not, do you have any suggestions of an alternate method for washing my face? I really don’t want to go back to cleanser and have to start all over again with OCM when I get back!

    • Sorry for the late reply! It’s getting harder to keep up on the comments over here. :)

      I love that you’re a biologist and fellow science geek! :D I think you could definitely try adjusting the method to see how it works for you. Try a lighter oil (you’d have to experiment; coconut oil may even be the way to go in tropical regions!) and wash your towel each time you use it or have access to clean water. I wouldn’t reuse the cloth more than twice.

      If I’m in a hurry, I sometimes rub the oil in and just wipe it off with a damp cloth. The Romans certainly didn’t steam their face with daily washes.

  67. Brandis says:

    I would say rinse with cold water and then, while your face is still wet, rum on coconut oil. Not a lot like you’re oil cleansing, more like you’re just moisturizing. And that’s it. It won’t do as good a job, but many cultures use only oil, no water, to clean with. I only say rinse diet in case you need to remove excess dirt.

  68. Amanda says:

    Hello. I’m looking to start the OCM. I’ve been using Bare Essentials for a few years and love it, but I’m trying to get rid of as many chemicals and toxins in my home as possible, and this seems like a good next step. I was thinking I would try “the sweet treat” recipe, but I don’t really know where to get these products. Also, is this an appropriate blend for normal to dry skin? I searched Amazon for Sweet Almond Oil, but how do you know which brands are reputable? Do you have a suggestion? If you’ve already answered this same question, I’m sorry. I read through a few of the comments at the top, but I’m trying to get this done while baby’s napping, which means I don’t have time to read through all of the comments (Popular post!!) :) Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!

    • Amanda,

      I’m extending an apology to you too for my late reply!

      The sweet treat is definitely good for dry skin. Almond and avocado oils are very nourishing. OCM will feel like a mini spa treatment and a couple of minutes of much needed ‘me time’ when you’re dealing with a wee one. It’s a form of stress relief for my busy days. :)

      The only way to know a company’s reputation is to contact them or read about their harvesting and processing practices on their website if it’s available. I’m sorry but I don’t have any suggestions for those particular oils.

  69. [...] I read this article on the Oil Cleansing Method, and this one too (complete with video). I decided that I’d tried everything short of visiting a dermatologist and my diet was as [...]

  70. Jennifer says:

    I just started the OCM two weeks ago. I have acne all over my chin and around my nose/upper lip. I am only using hemp seed oil. Should I add an astringent, like hazelnut oil? If so, all of the organic hazelnut oils come from roasted nuts; is that okay?

    • Hemp seed oil is very nourishing and better for dry skin. You should definitely start experimenting with astringent oils to help normalize your skin. Remember that acne is caused by diet and imbalances in the body, so that will be a big factor too. My skin changes depending on what I eat and the weather, so I’m always adjusting my oil blends.

      I would stay away from oils from roasted nuts as they are likely rancid and many of the healthful properties have been damaged or destroyed. You can also try grapeseed oil or look for a company that sustainably harvests castor oil.

  71. Tari says:

    Hi Jennifer! I just started OCM tonight with 1:3 of hazelnut oil and olive oil (I have oily skin)! My skin feels so soft and supple just after one use! :) Just wondering if I could just use the oil to cleanse and wipe off with a cloth in the morning and do the full routine with steaming only at night? i have school in the morning so I do not have the luxury of doing that every morning! Thanks you for the heads up! :-)

  72. Julie C says:

    Thank you for your post. I’ve tried the OCM the couple of nights and it has been surprisingly good for me. I am 40 and battled mild acne since I was a teen, it comes and goes, usually around the chin/lower lip area. I read somewhere that that has to do with liver/kidney issues so I am cleansing out my system. Recently, in the past month or so, I have broken out pretty badly on the chin area with acne that I’ve never really had before! I think it’s cystic- big reddish bumps that hurt, they’re like mounds- and it has been quite disheartening. I’m sure it’s a combination of the liver/kidney issue and hormonal. So anyway, I’m gently cleansing out my digestion system as well as changing my diet and have been doing the OCM the past couple of nights. I really think it’s helping, but as you mentioned, diet has to change also, so I’m working on it. Thank you so much for your post! I do have a quick question, what do you use for sunblock on your face?
    Thanks again!

    • Julie, it sounds like you have a good base for understanding how nutrition and detoxification work together. You may also want to check out face mapping (http://www.eruptingmind.com/chinese-face-map/). I find it fascinating and a good superficial tool to help learn about what areas are compromised and to keep track of how they’re healing.

      I don’t personally use sunblock. Adequate intake and digestion of fatty acids is the most important thing that will prevent a sunburn. Until this fall, I only moisturized with raw shea butter and use a large hat to shield my face if I’m in the sun for an extended time and it’s getting pink.

      Before I removed sugar and added adequate proper fats to my diet like coconut oil and pastured lard, I used to turn pink within 15 minutes of being in Michigan sun (which is rather weak).

      • Julie C says:

        Thank you so much! That facemapping page is VERY interesting… I couldn’t help but chuckle a little bit because as I suspected, my liver/kidneys probably need a good makeover. What was funny (but not really) was that on the mapping, the arch of the eyebrows have to do with the liver, and a couple of months or so ago, I got pimples almost at the same time right on the arches of both of my eyebrows. This is when I figured something was going on internally. Thank you again! As for the sunblock issues, I live in beautiful sunny California and we are out very often… so though it is quite beautiful out there, the sun can be pretty brutal at times, too… I am not brave enough to try your method of no-sunblock! Maybe someday… :o)

  73. Nathan says:

    I’ve been doing the OCM method for a few weeks now and it has slightly improved my skin. (mild acne). Recently however, my skin has become quite dry and even slightly red in areas. I’m using Castor oil and Sesame oil (10 parts to 1 part castor oil) to wash my face. I then use a few drops of tamanu and jojoba oil to moisturise. I’m not sure my method is correct, having watched the video in this blog post.

    What I do is:
    Apply half a tea spoon of cleansing oil blend to dry face and massage that it. I then take a heavy flannel (not washcloth/muslincloth) and soak that in warm water. I apply that directly to my face for about 30 seconds. I repeat this process then I jump in the shower and rinse my face a few times. Almost immediately after leaving the shower I pat the tamanu/jojoba oil blend into my face and go to bed. I don’t do anything in the morning.

    What I’m not sure about is instead of using a flannel to steam my face, should I instead use a muslin cloth ? I could also use that to exfoliate? Also, when I’m in the shower, should I avoid wetting my face after I have already wiped away most of the remanding cleansing oil? I would still need to apply the jojoba oil though because I’m trying to remove acne scars and my skin is dry in areas.

    Thank you!

    • Jojoba oil is a lovely moisturizer, so feel free to continue using it. It sounds like you may either be reacting to the castor oil or not getting enough moisturizers into your skin rather than your method of cleansing.

      Why don’t you try using jojoba oil for cleansing and then your tamanu and jojoba mixture for moisturizing? If your skin is still dry, I would suggest a heavier moisturizer like my healing skin balm (http://www.20somethingallergies.com/diy-healing-skin-balm/).

      Getting and digesting enough dietary fats may be something that you want to look into. Adding healthy fats like coconut oil, pastured butter (preferably raw), and olive oil [http://www.20somethingallergies.com/healing-chronic-illnesses-baby-step-4-fats/] and digesting them fully will moisturize your skin better than anything applied topically. I have a problem digesting them still, which is why I need such a heavy balm.

