Troubleshooting The Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) Part 1 – FAQ’s

Troubleshooting Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) - Part 1

Since posting my How To Get Rid of Acne Series and the post about the Oil Cleansing Method, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from you, guys. Some of them have been asked repeatedly, so I figured that I should probably write a blogpost answering those questions for you.

I hope this will save you time and will prevent you from making mistakes, so that your journey to clear skin can be short and sweet!

So let’s get started!

If you’d rather watch a video version of this blogpost, just click Play here:

Question 1. Does the Oil Cleansing Method remove makeup or do I need to use a separate makeup remover before?

Trust me, the OCM is one of the most powerful makeup removers on Earth. It will even remove waterproof makeup. Just remember to skip essential oils if you’re planning to use it for removing eye makeup or simply use a separate oil for eyes (olive oil is great for that).

If for some reason you want to remove your makeup before using the Oil Cleansing Method (for example, if you don’t want your towel to get dirty from all that makeup), just wipe it off with some rose water and a cotton pad or add a few drops of your favourite oil to a damp cotton pad and wipe all your makeup off.  Then use the OCM normally.

Check this blogpost if you want to read more about it.

Question 2. I started using the Oil Cleansing Method and my skin was looking pretty and moisturized, it felt comfortable. But a week later I started breaking out. Why?

Here’s what could be happening:

  • At first your skin was loving the absence of all the chemicals and the introduction of nourishing oils. But later on, daily exfoliation started irritating it. From my experience, white bumps and cystic acne are the type of spots that signal over-exfoliation. If this is your case, try to use the OCM less often, perhaps once or twice a week.
  • Are you using too much castor oil? Don’t go over 15-20% or you will dry out and irritate your skin. Does that sound like something you’ve been doing? Then reduce your castor oil ratio, and watch your skin recover.
  • Are you using oils that are too drying? Stay away from hazelnut oil, tea tree oil and grapeseed oil. The latter oil is fine if used with a more nourishing oil, such as olive oil or avocado oil. But it’s definitely too drying on its own.
  • Have you been using coconut oil? Some people react badly to it – some get seriously dehydrated skin from it (that’s me), and some get clogged pores. So stay away from it if you’ve been having issues with the OCM while using it.

Question 3. If I don’t use the OCM every night, how do I cleanse my face on other nights?

If you haven’t been wearing makeup that day, just rinse your face with water or wipe with rose water → this has been my favourite lately. Tap water is known to increase the skin’s pH for several hours after washing – that’s what causes the tight, dry feeling after washing. And, apparently, not only! The higher the pH of your skin is, the less resistant it is to drying, bacteria, infections, irritants, etc.

If you’ve been wearing makeup, just wet a cotton pad, squeeze it out, put a few drops of your favourite oil on it (mine is olive oil) and wipe all your makeup off. Then tone with rose water. If your makeup is more difficult to remove, you might also need to rinse with water before toning.

Find out what I use in my current skincare routine in this blogpost: My Natural Skincare Routine For Clear Skin In Hot Weather.

Question 4. Should I use any spot treatment with the Oil Cleansing Method?

The most popular natural spot treatment is pure tea tree oil. However, it can be really drying and irritating while your skin is raw and inflamed. The  good news is that it’s really not necessary as most oils in the Oil Cleansing Method have anti-bacterial and healing properties anyway. If you focus on getting ALL of your skin healthy, rather than treating individual blemishes, you will achieve permanent healing.

So if you don’t want to worry about the spot coming back in a different place on your face ever again, focus on having healthy skin and not on individual spots. You’ll see that it works really well.

It’s also better for the health of your mind – it’s not the nicest and most positive experience in the world having to apply a spot treatment on every single spot, don’t you think?

So that’ll be it for Part 1. I hope you’ve found it helpful, and don’t forget to read Part 2. And if you have any questions about OCM or anything else in the meanwhile, don’t hesitate to comment below or drop me an e-mail!

Have you tried the Oil Cleansing Method yet? What are your favourite oils? And if you haven’t tried it yet, what’s your biggest fear that stops you from trying it? Let me know in the comments.

VitaLivesFree Signature

Never miss a post!
Join the others who've found my articles helpful! Get DIY beauty, delicious recipes, motivation and so much more straight in your inbox.


  1. I love your website! I’ve been doing the OCM for a while, but not as the only source of facial cleansing method (until I found your blog recently). I live in high desert and my skin is always really dry (I use 10% Castor and 90% Jojoba oil). It usually feels amazing right after I wash at night and in the morning, but throughout the day it starts to get really dry (which never looks pretty with makeup). Any suggestions for additional moisture? I’ve been increasing my water intake and not using the OCM method every night. Thanks!!

    • Hi Lindsey! I live more or less on the desert as well, plus the sun is always super strong and it’s pretty windy. Quite a drying environment for the skin I have to say. 🙂 Recently, I’ve been experimenting and I found some things that work really well to preserve the moisture. Firstly, using a more nourishing oil such as olive oil instead of jojoba oil works great. Some nights I slather my face with quite a bit of olive oil as a moisturiser, and by morning my face feels much more nourished. Another thing that helped tremendously was avoiding water. I use the OCM once a month, and on all the other days (both morning and evening) I’ve been wiping my face with rose water, and that’s it! It’s amazing. I’m not blogging about it officially yet because I want to try it for a bit longer before I tell everyone about it. So you’ll be the first one to know this trick. 🙂 Give it a try, it’s brilliant for desert climates or those living in cold dry climates!

