Troubleshooting the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) Part 2 – FAQs

Troubleshooting Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) Part 2

It’s time to answer some more burning questions about the Oil Cleansing Method for you. I started this mini series last week – if you’d like to read Part 1, take a look here:

Troubleshooting the Oil Cleansing Method Part 1

So without further ado, let’s make a start!

If you’d like to watch me talking about it instead, just click Play on this video:

Question 1. Can I use witch hazel instead of rose water after the Oil Cleansing Method?

I used it a few times a while ago and found it quite drying. It’s geared towards oily skin and I’d definitely suggest staying away from anything labelled for oily skin. However, everyone’s skin is different, and trying it won’t do much harm. Just observe your skin – you can always stop using it if you feel it causes drying.

I generally recommend rose water and use it religiously myself because of its soothing, moisturizing and anti-ageing properties. These two are fantastic and are very popular among my readers: Elma and Sana 100% Pure Moroccan Rose Water and Shea Terra Organics Pure Moroccan Rose Water (if you’re in Europe, check this one).

Question 2. Should I moisturize with oils every day?

You can definitely skip on moisturizing with oils on some days. Want to know a secret? I never ever put any oil (or anything else) on my face during day time. I occasionally apply some olive oil at night time (probably once or twice a week). In colder climates you might have to do it more often. You’ll just have to experiment a little.

If you don’t wash your face in the morning and just use some rose water, the oil residue from the Oil Cleansing Method the night before and the natural sebum that your skin accumulates throughout the night should be enough to make your skin feel comfortable.

It’s great to let your skin breathe on its own on some days (and nights).

I guess we’re conditioned by the industry to believe that we need to put some kind of moisturizer on every day, but that applies to those who use harsh synthetic face washes. If you want to teach your skin how to balance itself naturally again, give it a couple of weeks before you judge if using no oil works for you. At the beginning, it might feel a little dry and uncomfortable, but don’t worry, soon it will resolve itself. If it doesn’t, you probably have a drier skin than me, and you might need a bit more nourishment, so go ahead and apply some oil whenever you need it.

Update: I have been using an oil on my skin every single morning lately – I guess I’ve changed my mind about it.I know believe it’s all about finding the right oil for your individual skin. My absolute favourite oil as an every day moisturizer is pumpkin seed oil – it offers me a perfect amount of nourishment without ever clogging pores, not even in super hot weather. I highly recommend it.

Question 3. Is it normal to experience purging when starting the Oil Cleansing Method?

You shouldn’t experience anything major. A few more pimples once you start the Oil Cleansing Method are fine, but if it’s considerably more, you need to step away and think what may be causing it. In most cases, it’s over-exfoliation and excess dryness associated with it or too much castor oil. Don’t wait until it’s almost too late. It doesn’t have to get much worse before it gets better.

If you have already over-exfoliated your skin, you might find this post helpful: How To Heal Over-Exfoliated Skin: My Top Tips.

If you’re experiencing considerable purging, just stop using the Oil Cleansing Method for a couple of weeks or at least a week, cleanse your face with rose water only and try again once it’s calmed down. But this time, do it less often and with less castor oil (if it was over 15-20%).

I always stress that it’s better to start with less because you can always add more later. The same applies for the frequency with which you use the Oil Cleansing Method. Start slowly and you will reap rewards. Start at full throttle, and you’ll get burned – you might end up giving up on something amazing without even giving it a proper chance.

Question 4. How do I know which skin type I have?

Most skins are combination according to the industry, which means that they can be oily and dry at the same time. My theory is that it’s all just irritated and over-exfoliated skin. The same can be said regarding oily and dry skin types. Dryness or oiliness is often (if not always) just a reaction to something we’re doing.

I’d say whichever skin type you might have, be really gentle and stay away from products for oily or acne-prone skin. Even products for dry skin can be really bad as they often contain petrolatum and other pore clogging ingredients.

Use the castor oil ratio of no more than 15-20% regardless of your official skin type (but you might have to go even lower if your skin feels dry after the Oil Cleansing Method).

Remember, a skin type is just a label, and our skin can be so different from one day to another. Even from one hour to another. It depends on what we do to it, on the environment, the weather, the food we’ve eaten, etc. So listen to what your skin is saying and adjust your oil cleansing mixture accordingly.

In addition, stay away from drying oils, such as tea tree oil, hazelnut oil or grapeseed oil. The latter is fine if used with olive oil or avocado oil, but can be really drying if used alone. You can always add them later once you make sure that the Oil Cleansing Method works well for you.

One last tip for a successful transition to the Oil Cleansing Method

I find too often that people start trying the Oil Cleansing Method by mixing too many oils together, sometimes even changing them every single week. If their skin starts freaking out, they decide the OCM isn’t working and give up on it for ever. Please don’t make this mistake.

Start with a very simple mixture of no more than 3 oils and stick to it for at least a month (provided that your skin doesn’t get into a serious purging mode). You might have to play around with the ratios but don’t change the actual oils. In that way, if something doesn’t work out, it will be much easier to pinpoint the culprit.

I hope this will answer all of the questions about the Oil Cleansing Method that might have popped in your mind. If you have any more, just give me a shout, and I might troubleshoot a little more for you in the future.

Just please don’t give up on this wonderful method. If you’re having problems, experiment, analyse, listen to your skin, ask me for help, but please don’t give up!

Trust me, it’s amazing being able to ditch all the chemicals and instead choosing something that is great for your body, makes you look radiant and doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet.

Did you find this mini series helpful? I hope so! Let me know in the comments. VitaLivesFree Signature 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.

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Comments

  1. Your troubleshooting blogs are great! I took your advice on using olive oil for moisture (since I live in an extra dry and cold climate) and it’s amazing what a couple days has already done to help the dryness. I love just using rose water too for taking makeup off. My face is not so freaked out and has mellowed quite a bit. I’ve always hated putting so many chemicals on my face. Thanks for all the insight!

    • Yay, I’m so glad! I absolutely love olive oil, too. A few weeks ago my face freaked out after trying coconut oil for a week. It was as dry as parchment paper for some reason. So I put on a lot of olive oil at night, and the next night it was back to normal. So happy your skin has improved!