  74. Jaime says:

    Thanks so much for your commentary on castor oil! Not many people realize how much processing strips away the benefits of things that are naturally good for us! Have you ever tried Jamaican Black Castor Oil? It’s the raw, unprocessed form of castor oil. It’s doing wonders for my hair and skin!

  75. heather says:

    Ive started using this method..and have been experiencing a lot of dryness..my skin this winter has been pretty dry..my skin is usually oily especially in the summer..I use to have acne problems but now its just hormonal..I have noticed in the short time that ive been trying this ive noticed after I do my usual morning shower then makeup but its not getting very oily an hour or two later…I did this method with castor oil last night and really left my face dry..I redid the method. .I put extra on as a leave in..later I put on coconut oil over it..im still dry..so im frustrated that im putting oil on my face and my skin is soaking it up..but I look ten or so years older with the amount of dryness which gives me the tightness and forces wrinkle…I have no idea what to do ??

    • Isn’t it crazy that oil can dry your face out? My face has the same problems. I am still workign on normalizing that with diet changes, but I’m not quite there yet. Castor oil is very drying, so I would cut way back. Right now, I’m using about a quarter size amount of castor oil and a quarter size amount of grapeseed oil to a quarter cup of olive and jojoba oils. Jojoba oil has been my miracle oil this winter.

      Be sure you’re not using too high of a concentration of castor oil, and try adding in more moisturizing/conditioning oils to the mix. You may even want to use only moisturizing oils until the dryness disappears, and then start over with a mixture that contains less castor oil.

      I just diagnosed an essential fatty acid (EFA) deficiency in myself and an inability to completely digest fats – I’m training to be a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner -. It caused my skin to get extremely dry and I added jojoba oil to my homemade shampoo and OCM oil mixture. I follow up with my skin balm and it makes a huge difference. I look 5 years younger after washing my face and moisturizing!

      • heather says:

        i’ve been trying with just coconut oil..and olive oil…without the castor oil…i only have one part castor oil to 4 parts olive oil mixture…but i’ve only been doing oil..and i’m literally putting more oil…and more oil..then if it becomes to tight and dry i end up scrubbing my face so it feels somewhat normal..then slap on more lotion oil..anything i can get my hands on..putting just the oil on my skin instantly makes it dry…i just dont get why it would be doing this period..its oil!?!?! I’m just at the frustrated to tears point..I’ve thought about looking into getting some different oils..

        • That paints a different picture! It will take experimentation, but you can try a quarter size amount of castor and 1/4 cup of olive oil to start. You can experiment with the other moisturizing oils I mention too.

          I would strongly suggest using a butter/moisturizing balm with a high saturated fat content. Raw shea butter is a great one or you can try my skin balm (http://www.20somethingallergies.com/diy-healing-skin-balm/). It’s almost ready for sale. I’m just waiting on shipping supplies.

          It can take 3-4 days before you’ll notice significant changes, so stick with the original method, and keep your face moisturized with something heavier than just oil.

          • heather says:

            ha i have been reapply anything i can get my hands on…at night i’ve been applying lotion or some sort of oil multiple times before giving up and going to bed..i’ve not had this issue this badly…your balm did catch my eye…you need to start selling like…yesterday!!!! lol I’ve been doing this since saturday-sunday …so i’ve been doing this past 3 to 4 days…its not getting any better :O/

  76. I just wanted to let you know that this technique for washing my face has changed my life. It is so not intuitive to clean your face with oil but it is AMAZING! I have combination skin and it is getting aged. My oiliness has calmed down, my pores are clearer, and my fine lines are less noticeable. I can not tell you how awesome this technique is! Thank you!!!!!!

  77. Sarah P.. says:

    I have been using the OCM for the last 6 months, after struggling with acne for years (2 rounds of Accutane as a teenager). This is the most balanced my skin has ever been. I still occasionally break out, but that is more stress and diet-induced than anything.

    My question, though, is how do you get rid of the oil smell in your washcloths? It’s gradually gotten worse, the longer I have followed OCM. I’ve even boiled my washcloths with a drop of dish detergent, but they still smell of nearly-rancid oil.

  78. Heather! I’m down here! :D I can’t reply directly to your last comment for some reason.

    The results you are noticing now are cumulative of what has happened over the last few nights. Start with a deep breath. :) Then, I suggest to follow the directions with no ad-libbing and be gentle to your skin. Give it a couple of days for your skin to start healing and shedding that top layer.

    I should be able to have the store open later next week for the balm (depending on the speed of the good old USPS) and will make a grand opening announcement on my blog @ http://www.20somethingallergies.com.

    Just have patience and it will correct itself. If it is unbearably dry, straight hemp or jojoba oil could help it heal faster and you should be able to find shea butter at a local health food store.

  79. heather says:

    hehe

    it has been unbearably dry..i can handle it until night or morning and then its just far to much for me to handle…being 29..i shouldnt look 59 with how dry and scaly it is…i’m gentle until i get to the raw point and cant handle it..i’m a little afraid of oil cleansing tonight cause i know my skin will do a 180 of how it feels now..

    i do have plans on looking for something local..although hard to find where i live..if not im buying something online..but hopefully i can find something local..

    hopefully for the next few days i can deal with the horrible dryness..no guarantees cause i haven’t yet! and hopefully wont have to face the world until it heals up…or whatever its issue is…it feels somewhat okay now..thanks to exfoliating…which i’ve always had to do…but my skins never felt like that if i skipped it either…my face has never felt that rough ever before as it does with evoo on it…it just really makes no sense to me ..

  80. Aejin Hahn says:

    Would it be safe to use expired olive oil or sweet almond oil for oil cleansing?

  81. Candace says:

    I have acne prone skin, and also very large pores that I’ve been trying so hard to downsize. I am having a really hard time understanding the OCM. I have bought plenty of oils- Castor, Hazelnut, Jojoba, Tea Tree, Rosehip, Grapeseed- and I don’t know what I am doing wrong but I just can’t seem to find my perfect oil! My skin isn’t too oily by nature, or even dry, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a “normal” type either. I suppose it is combination, hahaha. Maybe I don’t know how to catergorize my skin? Maybe my mix is waaaaay off? Right now I use 40% Hazelnut and Grapeseed, 10% Castor and 10% Jojoba. My skin isn’t tight after I do this, it’s a little bit greasy, my pores don’t show any sign of improvement, nor does my skin overall. In fact, I’ve been doing this since 2/20 and my skin has gotten much worse. This could partly be due to the fact that I was using Proactiv prior (I read it makes your acne dormant), so I assumed the first month my skin would be purging. Should it still be? How long should I try a mix before deciding it’s not working? Should I increase my Castor if my pores haven’t seen a difference? ARGH! I need help. End of story. I really hope that I can gain some insight from someone’s comment!

    Thank you!

