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The Oil Cleansing Method – Before and After

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I’ve written this post and haven’t had the balls to hit “post” for over a week.  It’s so…so…embarrassing!  What I won’t do for you guys….

In junior high and high school, I had gorgeous porcelain skin.  Nary a blemish in sight.  It was lovely.  Then, I went off to college in Eastern Washington, and my face went batshit crazy.  It wasn’t what we were eating, but rather the water I was using.  My skin got better when I came back to this side of the state, and then we moved to California, and once again, I was a total pizza face.  My skin doesn’t like hard water apparently!

Getting pregnant made me look like a 15-year-old.  Ugh, it was so bad and so humiliating.  I, however, didn’t care enough to put much makeup on since I was spending all my spare time puking in garbage cans and in the shampoo aisle at the West Hollywood Target.  Whoopsie.

Over the years, I’ve tried everything – the pill, Retin-A, something that I can’t remember the name of, but it ends in “myosin”, Proactiv (yes, please charge me $30 for my skin to peel off and make it bleed!), and even Accutane.

About a year ago I started the oil cleansing method.  Tried it for a few weeks, liked it.  Then got lazy and stopped doing it.  I started up again about six weeks ago, and am sticking with it this time; I’m loving the results!!!

What Oils Are Best For the Oil Cleansing Method? It differs for everyone, but generally, most people find success with a mix of jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and castor oil.

I previously used a mix of castor oil and sweet almond oil, but have since switched to just using sweet almond oil. It is gentle, doesn’t clog pores, and moisturizes very well. Using a quarter-size squirt of sweet almond oil, massage it in your hands until warm.  Then massage it all over your face and keep massaging it for about a minute or so.

Wet a washcloth with pretty hot water and apply it to your face for about 30 seconds.  Rinse the rag, and do it a few more times.  Then splash your face with cool water, dry off, and call it done.  Well of course after you’ve blown your nose and all.  I’ve already established that I’m a snotty person when water gets on my face! The whole process is done in under 5 minutes.

I know my skin care routine is now the exact opposite of everything that beauty companies tell us.  I doubt you’ll find too many products that say “oil added”!  But, hey, this works for me and it’s cheap and super gentle. And just because I love love love you guys, I’m showing you awful before and after pictures.  Just a warning – if you don’t like the face of middle school kids, you’ll probably want to just click the little “x” right now and close the screen.

Even after all these years, I still suffer from hyper-pigmentation from previous acne episodes.  I’m super lucky in that I’m VERY pale and my skin scars easily.  Yay for me!

Oil Cleansing Method Before and After

Forehead, week 1

Chin, week 1

That is a towel bar behind me.  Not weird military should pad things.

Forehead, week 2

Chin, week 2 (like George Constanza would say, “the sea was angry that day my friend”)

Forehead, week 3

Chin, week 3

Forehead, week 4 (photo by Jack, 4) (Also, for full disclosure, he took this photo at the end of the day.  I was wearing a bit of makeup, I had applied it 13 hours before the photo, and I sweated most of it off playing superheroes).

Chin, week 4 (another photo by Jack) Oh sweet…a first thing in the morning photo with no makeup, dirty hair, and stank breath?  You’re welcome readers!!!

You’ll notice per the photos, that the second week of this method made my skin rebel like the people of Alederaan (what Star Wars joke and acne?  NERD!), but it eventually relaxed a bit and started correcting itself.

One thing I noticed after about two weeks of this is that my make up went on super smoothly. People started asking if I got a new brand of makeup, or if I was tanning (HA!!!!!) because my skin had a “glow”.  My scars take forever to fade, but I’m pretty happy with my skin right now and don’t mind this routine at all.  I think of it as my mini spa session each night.

I’m a sweaty sleeper (seriously, could I make myself sound LESS attractive during post?), so I have to wash my face in the shower each morning. I’m currently using Kiehl’s Blue Herbal Acne Cleanser.

Fun fact, in March 2017, I decided to stop using the Oil Cleansing Method and just switch to the Kiehl’s acne treatment. After a full month, I switched back to the Oil Cleansing Method. My skin had broken out under the acne treatment, and it was so dry. I had to use three times as many products to try to combat the dryness.

Oil Cleansing Method After Five Years:

Yes, I use oil on my face to treat my adult acne. Shhhhh, it’s our secret.

