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oil cleansing method

I will admit here and now I have always had “problem skin”. It was usually oily and nasty and zitty. I used every kind of nasty chemical laden face wash to try to clear it up with no avail. I found a product that worked “ok” and actually sold product for that company for a little while because I was so pleased with how it worked, BUT once I got more into natural living and detoxifying my life I stopped using it because of the chemicals involved.

So I switched to the Oil Cleansing Method. I know, it sounds insane. Who cleans their face with oil? Doesn’t that make your face all greasy? Do you now look like a teenager working the fryer at the fast food joint?

No, in fact, my face is more clear than it has been in a LONG time. By long time I mean since before I hit puberty.

I know this has a gross out factor, it sure did for me! Put oil on my face? That goes against all that the cosmetics industry has told us for YEARS.

Why does this work?

Your skin naturally produces oil called sebum to keep your skin healthy, moist, and nourished. Your body knows how much sebum to produce to maintain optimal skin health. We, the consumer, have been told that we need to wash away these natural oils because our body does not know what it needs to maintain optimal skin health, and have been told to strip away our natural oil and replace it with these nasty chemicals instead.

By stripping our faces natural oils, along with the dirt and grime from daily living, we are removing our skins natural defense and moisturizer. This puts our skin into overdrive and it over produces oil because it is so stripped and dry, thus making us move to stronger face washes to remove the excess oil.

Here is a direct quote from

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.”

How does this work?

What the oil cleansing method does is it gently, naturally, and effectively removes the built up environmental gunk that gets on our skin during the day and moisturizes the skin promoting optimal sebum production so your skin can look, feel, and BE healthy.

The oil cleansing method is astonishingly simple. It involves two oils: extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and castor oil. Other oils can be substituted for the olive oil depending on the skin type and need. Jojoba, flax-seed, grape seed,  and evening primrose oils are highly recommended for people with severe acne, for example.

Olive oil has a very simaler PH to human skin, and is very nourishing with a high antioxidant content. It moisturizes, nourishes, and heals the skin.

Castor oil is thick and dissolves the oil on your skin, pulling out impurities and environmental junk that builds up in your pores over the course of the day.

How much oil should I mix together?

Skin Condition Extra Virgin Olive Oil Castor Oil
Dry 3 tablespoons 1 tablespoon
Normal (or unsure) 2 tablespoons 2 tablespoons
Oily 1 tablespoon 3 tablespoons

I have normal to oily skin so I mixed 1 part EVOO and 1 part castor oil in a brown glass bottle and keep it by my sink to apply quickly and easily.

I recommend starting out making a very small amount until you find the proper ratio for your skin type. This is completely customizable to YOUR skin type, which means it does take some tweaking, and some time to get it right. Be patient and stick with it!

How do I do this?

1. Rub the oil in the skin

Put a quarter sized amount of oil in the palm of your hand and gently apply it to your whole face and neck, rubbing the oil in well. Take a minute and give your self a nice, relaxing face massage. Apply to your dry face, do not rinse with water first.

2. Steam your face

Wet a wash cloth with hot water, (not scalding), and place the hot wash cloth over your face until it is room temperature. Steaming your face like this helps pull out impurities from your pores removing dead skin cells and impurities.

I like to do this while in a nice hot bath. Barring that, if it is a night like tonight, while sitting on the toilet hiding from my children. It is nice to take a minute or two of quiet time in the evening before getting the baby down to sleep.

3. Wipe off your face

Take the wash cloth, rinse it out with warm water, and gently wipe any residual oil off of your face. This will give you gentle exfoliation and wipe away any impurities from your skin.

4. Enjoy your beautiful skin! 

I have noticed that my skin is more even and balanced and does not need a toner or moisturizer any more. My pores have shrunk and I barely have acne, when before I had chronic acne, even when using the “big guns”.

When I first started using this method I did break out in the beginning. This is the oil doing its job. It is leaching out all of the crap stored in your pores from years of mistreatment and neglect. THIS IS NORMAL. Stick with it. After a week or two of using OCM every day or every other day, (I do every other day), your skin will start to clear up and will have a healthier more even complexion.

In my first solution I did add 5 drops of Melaleuca and Lavender essential oils to help purge my skin of impurities, and encourage healing while reducing redness. You can completely customize your oils to meet your skin care needs. Take a look at my post “Essential Oils for Skincare” to find what oils would work with your specific needs.

If you feel like you need a little bit of moisturizer just get a dab of the OCM solution and rub it on your face. Other great moisturizers are coconut and almond oils.

I buy my olive oil from my affiliate Tropical Traditions, my castor oil from my affiliate Mountain Rose Herbs, and use doTERRA essential oils.

***Update*** I have found an amazing oil for the Oil Cleansing Method that is already made and works so well. It is an herb infused oil made by l.c. of acirema. She makes this fantastic oil to help replenish and rejuvenate skin taking the work out of finding the perfect formula for you. My readers can get a discount when purchasing from her etsy shop by using the coupon code LUCKYMAMMA5.