  82. Tracy says:

    I started OCM 3 weeks ago after reading about it and hesitating for ages. I have castor oil and jajoba and use them about 50/50 with a drop of vit E. I was really hopeful about it and at first rather liked it, but it’s kind of gone downhill. My forehead broke out a bit and my chin is worse than it’s ever been. Because I’m only three weeks in I’m not TOO concerned about that, I’ll give it another week or two before I get actually upset… I think. Or should I be upset already? Should I change anything? I’ve ordered some tea tree oil to add because apparently that’s good for breakouts. Other recommendations?
    But I’m having another problem I’m confused about… I decided to try it mainly because I have keratosis pilaris on my cheeks that I’ve never managed to get to go away, and thought this might work or at least help. Well, it’s kind of gone away on my left cheek (my left cheek is all soft and the skin looks nice, there’s only a few bumps left, I love it), but my right cheek is almost rougher than before… I’ve also noticed the vast majority of the breakout has been on my right side. Has anyone had this unevenness? My only guess is because I pour the oil into my left hand and then rub my hand together my left side is somehow getting more? But I’ve tried to correct this by rubbing both hands on both sides of my face… not much improvement.
    Any ideas? I really want this to work, but the fact that it seems to be affecting the sides of my face differently is so weird.

  83. Miriam says:

    So I’ve been trying the OCM for about 4 weeks, and am so sad as my face has now broken out with a kazillion tiny little zits in addition to the cystic beasts I usually deal with. I’m 30 and at my wits end. I keep sticking with it because the tone and elasticity HAVE improved, and I just keep hoping hoping hoping that it will get better. Right now I’m using EVOO and Caster oil, but I’ve just stocked up on grapeseed oil, hemp seed oil, and tea tree. I can’t find borage seed or hazlenut anywhere, I’ve tried several health food store, where do you get yours?
    As for my diet, I eat vegan most of the time, and have gone several periods of strict veganism, and never noticed an improvement in my diet. I rarely eat dairy, and lately especially have eaten very minimal refined sugar. So….what is wrong with me!? I’m so frustrated, I want this to work, I want ANYTHING to work, I’ve tried it all, and nothing really has worked very well (except Acutane which is the WORLD’S WORST drug, I’m definitely not willing to pay that price again. The only thing I haven’t tried is changing my pillow case nightly, and maybe I need to drink more water,I haven’t been steller at that lately. Any tips for a desperate soul? Also, is there such thing as a wholistic dermatologist? Or is that you?;)

    • Check out the new Q & A post and the comments for some suggestions. As a training nutritional therapist, I highly suggest high-quality animal protein and fats for optimal health. A optimal vegetarian diet is very hard to maintain and a vegan diet is not recommended for a health plan. It could very likely be the cause of your acne. Mommypotamus has a good post on acne to get you started. The link is in the Q & A post.

      I hope that helps and you start to see beautiful, glowing skin soon!

  84. Miriam says:

    Oh, one more thing. My stores sell flax-borage seed combination oils,but never just the borage unless it’s in capsules. Any tips?

  85. Ming says:

    hi, i’ve been using oil cleansing method for a month now and it has done a good job on my skin, but still there are still breakouts. I’ve ordered tea tree oil to add to the blend, the now foods tea tree essential oil. Any idea how much do I add into my oil blend?
    thanks.

  86. Edyta says:

    Hi I would like to now what is the astringent oil. I have dry skin and your recipe calls for this oil. Than you.Edyta

  87. lori says:

    wondering if Jamaican Black Castor oil would be a better solution to regular castor oil… the Health benefits of castor oil are many. Seems that the production of the oil is different and harvesting seems to be a problem in China Brazil and India… from what I can find… Unlessyou are aware of something else…

  88. Jennifer says:

    Hello Heather! There are no longer any “green” highlighted areas. Is Hazelnut the only astringent type of oil? Wanted to be sure before I head to the store!

    Thanks!

  89. Danielle says:

    Okay, so I really want to start de-toxing my life and perhpas this has been addressed, but what do you store your DIY products in?

    How often do you wash your face and hair?

    What about regular body lotion?

    I really want to clear out my home of store bought items, but I am a little overwhelmed.

    • I store all of my products in glass containers, usually leftover food jars or mason jars. How often to wash will be up to the individual, but see the Q & A post for how often to oil cleanse (www.mommypotamus.com/oil-cleansing-your-questions-answered/). This is the link to the only lotion that I use: http://www.20somethingallergies.com/diy-healing-skin-balm/. I would recommend buying Mommypotamus’ DIY Organic Beauty book to get started and start with one recipe at a time. It is a really, really fantastic book, and I will even be selling products made from her recipes (with Heather’s permission) because they are so amazing!

      • Danielle says:

        Thank you so much for anwering! So very impressed. :)

        I’m getting to buy the necessary items, but I have some acne scarring. Will the OCM help with that or should I do something in conjunction?

        I’ve read about lemon juice, but at what point would I be overdoing it?

        • Heather says:

          I think what constitutes “overdoing it” will vary from individual to individual. Not sure about the effect of OCM on acne scarring, though.

        • I like to start with one thing at a time and add to the routine slowly. You have less of a chance of overwhelming your skin and, if you react to something, there is an easier change of finding the source.

          OCM has helped remove the skin discolorations for me but not ‘pitting’. A good nutrient-dense diet that is properly digested and absorbed full of skin-building nutrients, gelatin, and animal collagen are great ways to help heal from those type of scars. It may not remove them completely, depending on the severity, but it will likely lessen their appearance.

  90. [...] The Oil Cleansing Method: A How-To Guide for Clear, Radiant Skin and still have questions or you’ve been valiantly trying it for a number of weeks and look like a science experiment. [...]

  91. [...] The Oil Cleansing Method: A How-To Guide for Clear, Radiant Skin and still have questions or you’ve been valiantly trying it for a number of weeks and look like a science experiment. [...]

  92. Kelly says:

    If I am using an oil mixture that contains borage seed oil, does it need to be refridgerated? Also, how much tea tree oil would you recommend adding the mixture if I decide to use it (I am going to try the no more acne mix)…

    • Kelly,

      You should follow the directions on the package for the borage seed oil. I believe it is an oil that should be refrigerated, but it may depend on how it is manufactured. For tea tree oil, my inexpert opinion is to start with 1-3 drops and adjust from there. You should only need and use a small amount, since it’s very potent.

  93. Nicole says:

    I use coconut oil to take my make up off, but haven’t tried OCM. Is hazelnut the only astringent oil and the others are conditioning? Would you olive oil and/or coconut oil and how would they be classified? Also, I don’t have acne, but occasionally I get cysts underneath my skin that stays there for weeks! Wonder which oil would be best…Thanks for the great post.

  94. EDYTA says:

    Hi I would like to now what I could use in place hazelnut oil. I have been having hard time finding this oil at grocery stores. Thank you. EDYTA.

  95. EDYTA says:

    Hi I also started washing my face with sweet almond oil and useing argon oil as moisturizer but my skin feels very dry and flaky. Edyta.

  96. Bernice says:

    HI
    I going to try this so I went to Whole Foods and I bought what I thought were the right oils but now I think I may have bought the wrong one. Can you email me PLEASE! I bought the whole foods brand aura cacia Comforting Avocado and The Sweet almond but above on the label it says pure essential oils. Can you tell me if I bought the wrong thing. On the ingredients it just says avocado oil and vitamin e. Help me please :)

    • Heather says:

      Bernice, I’m sorry but I’m not familiar with the products you just mentioned. Avocado and almond oils are plant/seed oils rather than essential oils so I’m not quite sure I understand what you have on hand.

  97. Melissa says:

    I love this information! Do you have a favorite place to get your oils?

  98. A Stalvey says:

    Trying this!