So the next time you think “geez, Sarah doesn’t seem to “get real” with us often”, please refer yourself back to the post where I showed you my grease ball face.

PS, the first person who comments “if you give up wheat and dairy your skin will clear up” gets a kick right in the clam.  I gave up both while breastfeeding, and my skin didn’t clear up a bit.  It was just as grumpy as I was!


I originally wrote this post on the Oil Cleansing Method back in May 2012. It was updated in May 2017 to reflect some changes I have made. The original photo files were from my previous blog platform, and therefore are extremely grainy. I apologize for their quality, but they cannot be updated at this point.

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122 comments on “The Oil Cleansing Method – Before and After”

  1. Tried everything. I also had wonderful skin until my 20’s. Pregnancy gave me the gift of neck acne, head acne, face acne, etc. I am sooo trying this!

  2. there’s a blog called crunchy betty that talks a lot about cheap and home made skin care (and lots of other stuff). I’ve been meaning to try the oil cleansing routine and now I’m even more keen, thanks! Also, I’ve read that coconut oil can clog your pores- it doesn’t look like it’s bothering your skin much though!

    • I would love to hear your experiences if you do try it out!

    • I’ve been using coconut oil as a moisturizer the last month. My face got terribly dry AFTER my baby was born (had very nice skin during the pregnancy). It is still dry and flaky but is getting better. The coconut oil doesn’t bother it at all. I would love to try the oil cleansing but I’m just so very lazy and forgetful about things like that.

    • You can use the coconut oil as your oil for your cleanse as well. Oil attracts oil, period. As a licensed Esty, I always try to give clients a natural option to use at home. Other than expensive retail options. And coconut oil is on the list. Give it a try, hope it works. Why spend more money when you have the coconut oil at hand already?

    • You can use the coconut oil as your oil for your cleanse as well. Oil attracts oil, period. As a licensed Esty, I always try to give clients a natural option to use at home. Other than expensive retail options. And coconut oil is on the list. Give it a try, hope it works. Why spend more money when you have the coconut oil at hand already?

  3. I LOVE the OC Method!! I started using it back in December and won’t ever go back. I have oily/combo skin, and OCM has helped balance it out and breakouts have disappeared. My skin feels and looks so much better, it’s softer and actually glow-y. I also love that I can change up the formula if I need to, such as more gentle oil and less castor oil in the winter because my skin is drier and the other way around in the summer.

  4. I was just reading about oil cleansing. I have not broken out (yet) with this pregnancy, but the last took me right through puberty again. Acne, sore everything, public ridicule…ok, that last one was likely in my head.
    Anyway, even though i don’t have acne this time, my nose has always looked dirty. I swear. Every pore seems to be clogged. I tried the strips. No. The tool that skin specialists slide across works really well, if i want to empty each pore individually. So, I decided to try the oil method on my nose. Apparently, the premise is that the oil I use will soften the oil clumps in my pores and help them slide out. Omgyuck.

    By the way, Vitamin E can heal scarring faster. You just pop a hole in the capsule and put some on the s are before bed. I’ve also healed my tattoos and stretch marks the same way. 🙂

    • That tool thingy sounds like it would take forever!

      I just bought vitamin E oil in a bottle for something else I’m working on. I wonder if it is the same thing?

    • Did you try the vitamin E oil? It’s so good for your skin!!

    • I looooooooove the oil cleansing method. Love it. When I hit 23 my face went wack too, to the point where I was on Accutane as well. A word of caution: when popping open a vitamin E capsule, don’t make the mistake I did and accidentally grab an Omega 3. I immediately knew something was wrong when I smelled fish. Also, that smell doesn’t come off your face for like, a whole day… or two. Beware.

  5. You know if you give up wheat, dairy, gluten, eggs, soy, pork, chicken, beef, shellfish, coffee, tea, chocolate, sugar, fruit, makeup, deodorant, shampoo, perfume, polyester and crack that life will be absolutely no fun. Also you will probably still have acne. My sister has skin like yours and she also found that the OCM was great for her. I keep meaning to try it myself.

    Thanks for sharing, and keep up the good work!

    • I’d be a miserable bitch if I gave up all those things!! Especially the crack.

      You gotta try it! And then report back and let me know how you liked it.

    • Bah! That made me chortle out loud! I’m at home, so I only startled the cats. Either way, giving up crack would make ANY sane person crazy!

