oil cleansing method

the oil cleansing method (natural, organic skincare)

i have tried sooooo many face washes/cleansers/acne-get-ridders/etc… but each one has something i don’t like about it. too drying, too oily, too many chemicals, not organic enough…etc, etc.

well my friends, i have hit the facial cleaning jackpot!! after lots and lots of research, i tried the oil cleansing method. what’s that, you ask? it’s cleaning your face and getting rid of the oils with another oil. that seems like the exact OPPOSITE of what you’d want to do, especially with acne-prone skin, but here’s the jist:

  • oil dissolves oil
  • your natural oil helps lubricate, it also heals, protects, and moisturizes your skin so that it may function properly

easy, right?

also, zooey deschanel uses the OCM. that’s really all i need to know. life complete.

overall, it’s suggested that you use a blend of two oils, specific to your needs. the first always being castor oil. castor oil will help with excess oil on your face and is anti-inflammatory. (for those of you worried about shelling out money for castor oil, you can use it for other health and beauty benefits, like growing your eyelashes and using it to help your immune system.) keep in mind that very little goes a long way, and if you add too much castor oil to your specific oil blend, it will DRY your skin out!

the second oil you blend your castor oil with can be one of many oils, such as sunflower seed oil, argan oil, or olive oil. i use argan oil and LOVE it. also, it can be used with ANY skin type. it’s pricey, but very worth it! check it out here.

oil cleansing method- what oils you should use

creating your blend of deep cleansing oil:

  • Oily Skin: mix 30% castor oil with 70% other oil of your choice
  • Balanced Skin: mix 20% castor oil with 80% other oil of your choice
  • Dry Skin: mix 10% castor oil with 90% other oil of your choice


  • use 1 organic oil, like argan oil. i find this to be the best for my sensitive skin!

how to

  1. wipe your face (make-up or not) with warm water and a wash cloth
  2. slather a generous puddle of your oil blend onto your face and massage gently for two minutes (i use a dime-size amount because a little argan oil goes a LONG way)
  3. put the wash cloth under HOT water and gently wring out excess water so it doesn’t drip on you (don’t burn yourself! this is meant to “steam” your face)
  4. place washcloth over your face and relax until it cools off
  5. gently massage/wipe the oil from your face with the same wash cloth
  6. heat up the wash cloth again with the hot water
  7. place over your face again until it cools off
  8. massage/wipe off your face again with the wash cloth
  9. allow your skin to air dry
  10. voila, super soft, super clean skin!!

you will be surprised at the dirt you see on the washcloth. i had my boyfriend try it after he showered and this method STILL took dirt out of his pores :)

IF YOU CAN’T GET THE OCM TO WORK FOR YOU (OR ARE TOO NERVOUS TO EXPERIMENT WITH OIL BLENDS)— try use pure emu oil. it’s my 3rd favorite oil (behind coconut and argan) and is PERFECT for every skin type. it’ll clena your skin, heal blemishes and scars, reduce redness, etc. my grandparents had an emu farm when i was growing up and we used emu oil for EVERYTHING. seriously. mosquito bite? slap some emu oil on it. acne? slap some emu oil on it. it’s crazy good. i personally only trust this brand. it’s pricey, but not as much as argan oil, AND a very little goes a long way! and it’s so versatile!! you can even take it internally as a supplement!
20130818_084911 20130818_084942

>> i do this every 4ish days, sometimes less. i wash with water only and a washcloth in between ocm days. and i exfoliate with a watery baking soda paste every week to week and a half. it works great for me!

i believe it also needs to be noted you must also take care of your skin internally… drink lots of water, eat right, exercise, etc.

seriously people, this stuff works wonders. try it and lemme hear about it!!

**one amazing reader emailed me a link to THIS informative oil cleansing site. it covers what types of oils to use, different recipes to try, and common mistakes. thanks, Sandy!!!



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308 thoughts on “oil cleansing method

  1. Hey there!
    I am so glad to have stumbled across your blog! The way you choose to live is beautiful and so are you!
    This is a great post, very helpful. I do have a couple of questions for you. I am making the switch to water only for my face, and I ordered the Jane Iredale magic mitt to remove makeup with just water. If you still wear makeup, on the days you wash with just water, do you use a cloth? If so, is it anything special?
    I like the idea of doing the ocm every few days, so I just might incorporate that! I wanted to know if there is any particular cloth you recommend for that as well.
    Last thing, just want to make sure I understood everything. The only actual “product” you use on your face is argan oil, right?
    Thanks for sharing, it’s a huge help!