  2. I’m FTM transgender (female to male) and will be starting to take testosterone in the next couple of months, and will continue to take it for probably the rest of my life. I’m 20 and had acne for most of my life; until about a year ago when I did Acutane, something I wish I had avoided. 🙁
    The testosterone is going to send my skin into a second puberty. Have you heard of anyone else in my situation?
    My skin treatment since Acutane has been washing my face once a day with baking soda and using Cetaphil moisturizer afterwards (usually). I live in a humid climate.

    • Hi Shannon, I’m sorry I don’t really know much about this, but I would imagine that going off chemicals and starting to use natural things should help in any case. I’m reading a book about Ayurvedic remedies right now. If I see anything relevant for you, I’ll let you know. xx

  3. Hi Vita, thanks so much for such a good website! it’s so helpful! I started the OCM about 3 weeks ago. Hazelnut and olive 50/50 my skin looked beautiful for a week then I had a couple of pimples on my shin and I freaked out thinking it will get bad, so I switch to castor and olive, my skin felt really dry and then swtich again to castor and grapeseed and now I changed grapeseed and hazelnut, I am still having a little breakout around my shin, reason why I freaked out and change so many times. I know, I know I went all over the place in just 3 weeks haha. My question is how could I start all over again? should I wait a couple of weeks? and do it the proper way? or could I just stick to one of them? thanks so much! 😀

    • Hi Tania, that’s a lot of changes in just 3 weeks! 🙂 I’m sure your skin is confused now. If the first mix worked beautifully for you at the beginning, just stick to it when you try again. Also, how often were you using the OCM? As a rule, most people have this kind of reaction when they do it daily. Thanks for kind words regarding my website! And I hope you’ll find a way to make the OCM work for you! 🙂 xx

  4. Hi Vita,
    So glad I stumbled upon this article. I’ve decided to drop down every other day use of the OCM to once a week. Since it has made me breakout in tiny whiteheads (and some small red bumps), would I still be able to moisturize daily with oil? I use sweet almond oil normally. Or should I stop using oil altogether for awhile? The brand of almond oil I use is Aura Cacia and it includes vitamin e in it as well. Could this be causing some irritation as well? I doubt it…but thought I’d ask.

    • Hi Nicole, so glad you found my blogpost helpful! A lot of tiny whiteheads sound like over-exfoliation, so cutting down on frequency should help. Be careful with sweet almond oil, it might clog pores (it does for me too). Just keep an eye on your skin: if you reduce the frequency and still see no change, it’s worth looking into the oil you use next. What kind of oils do you use in your OCM mixture and what ratio? xx

      • Thanks for the quick reply! I really appreciate your help. So far I’ve been using it every other day for a week total. The first time, i used 1/4 tsp of castor with 1/4 almond oil. After reading not to use too much castor, i dropped it down to a drop or two and kept the same measurement of the almond oil along with 8 drops of neem oil. I used that for 2 days then dropped the castor for the 4th day, thinking it might have been breaking me out. But it didnt stop so i switched to jojoba (which i shouldnt have because it was too soon) with a drop of castor oilfor 2 days and i feel like it made it worse but it could also be overexfoliation.

        • Maybe go off it totally for a couple of weeks to let your skin recover and start again. Sorry, I think you made a mistake in the ratio. You said 1/4 of castor oil and 1/4 of almond oil. I think you meant 3/4 for one of them. Which one? Both almond oil and jojoba oil are high in oleic acid, which could be clogging. Oils high in linoleic acid (such as sunflower oil, hempseed oil, pumpkin seed oil or safflower oil) dissolve clogs instead by making sebum less thick. Could that be the reason? It’s going to be difficult to tell now as you’ve tried quite a few different things / methods, so it’s probably best to wait a bit and restart. xx

  5. Hi! I was just wondering if you’ve used rose hip oil or Argan as a base? And how they worked? Or would it better to save those for a moisturizer? Thanks for your time 🙂

    • No, I haven’t used those as a base simply because they’re expensive oils and I wouldn’t want to waste them for a treatment that stays on the skin for such a short time. xx

  6. Katrina Swartzentruber says

    I’ve been using OCM for about 4 weeks now. I believe I am using 2 parts avacado oil and 1 part castor oil. I have whiteheads all over my forehead. Suggestions?

    • Avocado oil is quite a nourishing oil. It might be too heavy for your skin. Also how often are you doing OCM? I would only start from once or twice a week. Also the ratio of castor oil is too high, I would bring it down to 15-20%. xx

      • Katrina Swartzentruber says

        Okay- thank you for the tips. I used avacado oil because it was nourishing, since my face tends to be dry. Do you have a suggested oil I could use instead of avacado oil?

        • If your skin is dry, then avocado oil is a great choice, but 33% of castor oil is way too high for dry skin. I wouldn’t go over 10-15% or would even omit it at all and use just avocado oil alone. Also don’t do OCM every single day. Your skin needs to get used to it first. xx

  7. I have just stumbled upon your blog when I tried to see videos abt purging using ocm. I have been learning a lot from your blog and I really love how you personally answer querries of your readers. I am new to ocm and been experiencing purging and as what I’ve learned from this article, I am over exfoliating. I have oily skin and after trying out ocm my skin turns dry. Now I know I’m overexfoliating cause I’m doing it twice daily. I should have just listened to my skin. I’m using grapeseed by the way. I would like to ask, some uses grapeseed with raw honey, do you have some experience/knowledge abt this combo? In your personal view do you think it is okay to try it? The ratio is 5 parts oil to 2 parts honey. Also is it okay to use extra virgin olive oil from supermarket? Looking forwrd to your reply. More power to you and your blog!

    • Hello! Grapeseed oil is quite a drying, astringent oil. Honey can be a little irritating as well. This combination would certainly not work for me personally. But for using once or twice a week, it might be OK for others. Extra virgin olive oil from the supermarket is great for the OCM. <3

Speak Your Mind