      I’m going to try this oil thing…I’m 35 and have had acne since I was in my tweens. I’ve also tried every single medication that exists, and the only one that worked was the accutane. But as soon as I stopped taking it my skin went back to “normal”.

  6. I too was just reading about this somewhere else — I guess it is high time I stop being so lazy and try this out! I think I even have some grapeseed oil — what are the chances?!

  7. It does sound a bit counter intuitive, but glad it works! My skin has always been oily, but it doesnt get breakouts often. The Proactiv stuff is severe, though. I used it religiously for a while and never again. My skin would just be too dry and flaky.

  8. I had wonderful skin as a teenager as well and then developed adult acne. Isn’t it just wonderful?! UGH It seems to be doing better now that I am 42, but I still need a good cleansing method. I guess I will try this and see what happens. I wish I could get my teenage son to try it – but anything more than 30 seconds and it won’t happen. Unfortunately, he has his dad’s problematic skin.

    • Maybe your son will be interested in using it if you get great results.

      I hope it works for you and maybe him!

    • I am 60 and still dealing with acne. I don’t believe much in” oil on oil” method.
      Treatment of acne is about making your skin as dry as you can tolerate it. That is how you get rid of breakouts. Cosmetics for acne always have a major good ingredient (drying) and a whole list of moisturizers, that cause acne. A reason for this is that people don’t like to feel dry and wouldn’t not buy the cosmetics for acne. Medications for acne, cosmetics, natural remedies need between 6-8 weeks to let you know if they will work or make it worse. So, don’t be sooo happy after using anything for a week or two. It is important what you eat. I don’t diet but sugars and nuts especially peanuts make every acne skin worse.

      • I would venture to guess that everyone’s skin is different. When mine is dry, it breaks out like nobody’s business. Before the oil cleansing method, I broke out weekly. Now, maybe once a month, or even every other month. Acne treatments might be one thing (and I’ve done them all), but I wouldn’t trade my $9 bottle of oil for any amount of acne meds because they never worked (for me). If you’re 60 and still dealing with issues, why not give something else a shot to see how it works for you?

      • I’m super oily. Every time I wash my face and remove the oil, my body goes into oil overdrive. Wash at night, then I’m an oil slick by morning. Wash in the morning, then I’m an oil slick by lunch time. And by oil slick, I mean that I can scrape my fingernail across my cheek or forehead and collect a nice nail-full of clear grease/oil from my face.

        When I simply rinse my face (warm water and a very light swish with a wash cloth) then my face doesn’t go into an oil-making frenzy. But even with just warm water, if I scrub too hard or too long, it removes too much oil. I might have soft and smooth skin for an hour or two, but after that, the oil frenzy begins.

        Keeping my face as dry as possible doesn’t work for me. And I figure if I’m doing something that makes my face over-produce oil, then that’s probably not a good thing to be doing anyway.

      • Everyone’s skin is different, but usually it produces oil when it’s dry. I used to think i had combination skin. My forehead, nose and chin was always oily and my chicks very dry. I would use very little moisturiser on the oily parts and they kept getting oily. I tried all sorts of different products from the shop with different price ranges and nothing worked and it always felt like they left a layer on my skin. When i decided to try something natural and the OCM everything changed! My skin is not oily anymore. It’s super soft and my break outs are a lot less. This method makes my skin so soft that even when i get a small cyst you can barely notice it because the skin on top of it/around it doesn’t flake off and gets red. I use virgin coconut oil and castor oil for cleansing, apply coconut oil as a moisturiser afterwards and exfoliate a couple of times a week with coconut oil+baking soda. During winter my skin gets drier so i use coconut oil+almond oil+aloe vera during the day and the same but with added Shea butter at night. My skin is never oily. you need to understand what’s the right amount for you, but even when it feels oily to start with, your skin absorb these in 5 minutes!
        When i started this i broke out in the first week because the coconut oil detoxifies your skin and the toxins are drawn out. But it all went away after 3 days.

        Your skin may be getting so oily because it’s not sufficiently hydrated and moisturised or not with the right things!

  9. You might want to look at my friend’s blog. She is a top-rated aesthetician in NYC, and makes her own natural skin care line. She advocates skin oiling too, and has special mixes for different situations. She offers insight into hormonal breakouts (common on the chin), and neat ways to handle a flare up. You eat pretty darn healthy, so I don’t think food is the issue.