Have you tried OCM? What combination do you use?

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Disclaimer General Health disclosure affiliate links


This blog linked to Tiny Tip Tuesday, Domestically Divine Tuesday, Frugal Tuesday Tip, The Gathering Spot, Adorned From Above Blog Hop,  Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Penny Pinching Party, Super Linky Party, Wildcrafting Wednesday, DIY Friday Linkey, Frugal Friday, Saturday Show & Tell, Say g’day SaturdayThe Homesteaders Blog Carnival

I am a featured blogger at Wednesday Adorned From Above Blog Hop

About Amanda

Amanda is a mother of two amazing toddlers. She is an herbalist, natural living guru, and real food, gluten free eating pro. She loves to help educate others on how to take control of their own health through natural living, real food, herbs, essential oils, and most of all - a positive mind set. Her other business Natural Herbal Living Magazine is all about helping people learn about how to use one herb a month on a deep and profound level.
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117 Responses to Oil Cleansing Method

  1. I love OCM and actually have a blog post sitting in my drafts for next week! 🙂 It’s amazing how quickly you notice results – even after the first time using it, my face just looked cleaner, and the next morning, it seemed brighter and refreshed. I just splash some cold water in the morning to wake up and that’s it! I have normal/oily skin, and I really like my combo of castor/olive/grape seed oils in a 1:1:1 ratio. Thanks for sharing all the helpful background info! I may link to your post in my upcoming blog post 🙂

    Oh, and I’ve never heard of adding essential oils to the mix, how did that work out for you? Would you recommend it? You mentioned you used them for the first batch, so not sure if you’ve continued with them or not. Thanks!

    • Amanda says:

      IT is great isn’t it! I still use essential oils in my mix. I like them to enhance the benefits of the oil. Right now I have geranium and lavender in my mix for the great skin benefits and calming effects. LOVE it .

      • Amanda says:

        And yes I would recommend it to target any extra things you want to target that maybe just the regular oils are not working on for you. The geranium is helping with some acne scarring I have had since I was a teenager, and the lavender helps reduce redness in my skin. Chamomile helps with that too but I ran out.

    • Sandy says:

      Using the OCM and peppermint oil combo has really made my skin softer and gives me the added benefit of reducing inflammation and clearing my wind pipes a bit more whilst I sleep. Thanks for the advice Amanda!

  2. Diane says:

    Really great post. I have heard about using oils to clean your skin. I stilll get acne and I’m 50 years old! I will have to give this a try. I really don’t do much now except wash with soap and water. Seems if you are acne prone everything breaks you out. I have to be careful. Thanks so much for linking up this week at The Gathering Spot.

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you for hosting! It is most definitely worth trying. I know a lot of people who (after the first week of detox) have had a great experience with OCM.

  3. I love this! I am sooo doing it! I hate lotions and such on my face.
    Thank you for sharing at my Super Link Party! 🙂

  4. Bev says:

    This sounds great! I am going to try it. Just wondering……….What do you use on your “off” days?

    • Amanda says:

      I use a home made face scrub that I make (post to follow soon) that is GF oatmeal, lavender and chamomile flowers and clay. For a moisturizer I use sweet almond oil or coconut oil. Both absorb well and give a little UV protection.

  5. Amanda,
    What a wonderful and informative post. I do not have breakouts, but have read in Crunchy Betty’s Food on Your Face book that this works well on normal skin as well, so I am going to give this a try. I love my Jasmine Face Wash, but sometimes it will leave me feeling a little dry. Since I am in my 50’s i may try evening primrose oil and rose hip oil. I will let you know how it works.
    Thank you for linking with my blog hop. I really appreciate it. I hope you have lots more to link in the future.
    Debi Bolocofsky

  6. Carrie says:

    Hello Amanda, first time visiting your website and I think I am hooked already! 🙂 I have always had oily skin and have mild acne with some scarring, I wash my face everymorning and at night during the shower with Lilly of the dessert aloe vera face wash and I actually like it a lot, it makes my skin feel clean. I would love to the OCM at nights, maybe cleaning my face in the morning and at night during the shower with my aloe vera face wash (because I wear power foundation, eye liner and mascara so I need my face wash to take all this off my face) and then once out of the shower I could do the OCM, do you think this would be a good regimen given your experience with OCM? What would you do? I feel like that show on TV now! LOL

    • Amanda says:

      I am glad you like it!

      As for the OCM you would be surprised at how well it removes makeup! It works better than the eye makeup remover I was using before. Just put some on a cotton ball and wipe it off. I would challenge you to TRY to use just OCM at night. You will be surprised at how well it works without any need for another cleanser. If you do feel the need to use your cleanser before doing OCM then after your shower would work well.

      I would add geranium and helichrysum essential oils to the mix to help with the acne scarring. They work wonders!


