Oil Cleansing Method – Part I

27 Feb
OCM Oil Cleansing Method

OCM Oil Cleansing Method (Photo credit: madaise)

I heard about the oil cleansing method as a method for facial cleansing via a thread on ModelMayhem and decided to research it a bit. Basically, you use a combination of castor oil and another oil called a carrier oil (often extra virgin olive oil aka EVOO) to cleanse your face. The idea is that the oils will help remove extra oils and other icky stuff from your face (mainly the castor oil) while still keeping skin moisturized (mainly the carrier oil). You can read more about the specifics on how it works at these two links:

So, after reading those two sources and a few others, and having noticed that both the models I spoke to about it do in fact appear to have lovely skin, I decided to try it. But, after hearing another  model describe her process, I decided to modify how I would use the OCM to something a bit easier, in my opinion, than the methods described in the two sources.

A Bit About Me

I’m a model, but I’m a model who doesn’t wear make-up very often, not even for shoots as most of what I do is focused on a natural look. Therefore it’s important to me that my skin looks pretty good. Before trying OCM, I was using what I call the “water method,” basically only rinsing my face with water. If my face was dry, I’d apply moisturizer. My skin is pretty decent, but I would have a breakout around my period every month. Other than that, no problems to speak of. However, I just recently moved to Detroit from East TN and my face was starting to be dry a lot, so I was looking for a solution that didn’t involve moisturizer multiple times a day as I don’t always remember to apply it and the smell, even though it’s light, kind of bothers me.

My Oils

I chose to use castor oil and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). The EVOO was some I already had in the kitchen cabinet. I purchased the castor oil in the personal care section of Walmart (with the laxatives).

My Process

The first part of the process is mixing the oils. It is generally recommended to start with 50% castor oil and 50% EVOO (although my first source says otherwise). I mixed one teaspoon of each the first time I tried it. I later found out this was causing a bit of drying, so I’ve switched to one third castor oil and two thirds EVOO. That seems to work pretty well for me.

Now comes the part I do a bit differently: I apply the oil to my face when I’m in the shower. Usually I wet down my hair and face first, and give my pores time to open up, then I massage the oil into my face for about 30 seconds. I then switch to the bathtub facet (instead of the shower head) and use a washcloth rinsed with the hot water to wipe the oil off my face. At first I tried leaving a bit of the oil on, but that caused a few minor spots, so now I make sure I wipe it all off.

And that’s pretty much it for my OCM process.

My Results So Far

My Face After About 2 Weeks of OCM, no editing or retouching of my skin, wearing no make-up other than lipstick

I’ve been doing my OCM the way I described every other day for about a month. I usually have at least one decent sized spot (aka pimple) some time around my period along with several smaller ones, mostly around my chin. This time after having used the OCM for about two weeks prior to the time I usually get the spots, I only had a few of the smaller ones. I haven’t been doing it long enough to know if this will become my new norm, or if I might even have less if I’m less stressed (as I was very stressed during that time frame this month).

There are a couple things that haven’t gone quite as described. First off, I haven’t noticed any change in the black heads on my nose and chin. I figure I’m going to have to find something else to get rid of those. That doesn’t surprise me. I also do notice that I do sometimes still have a bit of dryness. I tried the idea of massaging a bit of the EVOO into my skin in the problem areas. I massaged it in well, but it still caused a couple spots in the areas I put it, so that doesn’t work for me. Instead, I just apply a tiny bit of my inexpensive moisturizer.

I also tried sunflower seed oil in place of EVOO which is mentioned in the first source. I ended up with two spots at the top of my cheek just below one eye that seemed like an allergic reaction.

Final Notes

OCM isn’t for everyone, but according to the reading that I’ve done, it can work really well for people with some pretty icky skin conditions. It can also cause some people to break out. If you’re going to try it, I definitely encourage you to do your own research first and if you do have any serious skin conditioners, you should also discuss it with your doctor.

If you do decide to try it remember that sometimes skin care changes can take a couple weeks or even longer to sort of normalize with your skin. Plus it takes a time or two to learn what mix of oil you need, how to remove it all, etc. OCM isn’t a miracle solution, but I’ve found it to be good for me.

If you’ve tried it and you’d like to share your experience, please comment below. Try to include what oils and ratios you used, what type of skin you have, and what method you used.

One Response to “Oil Cleansing Method – Part I”

  1. Mom Photographer (@MomPhotographer) February 27, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    your skin looks great! I do really like that cleansing method. I’ve been using it for a few months now and I’ve noticed a few changes. My skin as usually was very oily now it isn’t anymore. I do still have black heads and the skin on my forehead area got so dry I had to start using a cream. I guess I just need to mix different oils next time. Thanks for the pinback.

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