  99. Danielle Talbot says:

    Hi, I have been using the oil cleansing method for just over nine weeks now and my face is no where near clearing up and looking fabulous! I have breakouts all over my fave bad, including my eyelids near the brow bone.They hurt :( I was told by someone that jojoba oil is the best because it is closest to our natural oils. I have only been using it for about a couple weeks and my face seems worse! I also have been using tea tree oil, but only for a couple weeks.
    I have also used EVOO, which made me feel super dry. Then I moved to Sunflower oil which was more hydrating. After 9 weeks, I want to believe this can work and I would love to keep going if it will, but I’m starting to look at my old cleansers and think they were the best thing for my skin..
    If anyone has some advice on what I should try, I would be extremely grateful! My skin has always been oily and acne prone. I had a baby and more recently its been dryer around my mouth and nose when I wash it. I usually need a little extra moisture there.
    Thanks!

    • Danielle,

      The oils are individual to our skin and usually depend on the nutrients that we are deficient in. Some people even rub cold liver oil in and have great results.

      Look to healing your body inside to have great skin outside. You’ll see from my post that it is what cleared up my acne and skin problems. You likely have compromised digestion and an imbalance in gut flora. Traditional Chinese Medicine and reflexology both show this relationship very clearly. I would suggest looking into a healing protocol like the GAPS Diet, and you may find that you clear up a whole host of chronic health symptoms with it! I’m also going to be starting another round of GAPS and it will be taking over my blog (www.20somethingallergies.com) over the next few months at least if you’d like to learn more.

  100. India says:

    I want to start oil cleansing asap! But I don’t have olive oil. I guess all the oils I have right now are Argan, and Tea Tree. Can you use these?

  101. Debbie says:

    Hi – need a little advise please. I have rosacea, very sensitive, dry and flaky skin. Lately have been using an organic olive oil soap with chamomile to cleanse and coconut oil to moisturize. But still very dry and flaky and need the pimples. Have also improved my diet with green juice and whole foods (will try to cut out gluten next). Will castor oil and avocado oil be a better choice?

    • I would stay away from all soaps with dry skin. Avocado oil should be a great choice for your skin. You may even want to try it without the castor oil, so it doesn’t aggravate the rosacea.

      Severe dry skin, and a possible cause of the roseacea, is caused by fatty acid deficiencies. For anyone with skin issues, I recommend a gut healing protocol because most chronic health issues begin in the gut. Fatty acid deficiency is usually caused by not beign able to digest fats properly.

      Proper nutrient-dense foods and detox will also come within the gut healing protocol. I recommend the GAPS Diet and will be covering more about it on my blog coming up as we start another round of it (www.20somethingallergies.com).

  102. susan says:

    What are your thoughts/experience with Evening Primrose Oil?

  103. Sarah says:

    Hi! I’ve been using the OCM for awhile with great results but this was a very informative post, thank you! My one question is how do you clean your washcloths? I wash mine every couple of days but they become so oily that even stripping them won’t get it out and I have to stop using them. I would love to not have to buy wash cloths so often! Thanks!

    • ashley says:

      Sarah– here’s my method and i haven’t had any washcloth issues at all. first of all, i only use one each time i wash my face so they don’t get too bad. the other thing i do is do the OCM while in the shower and i use the oil just like regular soap. i do it at the end of the shower so my pores are open from the steam. then before i use my washcloth, i rinse the oil as much off of my face as i can. then i use the washcloth to get the remainder of the oil. and i do rinse it in between wiping my face in the hot water of the shower. it’s been an easy way for me to consistently do the OCM. hope that helps!

  104. [...] Oil Cleansing: Twice now I’ve used coconut oil to cleanse my face, and I’ve noticed major improvements in the inflammation. I do want to emphasize that many people do NOT recommend coconut oil for your face as it can be comodogenic, but I haven’t had an issue here. To learn more about oil cleansing, I recommend reading this post from Mommypotamous, including a handy video! [...]

  105. Elyse Andrews says:

    Love this method, I have been doing it for a while now, and will never go back to face wash!

  106. Hi jennifer, how many times a day/ week do you use this method? Thank you

  107. Julie C says:

    Hi, thank you Heather and Jenn for all the info. I actually posted here on March 1, 2013, so this is somewhat of an update… I thought I’d share my experience with you all since my issues were mostly acne related… When I started doing this a couple of months ago, it was mainly to try to stop the acne. I loved how it made my skin feel where I didn’t have the acne, however, I continued to get the acne and it got worse and worse, most of it on my chin. I know it wasn’t from the OCM, it was internal. But I stopped doing the OCM and went back to Proactiv out of desperation, but that didn’t help either, it just got worse and worse. I bought the ebook Acne No More and that really gave me a lot of insight. I went on a mission to really clean up my eating habits and detox. I started taking Pantothenic Acid, Herpanacine, Optizinc along with detoxing. I bought the Exposed Acne Skin Care system hoping it will help in the meantime, but it didn’t, so I quit that. However, I have to say that since I’ve been taking the supplements and cleaning out my system internally, my acne has mostly cleared up (only a couple small ones as I type). The acne became very painful and they were huge, mainly on my chin, it made my chin look distorted and gross. At one point, I counted all the pimples and there were at least 25 just on my chin. But now, it’s really cleared up and now I have the scars to deal with.
    During the last awful couple of months, I couldn’t wait to go back to OCM. I am so happy to report now that I am doing it again and, as before, I love how it makes my skin look and feel. I have been using a mixture of 1 part castor, 1 part apricot seed oil, 2 parts olive oil, 2 parts jojoba oil and a couple drops turmeric essential oil. It’s only been a few days since I started back and I can already see a difference in my skin. I am dealing with clearing up the terrible scarring the acne has left me and for that, I’m using a blend of lavender, frankincense, carrot, turmeric, and Roman chamomile essential oils and I really think it’s helping.
    I share all of this because I noticed that most everyone’s problem is acne and that was my problem. As Jenn stated in her tutorial, it has to start with changing the diet. I also believe you really have to cleanse out your internal system (mostly the digestive system, including the liver) to have long-term positive effects.
    It’s been a tough couple of months dealing with the skin issue, detoxing, and changing habits, but the worst is over and I love that I am doing the oil cleansing method again!!
    Thank you again!

    • What a great update! Thanks for coming back and sharing with us Julie. I’m so happy that you found a good book that was able to help.

      Changing your diet is actually the best form of detox that you can do, but the supplemental forms such as detox baths (20somethingallergies.com/detox-bath-method-and-recipes/) and lymph massage are extremely helpful while healing the body’s natural detoxification system, including the digestive tract and liver.

  108. Jamie says:

    I am an OCM noob, who is very interested in all of the ins and outs of OCM. I am assuming that if I use hemp seed oil in my oil mixture, I will have to refrigerate my entire mixture. I have heard that hemp oil goes bad quickly if not refrigerated. But…you know what they say about assuming things… Any advice? Thanks!

    • I would follow the directions given on each bottle of oil, but yes, hemp oil is almost always refrigerated.

      If you refrigerate your mixture, be sure to warm it thoroughly in your hand before putting it on your face to prevent it from closing the pores. The opposite of what you want to do when trying to steam them open to loosen trapped dirt and debris. :)

  109. Allison says:

    Hi there,
    I tried to brush my teeth with coconut oil and ended up clogging the sink with the coconut oil I was spitting down and now my husband won’t let me do that anymore (because he had to take the sink apart and it was pretty gross :) So I’m hesitant to start cleaning my face with oil now too. Especially because while I could spit the tooth brushing oil into the trash or toilet I guess, I can’t exactly wring out the face washcloth with toilet water (eewww :)

    Any suggestions? I know a quarter sized amount each night doesn’t seem like much, but I’m assuming it would add up over months. Has anyone experienced this?