    One more thing that works for me: change your pillowcase as often as possible. Bacteria love to hang out there and get on your face.

  10. Good morning…unfortunately for me, when I was 15, I had a dermatologist…and I used the term lightly, who insisted that the ONLY way to rid myself of the cystic pimples I frequently had, was to to use the syringe method. Not knowing any different at the time, I proceeded with this treatment, which is self explanatory, insert needle, withdraw junk. Needless to say, 40 years later and I still have the scars on both my cheeks and I STILL HATE the guy to this day.
    Luckily for me, I have a friend who is very much into “anything” alternative to modern medicine and introduced me to the powers of Hemp Oil! Fabulous stuff…even has write ups for use with Skin Cancers and its success. Maybe one or two of your readers should consider this as well. Just a thought, and I’m with you, the next person who says…have you thought of” will be wearing permanent ear muffs!
    As usual, thanks for keeping it real…and keeping it funny. Much love today,

    • Have you tried Vitamin E for the scarring? It has worked wonders for me. Every night, I pop a hole in a capsule and spread a tiny bit over scars and stretch marks. My stretch marks are pretty much gone- just in time to create new ones. 😉 But my acne scars, as well as scarring from a couple piercings, are almost completely gone.

    • Thank you, I will look in to it! So sorry to hear about your stupid derm experience.

  11. P.S… here is a link to the videos.

    or you can just Google, skin cancer and hemp oil.

  12. This post came at exactly the right time. Unfortunately I have had bad skin since puberty, and since puberty hit in the 4th grade, I’ve had bad skin for the majority of my life. My dermatologist recently prescribed an antibiotic to help with the acne, which worked great except the fact that it: (1) made me nauseous to the point of having to pull over the car on my way to work to puke my brains out, and (2) over time killed my digestive system and forced me to take extreme levels of probiotics to even things out. Needless to say, I’ve officially stopped taking the antibiotics (after trying three different kinds) and I had given up and was content at having horrible skin for the rest of my life. Since every cleanser/gel/lotion/toner I have tried, both cheap and expensive, have failed to really do anything except lighten my wallet, hell, I might as well try oil! If this works I will be eternally grateful.

  13. Thanks for this post! I developed acne about 2 years ago when I was 37! Until then, crystal clear beautiful skin. I’v seen a dermatologist but would like to get off the medication. I’m definitely going to give this a try.

  14. Even though I have had almost perfect skin with zero acne, the occassional pimple in my youth, drove me to a frenzy. I would eventually have a bluish scar. Vitamin E capsules helped tremendously. As I skidded into menopause, I suddenly had large pores and it looked like little dots all over my nose, even an hour after washing my face. Oil of Olay Age Defying cream helped to close the pores. My skin seems finer, like a little child’s skin. “Youthful”skin was not the goal;closing pores on my nose and chin was the goal.

    Oil for acne–surprising. Cooking oil helps my dry hands! I only put it on the backs of my hands and fingers.

    I am going to tell my grandson about the oil for acne.

  15. I have the exact same kind of skin. The best thing that I have found (by accident) has been taking Alfalfa supplements everyday. I ordered the T-Tapp skin brushing system (which btw is wonderful) and it came with organic Alfalfa supplements. I wasn’t going to try it because I hate taking pills but figured I paid for it I may as well take it. It took about a month for things to clear up but my skin has never looked better. I oil cleanse about once a week just because I love how soft it makes my skin but other than that I just wash with a mild cleanser each day.

    • I’ve never heard of that! Will definitely have to look in to it.

    • a Zinc supplement will help with the healing process for the inflammation and can also help some people with their oil production by lowering it. Not everyone sees results with the oil production decreasing. but it definitely helps heal the inflammation from the inside out. As well as vit C. check into those options as well.

  16. Sarah, I think this is my favorite oil cleansing method post I’ve ever read! I too have been dabbling with it here and there, but keep stopping. I have a draft sitting on my site for months now, and keep telling myself that I won’t post it until I’ve done OCM for at least 2-3 weeks straight so that I could honestly pass on the information to my readers. Reading your post not only gave me a much needed chuckle, but it’s given me the push I needed to just get back to that darn OCM again so I can stop complaining about my face and finally get that post published.