  2. My face didn’t react well to coconut oil too (unfortunately). I’ve been using rose water from mountain rose herbs but I’m expecting the rose water you recommend in the mail any day. Do you dilute that rose water? Or just straight from the bottle? One more thing…just curious really…how long does a bottle typically last you? I know you’ve said you use that quite a bit. :)
    Thanks again for the help! Super helpful!

    • Hi Lindsey! You don’t need to dilute the rose water, just use it straight. An 8oz. bottle will last me for around 4-6 months. Ages really! I don’t really use it to remove makeup though (simply because I don’t wear it – perhaps once in three months). I also try to use it sparingly. I soak the cotton pad enough to cleanse but not to make it completely soaked and dripping. I love the smell so much. I think I’m a rose water addict. :-)

  3. I use 75/25 ratio of castor and grape seed oil. Have noticed more breakouts and scaring and scabs. When I first started used same ratio of castor and jojoba. Skin did great. But was reading should use less castor oil. Skin didn’t react too well. So went back to higher ratio only now with grape seed. Not really working and want to give up. So what now? Decrease castor. Go back to jojoba. Wash less. Also forgot but added tea tree oil and tamanu to this current oil treatment. Also neem oil to spot treat. Skin looking worse. Lots of cystic bumps. About to go back to Obagi!!!!! Help!!!! Want to go natural. Working on 100% paleo. Now about 80. Also I’m African American. Thanks!!! I’m desperate !!!

    • Hi Tonya! Are you doing the OCM every day? If yes, I’d definitely decrease to once or twice a week. From your description, it seems like your skin has had too much of everything. After how much time did you decide to lower the castor ratio? In other words, how long did the happy period last before it got worse? Also, did I understand right that you added tamanu oil and tea tree oil to your OCM mixture? Or do you use them as a moisturizer? Like I said in the article, yours seems like a classic example of jumping in too fast and then mixing two many different oils. I’ve been there as well, and I know it’s frustrating. What would I do if I were you? I’d probably go back to jojoba (grapeseed can be a little drying) and keep castor oil at 15-20%. Another question for you: how much fruit are you eating now that you’re going Paleo? I’ve been reading a lot about it lately and it seems like fructose is a big thing for acne sufferers. Please don’t hesitate to contact me as often as you want. I’d love to help you find your way to natural skincare!

  4. Thank you for sharing your knowledge on this subject! I just happened to come across your videos while watching many others about ocm and your videos were so much more thorough and informative. I especially appreciate the info about not starting with a high castor oil ratio. Turns out I need the castor oil at only 10% and had I not found your videos, I most likely would’ve started with much more.
    It’s been less than a week and my skin already looks and feels so much healthier! I am so happy!!! :) And I started no-pooing yesterday!
    Thanks again!

    • Hi Melissa, so glad you stumbled upon my videos! Even more happy that OCM is working for you. Wonder how you’ll like no-pooing. :-) keep me posted!

      • Quick question: I’ve been doing OCM for a week and while my skin definitely feels better and overall looks better, I noticed several tiny flesh covered bumps mostly on my forehead. I noticed them maybe two days ago and I’ve never had bumps like them before and generally don’t ever breakout on my forehead at all. The day I noticed them, I skipped OCM that night and the next morning I think they actually looked worse.
        Would you suggest cutting back OCM or cutting out an oil one at a time? I currently am doing OCM every night (I was planning on cutting back on it when my skin was normalized). In the morning I swipe with rose water and moisturize with a little jojoba oil if I feel like I need it. At night, I use OCM and afterwards moisturize with a little avocado oil (I, unfortunately, live in the desert and it’s very dry here so even though my skin feels pretty good after doing OCM, I still feel like I need extra moisturizer. My recent move to the desert actually triggered my breakouts). I’m using 10% castor oil, 2 tsp avocado oil, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp jojoba oil and a couple drops of neem oil (this mixture lasts about 3-4 days).
        Not sure if I should reduce castor oil, or eliminate jojoba oil, or try doing OCM less often?
        Sorry, I guess it wasn’t actually a quick question! Thanks for your help!

        • Hi Melissa, my guess would be that your forehead broke out because of dehydration. (Mine does the same if I let it dry out too much) Maybe try doing the OCM every other day first to see if that would help. If it doesn’t, it could be one of the oils: jojoba can sometimes cause bumps, avocado as well. It’s all very individual, and you’ll need to experiment. I wouldn’t recommend starting to change the oils for now. Just try to change the frequency and see if that helps.

  5. Hi vita, In your video you mentioned you didn’t put anything Besides rose water in the morning, What about sunscreens Or do you use other ways to block the sunshine? Thx!

    • Hi Cheng, I live a primal lifestyle, so I don’t believe in using sunscreens. I believe they cause much more damage, ageing and skin cancers than the sun itself. Plus, they prevent your body from making Vitamin D. If I’m out for a few hours, I don’t mind a bit of exposure, but if I go hiking or to the beach for the whole day, I simply wear a hat. It’s the best natural protection. xx

  6. Hi Vita, I just want to thank you SO MUCH for sharing all of this! I’ve spent the last hour reading through your blog about your acne journey. It’s almost scary how close my story is to yours, haha! I’ve been struggling with acne for about 10 years, and I truly have tried everything under the sun, even Accutane. It worked awesome for a year and then my acne returned. I can’t believe all the money and heartache I’ve spent on medications, dermatology appointments, creams, exfoliants, etc. I was starting to feel hopeless once again, feeling like I would NEVER cure my acne! But somehow I found your blog, and it was such a wake up call. Reading your story truly helped me connect the dots with my skin. It all makes so much sense, and I’m so excited to try the OCM. I hope to have a good update in about a month!

