Friday, July 1, 2011

My Experience with the Oil Cleansing Method

I've been thinking about posting about my experiences with the OCM (oil cleansing method) for a long time, ever since I started experimenting with it after reading Mariella's post back in April. For those of you who are not in the know, I'm not talking about cleansing with an oil-based cleanser which emulsifies in water like the MAC or Shu Uemura ones, but cleansing by massaging some kind of vegetable base oil on its own into the skin, such as olive oil, and removing it with a hot muslin cloth.

What I like about the method is that I can remove all of my make-up and any other impurities with just one natural simple product. With the added essential oils, it feels very smooth and luxurious, plus you don't need a moisturizer afterwards, at least if your skin is normal to oily. But what drew me in the most is that it really does remove blackheads and plugs. If you massage the oil in for a couple minutes, you start noticing little sandy granules on your fingers, and here are your nasty plugs! I got the most of them after exfoliating with some kind of chemical peel (AHA/BHA acids).

What I don't like about the whole process is that it takes a lot of time, and also I haven't really noticed my face becoming much clearer over time. I'm still experimenting with my perfect mix of oils, but with too much castor oil, which is the ingredient that draws the impurities out of your pores, my skin becomes too dry and flaky. It's very much trial and error and you're experimenting on your own skin, which is also very time-consuming until you arrive at your ideal blend.

In case anyone's interested, my current blend is 20% castor oil, 40% jojoba oil and 40% sweet almond oil. I've also added a couple drops of Vitamin E oil to prolong the shelf life of my cleansing oil, as well as ylang ylang, lemon and lavender essential oils. I put everything in the cobalt glass bottle with a pump for ease of use. Initially, I used the method every day, but currently I cleanse with my oil every 2 or 3 days.

In other news, I've been a little bit MIA because my parents came to visit and I'm busy showing them around Seattle... I'll try posting more often, promise! I've also been featured in Become's Best of the Web series, so you can check me out there! I'm also working on the first giveaway for you, lovely readers, so stay tuned :)

Have you ever tried cleansing with an oil?


  1. I have! I generally use sesame oil & when I am travelling I use cold cream :)

  2. @Tanveer: How are you liking sesame oil? Maybe I should try it next! x

  3. The only cleansing oil I tried was from Body Shop years ago and I think it was their essential oil range rather than an actual product. An Italian friend of mine swore by it but I feel like I needy a foaming cleanser to get my oily face clean.

    I can understand using oils to breakdown makeup but not for overall cleansing. I would just over compensate with a toner!

  4. That's cool that you've tried it, thanks for the report! I must admit that I find it hard to do it every day as well because it's time consuming, so on other days I use a regular cleansing oil (Shu Uemura) but still massage it quite well. I must say, though, that if I don't use my blend with castor oil at least once a week, I do see a big negative impact on my pores and blackheads.

  5. that sounds so intriguing, I never actually heard of cleansing your face with just oil... I think I'll have to research it a bit :)

  6. Nice feature in Become!

    This is a great post for me to read..I'm interested in seeing what you finally come up with as being your favorite combination. What are you using to cleanse on the days that you don't use the oil? Are you still off of moisturizer?

    and...a very belated CONGRATULATIONS on your graduation!!!! I hope you're celebrating every single day with your family! it's over!!! xxx

  7. Would this method work for combination/acne prone skin? Or would the oils break me out? I'm not talking about blackheads, but like red bumpy acne. You've intrigued me..

  8. This seems like a cool cleansing method because of all the tinkering and experimenting :) I appreciate these kind of beauty experiments but at the same time I'm wary of trying anything that seems too out of the way :X I use cleansing oils from Japanese drugstores and they seem to work fine so why change something's that's not broken right? ;) On a side note I'm on vacation in Seattle at the moment haha what a coincidence ^^

  9. You've been nominated for the Top 10 award! Read more on my blog.

  10. @SkinScrubs: I know, at first I felt like I needed something else to get rid of the oil as well, but wiping with the muslin cloth several times seems to get rid of all the residue. However, sometimes I also follow up with a toner just to make sure I removed the last traces!

    @Mariella: I've been slacking off the last couple of days and I'm seeing a lot of congestion too, I have to get back asap!

    @Lucy: There's a lot of information on the interwebs, all in all a very interesting subject!

    @fantastic: I'm still tweaking it a bit, but the blend seems more or less ok as it is. On other days, I cleanse with a non-SLS cream cleanser (the Alaffia one). I generally don't moisturize, but I do use quite a bit of sunscreen these days, which seems to be quite moisturizing.

    Thank you, lovely! We do have to meet up soon, I have a little something something for your little man :) x

    @iheartjim: Hi there, I have acne-prone oily skin too, and it didn't break me out. If your acne is hormonal (cystic bumps), it probably won't heal it, but it will help to cleanse the skin well and get rid of the bacteria. Also, you won't strip your skin of the necessary oils, which might cause even more breakouts. I think it's worth a try!

    @AngelicBetrayal: I say use whatever works for you! I hope you're enjoying some sunny weather in Seattle, it was so gorgeous the last couple of days!

    @Catharina: Thanks lovely, I'm off to have a look :) x

  11. Aww, too sweet :) Can't wait until I can bring him with us (well, on the appropriate day shopping trips, anyway!).

    I've been thinking about this oil cleansing all night. I do have quite a bit of the shu uemura oils left--as well as other Japanese oils (which should probably be used up first), but I want to experiment with making a concoction!

    As for sunscreen...I am sunscreen obsessed lately! Just picked up a sunscreen stick for the eyes tonight..I think I'm verging on a sunscreen overdose! Which ones do you like?

  12. @fantastic: Can't wait to meet him! I think he'll be a beauty specialist from those early days :)

    Give this method a go, it's 100% natural and safe (as long as you don't have a reaction to one of the ingredients). Start small with the castor oil though, can be quite drying.

    I'm still using up my Cellnique sunscreen, but have recently switched to Badger's SPF 30+ mineral sunscreen, I like it a lot, but it does leave a bit of a white cast. I fix it with bronzer though! What is your favorite? x

  13. Never thought of a cleansing method like the one you're describing..I will surely have to explore a bit more on this and try it myself..thank you!!! :)