Dear Crissy

Oil cleansing method

Have you heard of the oil cleansing method (OCM)? I’ve been using the oil cleansing method on my face for about six months now, after going through a tough spot with my skin after giving birth in 2011. I’ve written about sugar scrub recipes and homemade face mask recipes, but I also wanted to share this great technique!

If using oil as a facial cleanser sounds strange to you, you’ll definitely want to keep reading to find out how the oil cleansing method can give you not only healthy skin, but glowing skin.

Oil Cleansing Method How To

Oil Cleansing Method How To

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About the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)

Have you ever heard that you shouldn’t bathe a newborn baby too often because you will dry out his or her skin? What about the tip about not bathing your dog too often, because it will strip his skin of essential (protecting) oils?

Ever wonder then, why we have been raised to believe that we need to wash our hair and skin multiple times per day?

Our skin produces oil called sebum, and that oil naturally gives us healthy and nourished skin. Wouldn’t it make sense to preserve as much of that natural healthy oil as possible, instead of coating our skin with harsh chemical cleanser, which essentially strips our skin of its natural glow?

In reality, when we rob our skin of its natural oils by excessive cleansing, our skin overcompensates and produces… MORE OIL. Of course, this means we wash even more, and this creates an unhealthy cycle for our skin that can lead to skin irritation and acne.

Why the Oil Cleansing Method Works

I’ve seen this quote from before, but it really sums up why the oil cleansing method works.

Fact: Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to desolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: Other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin. When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderate acne–while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized. (via

STEP 1: Create Your Cleansing Oil

Castor oil and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) are the most common combination of oils used in the OCM. Castor oil is great for cleansing and dissolving, and it is also antibacterial. Castor oil draws all the dirt, gunk and junk right out of your pores!

Depending on your skin type, you will adjust the level of castor oil in your oil cleansing method recipe. More castor oil for oily skin, less castor oil for dry skin.

Olive oil, of, course, is a fantastic moisturizer. You will need to adjust the proportions of olive oil and castor oil to fit your individual skin type. Use the oil cleansing method recipes below as a guide.

  • Dry Skin: Blend 1 tablespoon castor oil with 3 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Balanced Skin: Blend 2 tablespoons castor oil with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Oily Skin: Blend 3 tablespoons castor oil with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Castor oil and olive oil are also easy to find at any drugstore, so that makes it an easy choice in my book. If you’re interested in learning about castor oil and olive oil alternatives, check out Crunchy Betty’s article on OCM.

Add your mixture to a small bottle, then gently shake before each use.

STEP 2: Apply The Oil To Your Face

Pour a quarter-sized puddle of your oil mixture into the palm of your hand, then rub your hands together. Next, gently rub the oil into your dry skin using slow circles. Spend a minute or two massaging the oil slowly into your skin.

STEP 3: Steam Your Face

Put a washcloth under hot water (don’t burn yourself), then quickly squeeze out excess water. Apply the washcloth to your face and enjoy the warm, steamy goodness that follows. You’ll want to leave the cloth on your face until it starts cooling down. I like to keep mine on for a minute or two to make sure my face is good and steamed.

STEP 4: Wipe Your Face

Finally, squeeze any extra moisture from the wash cloth and gently wipe your face to remove the remaining oil. Be thorough but gentle, no need to scrub your face with the cloth. I love how my skin feels at this point.

So, that’s the oil cleansing method. I do this once per day and I love how it makes my skin look. Even my husband said that my skin was looking really pretty after about a week, and funny enough, he said, “Your skin is glowing! You’re not pregnant, right?” HAHA!

Have you tried the oil cleansing method? Which oil combinations do you love?

More posts about skin care:

Homemade Sugar Scrub Recipes
Homemade Lip Balm
Face Mask Recipes

Leave a Comment


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  1. Melanie S — December 19, 2012 @ 11:56 am (#)

    Yes! I love this method, and I usually use organic jojoba oil. Works great!


  2. amber whitehead — December 19, 2012 @ 12:03 pm (#)

    I have never heard of cleaning your face or anything with oil. Definitely an interesting post may have to test it out thanks for telling us about it.


  3. Lu — December 19, 2012 @ 12:06 pm (#)

    I will be giving this a try!


  4. Andrea Kruse — December 19, 2012 @ 12:53 pm (#)

    Yes, I tried it a while ago… though ruined several wash clothes with oil spots. I did enjoy it, but didn’t keep it up. I think I will give it another try. I like the idea of mixing the castor oil with olive, I was trying either one or the other. I also used flax seed oil a few times. My skin was so soft.


  5. Anne Younger — December 19, 2012 @ 1:09 pm (#)

    I am definitely going to have to try this out. I have eczema and sometimes have to use a lot of baby oil during a flare up but this sounds like it will work a lot better.
    Thank you!!