    Thanks.
    Allison.

    • Most of the oil will end up on your washcloth, so it shouldn’t be really running down your sink.

      The problem with coconut oil is that it solidifies at room temperature from the saturated fats. Your oil mixture will likely be liquid at room temp so will not solidify in the pipes, but you can call a plumber to be sure. My opinion is far from expert. :)

  110. Leigh says:

    I’m so glad I saw this. I have ultra sensitive skin and cannot even tolerate the dermatologist stuff they recommend at high end department stores for long. but, I have been using an oil that Laura Mercier put out that comes from Japan for a couple years with success and then I moisturize with pure Argan oil and pure Cocoa butter.

    I am running out so I am going to try mixing my argan with some olive oil and perhaps sweet almond oil, I guess.

    I would love your recipe for the skin balm that sounds excellent.

    I love your page Heather!

  111. [...] drops of your favorite beneficial oil. (Remember the Oil Cleansing Method? You can customize this mask based on your skin [...]

  112. [...]  The biggest (scariest) 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 [...]

  113. Meg says:

    Jennifer Nervo is just *adorable* in that video. I have been “oil cleansing” for about 2 weeks and I’m breaking out worse than when I was using tea tree soap and witch hazel. Apparently I’ve been doing it all wrong! D’oh! Thanks so much for posting this!

  114. Cindy says:

    Hi all
    I have used the oil cleansing method for more than 2 years now and I think I’ve gotten to a few conclusions about various oils and their various results.

    Firstly, the first oils I used was olive oil and castor oil mixed with rose and lavender essential oils for the smell and whatever health benefits they add. The verdict is that the olive oil is great for feeding and healing, but in winter you might have to go for something more oily or waxy, like the jojoba, which I slather on afterwards after cleansing.

    The castor oil, though great for cleansing, it is very drying. Flaking like a shedding lizard is not attractive. So I added more olive oil… and then some more olive oil… so the ratio is now so much bigger than when I started that I think it might not be worth it to even add castor oil anymore. it is too harsh. Maybe I never had an oily skin, but an overreacting skin problem and that I now have a naturally balanced skin and harsh cleaning is no longer helpful or needed? When I just started I had the worst breakouts because of castor oil! it was horrific and painful too! around my nose, around my lips, in my hairline, on my jawline! GAH! So I cut out the caster oil for months and just used olive oil for cleansing and moisturizing … wonderful stuff!

    I have also started using coconut oil and in summer it is divine! Please note that it is one of those oils that takes moisture out of the air and during humid hot summer days your skin is hog happy, but come dry winter, it actually sucks moisture out of your skin resulting in dryness. It is incredible that you can put oil layer after oil layer on and end up with dry crinkly wrinkly hands and I shudder to tell you what it does to your face…. You can keep using it for cleansing, but to finish off I would really suggest putting on jojoba as it soothes and seems to add a bit more oil to your dry skin. Seals in the goodness? Cliche with moisturizers, but it might be true in this instance.

    I have also tried out Argan Oil, and this is reputed to be very good, though very pricey, but it is also best for use during summer as it can’t add enough oil to your skin during winter in my experience.

    Another oil I found is Tamanu Oil (or Foraha) and it is pricey too, smells a bit like curry, or something roasted and you use very little at a time. Mostly because it is solid and/or very thick and I cannot get it out of the bottle! If you can get this, it is worth looking into during harsh winter seasons as I’ve been trying to get a mix that would leave my skin happy and not dry and peeling after cleansing, and this seems to help as part of my mix. The smell goes if you add some sandalwood or jasmine essential oil.

    Do some research with regards to essential oils as I’ve found that adding a scent that I adore, like sandalwood, really adds to my enjoyment of this cleansing method. My face smells great the WHOLE DAY LONG! aromatherapy as well as beauty benefits! Sandalwood is also great in skin care products. Lavender, Myrrh, Rose, Frankincense, tea tree… etc etc… all good for the face!

  115. Sarah says:

    Hello, thanks so much for this info! I have been struggling with mild to severe hormonal breakouts for a few years now. Let me tell you it hasn’t been pretty. I started by caking my face in makeup and trying to hide it. Everything I did, did not work. Over the counter medications did not help and actually made it worse. I did some research and found the oil pulling method. I started using Castor oil and sweet almond oil, let me tell you this stuff worked wonders. Until a few weeks ago! I will be trying out some new oils for sure. Thanks for this! I will be doing some research myself and have found Primrose Oil? What do ya think?

  116. Bryanna says:

    Hi there, I am doing my research on the OCM before trying it. I have been to the derm this past year and after the initial clearing up of my acne ( I also have eczema sometimes) I noticed I am breaking out way more than I have in a long time! I am on an acne pill and benzol peroxide (which I hate because it dries up my skin). I am also very curious about how hormones and diet affect acne? The weird thing is, is that I am eating healthier than I ever have in the past. Now my acne is better than it was last year when I was eating poorly, but I still break out way more than I would consider normal. In high school I hardly ever broke out, it’s so weird! Could you recommend how you found what triggered your skin problems (diet, hormones?) and how the OCM worked for you (great before pics btw)?

    • I found out through a lot of research and trial and error with my diet. Food allergies, foods high in sugars and simple carbohydrates that affect my blood sugar (which disregulate hormones), and processed foods were the biggest triggers.

      If you are using conventional medications to treat acne, it’s going to have negative effects on your health and skin. I highly recommend reading Skintervention for a great place to learn how to treat your skin naturally and heal the acne from the inside out: http://skinterventionguide.com/?hop=jnervo (affiliate link).

  117. Candice says:

    hi heather and jennifer, thank you so much for all the info. i am new to this whole skin care bit and even newer to the ocm. recently started having adult acne (30) (hormone imbalance i think – any tips for that are welcome :) ) i notice you didnt use a toner after the ocm in the video…… do you use a toner at all?
    can i omit toner from the skin care routine if i’m using the ocm? (i’m using diluted acv after ocm and then i dampen my face and apply some grapeseed oil mixed with some lavender, rosemary and bergamot essential oils.
    any advice around this topic is welcomed. thank you so much. o and can i use honey to cleanse on mornings and then ocm at night?
    should i use toner after cleansing with honey?
    i hav combination skin and break out mostly just before and during my period and using about 1/4 castor oil and 3/4 grapeseed oil. (use to use olive but crunchy betty says it may not be best-what do u think?) i live in trinidad and its difficult to get those other oils u all talk about. sorry for being so long but i have alot of concerns…. very confused. hope you can help or advise.
    LOVE this website…. thanks for taking the time to share your accumulating wealth of knowledge. :)

    • I don’t use a toner myself, but I do talk about using apple cider vinegar 30 minutes before cleansing for acne-prone skin in the follow up Q & A post on the Oil Cleansing Method (www.mommypotamus.com/oil-cleansing-your-questions-answered/). I don’t generally recommend using it after, because it changes the balance of your skin and removes the beneficial oils. Experiment with toners before and after to see which works best for you!

      You can absolutely use honey in the morning and OCM at night.

      I personally use olive oil, but i know it causes problems for some people. Much of it will have to do with the fatty acid balance within your body and the quality of/additives in the oil. Again, feel free to experiment to see what your skin prefers.

  118. [...] Mommypotamus has a great post about this including a video walking you through how she does it (which is what I use) and suggestions for other oils. She’s really down on Castor Oil but I still use it. [...]

