The Oil Cleansing Method: A Complexion Saviour

oilsUp until about a year ago, I had never heard of the Oil Cleansing Method
(or OCM as it’s called around the web). Now, if I had to pick one practice that has given me the biggest results in my beauty routine, it would be an easy choice. The oil cleansing method has completely changed my complexion.

One year ago my face was a stressed out, troubled disaster. I was unknowingly adding to my issues by using overly drying products. I was breaking out, picking at breakouts and coating my face in tons of makeup to cover my issues. At night I would strip all the oils from my skin by using acne treatments. I was in a terrible viscous cycle, and there were many times that I sat at home in shame because I was so embarrassed of the way my face looked.

I can remember telling someone that I literally felt like the chemistry of my skin was off balance. Now I realize that my pH was indeed off because I was stripping all the natural oil from my skin. It was a disaster and I wish I had a before and after picture, but there is no way that I would have taken a photo of my face back then.


The oil cleansing method is based on the fact that like substances dissolve like substances. You wash your face with oil which removes makeup and dirt off but doesn’t leave your face dry. The oil cleansing method has a bit of a cult following online, so if you have a few hours to waste, do a Google search for “OCM” or “Oil Cleansing Method”  and start reading everyone’s stories and experiences. I list some specific posts that I like the best down at the bottom if you don’t want to sort through the millions of posts on the topic.

The first time I read about the OCM, I was skeptical. I thought I had oily skin, so the thought of cleaning my face with oil didn’t make too much sense to me. I read up on the method a lot before actually attempting it. Once I got into my routine, I have never looked back. I actually poured the remaining facial cleansers I had down the drain after realizing what chemicals were in those. I do use other handmade cleansers as part of my overall facial cleansing routine, but the main method I use for removing makeup nightly is the oil cleansing method.

You will need to give your skin a little time to get used to this method. I had some breakouts for a couple of weeks until my face became accustomed to things and it’s been fantastic since then. The only time I have breakout issues is if I don’t do a good job washing the oil off around my hairline.


When I first started the oil cleansing method, I simply used extra virgin olive oil and nothing else because that is what I had on hand. Then as I started adding to my natural supplies, I used half castor and half olive oil. Castor oil is the best cleansing oil and should be the oil you use as a base, but can be very drying. I have added some descriptions of several oils at the bottom of this post that can be easily saved or printed.

If you are just starting out, just use castor and olive oil for simplicity. You don’t have to mix up a whole bottle. Just pour a little of each in your hand and rub your hands together to mix. Once you get into the routine and start seeing results, then start adding in some other oils to see what works best with your skin.

Oils I Use Currently:

When my skin is feeling oily, I use about 2/3 castor but typically I use 1/3 castor, 1/3 jojoba and 1/3 apricot kernel with a little lavender essential oil. Essential oils aren’t necessary in the cleansing oil. Since they can be a pricey addition to a product that is simply getting washed off, I like to add very little to my cleanser and save the pricey essential oils for my moisturizer.


  1. Rub oil all over your face massaging upward in circular motions
  2. Lay a warm washcloth on your face for 15 seconds to open up the pores and steam your face
  3. Slowly rub the oil off your face with your warm washcloth, rinsing it out as you go. You need the water to be a little warmer than you would usually use to wash your face so that it cuts the oil.
  4. If you have a lot of eye makeup on, you may need to add a little extra oil around your eyes. I usually take a cotton ball and put straight apricot kernel oil on it because it’s gentle and wipe around my eyes with it if my eye makeup isn’t completely off. Be sure to completely wash all the oil off your face well especially around the hair line to avoid breakouts.
  5. I like to follow up with a toner which will get any remnants of oil and makeup off. I’ll be posting some easy DIY toners in the near future.
  6. Moisturize – You may not even need moisturizer after the OCM which is perfectly fine. I like to use moisturizing face oils with different concoctions for daytime and nighttime (recipes coming soon). The simplest and most effective face oil moisture is a few drops of straight jojoba oil. Jojoba is the closest to your skin’s sebum so it soaks right in without leaving an oily feeling.



The Oil Cleansing Method

How to Wash Your Face Using the Oil Cleansing Method (Video Tutorial)

Oil Cleansing for Clear Baby Soft Skin

Crunchy Betty’s Nitty Gritty on the Oil Cleansing Method - Proof that this method is highly discussed – check out the 599 comments on that post!

The Detox Diva’s Oils for the Oil Cleansing Method, Detox Your Skin: The Oil Cleansing Method, and Oil Cleansing Method Journey

Why You Need to Start Using the Oil Cleansing Method

Sorta Crunchy – The Oil Cleansing Method



Here are some wonderful cleansing oils you can purchase that aren’t full of toxic ingredients.

Kari Gran Skincare – Cleansing Oil

Crunchy Betty’s Exquisite Stuff Cleansing Oil or It’s Tamanu Thyme Cleansing Oil

Patyka Biokaliftin Remarquable Cleansing Oil

Vapour Organic Beauty Clarity Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil






How about you? Have you ever tried the oil cleansing method? What were your results?


* All information is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

About Toni South

I am a mom who has become a fanatic about handmade bath and beauty products after much research into the toxic chemicals that I was surrounding myself with. I am striving to educate others as I learn myself. I'm an experimenter, learner and teacher!

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6 Responses to The Oil Cleansing Method: A Complexion Saviour

  1. Shannon Pearman May 16, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    Can we do a facial party and invite people over as a kick off to protecting your skin for the summer!?!?!?!

    • Toni South May 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

      Great idea, but I don’t think I should invite anyone over to my soap filled place or someone may want to do an intervention!

  2. Sandra September 8, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    Well I am currently trying the ocm, today was my first day and I tried it with extra virgin olive oil, castor oil, tea tree oil, and vitamin e oil, how does this combination sound to you ?? I am really hoping it works because I haven’t honestly tried about everything to fight my acne and nothing has seemed to work :(

    • Toni South September 8, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

      I think that sounds like a great mix! I really like tea tree oil for acne. My current mix of cleansing oil is sweet almond, castor, neem, tea tree and lavender essential oil. Neem is another one that works well for acne, but the smell is extremely strong (like peanut butter mixed with garlic) so you just want to use a tiny bit, but the tea tree does a pretty good job of covering the smell. I had mixed results with olive which I’m sure is because there could just be a good amount of difference between different name brands of olive. When I was first starting out with the oil cleansing method, I had olive on hand so I used it, but once I started venturing out into purchasing oils I quickly replaced the olive.

      If your mix is a little drying, use less castor and if your skin feels oily even once it’s clean, use more castor. I am forever trying out new oils and different additives, but I’ve definitely found a mix that works well for me. Everyone is so different though! Also try using oil to moisturize your face and raw honey as a morning face wash or honey with some ground oats. That’s a good exfoliating cleanser that helps acne as well.

      The biggest help to my own acne was to cut out the stress:) Stress and diet have a big effect on your face!


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