    Thanks for your wittiness and humour in an otherwise annoying and mundane topic 🙂

    • Oh I know that feeling. I had lots of “starts” and “stops” with this method, but I think I’m on it now. Good luck with your journey and let me know when you write that post!

  17. I didn’t read all the comments so please don’t kick me in the clam for asking. 😀 Are you taking a serious good probiotic? OR consuming LOTS of fermented foods? It will go a long way in preventing that kind of adult acne.

  18. i just might give this a whirl! i recently started using dr. bronner’s tea tree oil castille soap on my face and loving it so far. coconut oil as a moisturizer really calms and softens my skin, but i hadn’t thought of using oil as a cleanser!
    only a week ago i started using a tiny bit of tea tree oil (dries acne, antibacterial) with rose hip oil (lots of natural vitamin E and A). i’d read that the rose hip oil is a gentle and natural retin A which heals skin quickly–and it has been awesome so far! just exfoliate more often bc it speeds the turnover of skin cells. i’ve been doing a gentle exfoliation each day, and more vigorously about twice a week.
    last new favorite thing is mixing witch hazel with a few drops of tea tree oil and use as a toner. this has nixed 95% of my many blackheads! start with very little tea tree oil and work up from there as your skin gets used to it. it can be a bit abrasive if you go overboard too soon.
    thanks for sharing, and good luck!

    • I just bought some vitamin e oil, and will give it a shot!

      I can’t use tea tree oil for anything. I used to use it to clean our toilets, and then I spent so much time with my head in the toilet while pregnant. The smell just makes me want to puke now!

  19. Thanks for this post! So happy that you were brave enough to post it! I appreciate the help with the natural skin care products and stuff!

    I always wondered why my skin decided to rebel at age 24-25. I developed lots of blackheads and deep painful boils near my ears. I also developed circumoral rozacea, which on bad days is just red and on really bad days is very red and painful! Went to the dermatologist and got 3 different creams and 1 antibiotic that didn’t work and even made it worse. I tried changing my diet and it didn’t help either. Finally I found a cream called Calming cream from Beauti Control that helps with the pain. (Definitely not an all natural product!) The redness is usually covered up with concealer. Now that I am reading your post, I believe I am having all these skin problems because I am probably drying my skin out WAY too much trying to treat it. Which in turn is overproducing my own oils causing all these blemishes. I am definitely trying your OCM and will stick with it hopefully until after my skin rebels. I already started using coconut oil as a moisturizer a few days ago. Woke up today with the redness still, but the pain isn’t there…..yet! Keeping my fingers crossed!

    • You’re exactly right. My skin was crying for some oil and protection and I just kept drying it the heck out!

      So great about the coconut oil. I hope it continues for you!

    • Doing a “cleanse” or detox in addition to the OC may also help. The painful boils may be toxins just trying to get out.

  20. Our water does the same thing to my complexion- thanks for the tip. When my sister and I were in junior high and high school and started to break out, my mom would inform us that she had never had acne (not even one pimple) her entire life. Everytime I see her I still secretly hope she has a breakout.

  21. I have been doing this for several months and finally LOVE my skin. Couple things i’ve added are “exfoliating” occasionally with baking soda and using witch hazel in the morning.

  22. Sarah, thank you SO much for this. I laugh at when I say I had “acne” in high school (it was like…one zit per week). My face is constantly broken out as an adult, and NOTHING HELPS. I wanted to try your idea right away, but I didn’t have any oil, but I did have these Aveno eye make up remover pads that are super filled with these soft oils. So I washed my face, then rubbed one of the pads all over my face, rubbed it in, and then applied moisturizer like normal, and within 24 hours, my face was 1/2 cleared, and this morning (day 2) there’s nothing. 🙂 You rock my socks.

    • Wow, so cool that you got those results from something you had on hand already! Love good results and thriftiness! I hope it keeps clearing up and being lovely for you.

  23. I always recommend using oil to help get rid of acne. It’s counter-intuitive but it does work. I often recommend trying a little rosemary essential oil as well because it helps with the bacteria that can cause some acne.
    I don’t recommend any soap – for me I wash with water and the occasional milk, almond, oatmeal scrub and add a layer of an oil based cream I make. At 37 I still battle the occasional pimple but when I stay true to my routine then it all stays clear (when I feel a blemish trying to come through I make sure to apply cream often and it rarely comes through).