      • Dana says:

        Amanda, can you still use the oil cleanser to remove eye makeup if you’ve added essential oils to the mix? I’m very excited to try this and want to add EOs, but haven’t been able to find information that part of it. Thanks!

        • Amanda says:

          I personally would make a batch and separate out some for eye makeup remover without EO’s, and add EO’s to the oil you are going to use on the rest of your skin.

  7. Carrie says:

    Sorry – I meant powder foundation

  8. I’ve heard about using oil as a cleanser. I’ll have to try this soon. Came over from Little House in the Suburbs.

  9. Carrie says:

    Thanks so much for all the wonderful info, I am taking on that challenge 🙂 !!! And will give you some feedback on how it worked for me. Many blessings.

  10. julie says:

    I have had an issue with acne since my pregnancies, eleven years ago and have tried everything. I have now been oil cleansing with coconut oil for about a month and my face has been clearer than it has ever been! Thanks for sharing this info! 🙂

  11. uaskigyrl says:

    I’m just starting this tonight! I’m going to give it 2 weeks. I hope it works. Unlike most people who have tried it, I don’t have a huge problem with Acne but my face is never clear. It’s frustrating and I hope this works!

    • Amanda says:

      I hope you like it! Let me know how it works and if you run into any problems be sure to ask. I might be able to point you in the right direction.

  12. Michelle says:

    I’ve been using this for a couple of months and love it as my regular daily night cleaner. I use 3tbsp sweet almond oil to 1tbsp castor oil, and this is perfect for my slightly dry skin while doing no damage to my t-zone where I’m more oily.

    I do find that my face cloths retain a slight smell after washing but I’ve designated two for this task and swap them out often.

    I will be using this for an eye makeup remover at your suggestion of the oil mix with a cotton ball, I hadn’t been before but I bet it will keep my eyes nicely moisturized while removing the makeup.

    I also haven’t used essential oils yet but the suggestions of chamomile and lavender to remove redness have prompted me to give it a try.


    • Tercio says:

      water water water, don’t waste your money on creams, and once a week get a cototn ball and put some lemon on spread around on your face(don’t get it in your eyes!!!!) and keep it there for 5 min, if it burns a bit that means the dead skin is burning. then just splash water on your face. The creams and shit don’t work, i’ve experience with them for 3 years, money down the drain and i have TRIED everything. A monk in thailand told me the lemon trick, it’s amazing.

  13. Vickie C. says:

    I LOVE the Oil Cleansing Method! I would have never done this before being that I suffer from deep pores, breakouts, and oily skin but my best friend told me about it and I will be doing this for the rest of my life! My skin looks better, my fine lines and wrinkles have faded but the best part is I feel pretty again! I also add honey to mine as honey helps wth belmishes. 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      That is great! I would have never thought of honey. Thanks for the tip!

      • Godwin says:

        Not only would I do this, I do it every morning! I have iaennsly sensitive skin, along with dry patches, oily patches, and acne. The only thing I’ve found to handle all of this is olive oil and honey every morning. I apply it at the begining of my shower, and then at the end of the shower I just wash it off with a bar of cetaphil. It has kept my skin very well moisturized and amazingly balanced. I tried just the cetaphil, just doesn’t work that way. Another bonus, after you’ve applied the oil and honey to your face, run what’s left on your hands over the ends of your hair, it prevents split and brittle ends.

  14. Brittney says:

    I’ve been using the OCM for about a week and a half, and I LOVE IT!! I don’t measure the proportions, but i use slightly more castor oil than olive oil, and I add a few drops of tea tree oil. I’m 15 years old, with oily skin. I’ve never had really bad acne, but i get tiny bumps, and a pimple every now and then. My mother was skeptical, and didn’t want me to do it, but i did anyway haha. My skin is clearing up very nicely. I use just water in the morning, and the OCM at night. I wear a tinted moisturizer/bb cream everyday, so I don’t have to moisturize. My sister says that my face looks airbrushed now 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      That is great! I am so glad it is working for you!

    • Sandra says:

      Be careful with BB creams…they all (except for one very, very expensive brand) have silicone as one of the top five ingredients and silicon causes breakouts. Every “expert” says that silicone is non-comedogenic (and it is) but they neglect to mention that simply by doing its job and sitting on top of the skin, it creates a bacteria and oil barrier that suffocates your skin. The top looks great (where your makeup is sitting), but under the BB cream your skin’s oil is trapped. This creates the best air-free breading ground for acne bacteria. Fix your skin and you won’t need to use BB creams any more.

  15. Tajna says:

    Thank you for this post! Someone recommended oil cleansing to me and I thought,putting oil on your face? Then stripping it off! Seems counter productive! But I went ahead and massaged some olive oil oil,steamed it off,and my skin feels SO HAPPY! I don’t have castor oil but will get some soon.My skin is oily and acne prone,the deathly combintation.I’ve been using an Acure Argan oil mint cleanser which is so expensive and not working,and Jojoba as moisturizer which my skin does like.I have cystic acne and scars from Candida and I’m so tired of it!
    Thank you very much for shedding light on oil cleansing!