  2. Hey Alex i love your blog! I just within the last week started the OCM and so far so good, before i used Dr. Bronners castile soap to wash my face. I was just wondering if you or anyone else has any tips on what they do when camping. The only steamy water i will have access to will be if i boiled some over a campfire…and that kinda seems like a pain. But i guess if i have to i have to. Do you think it would throw my skin out of wack if i used soap again for a few days? or should i just suck it up and boil some dang water haha. not washing my face is not an option when i camp… Any tips are helpful! thanks


  3. I have been doing OCM for about 2ish months and really like it. I was using pumpkin seed oil and switched to hempseed oil. I have not ever tried Castor oil. In general, I really like it and I have stopped using Cetaphil and face lotion. I OCM every night and have had pretty good results. Hempseed oil seems to be less heavy because it is a drying oil; if I’m feeling like I need more moisture, I use pumpkin seed oil or mix the two. I rinse my face in the shower in the morning. I’ve also been using a no to low poo hair regimen for the same amount of time. The newest thing I’ve noticed is pimples in my temples and hairline. I haven’t figured out if this is from OCM or haircare, but if it haircare, wouldn’t it be all over my scalp, not just the hairline? So, I’ve been thinking about reducing my OCM to every other night or two, but I do wear eye makeup and very little mineral powder…what would you suggest to wash at night in between OCM that will get makeup off? I’ve been thinking about ordering the Norwex cloths for that since I know you can’t use them with oil


    1. Since my guess is this is due to too much oil being left behind after cleansing, I wonder if it would help if you tried using alcohol-free witch hazel or acv/water on a cotton pad around your hairline after? It’s funny, I was using raw honey as a face wash, and even though I SWORE I got it all off before bed, I would sometimes wake in the morning with sticky spots around my hairline! Sure does hide well..


  4. I have suffered from acne for years. This year, I just started searching for some natural remedies for acne, since I wasn’t too happy about the multiple chemicals in acne treatment products. Many times the traditional products left marks or did not work at all.
    That’s when I found the oil cleansing method for skin. I have been using castor oil and cumin oil on my body face, and skin and I must say I have been very pleased with the results. It’s only been three monthes and I have not had a major breakout yet. My skin looks naturally glowly and healthy too!


  5. I didn’t know what emu oil was so I looked on the web and found this : “Emu oil is oil derived from adipose tissue harvested from certain subspecies of the emu, Dromaius novaehollandiae, a flightless bird indigenous to Australia.”
    So you have to kill the bird to obtain this oil…
    Isn’t this contradictory to your way of living ?
    (sorry for my english, I’m french)


    1. hey kmellia! I’m not vegetarian, vegan, or anything of the sort :) while I don’t stand for typical “big” animal farming practices, I do stand for animal product consumption. yes, the emu is killed for meat, just as a cow would be. my family raised emus for a long time and I can tell you that emus aren’t raised and slaughtered like Tyson chickens. :)


  6. Hey girl so I have acne prone skin and nothing seems to help, I’m interested in starting the ocm and I purchased some argan oil (the same as yours), but I’m a little confused and can’t seem to find much on using argan oil for the ocm, my question is should I be mixing argan oil with castor oil and other oils such as lavender or tea tree?


  7. I just washed my face with the Pura D’or argan oil and I am so happy with the results! My skin is ridiculously clean (the pores on my nose were a bit clogged earlier, bleh), soft, and free of dryness and irritation! Yes!! I can tell this is actually going to work for me. Thank you so much for all the tips and info!!


  8. would you recommend rinsing with cold water after cleansing to close the pores? I have always been told to rinse with cold water after cleansing, is there a benefit to this?


  9. Hi Alex,
    I’ve had really bad acne for a few years now, and it has not gotten any better.
    I’ve tried so many things and found this. I have been doing the OCM for about 3 or so weeks, and it seems to be making my face worse for some reason.. I’ve been using 2 parts castor oil and 2 parts argan oil and I rub it on my face for about 2 minutes, then get a hot towel and steam my face for about 15-20 seconds. Then I take it off and see barely anything come off my face. I then steam my face again using the other side of the towel.
    Furthermore, if you can tell me what mixture has worked for other people the best who have bad acne or maybe I’m doing something wrong.. not sure lol.



  10. is it okay to use oats and gently clean face with warm water to remove excess oil off face after doing this instead of using a washcloth?


  11. I have been doing the ocm for a year and a half and I LOVE it. Recently i developed an itchy rash on the outer corner of my eye, I am thinking that I got an eye cream containing retinol (I know….) too close to my eye. I am no longer using it. Any natural remedies for this?


  12. I was skeptical about this because I read so many negative reviews about Oil cleansing method, but my sister tried it first and it worked miracle on her skin! I have been trying the OCM- I use castor oil, jojoba and just a little hemp seed oil. Makes my skin look so much better!


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