    • I have rosemary essential oils! Do you just put it directly in your oil mixture? What kind of oil do you use in addition to the castor?

  24. I love the candid approach of this article, you write with such a personable style and I love your blog! Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Natural Mother’s “Seasonal Celebration Sunday.” Hope to see you again this Sunday / Monday!! Rebecca x

  25. I am featuring this post on this Sunday’s Seasonal Celebration! Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network x

  26. I had great skin until having kids…..damn kids…..I’m now 40, started this face wash routine, and freakin love it!!! My teenagers and college kid thought I’d lost my mind, until they saw how wonderful my skin was. Now all 4 are using it and their skin has cleared right up! We also use tea tree oil on our blemishes after drying our face. WE WILL NEVER GO BACK TO HARSH OVER PRICED CRAP AGAIN!!!

  27. I’m doing OCM too! I have adult onset acne and have done proactiv etc. Unfortunately my skin gets more and more sensitive as I get older. I can’t use Proactiv, or most face cleansers anymore. I have an allergist and he recomended using only olive oil soap on my sensitive skin. Which eventually led me to the Oil Cleansing Method. I use Olive Oil and Castor Oil. Probably somewhere close to 50/50. (I didn’t measure)I have to say, it feels indulgent. Like I’m doing something crazy and completely hedonistic, slathering oil on my face after a long day!

  28. At about 30 my face broke out in cystic acne. I tried everything, even $1000 per sessions of laser treatment. It did not work. My husband finally suggested – “instead of putting all these chemicals on your face, how about you do the opposite since this obviously isn’t working”. Coming from a guy who hates Whole Foods and anything remotely ‘granola’ I was surprised. Again I went to the internet to do research and this time I found an article about fluoride. A dermatologist noticed that the cystic acne was around the mouth (as mine was) and suggested people stop brushing their teeth with fluoride toothpaste. I switched to Tom’s of Maine non fluoride toothpaste and in a month my cystic acne was gone. I also only drink reverse osmosis water that has the fluoride removed. I had constant back acne since I was a teenager and my back has totally cleared up. I have also started using the oil cleansing method with coconut oil and a few drops of tea tree oil. I exfoliate with a little baking soda afterward. I still have breakouts (it seems like they coincide with eating sugar or dairy) but not nearly like what I used to experience.

  29. I do the oil cleansing method to. It’s awesome. To be honest, I had pretty good skin to begin with, but a little on the dry side. I use 1/3 castor oil and 2/3 olive oil. My skin looks & feels awesome, it’s fun to give my self and oil face massage every day, and I’ve eliminated moisturizer from my routine (which I always hated anyway). Win-win-win!

  30. I just died at the kick in the clam comment. seriously, I think I can go pack more boxes now, because my internet day is now complete. I thank you. <3

  31. I just happened upon your blog after following the link on Pintrest for the homemade Vicks vapor disks for the shower and thought I’d look around a bit. I was surprised to see this article. I have had horrible acne ever since I was around 10 or 11 years old (am now 36) and have tried everything under the sun to clear it up without success. The only thing that came close was Accutane, but then my insurance changed and I couldn’t afford it anymore. I have never heard of the OCM to treat acne and it does sound counterproductive, but after reading your article and the comments, I am going to give it a try. My skin is so sensitive after using all of the harsh chemicals on it, and this sounds almost heavenly, like a mini spa treatment! Have you tried olive oil? I have a big bottle of that already in my pantry and would love to be able to use something I already have on hand. Thanks so much for sharing your experience! As a fellow breakouter, I know how daunting it is to post pictures without all of the concealing makeup!

    • I hope it works for you. Shoot me an email to let me know how it works out!

      I’m currently using olive oil as my “gentle” oil. I don’t know if I love it. I’ve had lots of breakouts lately, but I can’t decide if it’s the olive oil, or stress.

    • My face broke out like mad with olive oil…don’t use it for your cleanser!

    • A little late, but… I have been doing a lot of reading on the OCM lately and several people have mentioned that breakouts due to olive oil could be because you are not using a cold-pressed organic olive oil. If you use just a regular olive oil from your pantry, it may have pesticides or have been expressed from the olive by a more chemical method.