  16. Liana says:

    Hi, I’m wondering about the process of closing the pores after doing all of this. After i wipe off should a do a splash of cool water to close the pores or is that not necessary? I haven’t started this method yet but i’m looking to soon once i get the funds to buy the products I will need. I’ve suffered from acne since i was 15 years old.

    • Amanda says:

      That is a great question! I don’t always close my pores, but that is out of sheer laziness. Splash your face with cold water and that will seal your pores nicely. Let me know how you like it!

  17. […] Living Mamma shares some very helpful background info on this method, including how to use essential oils with […]

  18. Morgan says:

    Hello, there!

    I just tried the OCM for the first time tonight, and I’m excited for what’s to follow! I browsed through the comments and didn’t see anyone mention the Clarisonic Mia face brush — I have one that I have used daily for the past year (that I love), and I was wondering if it would be too harsh to use with OCM?

    I was planning on only using OCM at night, and I was going to use a gentle cleanser in the morning with the Clarisonic brush (maybe Cetaphil or something), since I don’t think using Clarisonic and water alone is very good for it. I figured using an oil (not sure which one) with it would be good. Or would it… I love my Clarisonic but I also want to try out this method as well as it sounds endlessly promising.

    In my research, I believe I saw something about not mixing any other type of store bought cleansers with OCM as it may have disastrous results? Is this correct?

    Thank you for any and all help — transitioning my basic beauty habits and others to a natural, organic one, and I couldn’t be happier!

    • Amanda says:

      I don’t know much about the clarisonic face brush, what does it do? I dont think the OCM solution would damage it, I would not do normal face wash with OCM, it kind of works against its self. You would be playing tug of war with your skin health and I don’t see it being a good thing. Let me know how it works! I use a natural dry bristle brush on my skin for dry skin brushing that works so well, no batteries needed!

  19. Oil Cleansing Method is a great way to clean your skin and #detox your life.

  20. […] Living Mamma shares some very helpful background info on this method, including how to use essential oils with […]

  21. Emma says:

    I made some OCM solution with castor oil, coconut oil, and boiled down pineapple skins (skins skimmed off, of course!) and it’s really done wonders for my face 🙂 It’s a little discouraging at first when I broke out, though thanks for suggesting to stick with it, since it’s just my pores getting out all of the stored up gunk. I’ve also been dry skin brushing, as you suggested, and it’s been fantastic! Thanks for all of these awesome suggestions 🙂

  22. Kathy says:

    I really wanted to try this since I’m scared about the breakouts. I will be going to Vegas in 2 weeks for my cousins bachelorette party and I don’t want to have breakouts after. I want to start this ASAP but Im scared. I use to have breakouts when i was a teenagaer and now my face have pimple scares and really big pores. I still get pimples, especially white heads by the chin area. please advice. thanks. really appreciate it.

    • Amanda says:

      If you are scared about brake outs then you might want to wait for after your sisters wedding. Every person is different, some have great skin right away and some go through a skin detox period. I am guessing you will be fine after about a week but I would hate to say to start now and have you have zits for your sisters wedding, you know?

  23. Kathy says:

    i think i can wait since im scared. this month until christmas is really a tough time for me since i will be busy with everything. weddings, my 25th bday next month, christmas. But i want to have great pics this year so i guess, i better take the risk. U think 1/2 castor oil and 1/2 olive oil is a good start?

    • Amanda says:

      Yeah I would say that is a good start. Just make a small batch at first and see how that works for you. You can adjust it as you need until you find the right combination for you.

  24. Rachel says:

    Hi Amanda,

    What about cystic ance, would you suggest using the OCM with this type of ance?

    • Amanda says:


      I am sorry this comment slipped through the cracks. Yes I think OCM is great for cystic acne but it won’t clear up without cleaning up your diet as well. Look into eating organic foods and hormone/antibiotic free meat. Also remove as many chemicals as you can from your life. The cystic acne will most likely resolve its self once you detoxify your life.

  25. […] discusses oil cleansing method in a simple, easy to understand way making the reader comfortable with the idea of putting oil […]

  26. Ayako says:

    Hi Amanda!

    Is it okay to use this method everyday or is it recommended I use it every other day and then also use my regular cleanser?

    • Amanda says:

      I wouldn’t because you would be working against your skin at that point. I think that would be very confusing to your body.

  27. Ayako says:

    So I should just wash my face with oil everyday? I just want to make sure that it isn’t too much for my skin.

    • Amanda says:

      Some people use this every day, some people use it every other day. Whatever you feel your skin needs. I find washing my face at night with OCM and using a homemade face scrub in the shower in the morning works best for me.

