Currently Obsessed with the Oil Cleansing Method!!!

I currently have an obsession with the oil cleansing method.

Oil Cleansing Method

The lovely Sonia (psst!  Go check out her Etsy store!) introduced me to the oil cleansing method last summer, and I’ve done it on and off – usually when I do my spa facial nights (as I mentioned briefly in this post).  Then I started to use the oil cleansing method as my regular evening make-up remover and cleanser last week, and my skin has been LOVING it!

I’m by no means an expert in skincare, so please do your own research and consult your dermatologist or aesthetician before trying any new skincare routine.  But I have suffered from acne prone skin for the last 17 years, and I wanted to share how I use the oil cleansing method (OCM).

I found these sources had useful information when I was learning about the OCM.  My understanding is that the OCM breaks the cycle of stripping our skin of its essential oils be using drying soaps, which causes our skin to go into overdrive, in order to compensate for the dryness.  OCM uses an “astringent” oil (castor oil) to cleanse the impurities/break down the oils that are on my face, and a moisturizing oil (i.e., olive oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed, etc) to moisturize and balance the dryness from the castor oil.   Check out Crunchy Betty’s post for which carrier oil is more suited for certain skin types.

Making your Cleansing Milk

The ratio of castor oil to your “moisturizing” oil will depend on your skin type.  The more oily the skin type, the more castor oil you need, and the more dry your skin is, the more moisturizing oil it will need.  My skin is very oily, and so I used a mixture with 2/3 castor oil and 1/3 olive oil.  I also added a few drops of lavender essential oil for its soothing properties, and pleasant smell.

I suggest you make a small test batch and play around with the ratios until you find one which suits you.  If you plan to use the cleansing milk often, I’d make a little bottle, otherwise, I suggest mixing it fresh for each use.

Applying the Cleansing Milk

I like to apply the cleansing milk by massaging it gently into the my dry face and neck, wait about 10 minutes for the oil to “absorb”, and then gently massage the oil over my face and neck, again.  At this point, I usually start feeling black heads popping out from my pores ;).  I massage the cleansing milk over my eyes last, to remove my eye make-up.  Then, I run a small hand towel under hot water (as hot as your face can comfortably tolerate), wring it dry, place it over my face to steam, then wipe away the oil .  I repeat running the towel under the hot water, then steaming my face for about 3 times, or until I don’t feel greasy anymore.


My face always feels so soft and supple after the OCM.  Some people prefer to wash away the cleaning milk with cleanser, but I prefer steaming so that I still get the moisturizing affects from the oil – it’s up the you.  I follow up with my usual night time moisturizing routine – serum, face oil, then moisturizer.   (Note: the face oil part is an addition to my usual regime, which I started about a week ago.  Review to come.)  So far, I’m really liking it, as I wake up and my skin is super soft and supple.  My skin is acne prone, and I have not had any breakouts so far, from using oil to cleanse and moisturize.

Readers, have you tried the OCM?  What are your thoughts?

Side note: In a recent chat with a co-worker who also used the OCM method, she told me she was using an Shiseido Cleansing Milk which was really expensive.  The sales associate who sold it to her told her it was the same cleansing method that Marilyn Monroe used – which of course, my co-worker jumped on.  From the lovely Annabelle at Shopping Detox, I’ve read a few things on the frugality of Marilyn Monroe, so I’m guessing the SA took a bit of liberty and tried to link her product back to Marilyn, but I doubt that Marilyn used the Shiseido product.  One quick look at the ingredient list shows that mineral oil is one of the first ingredients!  I’m not expert in skincare or face oils, but mineral oil clogs pores (but it’s cheap!).  I’m not sure how good of an oil you need, since you’re washing off the cleanser, but I would think that for the $$$ you pay, you’d get a better oil.  So, if you are going to buy a pre-made cleansing milk, please read the ingredient list!



Filed under Health

21 responses to “Currently Obsessed with the Oil Cleansing Method!!!

  1. Sonia

    Awesome! I’m so glad it’s working for you! It’s cheap and it works! The best combination! 🙂

  2. Like you, my skin has been absolutely loving the oil cleansing method. I use a premade mix rather than making my own (bad frugal habit, I know). It’s a bit heavy for me during the summer, but the rest of the year my skin absolutely loves it. I have yet to find a solid summer routine :s

    • I think I know what you mean. When I first tried the OCM last summer, I tried to do it everyday, and it was really working for me, so I just did it whenever I did my facials. Summers have been wreaking havoc on my skin the past couple years and it’s so annoying when all I want to do is not worry about how my skin looks. Maybe next year!