  32. Coconut oil works really well for this too. I read that coconut oil was the best one to use for acne, so that’s where I started. I found using the oil meant I didn’t strip my own natural oils out like a cleanser would do and that helped my skin calm down. I add frankincense and lavender essential oil to my coconut oil to help with scars and wrinkles. (I’m almost 40, I’d say my skin looks pretty good, although the dairy thing did help me a lot, but this took it to the next step. 🙂 )

    • What does the frankencense do? I’m intrigued!

      I use coconut oil for moisturizer in the morning and I think it works great!

    • Frankincense is an AMAZING oil! At risk of sounding like a freak, it can be used topically, (as suggested above), which may actually help with aging and relieves the itch of bug bites. When diffused into the air, it can be beneficial with bronchitis, headaches and pneumonia and may also help one have a better attitude and de-stress which may help to strengthen the immune system.

      You may love all the options that you could find on my site:

  33. I’ve had acne since 3rd grade and my daughter now does as well. Over the years I’ve tried a boxcar load of things both over-the-counter and prescription; I will, if my acne really flares, take a short course of antibiotic even now but no antibiotics for my eight year-old. Ironically, the clearest my skin has ever been was during pregnancy. I did a 30-day juice fast recently and my skin looked really good but then who can do that long-term? I have noticed that drying my skin inevitably leads to break outs. I currently use Cerave products but am considering switching to OCM after I use these up. Now I’m in menopause and have given up hope of clear skin, I just hope the pimples fall into the wrinkles and counteract each other. Oh, the other dermatologic gift of menopause is that my chest looks as if I have a constant sunburn. I believe the OCM could most help my beautiful daughter, an avid swimmer, as the drying of her skin by chlorine may be the culprit.

  34. best thing i have ever tried, oh and i have tried it all!!! (Accutaine, doxycyclin, minocyclin, amoxycilin, every gel, cream, lotion…you get the picture…)

    *Baking SODA, gentle cleanser (i use Cetaphil®) mix together and use as a scrub x1 a day (i choose night)
    *Then, 1 part apple cider vinegar to 4-5 parts water, use as toner and let dry
    *if you have really problem areas use a very low dose of benzoil peroxide (I use the one from Let dry for a bit
    *a little face lotion (again, lotion)

    This combo has made my skin glow and clear up in no time! I even have cystic acne and it works for that. I don’t always do step 3 and 4 but the first 2 i do nightly….and it costs pennies per month! yay!


  35. just wondered how the OCM is going after having used it a few months? I have started about 2months ago and I have to report that now my face aint beautiful as it never has been before, but I did notice some changes.

    It is winter here and dry dry dry, so usually I would use my night cream as my day cream to stop the dry forehead and pealing nose that happens during winter, this year, I have no problem with dry face as I use olive oil to cleanse and sometimes moisturise too. I have castor oil but that stuff gives me zits. I know they say that you are getting rid of all the old problems that just healed over using caster oil, but meh – they can stay there under the skin for all I care. I also have avokado oil I use for my body, mixed with some half used bottles of reqular body cream to make me smell like less of a salad and more of a clean woman type thing. It works too, but you have to re-apply it daily to keep it up. also not too great on the hands. it doesn’t stick around long enough i think. need something more sticky and oily…

    anywho, I don’t have a routine as such, but then I also don’t wear make-up so the cleaning I do is sufficient. I also don’t steam my face, which might explain the occasional zit popping out too. I will wet my face with hot water, pat it dry with TP, then apply 2 squirts of olive oil mixed with a few drops of this essiantial oil mix I got on the internet a while back, lavender and myrrhrhrhrrr (wierd word), apparently this is great for skins but mostly it smells better than the oil and makes me feel pampered. this i rub in like i would my usual facewash, focussing on my nose and cheeks and all the places i have blackhead issues and zit issues. then if i want to shower, i leave this oil on, and get in, leaving the face for last. then rub it in some more. then get out and wipe the excess off with TP and then apply my coconut oil (just a fingernail scraping as i’m already oiled from the olive oil). I also have almond oil but this is way too runny and doesn’t absorb! Great for massaging, but sucks at moisturising (I think)

    Now, I do get zits, and it is old things comming back for a final battle. The type of zits are not your usual white head thing, this is more something brewing under a layer of skin type deal. the cysts i do get is around my nose (but I had a cold and this usually happens) and they are gone so quickly it hardly matters. I think the oil helps with this quick healing action. The blackheads are still there, but I think this is cos I don’t steam and massage like they said I should. I have to invest in a facial steamer type deal. They are a lot less, but the ones still there looks like they are recessed and won’t come out if I try to squeeze one.