  28. jamie lynn says:

    i just wanted to take a sec to let you know that i have been using this method for i believe 6 days now. as with anything (and pretty much everything!) i was incredibly skeptical at first. i made the solution and didn’t even use it for two days. backup to about a week and a half ago – for the last 6 – 8 months or so, i’ve been getting bad breakouts on my jawline/chin area. now i’ve always battled mild acne since i was a kid (i’m 31 now) but the last 6 – 8 months it had gotten to the point where i was ashamed and so self conscious about my terrible skin and acne.

    since i started using the OCM… i have not had ONE pimple come up. not freaking one. this from someone who last weekend at my niece’s b-day party (the day i started using this, i believe) i had SIX huge pimples, three on one side of my face and three on the other side. they were the big, painful red type, and it was even painful trying to sleep since they were being rested on my pillow.

    i’ve been faithfully using this method at least once a day, sometimes once in the morning and once at night. i haven’t needed any additional moisturizer, the six nasty pimples are almost completely gone (four are pretty much gone, two still have a very small residual “raised” bump) but the fact that NOT ONE pimple has surfaced since i started using this is, to me, nothing short of amazing, considering the condition of my skin before. i was LITERALLY getting one new pimple pop up almost every single day.

    now my skin is soft, moisturized and it feels so healthy. i just want to thank you for this post, i’m hoping my skin stays as healthy as it currently seems to be, and gets even better with more time. the biggest problem i’ve always ALWAYS had (and hated more than pimples themselves!!) is the hyperpigmentation problem from pimples that are gone, this method plus a toner i’ve found a recipe for that includes apple cider vinegar seems to be helping, at least marginally, with my hyperpigmentation issue as well. thanks from the bottom of my heart!! <3

  29. Shanna White says:

    I have always thought putting more oil on your face was bad. I might just try this oil cleaning method though! Sounds great!

    • jamie lynn says:

      do it! you will not be disappointed. i think the most important thing with it is to stick with it, don’t give up after using once or twice. while i was using it today, i thought about how the first time or two that i used it, it felt weird and almost gross to do it. now, i look forward to washing my face every day!! it’s relaxing and soothing and most importantly, it WORKS!! 🙂 good luck!!

  30. Amanda, this is an excellent post. I am impressed, my friend! Seriously, it is very well-written and you provide excellent data. It’s even better than Crunchy Betty’s post. Anyway, the point I really wanted to make is that I started trying this method two days after you and Sarah were talking about it on Bloggy Girls Club and am going through the break out spell, but will stick with it. I mean, I already wash my hair with baking soda, make my own lotion, don’t use paper towels or toilet paper or diapers – this is NUTTIN!? Lol

    • Amanda says:

      Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it! I am sorry you are breaking out. I found that a dab of Lavender Essential Oil on the offending zit works wonders. You will love it once you are through! And I think you have me beat on the crunchy mom front. We still use TP. Hubby will not make that change for anything lol.

  31. Mary says:

    I have always struggled with my skin, for as long as I can remember. Two years ago I had a baby and every since then my skin has been CONSIDERABLY worse, if you can imagine.

    Two weeks ago I mustered up the courage to try the OCM and I was completely SHOCKED to see a change in my skin in just a few days!!! By day seven my skin looked amazing and other people were even noticing a huge difference!! I have never been so happy with my skin! Finally after all this time I found something that actually works!!

    But…days 8-14 have been awful!!! My skin looks horrid! I’m breaking out really bad around my jaw line. Big , deep, and painful breakouts!


    My mix started out as 75% castor oil and 25% evoo and I have adjusted it slightly (added evoo) b/c my skin has felt tight and dry. I really don’t know what happened.. Could this just be delayed purging?? Is there some other oil I should try or maybe some essential oils that might help?? Any advice would be very appreciated!! Please! And thank you!

  32. Emress says:

    Hi Amanda,
    I’m interested in starting this but would like a little more information on what I can add to get the best results for my skin problems. I am 31 and recently have had acne worse than I have ever had in my life. I also have oily very sensitive skin, so you can imagine my dilemma. So I am wondering what essential oils I can add to help with redness and acne. Since the oil will take care of the oily skin part, I’m just wondering if the essential oils with the base oils will be ok for me sense my skin is sensitive.
    Looking forward to your reply 🙂

  33. Hafsa says:

    I’ve been doing this for around 3 nights, and I feel lots more spots are appearing on my face. I guess this is the ‘purge’ stage, but can this happen so early on? (I do it twice a day)
    My ration is 3tbs EVOO and 1tbs Castor Oil, cos I have eczema,sensitive,very dry,spotty skin. A bit of mixture really. Also, I still feel the need to moisturise afterwards, so at night I put EVOO on and a bit of Vaseline then in the mornings I use Cetaphil (that’s the only moisturiser that’s rich enough and that doesn’t irritate my skin)
    Soooo, when will the spots disappear, when can I leave the house concealer free? I know it’s rely days but I don’t junk I can do this if I get loads more spots, because my skin was just turning around and getting to a good point before I started this, so I want to stop it as soon as possible if this is goin to get worse cos the spots are now appearing EVERYWHERE and I just feel like crying.
    Help me please.