    Thank you once again Vita, God bless! :)
    Shelby

    • Shelby, I was there exactly a year ago, and trust me, I felt really hopeless, too. But that’s when I stumbled on my way out. Never lose hope! All you need is to relearn how to listen to your skin again, and you’ll see how quickly it’s going to get better. Wish you lots of luck, and I’ll be waiting for an update from you! xx

  7. Hi Vita,

    I am very new to the OCM. I’ve been doing it for almost a week now with Jojoba and Castor Oil. My question is how do I know if the bumps I am seeing are from over-exfoliating or from my skin just purging? Please let me know what to do. I don’t want to give up.
    Thanks!

    • Hi! Welcome on board! :-) If your skin is purging, the bumps wouldn’t be painful and there wouldn’t be much redness. It would literally look like clogs coming up to the surface but not like additional inflammation. If your pimples are sore and red, and especially if you skin feels hot to the touch and feels when smiling, it’s probably over-exfoliation or excess dryness. If that’s the case, try either to reduce the frequency or add some nourishing oil to your mix, for example olive oil or avocado oil. Don’t give up! All you have to do is analyze your skin’s behaviour, and you’ll soon work out what’s working and what isn’t. Getting rid of acne is all about regaining that connection with your skin. Let me know how it goes, and I’m always here if you have any more questions! xx

      • Hi Vita,

        My bumps aren’t sore but they are tiny and red with a little white head. Should I continue cleansing every night?

        • Try to do it every other night. The bumps could be over-exfoliation. It could also be jojoba oil clogging the pores slightly – it does that to some people. Try to do it less often first, see if it makes a difference. xx

          • Thanks Vita. Sorry I have so many questions. Last one I promise lol. When you are measuring your oils and you say a “part”, is there a specific measurement I could use? Like tablespoons or cups? I think I might be using too much castor oil when mixing since I “eyeball” it.

          • It could be! I usually just use teaspoons because then the quantity is quite small, and it’s not a pity if I ruin it and have to discard it. But if you are experimenting with only two oils, there really isn’t much that you can ruin. Just add some more nourishing oil to your mix and you’ll have less of castor oil. Try olive oil, it’s fantastic!

          • I just thought of another question. Yesterday I went to a local store that sells olive and nut oils. She was showing me alot of oils and their properties. I figured I would ask you what kind of properties you would look for in a great organic extra virgin olive oil such as polyphenols etc. She also suggested I take 2 tsp internally daily for its healing properties.

          • The one and only important thing is its age. Olive is only full of anti-oxidants up to 6 months after extraction. So the fresher you can get it, the better. I’ve also heard that Italian mainstream olive oils can be fake, i.e. mixed with refined oils even though they are labelled as extra virgin. Spanish, Greek or your local oils (if you have any) would be a better choice. Of course all the oils have to be cold-pressed and unrefined. If you can get organic ones, even better!

  8. I’ve found your videos so helpful! I started Paleo along with OCM about a month ago with 1/4 grape seed oil and 3/4 sweet almond oil. First few days my skin felt amazing and my acne flare immediately went down but then that was it. After that i’ve been having pimples, bumps and blackheads on my forehead and jaw line which I’ve never had before. I feel so much healthier on Paleo and really feel like it’s working but OCM not so much. I started with OCM every other day and then have reduced it to once a week based on information in your videos. I’m not sure what to do right now, I read about Hempseed oil working. What do you think of hempseed oil with castor oil? What proportions should i use? I’m scared of using olive oil because I’ve read some other reviews about people breaking on it. Help!

    • Hi Maddi! So glad you’re enjoying the Paleo diet. Let’s see if I can help you start enjoying the no-poo method, too! It worries me that you weren’t using castor oil in the mixture. It’s really quite necessary for the pore cleansing and soothing at the same time. Sweet almond oil can also be clogging for some individuals. I’d say try adding some castor oil to the mixture, but remember, no more than 20%! How does your skin feel? Does it feel tight, dry, hot to the touch? Are the pimples/bumps red or just white pustules without much redness? I find that blackheads almost always appear when there is dehydration. It could be that your skin disliked the OCM every night. Once it gets upset, it takes a while for it to calm down. Just try to avoid using water on it as much as possible and give it some time to rest. Once a week should probably work fine for now. Hempseed oil seems great, I have never tried it but have heard lots of positive things. Also remember not to miss too many oils at the same time. Stick to 2-3 max. and stick to them for a while. Keep me posted! xx

  9. Raissomat says:

    Hy Vita!
    I’m on day 8 Of my nightly OCM.
    I used around 15%castor and the rest jojoba and almond oil (have used those before on my face so I know I don’t react badly) and at first it was great, but now I’m incredibly dry, my face has rough patches and my big dirty nose pores are back. So, too much castor, right? I would reduce the frequency also but I’m having ugly painful cysts on my jawline, that I feel the need to “clean” you know?! I don’t think the cysts are due to OCM but the dryness definitely is. Now I find it difficult to actually hydrate with oil (I can feel it) so I’m wearing some weleda almond oil moisturizer for the dryness, but I don’t like it and I’m not sure what to do..

    • Hi! It sounds totally like you’re overdoing it. Just start doing it once or twice a week. Painful cysts on the jaw and dirty pores on the nose from my experience are totally due to dryness and over-exfoliation. What kind of oil did you use to hydrate? And did you do it on damp face with damp hands? It’s very important to lock in the moisture. Next week, I’ll post a new video and blogpost about a variation of the OCM that’s brilliant for those with dryness and irritation issues (very much like yours). That should help a lot! In the meanwhile, just try do it less often. xx

      • Raissomat says:

        Ok thanks dear.
        I applied jojoba, but on dry skin before leaving the house, so it probably could’nt even sink in..I will take a break today and tomorrow. Cysts are healing (yesterday I cleansed without castor, I’m not at home and forgot my oils) so I will manage to leave my face rest. Looking forward to the new post! Thanks again, Ray.

        • Yes, that’s probably why you felt so dry. Oils don’t moisturise on their own, all they do is preserve the moisture on the surface of the skin if it’s already there. That’s why it’s so important to apply oils to damp skin. Otherwise, they dry it out. Hope you’ll finally see improvements soon! xx

          • For night time moisturizing after the short Ocm, do you apply the oil while your skin is still moistened with rose water? Also, do you have any knowledge on jawline/cheek cystic acne and if it is hormonally related, and do you think ocm is effective in treating it?