  3. Thank you for the tip ! I am also starting to use olive oil in my hair.. Looks like I’m going to need to buy a big jug of it ! 😛

    • I love using more natural products, and want to add an oil to my conditioner, as well! It doesn’t always work, but I’ve already tried so many things… with way more chemicals which cost way more $$$. It doesn’t hurt to give it a try 🙂

  4. Where did you buy your castor oil?

  5. I tried the oil cleansing method a few years ago but never stuck with it. It was really labour intensive for me and I was doing the steaming part for about three minutes, then would rinse and repeat at least twice. I was thinking of buying Boscia’s makeup breakup cleansing oil but your post came along at just the right time! So I think I’ll grab that castor oil I had, make up a mix, and see how it goes.

    Something I’ve started for my super oily skin which actually seems to be working (!!!!) is toning with a solution of lemon juice and water (1:1). I do it twice a day (make a new mixture every week or so and keep it in the fridge). It’s seriously improved my skin and I’m probably never going to use another toner again.

    • It’s super labour intensive, but I’m also very vain! Thank you so much for the lemon juice tip! I’ve just started using Witch Hazel floral water spray and I can’t tell if it’s working yet. Unfortunately, sleep patterns and how long my make-up is on my face still dictates when I get a cluster of zits :(, and there is only so much the OCM can help. Let me know how it goes!

      • I have been battling a breakout on my left cheek for almost two months now, it just keeps going! It’s not the side I sleep on, and I don’t touch my face more on the one side so I just can’t figure out why it’s happening. Do you take your makeup off right when you get home? I’m thinking I might try that out too. I hope the witch hazel works for you!

  6. @afistfulodollars
    I try really hard to remove my make-up right when I get home, but sometimes, I have a really long day (i.e., conference), or I have a volleyball game right after work, that makes it difficult to stick to that regime. I notice I have best results when I wear make-up for no more than 8 – 9 hours a day, and take it off right when I get home.

  7. Great post! I originally started using OCM about 3 months ago after reading Crunchy Betty’s blog and my skin has made adjustments along the way, so likewise, I had to make adjustments to my specific mixture… and it is all I use now! My mix started out with Witch Hazel & Jojoba, then Witch Hazel, Jojoba & Castor… but Jojoba can be a bit pricey, plus it just felt too oily/moisturizing for me. So now my go to mix is 3 parts Witch Hazel, 3 parts Almond oil (love!) & 1 part Castor… this works so well and keeps my skin clear, but if I get lazy and skip a day, man it shows! I just wanted to say thanks for posting what you do in your pre-steaming steps (letting it soak for 10min and how you also apply over the eyes) I think those are just what’s missing from my whole routine. I apply and massage in, but then immediately steam, massage again, steam, wipe, steam last time and wipe last time. Can’t wait to try it with the additional beginning steps… thanks so much!!!

    • I’m glad that you found that helpful. My skincare is always a trial and error process and this worked well for me for almost a month. I’ve updated my skincare routine since then, and will be posting about it soon (in my new self hosted website).

  8. Dj

    I have a real quick question. Is it vital to have a routine when u ocm? And can u do it twice a day?

    • Like any skincare question, that is very personal. Some people swear by OCM and do it every day whereas other people prefer to do it once or twice a week. It really depends on your skin and how it reacts to it. Having said that, if you do wear make-up you should always have a routine to completely remove all the makeup at the end of the day, whether it be using OCM or a cleanser.

  9. Nomoredullface

    OMG it REALLY works! I’ve battling dull lifeless skin (and I’m only 24) for a year now and have been horrified by those anti-aging cream commercials claiming that aging starts in the 20s. I have used so many creams/cleansers face-packs but NOTHING, I repeat NOTHING Has given me such amazing results. My face is shining- absolutely no sign of dullness (even after several hours) and I can’t keep myself from touching it. To think that we ignored the stuff that was available in our kitchen and spent so much on toxic chemicals. I used castor oil, olive oil and and coconut oil with stunning results.

  10. nice dear ,,,,can i use ocm in summer? i m from pakistan

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