    • Amanda says:

      I would recommend adding lavender and melaleuca essential oils (2 drops each per TSP, Therapeutic grade ONLY) to your mix and using coconut oil as a moisturizer. Coconut oil is anti-bacterial/viral/fungal and will help clear your skin faster. This is definitely the purge phase. This can last up to 2 weeks but is usually just one week for most people.

      Also IMMEDIATELY stop putting vasoline on your face. It is a petroleum product and really bad for your skin and health.

      I started a thread on my FB page that might help with this too.

  34. Mina says:

    Hi there,

    I must admit I have this dilemma now. I tried using OCM three times now and everything is good at the begging (and I really enjoy it a lot, especially the steaming part). I do it every evening and my skin doesn’t need some extra moisturiser after it. I am 27 now and I should have any problems with acne any more, but… after a while, like 3-4 days I start getting this acne just on one side of my face and they don’t go away easily. Then I have to stop and return to my old “chemical” routine until all settles up. I tried this for 3 times now and I am not sure any more what should I do. Maybe I should change the oils? ( I have been using castor and olive ) I never had this kind of acne in my life not even in puberty: they seems like under skin kind a thing… I would like to continue using natural cosmetics but not under these circumstances . Can you help me please?

    • Amanda says:

      Mina it sounds like OCM is causing a detox reaction. These happen when your body is trying to expel toxic junk that is built up in your skin. I know this can be annoying but I would recommend, if you want to get rid of the toxic junk under your skin to tough it out for a few weeks until it clears up. A good way to reduce the size of the bumps and help them clear faster is using Therapeutic Grade Melaleuca and Lavender Essential Oils. Melaleuca will help fight the bacteria and help it clear and lavender will soothe, reduce redness and swelling.

      If this is still not something you feel you want to continue with you can find a good quality, junk free face wash like the one made by doTERRA but it is a much more expensive option.

      I think if you can stick it out for a month you will see healthier, clearer skin. You just need to get through that detox stage.

      Good luck!

      • Mina says:

        Thank you Amanda. From all of the comments above I know it is the right way and I guess I should just find the right oils, balance and be patient. I am concerned because of the type of acne occurring. And also, I wonder maybe I don’t need this treatment everyday because skin can get saturated and it’s needs rest from certain things we put on. The thing is I need cleaning everyday because I use foundation and that is another thing I noticed. When I massage my face with oils, after it I always first remove excess with cotton ball but I never see the dirt on it from foundation (like I can see it with regular cleansing milk). I am also a bit afraid that my skin actually immediately absorbs all the dirt (and maybe that is why I have acne).

  35. Ruthie says:

    Omg! I just tried this method tonight by accident and i love it! I recieved an olive oil n sea salt scalp scrub at a hair event and was skeptical about putting it on my scalp. So i decided to use it to exfoliate my lips and they felt so soft n smooth i said hey, i wonder what it would feel like on my face? Well let me tell u, my skin feels amazing! I will continue this daily without the sea salt. Tht would be too much everyday. I stumbled upon your post while researching what i just experienced to see if anyone ever did this and to my surprise it is actually a cleansing method. I feel much better knowing others have done this and had good results:)

  36. […] learned from my good blogging buddies, Sarah, from Nature’s Nurture, and Amanda, from Natural Living Mamma, what it is and exactly how it […]

  37. Kamarah says:

    I am just starting the OCM and have noticed some small changes. I have acne on my back and chest pretty bad as well…I am unsure of the best way to handle that. I’ve been trying the OCM on my back & chest in the shower, but I’m not sure it’s really helping. Does anyone have any suggestions? Is there a better way, or something else I should be doing?

    • Amanda says:

      For the full body acne I would suggest cleaning up your diet. You have toxins running to escape your system and the only way they can find is your skin. This mean your elimination channels are clogged. I would highly encourage you to switch to eating whole organic foods, pasture raised meat or at least hormone and antibiotic free meat, no packaged food and eliminate grains and dairy for at least a month then re-introduce them (independently) to see how you feel. Take a look at the book Practical Paleo for some helpful ideas on what your body is going through and what you can do to help. I would suggest looking in a way to support your liver health and elimination channels (gut and bowel health) to make sure your body has what it needs to filter toxins. In the meanwhile adding lavender and melaleuca essential oils to the mix and using the OCM on your body acne might help clear it up.

  38. […] remember when I talked about Oil Cleansing Method and all of its awesome benefits? If not you can read up here. Lori started oil cleansing before it was the “cool” thing to do. Instead of simply […]

  39. Thanks for this, Amanda! I will give the OCM a go!
    Just wondering, is it better to do this before or after a shower at night?
    Also, I have quite oily skin so how often would you suggest I use a scrub as well? And what do you suggest I use each morning to wash my face? OCM? Just water?
    Thanks 🙂

    • Amanda says:

      I like to do it before the shower and wash my face with water during the shower. I have two face scrub recipes that I love. The Honey Oatmeal Face Scrub and Divine Herbal Face Scrub both are great eliminators and gentle enough to be used daily. After about 3 months I noticed I only needed to use it every other day or every three days. As for the morning I would say listen to your body and what it needs. If you feel like you need a deeper cleaning use the OCM, if you feel like you just need to freshen up water is great.