  6. Nichol — December 19, 2012 @ 2:08 pm (#)

    I have heard of it though never tried. It all makes sense though!


  7. Julia — December 19, 2012 @ 5:53 pm (#)

    A friend of mine told me about this cleansing method months ago when I first started to develop this post-pregnancy acne that I’m still fight now, 8 months after it started. I think I will finally give it a try, I hope it works!


  8. Krystle(Baking Beauty) — December 19, 2012 @ 10:31 pm (#)

    I’ve never tried it, since I Have oily skin it scares me a bit. Which is your favorite cleansing oil?


    • jdubay1018 — February 6th, 2013 @ 9:51 am

      I’ve been using OCM for about 3 weeks and for the first week and a half all I was using was Olive Oil. I do tend to have dry combination skin but when I started this method my skin was actually drying out. I was using the Olive Oil to moisturize and it wasn’t enough. I finally added the castor oil about a week ago and have started using Crisco (Vegetable Shortening) as my moisturizer at night and it’s amazing. My point…don’t worry about your face being oily…this will totally help to regulate it.

      • Jennifer — February 26th, 2013 @ 5:30 pm

        Omg, Crisco??? I’m already scared as my skin is pretty normal already, but I’m tired of spending $100 at Clinique…Crisco??? I think I’m gonna try olive oil first, but I will post if it’s not enough and I need Crisco…

  9. Brianne — December 19, 2012 @ 10:54 pm (#)

    I have never tried this but I am now curious! Will have to check it out!


  10. Stacie — December 20, 2012 @ 9:13 am (#)

    I’ve never heard of this before! I have oily skin so I wouldn’t have thought oil would help.


  11. Staci — December 20, 2012 @ 10:01 am (#)

    I have been doing this method for about a month now.
    My skin was gross, I had been using all kinds of really expensive cleansers to help with acne. Just made it worse.
    Even go the chance to test out the TRIA Beauty Blue Light machine. DID NOT WORK.
    Last resort? I went to pinterest, figured it would show me the way. I found this method on there, and decided, “WHY NOT?”
    I have super oily skin, so I use the 3 parts Castor Oil, to One part Olive Oil. Castor Oil was NOT easy to fine where I live, NO drug stores in our area had it. I ended up having to get it at Whole Foods.
    I could not be HAPPIER with how my skin looks now. I also spot treat with Tea Tree Oil, worked amazing. And I have also spot treated with Peroxide, and because my face is so balanced now, the peroxide has been working wonders on the really bad acne.
    I will never wash my face with anything ever again! When my kids are little older, I plan on making them little bottles for themselves to use it, too.
    There skin is so beautiful now, and I can’t do the hot face cloth on them yet. So it’ll be a few years, but man, SO GLAD I found this before my kids hit the teenage years and horrible acne sets in!


    • Katie — February 22nd, 2013 @ 9:34 am

      Hey Staci! I’ve had really bad acne the past 8 months and nothing has worked. I started using the OCM two nights ago. I know I’m getting impatient, but I still have a ton of zits and bumps on my face. How many days did it take for you to finally see results?

      • Laurie — March 13th, 2013 @ 1:40 am


        My daughter has really bad acne too. Are you still trying this method? Is it working yet? She has only been trying it for a few days and is also getting impatient.

  12. LisaLisa — December 20, 2012 @ 4:04 pm (#)

    Yes, I have heard of this method and I really love it. Tried it with my last child worked very well with my dry skin!


  13. Lexie — December 21, 2012 @ 12:23 am (#)

    Can you do this method with makeup? Would it clense well enough to remove the makeup?


    • Corrine — January 21st, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

      Yes you can use this method when removing makeup. I just did the process twice and all the make up was gone, and my face was moisturized!

  14. Joyce — December 22, 2012 @ 11:30 pm (#)

    Finally – a good use for castor oil! Thanks for the tips. I ‘m going to try it out.


  15. Aly M. — December 26, 2012 @ 10:17 pm (#)

    I’m seriously thinking about trying this. My only problem would be when cleaning, I’m so used to using an exfoliator with beads because I like the texture and feel like it actually working when I use it. So I think I’m going to make a sugar scrub and then just alternate with using the OCM and that. Thanks for this post!


    • April — February 11th, 2013 @ 11:54 pm

      I have been doing this method for awhile now, and once a week I exfoliate with cetaphil and baking soda. My skin has never been my friend, but now; I feel I have been given a new start. I will never go back to soap. EVER.

    • Maureen — April 4th, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

      I use a combination of castor oil and grapeseed oil, with a few drops of tea tree oil and Vitamin E oil in the bottle. Each night I add baking soda to get the “exfoliating” feeling.

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you are beautiful. hope to see you soon!