  119. [...] The Oil Cleansing Method: The How-to For Clear, Radiant Skin [...]

  120. Donna says:

    I am no expert, but I think the key to the OCM or any facial cleansing routine with oils is to find the right oil for your face. It may not be the method, but the oil that is the problem. Knowing your sking type and the differences between High Oleic or High Linoleic oils is very important.

    For example, I have dry skin, and High Linoleic oils make me breakout, clog pores, and give me milia (little hard white spots). So I use only almond oil or coconut oil on my face. My prefered method of washing my face is 60/40, raw honey/ coconut oil. Then adding raw sugar to exfoliate 2x a week. I also use almond oil for moisture (absolutely perfect for my skin).

    Examples of High-Oleic oils for dry skin (almond or olive, avocado)
    High-Linoleic (sunflower, safflower, rosehip, grapeseed, etc.) Better for oily skin. There are many more.
    Just something to research!

  121. […] heard of oil cleansing before and I was intrigued by it.   I followed the link in her post to the Mommypotamus blog to learn about other oils I might use as I don’t have any castor oil in the house (I decided […]

  122. Stephanie says:

    I was wondering if a combination of equal parts castor, jojoba, grapeseed and avocado oils would be good?

  123. Rita says:

    I haven’t read all the comments but I hope the issue of castor oil being toxic has been cleared up.
    People need to read and do their own research instead of just repeating what someone else ‘said’.

  124. […] Of course, you can always make stuff yourself. There are a ton of great recipes on the interwebs for everything from toner to lotion, bath salts to body scrubs. There are 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 too! […]

  125. Izabela says:

    Nice tutorial, thank you!!

  126. Josephine says:

    I have been using oil cleansing now for 2 yrs and have completely stopped wearing make up. My skin is no longer oily and clear. Has worked for several clients too when prescription strength cleansers and lotions didn’t. I use castor oil with sunflower oil, grapeseed oil and hazelnut oil. I have oily skin and breakout with the olive oil. It just takes some experimenting to find a mix that works for an individual’s skin.

  127. Kelly Evans says:

    I have had some degree of acne since the 6th grade, I am 41 now. My diet has changed drastically over the years and now is not perfect, but not bad either. Nothing I eat has ever seemed to make a difference in my acne. I have tried all the prescription topicals, some things “helped” but never cleared it up completely. I started using the oil cleansing method last spring, in April. I have tried different combinations of oils, e.g., your acne combo above, straight coconut oil, a blend for acne prone skin from Jenulence, and now I’m using a half/half mix of olive oil and jojoba oil. My acne hasn’t gotten any worse, but it’s not any better to be truthful. And I now have lots of small bumps across my face…some whitish, some flesh colored along with my normal red bumped acne. I have tried the apple cider vinegar toner, bentonite clay masks and baking soda/water masks. I don’t use a “lotion” moisturizer, I used a small amount of jojoba oil in the morning after I cleanse with honey (my skin used to be very oily, I no longer have that issue). I put tea tree oil, lavender oil or a clove oil mixture directly on my pimples. I use a mineral makeup by Jenulence (I cannot go without, I would be too embarrassed to walk around in public without makeup on). Do you happen to have any advice or suggestions for me before I give up on the OCM and try something else? I would appreciate any thoughts you might have!!

  128. […] When you purchase your oils, make sure you get organic, cold pressed, and pure. Determining the best oils for your skin type and your ideal ratio might take a little while. For help deciding where to start, check out Mommypotamus’ article. […]

  129. Anna says:

    How often do you recommend using a new washcloth? If you’re staring off doing it every night, do you need a fresh washcloth each time? That’s a lot of washcloths lol

  130. Jamee says:

    Has anyone ever used tamanu oil or a mixture of? “Tamanu oil has been thoroughly researched, and the conclusive evidence on its ability to heal damaged skin is overwhelming. Its benefits are notable for the treatment for scarring, stretch marks, minor cuts and abrasions, rashes, sores and much more.
    Can be used directly on the skin or mixed within formulations.” (Via Mountain Rose Herbs). I bought some for a homemade shampoo recipe but was curious if anyone else had any other uses for it. Read somewhere where someone was using it as part of the oil cleansing method but couldn’t remember where I saw this. Thanks in advance!

  131. […] Oil Cleansing Method — before I hop in the shower, I pour a quarter-sized amount of oil into my hands, let it sit for a few seconds to warm up, and massage it into my face for about 30-60 seconds. I then shower, rinse and moisturize the rest of my body with the oil still on my face. Next, I run a washcloth under hot-as-I-can-take-it water, wring it out, and lay it over my face for 30 seconds or until it cools to room temperature. After this second mini steam treatment, I then remove the oil with the washcloth. The steam from the shower helps open my pores, and the oil penetrates the skin to “pull out” blackheads, whiteheads and other miscellaneous gunk. I currently use olive oil and coconut oil with a dab of tea tree, but I plan on experimenting with more astringent oils, such as grapeseed, castor or jojoba oil. Need more information on the OCM? Click here or here. […]

  132. Beth says:

    Wow, I’ve been using this method for years and have been so happy with what it has done for my skin. Unfortunately I’ve also been basing most of my blends with castor oil as the main oil, never knowing about the toxic side of this oil. My blend will now be changing thanks to the information I learned in this post! Thank you!

  133. ash says:

    I’ve been doing the OCM for almost a year now and am LOVING it overall. I use only olive oil and it’s been wonderful…I love the tone and texture of my skin and breakouts are much more infrequent now. However, I have noticed that the blackheads are still there and maybe a few more than before I started using OCM. I haven’t wanted to experiment with oils too much b/c other than that, it’s the best skin care method I’ve ever found. Any ideas on how to tackle the blackheads?

  134. Jo says:

    I gave oil cleansing a good go but the issue I had as a sufferer of rosacea was all the wiping water to get it off & hotwater! I just found it irritated my skin & created more broken capillaries. Any recommendations out there? My skin likes the oil just not the water.

    • Instead of cleansing, try letting warm water run over your face in the shower and then follow up with a light patting of nourishing oils to seal in the moisture and protect your skin from the elements.

      Rosacea is a result of gut dysfunction and diet choices, so you can look to a gut healing protocol if you’d like to reverse your rosacea. :)

  135. […] had to change. I then found a great tutorial on oil cleansing. Watch this video from Jennifer at mommypotamus. It will change your life. It changed mine. I started doing the oil cleanse method 2 times a day, […]

  136. Amanda says:

    I just started the OCM this week and am wondering if I can still wash my face in the morning. I use OneLoveOrganics face cleansers. They don’t have any of the scary toxins, etc. I’m trying to avoid. I do wear makeup during the day and just can’t imagine not washing my face before applying makeup…is it essential to the OCM to stop washing with any other cleanser, even if its a high-quality toxin-free product? My plan as of now is to use the OCM each night, followed by a toner, and added oil for moisture if needed. In the morning I’d like to cleanse with one of my OneLoveOrganics cleansers, followed by toner, and oil and/or an Arcona moisturizer. Your thoughts? Thanks!