      Let me know how it goes !

  40. Jennifer Delaune says:

    I love this! I’ve been using this method since August, and my skin looks/feels terrific. I’ve had problems with sensitive skin my whole life and Roscea the last ten years. This has been a life saver for me.

  41. I recently tried OCM and so far, so good. I’ve been doing it for 3 consecutive days already, and I know you may think it’s too early to tell but the results were noticeable. In the morning when I wake up, I feel that my skin is supple, complexion is clearer, and the most significant result happen during the day–I don’t have to wash that often because my face is not at all greasy. I’ve been battling (mild) acne ever since but no commercial product have worked other than Obagi. But it’s too expensive! And since this OCM is waaaay cheaper, I think am gonna stick to it.

  42. Kamarah says:

    I am loving the OCM! My skin is looking awesome! I am wondering what to do about sunscreen…found one I liked, last summer, but its much too heavy/greasy for daily wear. Suggestions?

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  44. Jasmine says:

    Hi, Amanda! I’m really interested in trying this! I have really oily skin that is prone to blackheads and rarely (but not immune) to breakouts.
    But I have a question… I haven’t used product on my face in a long time because everything seems to either dry me out or cause breakouts, so I was wondering if there would be a shorter purge time for people who haven’t used product? Although, I know with blackhead prone skin the sebum buildup will probably be massive by now! Hahah

    Thanks in advance!

    • Amanda says:

      If you have not been using anything for a while you shouldn’t have a huge purging time. Your skin might take about 3 days to adjust but after that you most likely shouldn’t have any issues. Let me know how it goes!

  45. […] were talking about the Oil Cleansing Method in my Green Mamma’s group when my friend Danielle mentioned that OCM did not work for her. […]

  46. Chase says:


    I’ve been researching the OCM for a couple of days now. I would love to try this but i’m not sure if I want to use castor oil as a base. I have relatively normal skin that is acne prone, however it drys out super easy. Are there any other oils that could take its place?

    • Amanda says:

      You could try almond or fractonated coconut oil. Meadowfoam oil is lovely too. Rose hip is wonderful at nourishing the skin. Jojoba is nourishing and has similar drawing properties as the castor oil. The great thing about OCM is that you can make an oil combination of your very own. I encourage you to look through some descriptions of what different oils are good for different skin conditions and to experiment making small batches until you find what works for you.

  47. Rachel O. says:

    I’m interested in trying this. I’ve recently begun having reactions to skin cleansers that make my skin bright red for 15 mins to 1/2 hour after using them. This sounds like an interesting solution!

  48. Rachel says:

    Truthfully, all I use is extra virgin coconut oil. I wanted to use it for my hair, and if I use it solo on my hair, it gets crunchy, and it feels dry and hard! When I use it on my skin, my skin seemingly sucks it all up and looks dry as ever! Determined to use the jar that I bought, I used it on my face when I heard of this facial cleansing method… and it is fantastic! It’s not too heavy of an oil, but it’s enough to moisturize my skin, cleanse it, and give it that amazing glow. I love it!

  49. Ashley says:

    I have been using the OCM for about 2 months now and my skin have NEVER looked so bad. This has been the worst case of acne and I am trying to push forward in knowing it’s “detoxing” impurities from my body. My mixture is about 1/3 Castor oil to 3/4 Olive Oil. I did not think about the lavender oil, I will try adding that! I am just confused as to why it is making me worse after 2 months rather then better like everyone else?? I could understand if I was a junk food junkie and was constantly putting crud in my body, but I do not. I eat lots of fruits and veggies and primarily stick to a vegan diet. HELP!

    • Amanda says:

      Your body may just not like one of the oils you are using. Have you tried subbing some oil with a different kind like almond, grape seed, medowfoam, or coconut? These things sometimes need some tweaking. If you are eating a good, clean diet, I really think you might just need to play with different oils. I also have been using L.c. of acirema’s oil cleansing face oil which is an amazing blend. It has no castor oil in it whatsoever but works so so well. Her ad is on my side bar with a 5% discount too. If you click through you can see the ingredients she uses. It is a combination of herb infused oils and essential oils. She nailed it.

      I hope that helps. Just keep tweaking the recipe until you find something that works better. Sorry I don’t have a better answer!

  50. AlannaB says:

    I have used straight sweet almond oil, and love the results 🙂

  51. Nicole says:

    The bottle shown in the image with the pump – is that what you store your oil mix in? Does the pump work well with it? Where did you get it?

