Oil Cleansing Method

Image by Arthaey viFacial Cleansing Suppliesa Flickr

The Oil Cleansing Method has become quite popular over the last few months. While some have benefited from it tremendously, other have had horrible reactions. Below is my experince with the OCM.

What is OCM?
OCM is using Castor Oil along with another oil (depending upon your skin type) to clean the skin, instead of using soap.

Why are we not using soap?
The philosophy behind OCM is like dissovles like. Which is chemically true. So if you want to take off oil, dissolve blackheads & open clogged pores (all which are blockages due to oil/sebum), you should use oil.
Soaps & cleansers strip the oil out of our skin, leaving our largest organ trying to repair itself by replacing the oil stripped away. This leaves us in a cycle of being tight and dry followed by the inevitable oil slick. Each time we strip the oil away, our skin over-compensates for the lack of moisture by creating more oil.

Why castor oil?
Castor Oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties, but is also healing and cleansing.

What other oils can be used with Castor Oil?
All carrier oils such as Grapeseed oil, Jojoba, Olive, Sunflower seed, Almond, Avocado, Sesame are some examples.

Do not use Essential oils like Lavender, Rose etc.

Some suggestions in creating your blend of deep cleansing oil:

  • Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Carrier Oil.
  • Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% Carrier Oil.
  • Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% Carrier Oil.
How to do an OCM from: http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com

This is typically done in the evening, prior to bed. The objective of using this method is to deep clean while balancing our skins oil production at the same time.

  • You'll need a soft washcloth, your oil blend, and hot, running water.
  • Pour a generous puddle of warm oil into the palm of your hand. Roughly, the size of a quarter, but more is acceptable. Smooth over your face.
  • Begin massaging the oil into your face. There is no need to use a makeup remover or wash y

    Italian olive oil, both oil and an oil bottle ...Image via Wikipedia

    our face prior to the massage as this removes even my stubborn waterproof mascara and concealer. (My comment: I prefer to remove the make-up as it just seems unhygienic to rub chemicals into my skin with the oil.)
  • Using slow, firm motions across the skin, massage the oil deeply into your pores. Take your time and focus on your problem areas. You want the oil to work into your pores so that blackheads and the like can be dissolved and steamed away.
  • Give the oil enough time to work on dissolving the impurities in your pores and give yourself enough time to unwind.
  • Once you're satisfied that your pores are saturated and you're feeling calm, pick up your washcloth and soak it in clean, steamy water. We want the water to be warm enough to open your pores and remove the oil. Cool water will not open your pores, nor will it remove the oil efficiently. We're not scalding our skin, we're steaming to coax our pores to release the oil carrying the impurities. We're essentially steaming our skin. (My Comment: I personally perfer using a steamer now. I used a washcloth earlier, the oil just would not wash out of it, and it started to seem unhygenic to me)
  • Hold the washcloth to cover your face. Allow it to stay until it cools. You will feel your pores releasing the impurities. Wipe the oil gently away and rinse the washcloth well in hot, running water. Hold the washcloth to your face again, allowing it to cool. Wipe gently, rinse well, and repeat two or three more times. Avoid any temptation to scrub, as you'll find it's completely unnecessary and your skin will be soft, smooth, and free of flakes without the additional manual exfoliation and irritation that will result. Impurities, dead skin cells, and bacteria will be gently swept away.
  • Have no fear of the oil, as the steamy washcloth will remove it. The Castor Oil, though it is an oil, will help with the removal of the other oils, as well. It is our main cleansing oil and is easily removed with warm water.
  • If your skin feels tight, take a tiny drop of your oil blend, rub it between your clean, damp palms and pat it onto your damp skin. Gently massage any oil residue into your skin so there is no film of oil left sitting on the surface. Your skin should now glow! (My Comment: Ok, I hate this step. Because my skin always feels dry after the steaming and applying back a film of castor oil which is very thick, heavy and un-moisturising seems very unappatising to me. So instead I apply skin serum which is lighter.)

    Olive oil from Imperia in Liguria, Italy.Image via Wikipedia

This deep cleansing method should be done regularly, but not too frequently. You'll know if you're deep cleansing too frequently by the dryness that your skin will exhibit. Don't be surprised if you find you've unblocked an oil flow for the first few days. Once you remove the plugs from your pores, they will begin functioning properly again. Perfect skin won't happen overnight and while it should take a few massages to achieve your goal, you should notice a huge difference in your skin after the first deep cleansing massage. Give your skin a few days to adjust and adapt to being clean and clear of blockages; understand that the new oil coming from your skin is actually a good sign and will balance out very shortly. You'll find redness and irritation subsiding. You'll find your skin losing that "congested," and thick feeling."

Like all users the first time I tried this, my face glowed like no one's business. Walking down the street, a lot of women (yea, women! weird right?) gave me second looks and the skin was dewy soft. After that it all slowly went downhill. I faced massive acne breakouts. My normally oily skin became so dry that I developed flaky patches which my moisturizing lotion could not combat. I persisted for 2 weeks and finally gave up..

Cut to a month after I had quit OCM, I was still struggling with dry skin and acne that was so severe that it refused to die out on its own. It was time for some professional attention, so I got a clean-up done. My skin settled down after that and the acne began to reduce, but skin was dry as ever. Out of the blue I decided to exfoliate my face (exfoliate dry skin? crazy right!) Three days into the scrubbing with Biotique Papaya Scrub, my oily skin made a re-appearance. I was so relieved, having spent all my years tending to an oily skin, I was at sea on how to care for the sudden dry skin, I had no products and no understanding of what to do.

Hawaiian papaya (with lilies and ginger)Image via Wikipedia

here's my take on what happened, while OCM is excellent at drawing out impurities, it does not help remove dead cells, maybe the oils cause cells to clump up together causing acne on fast cell renewal areas like the cheeks. So the dead cells just sit there bound up by the oil and have free access to newly un-blocked pores thanks to the OCM. This leads to acne which is very deep-rooted and is just impossible to tackle with regular anti-acne creams.

OCM has it's place I believe as a cleansing technique, but a weekly incorporation of exfoliating scrubs or salts or grains into the oil mixture or a separate exfoliation procedure will help prevent acne.

I have not used OCM for over a year now. The acne really scared me, it was very deep-rooted and gave me scars & quite a tough time.

If you have tried OCM and have benefited from it do share it with me.
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  1. Hey!!I've never tried this...of course with all my acne problems it would be blasphemy to even try it,but nonetheless it was very enlightening...I never knew that oil cleansers actually used oil to remove the culprit in question!

    P.S.Can u do a blog on blackhead removal?

  2. Thks Simran...
    Request noted... look out for a post on blackheads very soon. :)

  3. Hey, with the OCM the washcloth is an important tool to exfoliate. If you were just using a steamer and not using a washcloth to rub the oils and dead skin cells off, you were pushing the oil deeper into you skin and not rubbing off the excess and whatever it brought out.
    Also you need to rinse with cold water afterwards to close the pores.
    You prob dont want to try again now, but if anyone is interested, its something they should know :)

  4. @Anon: Hey! Thks for sharing this with us. i had no idea I was doing this wrong. I will give it another shot and keep your tips in mind. Thks :D

  5. where do you get these cold-pressed hexane free natural oils in India??

  6. Hi Tanveer, I was looking for some good cleansing techniques on the web and I got your post..Very informative. I follow a similar cleansing method but use milk cream instead of oil and use facial sauna. works wonder for me..

    Every post on your blog is very informative. great blog..


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