  137. Jane says:

    I just started the OCM. I wear makeup to work during the day and really feel like I need to wash my face in the morning before applying makeup. I use cleansers from OneLoveOrganics that are toxin-free, etc. Sometimes I use the AM/PM Acne Lotion from Arcona which is also toxin-free. Do you have to stop cleansing in the morning for the OCM to be effective? Currently, in the morning, I cleanse with one of my OneLoveOrganics cleansers, follow with toner, and then a oil as a moisturizer or some of the Arcona moisturizer. In the evenings I do the OCM (1/2 castor, 1/2 grape seed, a few drops of tea tree and tamanu oil). I follow with toner. Does this sound like a good regimen? I don’t want to counteract the benefits of the OCM with other parts of my routine. Thanks for the help!

  138. […] If you’d like to learn more about how I cleared up my acne-ridden skin and made my skin look 5 years younger, go check out my comprehensive post on oil cleansing. […]

  139. Karen Wood says:

    Wow so much to read here. Have to save it for a less tired time. Sure do wish I had a way to learn this stuff when I was younger. I always cared about natural and felt it was a better way to go but a lack of internet in my youthful days prevented me from finding all this great stuff. I had organic gardening and semi healthy eating but that was all.

  140. Ashley says:

    I’ve been looking for natural facial cleansers! I shared this on my Pinterest Natural Living Board for your coconut oil giveaway!
    Thank you for sharing!

  141. Andrea says:

    Hi,
    I want to try the oil cleansing method and I have jojoba oil but I see you haven’t mentioned this…can I use it though as one of the carrier oils?

    • Amy says:

      Jojoba oil is not an oil or a wax, it is a wax ester and it is remarkably close to the sebum our skin produces naturally. It is not solid at room temperature and soaks into your skin beautifully – I use it under makeup with no problems. Here’s technical data about jojoba:
      http://www.jojobanaturals.com/chemistry.php
      I love jojoba and use it as a carrier oil, and mix it with castor and other oils for cleansing.
      Earlier posts ask about coconut oil – it is not recommended for OCM and is known to clog pores. Jojoba oil will not clog pores and it is great for OCM and for use as a moisturizer.

  142. […] this blog post: 7 Secrets that Cured my Acne without Chemicals, which then lead me to this post: The Oil Cleansing Method. First of all, the method that the little video tutorial shows is way more doable than the 15 min […]

  143. Julie says:

    Hi, what are you using now that you aren’t using castor oil anymore?

  144. Marcela says:

    Great Site!!! I loved it! Im going to try this cleansing!

  145. […] you find that this method dries your skin out, try less castor oil. (Some people do well without any castor oil at all, though it is the standard). If it seems to clog your pores […]

  146. Marcela says:

    I did it. This is the most great thing ever! Thanks!!

  147. Paulissa says:

    Could one use coconut oil? I don’t have the other oils on hand (other than olive oil). I do have some witch hazel on hand.

  148. Maya says:

    Hi there, would anyone know if coconut oil would work for this method? I have very oily skin…. Thanks!

  149. Jacinda says:

    hi :) i am just starting out with oil cleansing and had a question about using a facial scrub, if its okay to and how offen? I have acne prone skin! And what kind of scrub if any would you recommend to use? Thanks

  150. Erma Belcher says:

    I have starting using the oil cleansing and found to be what my skin needed. I do not like the feel of store bought cleansers and lotions. Have always been an “ole country bumpkin”. =) Love it.

  151. […] with unique properties for different skin types. I found this cleansing method on a blog called Mommypotamus. If you’re interested, please check it […]

  152. Alissa says:

    Thank you for your blog about this. I will give this a try. My question is about sunscreen. I religiously put on sunscreen in the morning, particularly to avoid wrinkles and because I have a family history of melanoma. Is this compatible with the OCM? I use Mineral Fusion’s 30SPF because its all natural and cruelty free.

  153. Marcus says:

    Hi Jennifer!

    I reside in SIngapore, where Hemp in any form is deemed illegal. I have an acne prone face, do you have any other alternatives to Hemp oil? Thank you so much for this guide, i hope it will serve well for me! i had very bad acne when i was younger and then i took medications, things were great until recently after i have stopped the medication for a few years, everything is coming back out. i realized the medication only suppressed the problem, so now i want to tackle the root and i hope your guide might be the answer!

  154. Janelle says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post and video. I was wondering if you could provide your recipe for the balm you use after you oil cleanse? It looks wonderful and I would like to add to my routine as well. By the way, you’re skin looks beautiful and I hope to get the same results soon too!

  155. Dana says:

    Hi, I just came across the OCM today and am reading up on it. I love what you have to say and I think my husband will benefit greatly from it, but I want to have all my ducks in a row before I do that. I’ve read most of the discussion here and I didn’t see any other comments regarding using this elsewhere, like on your back. Do you feel the same methods explained here, would work just as well on your back? My husband tends to have oily skin, but is highly prone to acne on the face, neck and back since teenage years and it just never cleared up, plus it runs in the family. I know he (and I) would love to find something that works, but he is somewhat adverse to trying things that show results over a long period of time. So before I delve in- any thoughts?

  156. Maria says:

    Heather, thank you very much for this fantastic website. I have recently started to clean my beauty routine and your website is wonderfully helpful! I am going to try the oil cleansing method now. I have a slight rosacea, and I read borage oil is good for that. But is borage oil an astringent or a conditioning oil? Do you have any specific suggestion of what to mix it with for rosacea? Thank you so very much to you and Jennifer for this great post! Maria

    • Amanda @ Mommypotamus Support says:

      Maria, borage is considered an astringent oil. Find out more here: http://www.mommypotamus.com/oil-cleansing-your-questions-answered/. I’m not sure what to mix with it for rosacea.

    • Patty says:

      Maria – I’ve been doing the oil cleansing method off and on for several months. I have mild rosacea as well. I’ve tried some different combos of oils and what is feeling good on my skin right now is 2 parts olive oil + 1 part grapeseed oil (expeller pressed) + a couple drops of jojoba oil, totaling 1/2 teaspoon per cleansing session. After oil cleansing I rub in another couple drops of jojoba oil if I think my skin is still a bit dry. I can’t say it’s helped ease the flushing noticeably (too many other factors affect that) but it feels great! Hope you can find what works for you!

  157. […] Unburdened Honey as a Cleanser from Actual Organics I Wash My Face With Oil from Actual Organics The Oil Cleansing Method from 20 Something Allergies Edible Turmeric Face Mask from Fresh Bites Daily Natural Conditioning […]

  158. Jess says:

    I have sensitive/dry/oily/acne prone skin and I so badly want to try oil cleansing. Alas, I am SEVERELY allergic to tree nuts. Any ideas on a regimen that might work for me?

  159. Kelly says:

    I’d really like to try the Oil Cleansing Method, but I don’t have a washing machine and don’t think I’ll be able to use a washcloth each night. As of now I either let my face air dry or use paper towels. Do you think I could just use warm water to rinse my face?

  160. Audrey says:

    Hi Heather,
    I live in a Zambia, Africa and have to import most of the oils. I have seen reviews of hemp oil and know it will reduce the enlarged pores on my face. Unfortunately it cannot be imported into Zambia as it is from the cannibis plant and illegal here. Kindly advise on an alternative. ( I have read through the posts but cannot find an answer)

  161. […] is when I found the Oil Cleansing Method. I use this method, which if done the “standard” way is a mixture of olive oil and castor oil. […]

  162. Fuse says:

    […] Heal Pimples?! Oil Cleansing for Clear and Radiant Skin Apple Cider Vinegar to Clear Acne Baking Soda and Coconut Oil Facial Scrub DIY Natural Remedies for […]

  163. […] with making my own face and body products and am thoroughly enjoying washing at night with the Oil Cleansing Method: a mix of castor oil, olive oil, tea tree and lavender. I am rotating face masks and exfoliants […]

  164. […] Mommypotamus:  Helpful tutorial on the OCM, with before/after pictures and video demonstration […]

  165. Carol says:

    I have been struggling to facial eczema for some time now and I finally resorted to cleansing my face with just water. But, I think I am going to give this a try and will get back to you on how it works for me – thanks!