  52. Lori says:

    I tried the oil cleansing method and have not used soap on my face since. I absolutely love it. Thank YOU

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  54. […] stores without ingredients you can’t pronounce. “Natural” body butters, salves, skincare, face scrubs and more all have preservatives that may cause anything from skin sensitivity to […]

  55. […] dry, cracked, and unhealthy skin. You can read more about different oils benefits of the skin in my Oil Cleansing Method post, or make your own herbal body oil to get the benefits of herbs in addition to these wonderful […]

  56. Grace says:

    I am REALLY wanting to try this!! My question is can I use whatever EVOO and Castor Oil I have on hand or will it not work as well if I don’t have certain higher quality brands?

  57. Julia says:

    I have had Rosacea since my 5yo stopped breast-feeding. It was getting worse despite gentle cleansers. Someone recommended I use rosehip oil on what has become combination skin…it used to be so oily that I was reluctant to try it but when my Mum got me as a facial for a gift and the technician used it on my face it reduced the inflammation so much that I am now using it twice a day. I think I’ll replace my gentle, organic gel cleanser for this regime with rosehip added and see if it helps further.

  58. […] help clean and revitalize your skin, try the oil cleansing method instead of harsh chemical […]

  59. Rachel says:

    I used to have severe cystic acne and got rid of it by doing nothing to my face, no makeup, no water, no soap, nothing, but since its winter my face and body are getting dryer and I don’t want to put anything with chemicals on my body. I have been no-poo for almost 2 years and wash my hair once a month but after I do my face is ashy and very dry. I use Dr. Bronners soap only on the creases of the body and special bits and would like to switch to no soap there as well. I have been looking all over online about peoples experiences with using oil to wash the whole body instead of soap and have found nothing. What is your take on using oil instead of soap on the entire body and perhaps the hair as well?

    • Amanda says:

      I have friends who use OCM on their whole body and love it. I see no reason why it wouldn’t work. My Merry Messy Life discusses alternatives to no poo and talks about how she uses vinegar and oil in her hair instead.

  60. […] Oil Cleansing Method by Natural Living Mamma […]

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  63. […] Oil Cleansing Method by Natural Living Mamma DIY Raw Honey Lip Salve by Nourishing Faith and Family Ginger Lime Coconut Body Scrub by More Than Mundane […]

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  65. Jen says:

    I’ve been using this oil cleansing method for 3 weeks now and I am hooked! I love it! I really didn’t ever have a bad break like others did out but my skin usually doesn’t break out anyway. I’m trying to reduce the chemicals in my life and poor diet to help with rashes etc. I am having trouble with dryness after using the OCM. I’ve adjusted it to 1T Castor oil, 5T olive oil, 1T Jojoba oil but I still feel dry after using it. Should I add or replace one of the oils with grapeseed oil or any other ideas?

  66. Anita Smith says:

    i have rosacea- does this help w./ that? what mixes and ratios have you heard are helpful and tolerated well ? thanks!

    • Amanda says:

      I have heard different mix ratios are better for different skin types like I have in the chart. IT could help for rosacea. It won’t hurt.

  67. Ahad Ammar says:

    Hi I used sunflower oil at first too and it made my skin horrible. I switched to jojoba and castor oil at about a 10:1 ratio (I have pretty dry skin and didn’t want the castor oil drying me out) and it made a huge difference. Took a few weeks for my skin to start clearing up once I switched but it’s been great since then so about a year now I guess! Hope this oil cleansing method for acne help me 🙂

  68. Jessica says:

    I tried the OCM about 9 months ago and at first I loved it when I was just using sunflower oil but when I mixed in castor oil I started to breakout pretty bad. At first I figured, “ok, this is the purging stage” so I continued with my combo but my breakouts began to get worse and more frequent. I figured maybe I had the wrong ratio so I used more castor oil, then less, then I cut it out all together and nothing I was still breaking out. I even started to change from sunflower to almond to olive oil and that didn’t work. I tried to stick it out but each month it was just getting worse and more painful. I stopped using the OCM weeks ago and now no matter what my inflammations can not calm down. I went back to past salicylic acid face washes that worked wonderfully on me before but now nothing. I don’t know what to do. Everyday I have a brand new painful breakout and nothing is helping. I’m pretty dissapointed because I really did enjoy the OCM. The areas that were not irritated were soft, fresh and clean. Maybe I should give it another try, then again I’m scared.

    • Amanda says:

      It sounds like you need to do some liver supporting tea to help cleanse. It sounds like you have some internal stuff going on that needs to get sorted out so a few basic tips (and advice to seek out a good practitioner to work with to help you resolve your issues). 1. Make sure you are eating a good clean diet of real food. No processed junk. GAPS diet or Paleo are two that are easy enough to follow to get the body reset and working well again. Herbs to cleanse the liver daily – nutritive herbs like nettle tea, red clover tea, dandelion root tea, alfalfa tea, etc to help support proper liver function. Adding herbs to your facial cleanser like red clover, nettle, plantain, calendula, chamomile, and lavender could help reduce the infection (zits) itching and swelling. Sorry you are dealing with this! It sounds like a pain.

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