Today I’d like to share with you a great way to deeply cleanse your skin – 100% naturally and without stripping your natural oils. Let me present the amazing Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)!
I used to be a believer in the mantra that most acne or oily skin sufferers seem to believe in: avoid oils at all costs, oil clogs pores, look for oil-free products, etc. This I
believe know added many years to my clear skin journey. When I first read about the Oil Cleansing Method, I thought it made perfect sense: only oil can dissolve oil. I tried it once, twice… I didn’t get it right at first (read about my mistakes here). But deep down in my gut I knew it was the right thing to do, I just needed to figure out how. Well, I did! And it helped me clear up my skin!
I really want to make sure that you guys don’t have to go through so much trial and error as I did, so I’ve put together two OCM troubleshooting blog posts for you:
Why is it that we as a society are made to believe that in order to have healthy skin we need to use strong detergents? Our skin is such a delicate tissue and yet we start applying all kinds of chemicals on it from a very young age. When did we start believing that any kind of oil is bad? Our natural sebum is there to protect our fragile skin from the environment – there is no need to turn it into an enemy.
Let me be your guide into the relaxing and spa-like world of the Oil Cleansing Method.
Why is the Oil Cleansing Method so great?
- Regular products strip the oil from your skin. Sure we don’t want that shiny slick on the face but there is no need to remove absolutely all of the oil. We need some of it! Aren’t you tired of feeling dry and tight after washing your skin? And that’s always followed by even more oil being produced by the skin to compensate. It’s not fun when even smiling is uncomfortable and painful. It’s not a natural state of skin and it doesn’t have to be like that!
- Most drugstore and high-end products are highly scented or contain alcohol – the two well-known irritants for the skin. Why would you want to put your skin through such pain?
- Oil dissolves oil – that’s simple chemistry but it really works like that. Using the Oil Cleansing Method will allow you to gradually dissolve clogs in your pores. Over time, you’ll notice how your skin is clearing up. Right in front of your eyes. It’s 100% better than even the most expensive scrubs and without any unnecessary irritation.
- Oil alone won’t bring you blemishes – this is the greatest myth of all. I wouldn’t be surprised if this myth was created by skincare companies in order to weaken our skins and force us to buy more products to try and “fix” the problem.
- The Oil Cleansing Method might take a little bit longer than regular cleansing but it’s such a relaxing and pleasant experience. Just close your eyes and inhale the wonderful smell of your chosen essential oil – it’s amazing how quickly your stress from a long day will dissipate.
- You won’t need a separate makeup remover – the Oil Cleansing Method is the best makeup remover in the world. It will even take off water proof makeup. Oil rocks!
What will you need for the Oil Cleansing Method?
You will need two oils – the first is castor oil. It is known for anti-inflammatory, healing and cleansing properties. But make sure it’s cold-pressed and unrefined – it will still have all the vitamins, nutrients and fatty acids intact. Castor oil is also used as a laxative but be careful if you get it from the laxative section – often it’s refined and won’t have the same healing properties for your skin.
“Castor oil will leave the body in better condition than it found it.” – this quote from Dr. McGarey’s book The Oil That Heals is what I kept repeating in my head like a mantra when I started trying the OCM.
Obviously, at the beginning I wasn’t comfortable with the feeling of oil on my skin but I used to just close my eyes, repeat those words and imagine my skin getting clearer and more beautiful with every cleanse. I’m a big believer in visualization, how about you?
Castor oil is great but it can also be drying if too much is used. Too much of good things can also be bad! So we’ll use a tiny amount of it compared to the second oil, which will be our base. For that, you can use any oil that you personally like. If you don’t have experience with oils, some of the most popular ones for the Oil Cleansing Method are these: sunflower seed oil, olive oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, etc. I personally have used all four and I have loved them all. Some people swear by olive oil (me included), and for some it clogs pores – perhaps be careful at the beginning and opt for another oil for a start.
Update: I have since learned the difference between oils high in linoleic acids and those high in oleic acid. If you’re prone to breakouts, pick an oil that is high in linoleic acid, such as sunflower oil, pumpkin seed oil, safflower oil or hempseed oil. My absolute favourite is pumpkin seed oil.
You will also need a clean soft washcloth (flannel) and hot running water. Oh, and strong fingers as well! Because you’ll need to give your face a lovely long massage. 🙂
If you experience any kind of dryness or irritation, your water might be too hot. The washcloth should be comfortably warm, not hot and irritating.
So what are the right ratios of each oil for your skin?
Well, it depends. Most resources quote different ratios for each skin type. Here’s an example of the ratios from theoilcleansingmethod.com:
- Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Sunflower Seed Oil.
- Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% Sunflower Seed Oil.
- Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% Sunflower Seed Oil.
You might already know what I think of categorizing skins into different skin types. I don’t believe in them! Dry or oily skin is just a reaction to whatever you are doing to your skin. I was made to believe that my skin was combination oily but boy was I wrong! Coincidentally, the first two times I tried the Oil Cleansing Method (and failed), I used the ratios for oily skin. My skin got super dry and irritated. What was I thinking??
Here’s my personal oil blend I use for the Oil Cleansing Method (read more about my 100% natural skincare routine):
This is around 17% of castor oil, so it’s somewhere between dry skin and balanced skin. I would be very careful with using the ratio for oily skin – it’s easier to start with less, you can always increase it later if you feel that you need more cleansing power. The thing is, if you dry out your skin right from the start, it will take a while for your skin to recover, so you will blame the Oil Cleansing Method for something that really isn’t its fault. Tread carefully, listen to your skin and you’ll do great!
You’ll find the right ratio for you via trial and error, so start making small batches. Once you are happy with the mix, make yourself lots!
Update: I have since started using pumpkin seed oil alone for the Oil Cleansing Method and it works better than anything else. So if you have issues with castor oil, this might be a great idea for you to try.
A word of warning – if you decide to try out the Oil Cleansing Method, don’t make the mistake of using conventional toners, moisturizers, foundations, etc. with it. Your skin won’t be able to regain the natural balance if you keep interfering. Use a few drops of your favourite oil as a moisturizer and go for 100% natural mineral makeup.
How often should the Oil Cleansing Method be used?
I’d say not too frequently and listen to your skin. Your skin will feel dry and slightly irritated if you do it too much.
I started by doing it every single night and continued for around a month – at that time, it was the right thing for me because I had so many clogged pores. Every single night a lot of clogs were coming out. However, once my skin became clean, dryness started to creep in, and I realized it was time to scale down. I now do it around once a week, sometimes even less often than that – I usually notice my skin getting a little more bumpy, and that’s when I know it’s time to oil cleanse.
So let me say it again – listen to your skin. It’s silly making rules and then following them just for the sake of following. Your skin will tell you how often it needs it.
Also, don’t get worried if you get oilier for the first few days – it’s because your pores are getting unblocked, and sebum will be able to flow freely for the first time in ages. It will soon normalize.
What’s the step-by-step process of the Oil Cleansing Method?
Good news! I’ve made a video for you with all the steps for the Oil Cleansing Method. I thought one quick video would say 100 times more and would be much more beneficial for you than reading a long list of instructions. So here it is:
What are the pros and cons of the Oil Cleansing Method?
- The Oil Cleansing Method helps clear up acne, combat dryness and stay radiant.
- It’s completely natural.
- It’s very cheap – a bottle of oil will easily last you for a year. You also won’t need a moisturizer.
- It’s the most powerful makeup remover in the world.
- It doesn’t strip natural oils from your skin and doesn’t upset the natural acidic mantle (the natural balance that protects your skin from outside threats).
- It smells amazing (if you use any essential oils).
- It helps you sleep better as the Oil Cleansing Method is a truly relaxing experience.
- Your mind will feel so good about using 100% natural products – you won’t feel guilty anymore.
- It takes trial and error until you find the right ratio of oils. It also takes a while to select oils that work best for you. However, take this process as an interesting curve of learning about yourself and your body!
- It takes a little longer than regular cleansing but it’s totally worth it. When you go to a spa, you don’t complain about how long treatments take, right? So look at the Oil Cleansing Method as one of those spa treatments – in your home for a fraction of the price! 🙂
- It can take a while for your skin to adjust to the Oil Cleansing Method, and there might be a little bit of purging at the beginning.
- There could potentially be a bit more laundry to do as you will need a clean washcloth every time. But if you buy 3-4 of them, you can just drop them in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry a couple of times a week.
Watch this article in video format here:
For troubleshooting of the Oil Cleansing Method, check out these blog posts:
Where to find things if you’re in Europe
As I get a lot of questions from those of you living in Europe, I’ve decided to include links to all the things mentioned above. I know it’s often impossible to find things (especially when you live in the middle of nowhere like me), so getting them online is often the only choice. Luckily, it’s the cheapest choice as well!
I hope you’ll give this wonderful cleansing method a try, and if you do, let me know what you think of it! Or are you already using the Oil Cleansing Method? If I’ve missed any of the points you’d like to know, just ask me!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you click on them and make a purchase, I will receive a tiny commission. However, the price for you will remain the same. All the products I recommend are personally selected by me because I simply think they’re great.