    Carol

  166. Melinda says:

    Can I use lavendar oil for this method ?

    • Do you mean lavender essential oil? If so, you can add it a couple of drops to your oil mixture but it will not replace a cleansing oil. If you have an oil called lavender oil, it is likely another oil with lavender in it. I would check the type of oil it is if so.

  167. Karen says:

    I just found this website and recently broke out terribly due to a new tinted moisturizer. I started last night with the oil wash and only had olive oil. I have been putting coconut oil on my face and a lotion as my face was really dried out from trying to get rid of my breakout. Anyway, I just purchased hemp seed oil to do my oil wash and am wondering if I should add any other kind of oil to that. My face is soft but feels dry. Also I have witch hazel toner with rose and aloe in it. Do I use that after the oil wash or just in the morning after I do my honey wash? It’s confusing to me.

  168. You’ll have to experiment with what oils work best with your skin. Hemp is a good choice to replenish the cells during healing. If you feel like you need an astringent oil once you’ve healed, you can add one from the list above or do some research and choose another. The sky’s the limit with oils (well, almost)!

    I like to use toners 30 minutes before oil cleansing, so they don’t wash the protective layer off. There’s more info on the oil cleansing process in this Q & A post: http://www.mommypotamus.com/oil-cleansing-your-questions-answered/.

  169. […] not just essential oils, but oil in general. Have you heard about the oil cleansing method? The first time I tried this, I was amazing by how great my skin felt the next morning! It was not […]

  170. […] skeptical.  But it works!  There are many variations for different skin types, so check out the original article here to get the […]

  171. Valerie says:

    Do you think the OCM could be done in the shower? That is currently where I was my face everyday.

  172. Kim says:

    I used Proactive from 2005 to 2014 and because of health issues have been eating clean for three years. My face has always been an issue with acne. Oh I am 38 yrs old. So i recently stopped Proactive and started using Castor oil and sunflower oil and was not see a lot of break outs and I did this for a week. Then a friend said oh you should use a lighter oil and told me to use Jojoba oil with two drops of tea tree oil. Three weeks and my face is all broke out. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

  173. Angie says:

    Hey :)

    Its been about a week i’m doing the OCM with the “no more pizza face” recipe… I bought all my oils organic… but it looks like its getting worse… I have new pimples getting out on my cheeks were usually I don’t have any pimple… Is it normal? I also eat very healthy most of the time, so the diet should not be a problem…

    Thank you very much!!!

  174. Marie says:

    I recently discovered your website and am very thankful for your advice. And I love the new discovery of oil pulling!

    I am hoping you have insight into a skin issue I have. I’ve been trying different diets (vegan and gluten-free) over the last three years and eat a very healthy, organic, nutrient-dense diet, but my skin is still suffering. I also avoided sugar for a while but it didn’t seem to help. I’ve seen dermatologists to no avail (I prefer getting to the root cause, anyway.) My issue is that my pores are constantly clogged around my t-zone, and sometimes it feels like my skin is festering, it feels bumpy, and it easily reddens. If I gently scrape my nail across my skin, all this gunk comes out (it has a bad smell when I eat dairy, so I avoid it). Some pores look like whiteheads and others are just overflowing with gunk. (Sorry off the graphic details!) My skin looks calm after I, for example, do a sauna or the oil cleansing, but several hours later, my all my pores are clogged yet again, so it’s useless when I use an extractor or get a facial. I’m at a loss of what to do since I eat so well and don’t know what’s causing it. I don’t use cleansers on my face and occasionally condition with a little oil. Any insight you may have would much appreciated. Thanks very much!

  175. Amy says:

    I am just curious how you clean the hand towel that has all the oil on it. Other then that, I think I won’t have any problem trying this oil cleansing method. : )

  176. Doris says:

    I love that you put this up and how patiently you went through the process to demonstrate. You’re a good teacher. Thank you so much for outlining this technique.

  177. Doris says:

    When doing laundry to help ‘cut’ the oil from the towels, I add at least a cup or almost a full box of baking soda along with detergent to my towel load in hot water. It think it works well. I’m only using olive oil as my cleanser and I think the baking soda would be very necessary to cut the thickness of castor oil for anyone using it. I would not use any good towels for this cleansing technique, but rather, ones you don’t mind looking more used. This is where discount stores like Ross come in handy for spare towels.

  178. Helen says:

    I haven’t heard much about coconut oil on this blog. Is it not ideal to cleanse your face with? Or is it used for conditioning your hair?

  179. […] There are a couple of options, namely something similar to soap and the oil cleansing method.  To find out how to make your own face soap, click HERE.  Use code SAVE25 to get 25% off through 10/10 only!  To find out how to use the oil cleansing method, click HERE.  […]

  180. Star A says:

    This article is amazing! Thank you soooo much! I have oily skin. What would you suggest instead of Castor oil?

  181. […] cleansing method: Click HERE for a good tutorial on the method. Basically the oil cleansing method is based on the premise that […]

  182. Michelle says:

    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.

  183. Zhanna says:

    Hello. According to gardenofwisdom.com, evening primrose oil is also astringent. Therefore, it is an alternative to borage oil, for those wondering. Thank you for this topic and information, it has been extremely helpful. :)

  184. Julia says:

    Hi! I’m looking into trying the OCM for my terribly acne prone oily skin and I’m a little overwhelmed. I’m willing to try it, but seeing all of the comments and different possibilities for oils has left me a bit confused on which one to use. Hormonal breakouts are quite bad for me and I’m desperately trying to find something that will clear up my acne. I thought of trying the “no more pizza-face” recipe for starters and maybe adding a few drops of tea tree oil to help further with my acne. Would you suggest something different? Thanks for your help! ~Julia

  185. […] of oils, essential oils and some other basic ingredients from the kitchen. Then I discovered oil cleansing on Mommypotomus. From there I came across an avalanche of information about oil cleansing, and how […]

  186. Bianca says:

    Hy Jennifer!!

    I was fallowing the OCM before but with Castor oil (in combination with almond oil 03/70 %). I read in the above post that Castor is highly toxic and I want to remove it from my oil treatment.

    I struggle with hormonal breakouts around my period which stick around for quite a long time. I recently changed my diet to a clean non-over processed food diet with a lot of exercise, drinking water etc. So taking the healthy-path already! I’ve got a very sensitive skin with a soft red glow.

    ( I live in the Netherlands and my English isn’t that good that I understand the astringent (cleaning?) and conditioning part, so sorry for that. )

    So I’ve got the following question for you. I went to the store to got me the anti-acne oils, but borage seed oil is very expensive for little amount and I can’t even find grapeseed oil (yes in capsule shape. Still expensive). I bought myself the next oils and I would like to hear from you if this is the right ratios:

    1 part Hazelnut oil : 1 part sweet almond oil : 1 part Avocado oil : 1 part ning primrose oil (they told me it comes close to borage seed oil)

    Thank you very much already!

    Bianca
    The Netherlands.

  187. Glynnis says:

    Such a wealth of information in the post and the many comments that follow. I decided to go for it and start oil cleansing today!

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