Many years ago I tried the oil cleansing method and hated it so much I gave up after a week. I didn’t feel like it was actually cleaning my skin and on top of that I started to break out. Now that I am older and wiser (ha!) I realize the problem wasn’t with the oil cleansing method itself, but how I was going about it. I am in love with it and nothing has made my skin look better. So, let me tell you about the OCM for short and why your skin will thank you.
Fast forward a few years when inspiration struck and I decided to try the oil cleansing method again. I’ll admit, the first couple of days I was like, “Nope, this is still not for me.” But the oil I was using was pricey and it promised so any benefits. I pressed on. And I’m glad I did.
After a few weeks I was shocked at how different my skin look. Acne? Gone. Wrinkles? Smoother. Face? Glowing! Now, I hate to use the word “glowing” in relation to skincare because I think it is misleading in many cases but OCM really does make your skin glow. That’s because while traditional moisturizers only reach the top layers of your skin, oils can go so much deeper. They clear out all the gunk and replace it with soft, glowing goodness. Oh, and if you didn’t know oil dissolves oil. Yes, that means if you have oily skin this method is perfect for you, too.
So how does the Oil Cleansing Method Work?
1.) Basically, you wet your face with clean hands. (Clean hands are so important!)
2.) You pour a few drops of your oil of choice – more on this later- into your hands, rub them together, and apply all over your face.
3.) Run a washcloth or microfiber cloth under hot water and place on top of your face. Leave on for 20 seconds or until cool to let the steam absorb. Repeat at least one more time.
4.) Rinse the washcloth and use it to clean off any excess oil.
5. ) You’re done!
This method dissolves makeup, removes dirt, and adds back in moisture. Yes, it’s a makeup remover, cleanser and moisturizer all in one.
Here’s a video from Shelby Naturals – who owns an awesome skincare company, showing you exactly how to do it.
What Can Go Wrong?
Many people, like me, try the OCM, have a bad experience, and give up on it. Why? Well lots of reasons.
A.) Using the Wrong Oil
Not all oils are created equal. When the oil cleaning method first started to gain in popularity bloggers and beauty experts were telling people to use coconut oil. There’s problem number one.
Coconut oil, along with olive oil, is comedogenic. Comedogenic is just a fancy word meaning it can clog your pores. I think you understand where I am heading with this: clogged pores can cause breakouts and acne. That being said there are certain olive oils that are non-comedogenic that some skincare companies do use in their blends. But for a lot of people the olive oil they pick up at the grocery store can cause breakouts.
B.) Using it with Chemical-Laden Products
This was my biggest issue when I tried the oil cleaning method once. I’d try this, but then switch back and forth between the oil and my chemical-laden face wash. THIS WILL NOT WORK. Sorry, caps on. (Or were they?) But seriously, this will not work. You will confuse your skin with the sulfates versus oil and you will end up causing breakouts.
If you’re going to give it a go, just commit to two full weeks and see how your skin looks and feels after that.
C.) Using too Much Oil
Another issue people have with the oil cleansing method is feeling greasy. If your skin feels greasy you are either putting too much on your hands in the first place, or not rinsing it off properly. Experiment with a little less and you will find the magic amount for your skin.
D.) Not Properly Cleaning Your Face Cloths
Look, if you throw your wash cloths in with your underwear, well, do you really want to use that on your face? Additionally, your detergent might be causing your breakouts and not the oil. I’d recommend washing them by themselves with a chemical-free detergent and see if that improve your skin.
So what oils are good to use?
- Jojoba (all skin types, but very desirable for acne-prone skin)
- Sweet almond (all skin types, especially oily)
- Grapeseed (all skin types, especially oily)
- Avocado (dry and aging skin)
- Sunflower Seed (all skin types)
- Apricot Kernel (dry, aging, and normal skin)
- Argan (all skin types, especially aging skin … very pricey)
- Tamanu (all skin types … very pricey)
*Just a quick note: if any oils cause a massive breakout just try another oil! A lot of green beauty is trial and error and finding out what works for YOUR SKIN. If you’re trying to go “natural” with your hair try, make sure to try out these natural ingredients that renew you hair, too.
**Just another quick note: Never buy anything that isn’t organic and cold or expeller pressed. There are a lot of crappy oils out there with garbage in them, especially on Amazon. Read before you buy. If you are unsure about a product just shoot me at email at email@example.com
What Oils Do You Use?
I’m glad you asked. I love Jojoba or grape seed oil. Both are the bomb but if you want more information I wrote a whole post on the grape seed oil.
And if I am going to buy a product mixed with several power-punching oils I love Shelby Naturals or Beatnik Naturals. They might be more expensive than face cleansers from the drug store but I love them. Both are small businesses owned by amazing women, too.
Are there any drawbacks to using the Oil Cleaning Method?
A few, yah. As Crunchy Betty states in the above post:
- It can be more time consuming. This is very true. It takes a few minutes to thoroughly clean your skin but honestly it feels like a spa experience to me so I’ve never minded it.
- It can be more expensive depending on what oils you use. Oils can be costly, but I just like to look at it as an investment in my skin. However, it is still cheaper than having to pay more money to fix problems caused by your cleanser in the first place.
- More laundry. I’ll admit, this one is a pain. Since I use a new cloth every time I do it I go through a lot of them a week! Just throw them together in a small load each week.
- You can add a few essential oils to you oil to jazz things up. I love tea tree oil and lavender for acne prone skin and rose and frankincense for wrinkles.
- You CAN use a face cleanser after as long as it is completely green and clean. For instance, my friend Erin from a Welder’s Wife uses Andalou Naturals 1,000 Roses brand afterwards.
Speaking of Andalou Naturals. Yes, Erin and I were given the 1000 Roses set to try and give away! That means you could win a foaming cleanser, toner AND face cream from their 1000 Roses skincare line. Roses!
The cleansing foam with alpine rose stem cells, loosens and sweeps away make-up, impurities, and dull, dry surface cells as pomegranate uplifts tone and hyaluronic acid and aloe vera help revive skin’s moisture barrier for a flawless looking complexion.
The toner instantly refreshes and revitalizes skin’s delicate pH balance as pomegranate, rich in tannins and polyphenols, uplifts tone and moisture-binding humectants, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, help revive for a flawless looking complexion.
And the cream delivers essential hydration and dermal vitality to soothe and nourish sensitive skin as pomegranate uplifts tone and hyaluronic acid and aloe vera help revive skin’s hydro lipid barrier for a flawless looking complexion.