          • Hi Olivia! Yes, for night time moisturizing I apply the oil while my skin is still damp, I also wet my hands a little. However, if by the short OCM you meant my Fastest Way To Remove Makeup Naturally, I don’t apply any oil afterwards, the residue is usually enough. From everything I’ve read so far and from my own experience, it seems like jawline/cheek cystic acne is either hormonally related or is due to over-exfoliation. Food sensitivities, especially to dairy and chocolate, disrupt the hormones for some people and seem to cause cystic acne in those areas for a lot of them. OCM is definitely helpful for that type of acne but you have to be very careful not to do it too often, massage too much or use very drying oils. Just listen to your skin really. And remember, skincare is just one side of the coil, nutrition is just as important. xx

  10. Victoria says:

    Hi Vita! I’m so excited for your next post… I have a feeling it will be about your epiphany about rose water :) My skin problems all originate from having used proactiv for 8 years when I shouldn’t have because I didn’t even need it, all I ever got were a couple hormonal pimples around my period, but I got brainwashed into subscribing to proactiv and they’re pretty insistent about you not cancelling your orders so I stuck with it way too long. Last January I started getting concerned that my skin was looking dry and I was starting to get under-eye wrinkles and I was 25, so it made no sense. I figured it was proactiv overdrying my skin and went off it cold-turkey and started OCM with 1/5 castor and 4/5 sunflower seed oil. My skin felt amazing but I started having breakouts on my forehead, so I switched to coconut, breakouts improved, but blackheads began, so then it got so bad I started using straight up antibacterial hand soap on my face which killed the breakouts but dried my skin again, and basically I’ve been on and off OCM with several types of oils since then and after a month I give up and use something else which doesn’t help. Finally my skin was so irritated that the last time I tried using conventional products it actually burned when I applied them and I had to wash them off immediately. Then I found out that what proactiv does is basically stop breakouts pushing the toxins that would normally erupt into pimples further down into your skin. So the longer you use it the longer your skin will purge when you stop, because it’s years of repressed toxins your body can finally get rid of. So this time around I am dead-set on making OCM work for me… or whatever your new OCM once in a while+rosewater combo is. The last week I have been having major jawline and hairline breakouts, like I have never seen before, but after reading this troubleshooting article I can pretty much diagnose it as a mix of over-exfoliation (bc I started applying tea tree oil, calendula tea or witch hazel toner onto the area to reduce acne-causing bacteria and dirt) and also bc I was at the beach and therefore was applying sunscreen to my face and in the ocean water all day. I saw your post about overexfoliation today and ran to the natural food store to buy rose water and started applying only that and little to no water beginning tonight. I have high hopes! Can’t wait to see your next blog, I’m subscribing right now so I will get notified when it goes up :) Thanks a million for sharing all of this on your blog, it has and will continue to help so many people who are striving but failing to get OCM to work for them.

    • Hahaha, you’re almost right, Victoria! :-) My next post is going to be about the fastest way to remove makeup or, in other words, a variation of OCM for those with sensitive skin who struggle with the conventional OCM. And of course rose water would be very handy in that routine. However, I used lavender water because that’s what I’m experimenting with right now. :-) Proactiv is really evil and I would imagine it’s going to take a while for the skin to function normally again. I guess, as long as you feel your skin is overall healthier and happier, even if it’s still purging, you’ll feel much better and will be able to wait it out. I’ve recently been understanding more and more how evil tap water is. Even if it’s soft and filtered, it’s still full of chemicals and disrupts the pH of the skin for quite a while, which makes skin feel dehydrated. I’ve been avoiding water completely lately. My skin doesn’t see a drop of tap water for a month at a time (or more). I don’t remember the last time I washed it. Rose water or any other floral water is the only water-like thing that touches my skin. And it’s loving it! An article about tap water and why we should avoid it is definitely coming soon. Good luck and keep me posted! xx

      • Victoria says:

        Thanks for your reply, Vita! It’s only been a day since I started with the rose water and already my skin has calmed down immensely. It’s still a bit pink but the bumps are disappearing and it looks like everything is heading towards normal again. I had three questions for you:
        1) is natural spring water just as tap water? or not? I happen to be lucky enough to have natural spring water (completely untreated) coming out of my tap as I live at the foot of a volcano in Costa Rica. Here I never have to moisturize, but even when I go to the city every few weeks to buy supplies and have to overnight and shower there I notice my skin is like parchment paper after showering and no amount of the natural moisturizer bars I make (bees wax, cocoa butter & coconut oil) helps for too long.
        2) lavender water: that sounds amazing, do you buy it or do you make it?
        3) no-poo method: how come you leave the ACV on for so long? I’ve previously followed the no-poo method as explained by Liz Wolfe the author of “Skintervention” and she recommends to rinse immediately bc ACV is very quick to do its job and if you leave on too long it will overcorrect the pH of your hair. I’m starting no-poo again today, after a 6-month hiatus, and I would love to test out different lengths of leaving ACV on my hair but without messing it up too much and causing me to stop using it again. Also, do you brush out your hair prior to no-poo? When I use conditioner I comb it out in the shower w/a wide tooth comb while the conditioner is on, but when I did no-poo I’d have to brush it out pre-shower bc neither the baking soda nor acv help my hair detangle, actually like you said about the “wet cat” lol it’s very much not soft in the shower.

        Thanks!

