The Oil Cleansing Method: What Is It?

Never in a million years would I have thought the best way to clean skin would be with oil. With the multitude of cleansers out there on the market, we are trained to wash our entire bodies with a multitude of cleansers, toners, shampoos and conditioners. For me, my routine works- since my years of teenage skin problems my skin has regulated itself pretty well.

I saw one of my dear girlfriends recently who has been struggling with adult acne for some time now and I was shocked at how much better her skin appeared. I guessed a variety of department store brands and I was totally mind boggled to find that her skin care secret was the Oil Cleansing Method (or OCM as devotees call it).

I had to know more and the more research I have done, the more positive accounts of the Oil Cleansing Method I have found.

So, what is it?
Our skin naturally produces an oil called sebum, and our bodies have evolved over thousands of years to produce this oil that will naturally gives us healthy, beautiful skin.

If we take away this natural oils with excessive cleansing (which I certainly have been guilty of) our body is trained to react and therefore overcompensates and produces more oil. Which means we cleanse more because nobody wants oily skin, which means our body produces more oil….you see the cycle?

The best way to understand this method is via this snippet from

Fact: Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principles of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to dissolve 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. –

What oils are right for you?

Castor Oil and Extra Virgin Olive Oil are the most commonly used and recounted to be the best acting. There are more oil types you can choose from listed at Crunchy Betty.

The usual oil ratios are:

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.

How to do it?

You could even do this with girlfriends or your mum to give each other mini facials and a bit of a pampering.

Step 1: Choose the right oil blend for you

Step 2: Pour around a ten cent sized portion of the mixture into your palm and massage into your face. To really see results, massage the skin for at least one minute.

Step 3: Choose a washcloth that you don’t mind getting oily, and soak in hot water (but not so hot you get scalded!) quickly wring it out and place over your entire face, letting the steam of the hot washcloth permeate into your skin. Wait until the cloth gets cool to take it off.

Step 4: Squeeze any water from the washcloth and gently but deliberately remove any trace remainder of the oils from the skin.

And thats it!

I have tried this method once so far, and my skin felt AMAZING. I would say though that the OCM is not a regularly cleansing routine for me, because I simply don’t have the time for it (it is a relatively time consuming process). But it is definitely something I would try to do more regularly!

What about you? Have you tried the Oil Cleansing Method? What worked for you?


  • Reply Danaplatt Tuesday 11th June, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    So excited to try!

  • Reply coyleshana Thursday 9th May, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    very interesting!

  • Reply dj23249 Wednesday 24th April, 2013 at 4:40 am

    I have never heard of this before but I will try it, sounds great

  • Reply The Mod Cabin Wednesday 24th April, 2013 at 1:56 am

    I would never go back to the old way now that I’m used to the oil cleansing method.

  • Reply ebbylulu Tuesday 23rd April, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    never tried but will give it a go now

  • Reply SuperStylish Tuesday 23rd April, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Really informative!

  • sommy7
    Reply sommy7 Tuesday 23rd April, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    I have never tried it, but may give it a go now 🙂

  • Reply amanda6393 Tuesday 23rd April, 2013 at 11:29 am

    I have tried oil cleansing, and it really does make the skin feel fabulous. The only issue I had was that I broke out for a while until my body adjusted my sebum levels accordingly. Since then I have been applying rose hip oil before bed most nights and my skin is great.

  • Reply yslyenom Monday 22nd April, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    I’ve heard about oil-based cleansers like Shu Uemura and DHC. Would love to try oil cleansing method.

  • Reply erinjayne Monday 22nd April, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I haven’t used this method, but have been using a facial oil on my skin during the last few winters and have found it really helps stop your skin drying out in winter. Especially while you are constantly moving from overly heated rooms, to blistering cold winds outside.

  • judi1
    Reply judi1 Monday 22nd April, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Very interesting. Great ideas for all skin types.

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