        • Hi Victoria, glad to know rose water is helping. Last night I uploaded a new video on my channel with a variation of the OCM that’s great for those with more sensitive skin or for those who found that conventional OCM was over-exfoliating their skin. it’s also a brilliant way to remove makeup. I’ve been loving it lately. So let’s answer your three questions: 1) You’re so lucky to have fresh spring water running out of your tap! I also live at the foot of a volcano but can only dream about such kind of water. Mine is highly chlorinated and tastes awful. At least it’s soft! If you have that kind of water, it might not be drying and irritating for the skin at all, you could probably just wet your cotton pad with that instead of rose water. It should be full of minerals as well, so I think it’s awesome. 2) I buy my lavender water from a store, I don’t make it myself because I don’t have the equipment necessary to distill it at home. I wish I did! I’m pretty much obsessed with lavender oil, so lavender water is like an extension of that obsession. I love everything that smells like lavender, and it’s also very soothing. 3) All the sources I’ve read gave instructions to leave ACV on the hair for a few minutes. Some even said not to wash it off at all (tried it and didn’t like it). I guess there are as many opinions as there are people, so all we can do is try it out ourselves and find the combinations/methods that work best for our own skin or hair. Don’t you think? By the way, you’re so lucky to be living in Costa Rica! It’s absolutely beautiful. My husband and I sometimes talk about going to live somewhere else in 10 years or so, and Costa Rica is one of the main destinations in our dreams right now. How is life there? xx

  11. Hi Vita! I am so appreciative of all your advice and willingness to help and answer questions! I started the OCM about a month ago – after finding your website and reading your advice and tips on it. I basically love it and don’t want to give up on it because I see much good that has come from using this, but I have a few questions I hope you can share some insight on :)
    -When you suggest only using OCM several times a week in the beginning, what do you recommend on the other days? I don’t feel that rose water gets all the “stuff’ out of my pores but maybe I have a tendency to over exfoliate?
    – Is a gentle soap (like Dr Bronners Magic soap in peppermint or lavender) ok or do you recommend to stay away from it all together? I have been using grape seed as one of my oils and read in a previous post that it can be drying – I have dry skin but my pores are yuck :(…..
    -I also have hard tiny bumps on my temples and forehead that will not go away. I have had the thought that the “plugs” are just being stubborn and have tried hot hot water to hopefully open them before I apply my oil mixture….but that has not really helped very much.
    I have to admit that as much as I want to implement a much healthier and clean way of eating into my life, I have had a hard time sticking with it. My young children and husband are not interested – We also live in a small town with one grocery store that doesn’t have many, if any “clean” options other than a few sad apples, tomatoes and other standard items a produce section. I do know that if I could feed my body more clean and healthy options, it would behave better overall so I am working on it one meal at a time but until I get my act together on my eating, do you have any thoughts or tips for my skin and the OCM? Thanks for your time :)

    • Hi Kathreen, glad you’re liking the OCM so far! Let’s see if I can answer all your questions. :-)
      – If you feel that rose water doesn’t cleanse your pores enough (I think you’re just used to exfoliating constantly), how about trying to wipe your skin with a wet washcloth in the evenings? You just need to make sure you use either bottled water or a shower filter for that because regular tap water with chlorine is very upsetting for the skin. Everyone’s skin is different but I’ve noticed that my face doesn’t like any kind of water at all, perhaps once or twice a week max. In the morning, I definitely wouldn’t suggest using anything apart from rose water because your face really doesn’t get dirty during the night.
      -I wouldn’t recommend using soap on the face (especially with peppermint) because it’s still soap after all and does dry out the skin as well as disrupt the natural balance. Plain water, rose water and a washcloth are really all you need.
      – Grapeseed oil can be drying, but you can always add some more nourishing oil to it if your skin feels tight or starts peeling.
      – The plugs on the forehead and temples are very much linked to nutrition it seems, and usually no matter how much you try to get them out, they’ll keep coming back. The OCM definitely helps to reduce them in time but won’t make them go away completely unless you sort out the diet. I totally understand it can be difficult to eat healthily when the choice isn’t the best, but perhaps you can try to at least give up sugar and white carbs for the beginning? (if you haven’t done so already). Natural oils can definitely help make your skin healthier and will make any spots heal faster, but it won’t stop the clogs from happening completely. I’m sure you already know that skin issues are just a signal of much bigger issues inside our bodies. Beautiful skin comes from within. By the way, how about introducing green juices for breakfast? it’s helped a lot of people with their skin, it cleanses the body, gives lots of energy and provide lots of vitamins and minerals. For example, you could juice some lettuce, kale (if you have it in your store), lemon and a bit of ginger? You can also add an apple for sweetness. Those kind of ingredients should be pretty easy to find.
      Hope I’ve helped a little. xx

  12. Hi Vita!
    I am still using your fasted method to remove makeup every night with mostly avocado oil, a little grape seed oil, and a tiny bit of castor oil and tea tree oil. My tiny forehead flesh colored bumps, dry skin, and jawline cysts are not subsiding. Previously I was using lavender oil .. but from another internet source I was reading that essential oils should be ‘therapeutic grade’ if used on face which mine is not. Do these little tiny forehead bumps and dryness sound like an allergy to one of the oils, or a reaction to non-therapuetic grade lavender oil? Also have you had luck with sweet almond oil? Im having trouble determining the best oil mix for (cystic) acne-prone & dryness-prone skin.

    • Hi Olivia, it doesn’t sound much like an allergic reaction because it would probably be very itchy, very red and very inflamed. Maybe even the fastest method is still too much for your skin. Do you use mineral makeup? What about just wiping off some of it with rose water and then rinsing the rest with bottled or filtered water? Mineral makeup is pretty easy to remove. I’ve come to the conclusion recently that the reason why the OCM doesn’t work that well for some people is because the oil feeds their seborrhea (or the fungus that causes it). What you have on the forehead sounds very much like it (and I’ve always had a problem with seborrhea as well, so I know exactly what it looks like and feels like). The reason why the OCM worked so great for me is probably because I went Paleo and basically healed my seborrhea that way. Without the fungus getting in the way, my skin was able to take advantage of the oils. Just to give you an example, I went off the Paleo diet for a couple of weeks recently, and within days I had spots all over, my skin was super itchy, I had bumps and white pustules all over my forehead and jaw/chin area. It obviously awakend my seborrhea. Let me tell you this: it was uncomfortable to say the least! That taught me an important lesson: the oils are great, but they won’t help alone if the diet isn’t right. it’s the synergy of both that creates miracles. Beauty and healthy skin come from within. Good news: I stopped eating grains and beans, and my skin sorted itself out within a few days. It’s now completely back to normal and I’m left with only a few red marks that will heal in a few days. Thank God! Anyway, I’m going to post a video talking more in detail about this tomorrow or day after tomorrow. Check it out if you find it interesting! Regarding almond oil, I tried it a few times and it gave me whiteheads every time: it could be a coincidence but I prefer to stay away. I experience the same with jojoba oil. By the way, my lavender oil isn’t therapeutic grade either but I haven’t had any problems with it. Of course, it’s better to use therapeutic grade oils if you can get hold of them, but an allergic reaction would probably look and feel a little different. You’d probably recognize it easily. xx

      • Hi Vita,
        I use a liquid Clinique foundation every day because I have a lot of hyper-pigmentation and quite a lot of current red inflamed acne. I’m afraid rose water/ filtered water alone wouldn’t do the job to get it off at night along with my mascara. :( My skin is still breaking out, still dry to the point of flakiness, and still quite a lot of little bumps all over my forehead and temples. My diet only restricts most dairy products, overly fatty foods, processed and sugary foods (chocolate– it kills me!). I eat wheat, meat, beans,.. everything. I’m so close to just going to a drug store and buying crappy face wash and moisturizer because my skin is breaking out yet so dry. I feel like ‘of course OCM doesn’t work for me- nothing does’.. getting pretty hopeless.. I read that you underwent a lot of stomach issues- as did I, three years of incessant bloat/ cramping and craving sugar like crazy. I’m so close to just going to a drug store and buying crappy face wash and moisturizer because my skin is breaking out yet so dry. I feel like ‘of course OCM doesn’t work for me- nothing does’.. getting pretty hopeless. Looking forward to your next video. Now I am tempted to try hemp oil because of the high linoleic content. Any wisdom on this oil?

        • Hi Olivia, you’re right. If you use a liquid foundation, water alone won’t take it off. You will need to take it off with oils. Have you ever thought of switching to natural mineral makeup? It really seems like your skin issues are gut related (well, they almost always are). Have you ever tried staying off wheat? It’s a big trigger for a lot of people including me. I really hope I could help you more, but, as I said before, skincare alone won’t fix skin issues unless you fix digestion issues at the same time. Wheat and beans are inflammatory foods according to a lot of sources, and it could be a great thing to stay away for a while just to see if that makes a difference. A few readers have told me how much they’re enjoying hemp seed oil, so it’s worth trying. But remember acne is just s symptom of a systemic issue. You need to find the cause.

  13. Thanks Vita your website is a fantastic find! Was lovely OCM until breakout but you’ve helped me to realise this might be over exfoliation so I’m now cutting back :-) I bought what I thought was rose water, but it’s essence of rose water – do you think it will work the same? Thanks x

    • So glad you’re enjoying my blog, Angela! I’m not sure about the rose essence. It seems like it’s mostly used in baking and it’s 3 times more concentrated than rose water. I tried to find something on the internet about using it for skincare, and I didn’t find anything. I really don’t think it’s going to be the same as rose water if you simply dillute it with water. It’s delicious in cakes and Middle Eastern drinks, though! xx

  14. Mercedes says:

    Hi! I haven’t started OCM yet, or the complete version, but I massage coconut oil on my face and use a warm washcloth, about once a day, and after that I apply some rose water with witch hazel added. It doesn’t seem to help much because the coconut oil doesn’t give my skin a good texture and I still get pretty bad breakouts. I’m thinking it’s clogging my pores.

    But, I’ve been thinking about using hazelnut oil and olive oil, though I’m a bit scared to use olive oil because of how hard it is to remove from the skin and I’ve also heard it clogs pores. Have you had any problems with getting olive oil off your face? And if so, do you have any suggestions on how to not leave any residue from it on your face?

    • Hi Mercedes, I’ve never had problems with removing olive oil off my face. If you just tried to wash it off with water using your hands, it would be pretty hard, but the washcloth takes it off effortlessly. I love olive oil, and it’s never caused me any troubles. If anything else upsets my skin, my trusted olive oil is what I always come back to. Coconut oil, on the other hand, causes me grief every single time I try it. Good luck and of course keep me posted! xx

      • Mercedes says:

        Thank you! And I’ll be tying it here soon (tired of these random bumps on my skin, besides the acne)! I’ll keep you updated :).

      • Mercedes says:

        Okay so, I’ve just been using olive oil on my skin almost every night, just so my skin could get used to olive oil before adding in the hazelnut oil as well (weird habit I guess). And I noticed immediately after using it that my skin wasn’t as soft as when I used coconut oil but it wasn’t as heavy and I liked how my skin look afterwards, more then after using coconut oil. But, the next day, my skin seemed to have dry patches? So I thought I wasn’t putting enough olive oil and leaving it long enough on my skin, but then I noticed that the longer it sat on my face, it would start to make my face break out in small red, hot, spots on my face. Why is this? I was loving how my face looked with olive oil but I just didn’t like the weird dry patches, yet I don’t want to go back to coconut oil because it was too heavy. :(

        • How long do you generally massage the oil on your skin? If your skin starts getting upset when you leave it on for too long, don’t leave it on for more that 3 minutes or so. See if it makes a difference. If that doesn’t help, perhaps your skin doesn’t like either of the two oils. Try any other oil, such as hempseed, sunflower, pumpkin seed oil, etc. (these are my current favourites). Let me know how it goes! xx

          • Mercedes says:

            I massaged it in for about a minute this time and gently wiped it off, but I still got a small rash, not as bad, but it still appeared. Am I maybe allergic? Which would stink because I love the way it makes my skin look but the texture is a little rough at places.

          • Do you use hot water on your cloth? COuld that be the reason for the irritation? Got water + exfoliation from the cloth = too much for sensitive skin. Or simply try a different oil. You might not be tolerating olive oil well. xx

  15. Caitlin says:

    Before starting the OCM, I cleansed with the Body Shop’s tea tree oil cleanser and used olive oil as a moisturizer. I just started the OCM yesterday and my skin overall does seem to look more even and less red.

    However, I am noticing a painful cystic acne blemish coming on on my chin, my area most prone to breakouts. I usually only get one or two of these a month, and just got one the other day, so this is odd for me. I am using a blend of 1 part castor oil, 4 parts grape seed oil. I did the massage last night and tonight, and definitely did feel the clogs coming out. My concern is that my skin is going to get worse from this, as I have read on other websites about this cleansing method that some people get horrible cystic acne that doesn’t go away after they stop using the OCM, and I really do not want that to happen to me.

    Do you think I should continue on with this, or give it a rest for a few days? I’m just really not sure if this is simply my skin purging or if it is my skin about to freak out and get worse.

    • Hi Caitlin, welcome to the OCM tribe! :) First of all, of course there are some horror stories online just like with everything else, but it’s worked wonders for so many people, too. One pimple is not a cause for concern yet, but watch your skin closely. Also try to go very gradually if you’re afraid of upsetting your skin. Don’t do it every night perhaps, but stick to your current routine and slowly introduce the OCM by doing it once or twice a week. Most skins don’t need that much exfoliation on a daily basis. Good luck, and keep me posted! xx

      • I think the OCM is great and awesome that it’s all natural and lets your skin balance on its own.

        I did the cleanse three nights in a row, and on the third night my skin felt irritated, so I decided to just rinse with water if my face felt it needed it. So I hadn’t done anything other than maybe rinse with water for 3 or 4 days, and my skin looked great! I then thought I needed to use the oil cleanse again. I did not feel very many clogs coming out that night, and my face again felt irritated. The next morning another one of those cystic, painful pimples started to come up. I just let it be as much as I could and now it’s sort of going away. I have just been rinsing with water for the past few days but my skin seems to be getting worse again. I have this one patch of tiny red bumps on my chin as well as pimples in places I’ve never had them before.

        I want to do something other than rinsing with water, but I don’t want to do the OCM if it’s going to irritate my skin and cause another cystic acne. Do you think it could be the grape seed or castor oil that’s the cause or should I use less of the castor oil?

        Thank you and I appreciate you helping!

        • Hi Caitlin, first of all it looks like your oil mixture is a little drying (or too astringent), you could try to add some nourishing oil, such as avocado oil or olive oil. Definitely don’t do it too often if your skin is obviously happy with less on most days. The fact that you didn’t see many clogs coming out when you did it again 3 days later, probably means that your skin was still clean from the previous oil cleansing, so that’s another hint that perhaps once a week or even less would be right for it.

          Now that it’s summer and it’s getting pretty hot, I’ve been finding that my skin is happier when I take off the oils more thoroughly. I’ve been following the OCM with an Aleppo soap (also called Syrian soap or Laurel soap, mine is 20% laurel oil), and it’s helped me get rid of any dry flaky patches (seborrheic dermatitis). I don’t remember my skin ever being so balanced before, so I would totally recommend it to anyone whose skin isn’t happy with the OCM alone. On all other morning and evenings I simply rinse my face with filtered water. My skin couldn’t tolerate water before at all, now it can. It’s either thanks to the Aleppo soap or to the parasite cleanse I did a month ago, but something has definitely worked.

          I think the OCM alone works great during the winter, when the skin is drier perhaps, but in the summer the combination of the Syrian soap and the OCM has done wonders for me, perhaps it would help you, too. By the way, I’m working on my summer skincare routine video, it will probably be up tonight, so I’ll talk more about it there.

          Good luck! Don’t give up! xx

          • Caitlin says:

            Thank you so much! I will definitely try adding in some olive oil as well as the Syrian soap.

      • Caitlin says:

        Also, I was just reading your post about how you started to get dermatitis, and it seems like that is what the patch of red bumps I have is.

  16. Hello!
    Ive been trying the oil cleansing method for hmm about 4 weeks now. I have had moderate acne for years, whiteheads around my mouth and chin and cheeks, and cystic acne on my jawline. Also blackheads on my nose and forehead. The first two weeks I did Castor Oil and Argon oil like twice a day, and my forehead went crazy! I saw improvement in the cystic acne and whiteheads, but suddenly my forhead was like completely covered in blackheads and raised bumps. It was red and irritated. So i took you advice and decided to only do oil cleansing once every other day, or once every three days to slow it down.

    Only now, my cheeks and basically whole face have developed SOO MANY blackheads. Its so irritating :( Im trying to hang in there but Im so tempted to give up.
    Any advice? Are all those new blackheads from purging? Also now my forehead and skin is so dry and flakey, like little flakes everywhere, with blackheads and bumps underneath. Im using castor oil and jojoba oil now. and rose water on the days i dont use oil.

    Thanks so much!

    • Hi! I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling. I’ll give you a few possible reasons why your skin isn’t liking OCM at the moment. You’ll need to investigate and see if any of them fits your case. Firstly, how much castor oil were you using? It sounds very much like over-exfoliation. Could it be that argan oil simply doesn’t work for your skin? Both argan and jojoba oils are higher in oleic acid than linoleic acid, which means they’re more prone to clogging. So that could be another reason – oils high in linoleic acid would be sunflower oil, pumpkin seed oil, safflower oil, hemp seed oil. This is something I’ve discovered very recently, but it’s definitely worth looking into. The weather is hot now because it’s summertime, perhaps your skin isn’t liking the oil residue. Try to wash your face with a natural soap, such as Aleppo soap, neem soap, sabon de Marseilles after the OCM. It’s helped me tremendously in hot weather. You could also try a honey and cinnamon mask every other day – it exfoliates very gently and clears pores. Just mix a tablespoon of honey and around 1/2 teaspoon of organic cinnamon. Apply a thin layer on clean face, leave on for 15 mins and wash off with cool water. This quantity should last for around a month or more. xx

      • Hey thank you so much for the reply!
        Well- the first 2 weeks i tried OCM before I found your youtube videos, I was doing 50% castor oil and 50% argon oil once or twice a day even! So I suspect that dried my skin out too much and i scrubbed really hard to get the oils off my face so I think I overexfoliated.

        Then I found your videos, switched to jojoba oil, and started doing like 30% castor oil 70% jojoba, and did that every other day for about a week now. I dont want to write off jojoba oil too soon, because maybe my skin was still healing from my first two weeks of too much castor oil.

        Still though, I will try jojoba oil for another week or so before I switch to hemp seed oil- Ill give that a shot.

        As for the summer, I live somewhere very temperate so it rarely gets above 80degrees. BUT, I workout almost every single morning, and I get SO sweaty. I box, so my face gets sweaty to the point of dripping. I always feel that rinsing my face with rosewater after all that sweating isnt doing enough…. But maybe im just used to all the acne scrubs I used to use. Maybe I should use that soap you suggested after I workout?

        Thanks, and ill keep you updated if thats okay!
        Im sure ill have more questions

        • Yes, of course, give jojoba a bit more time. It works amazingly for a lot of people. I totally understand about sweating after exercising. I go for a run in the mornings with my dog and it’s hot here, so I come back totally drenched. I find that rinsing with filtered water is perfect for removing all that sweat. Rosewater alone was perfect during the winter or for mornings when I don’t exercise intensively, but I’ve had to go for water rinses once the weather got warmer. If you try it though, make sure you have a shower filter or just use bottled water. You could try washing with one of those soaps I mentioned, but for me personally it would be too much doing it every day. You’ll have to experiment with your own skin. Of course, keep me updated! xx

  17. Hello again!
    Wow so its been a week and ive learned a lot. I watched your videos where you mentioned diet has a lot to do with skin and i started doing some of my own googling and searched and stuff. I decided to go a week without dairy, and no sugar besides the small amounts in fruits, veggies.

    I never thought diet would be an issue for me because I ate very healthy in general, lots of protein and veggies, zero junk food, and only minimal whole grains. Wow though, even after two days I saw such a difference! The cycstic acne on my jawline stopped growing and slowly healed over 4 days. and no new pimples of my face, just the old ones healing! Wow! Another change i made was I started taking 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar each day, and using acv as a toner on my skin. I think my issue may have to do with low stomach acid- some symptons are anemia, constipation, bloating, and ACNE! Ive had these issues forever so i think I may have gotten to the route of my problem, along with cutting dairy and sugar. I also realized i had been eating protein bars with whey protein in them, which was another culprit i think.

    The past three days i caved and ate chocolate, my favorite- and the next day i get 3-4 new pimples around my mouth and chin where i used to break out all the time. I think im making some good headway, and i just wanted to share with you my success with apple cider vinegar and my thoughts on low stomach acid :)

    along with that i tool your advice about a little soap after doing ocm, and its helped with the black heads on my forehead :)

    I think Im gonna stick with the no dairy no sugar, and 1-2 tbsp of acv for a month and see how it goes.
    Thanks so much for your help!!

    • I’m so happy to hear you’ve seen lots of progress! Yes, we totally are what we eat, and anyone who says that food doesn’t affect acne or any other health issues is blind! You’ve just made my day, so thanks so much for sharing your good news. xx

  18. Hello, Vita!

    First of all, great job with this site, I really love your content! :)

    Now on to the OCM. I’ve tried it before and after doing it for 3-4 days I started breaking out, even got some hard cysts under my skin, so I stopped. But just like you said, my gut tells me that this is the right way to go. I’ve been battling acne for about 9 years now and it’s simply tiring and frustrating.

    My question is: will castor oil promote hair growth on your face? I’m a rather hairy girl (I’ve done blood tests and it looks like I don’t have any hormonal issues, so the hairiness is just how I am naturally), hence my concern for the castor oil.

    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Lina! So happy that you like my content. Thanks so much! Perhaps you tried the OCM with the wrong oils or a wrong ratio? I understand that gut feeling that something is right for you, you just need to figure out how to make it work. And you will! From what I’ve read, it seems that castor oil doesn’t promote facial hair growth. Plus, you wash it off, so it doesn’t sit on your skin for a long time. You could also try OCM with an oil high in linoleic acid without castor oil, just to be on the safe side. That would be pumpkin seed oil, hempseed oil, grapeseed oil or safflower oil. This type of oils tends to soften sebum and prevents clogs. Remember that good nutrition is just as important for achieving clear skin. Let me know how it goes! xx

      • Thank you very much for your answer!

        I tried it with olive and castor oils, but I surely did something wrong (maybe too much castor oil — followed the original instructions for oily skin — or maybe I didn’t rinse well enough). My skin always felt really tight after removing the oil, but I didn’t know that you could use oil to moisturize a bit, so my skin might have tried to produce more oil to compensate for the dryness.

        I know that diet is an important part of skin care as well, reason why I’ve quit sugar and eating fried food. Also, I exercise daily. Now I’m trying to improve my approach towards exterior care. For the past 10 days I used an acne treatment bought from a pharmacy and it only irritated my skin even more (although it claimed to be for sensitive skin). My acne history is pretty much likes yours (had acne for years and tried just about everything).

        Going to look for some of the oils that you mentioned. :)

        All the best, Vita!

        • Hi Lina, generally the instructions for oily skin all over the internet are 30-50% castor oil, and that’s crazy! I also recommend not using more than 20% regardless of your skin type. You said your skin felt tight after cleansing, that’s definitely a proof that there was too much castor oil in the mixture. Of course, in order to compensate for the loss of moisture, your skin would produce even more oil. Don’t waste your money on treatments from the pharmacies, they will never resolve the issue. The companies are only out there for the money, not to help people. Wishing you all the best in your clear skin journey, and remember that your skin will clear up when you expect it the least (or, in other words, when you stop obsessing over it). :-) xx

  19. Hi Vita,

    I just discovered your page and I’m obsessed! I was wondering if you could help me out? I’ve just come to the OCM (I have lots of blackheads and the occasional breakout). I wear makeup (mineral) most days so I use the OCM (20% castor, 80% olive oil) most nights to get that off. However, I exercise most mornings and get quite sweaty – do you have any suggestions for ways to clean my face in the morning? Is toning with rose water enough?
    Thank you!
    Erin

    • Hi Erin! So happy you found my blog! I usually rinse my face with water in the morning and then tone with rosewater. It works very well. I find that rosewater alone is fine during the winter when I don’t sweat at all during the night and when I don’t exercise, but water is great for all the other occasions. xx

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