    I am going to keep on exploring different oils as I feel that the olive oil is great, but who knows, something else might even be better. I have no problems with cuticles anymore and my body has never been as moisturised as this, even with baby oil. Rose oil and jojoba oil and tea tree oil i want to investigate. I am considering telling my brother’s daughter (who resently discovered make-up and wears enough for 3 girls of 16) to use this, but how can I make my point if I don’t have perfect skin?

    PS this olive oil/lavender/myrrh combo can help with the nastyness & continuous itching of thrush, but caution is needed as it is rather messy to apply, and i’m not sure what helped, or how sensitive those bits are to stuff that has to be diluted with oil before application. I was despirate and irritated after yet another “feminine hygiene” product failed. Now I use this oil every other time and it works.

    • Yep, I still use it. Sometimes my skin “plateaus” and I break out for no reason. Sometimes it is lovely. But even with the back and forth, my skin is still much better than what it used to be!

  36. I’ve been doing OCM for a few weeks now and I will never switch back! I only just found your blog tonight (and I’m in big love) so the recipe I follow is olive oil and castor oil. I also add a teensy drop of tea tree oil because I’m acne prone. I couldn’t totally commit at first and would use regular facewash at least once a day but then my face just felt so stripped and dry afterwards compared to the clean, soft way it feels after OCM. I had acne from puberty on. It got better, but not gone, in my 20s and got way better with pregnancy. Now in my (very early) 30s I have some old scarring, gigantic pores and blackheads. YUCK. In the past few weeks of OCM my pores are almost completely non-existant!!! I really didn’t think it would do anything spectacular and the fact that it’s doing the one thing I used to spend hundreds…thousands??…of dollars on through prescriptions/facials/peels/expensive products is craziness. Hope it’s still working well for you!

    • I do feel like I should use the tea tree oil, but I had bad experience with it when I was pregnant, and the smell of it makes me puke a little bit.

      What do you use in the morning to wash your face?

  37. So I was researching dry shampoo a while back and I read you could just use corn starch to absorb the oil. Crazy thought ran through my head, “Why not my face?” I tried it and haven’t used anything on my face since except a little coconut oil when it seems dry. I only get a pimple hear and there about 2 times a month.

    • Do you put it all over your face, or just on the pimples?

      You’re not supposed to wash corn starch down the drain, so how do you get it off your face?

  38. Hey! Are you still using the OCM???
    Your past sounded like mine.. All but the accutane. I drew the line before that. doxycycline, minocycline
    both made me eat like crazy while still breaking out
    Retin A, Adapalene… on and on and then my face was peeling, red, raw and still breaking out

    Just started the OCM and am on week 3.
    wondering if you stuck with it and still notice a change?

    • Yep, I still use it. Sometimes my skin “plateaus” and I break out for no reason. Sometimes it is lovely. But even with the back and forth, my skin is still much better than what it used to be!

  39. hey guys, I got me some rose oil and jojoba and tea tree…

    Love the jojoba, but it is MAJORLY expensive where I live for 200mls it roughly works out to $12… well that sounds slightly less bad than ZAR100 for 200mls… dang. Well, let’s just say for R100 I can buy 10 loafs of bread to give you an idea. Well because of the cost I limit myself to only 15 drops per use and I try to rub this in very well and to not wipe off the excess. It works great so far.

    I mix it with 3 drops of Rose oil (mixed rose oil they call it) and is it just me or does this stuff BURN the SHITE out of you? no really it burns, now I know you are not supposed to use it neat on the skin, but this is 3:15 ratio and it burns the crap outta me. wierd thing is it only burns sometimes and I can’t see any peeling or dead skin or anything weird. lotsa redness, but that fades as the burn fades. I guess if I don’t see any blood or permanent scarring I’ll keep using it as I love the turkish delight smell hehe. Might try for 2 drops instead. Actually what eases the burn is wiping it off and putting on neat oil you can actually feel the burn fading as jou progress about your face. Also, I only noticed it now, as the face burning thing happened this morning, my skin feels much softer. So I guess that is what the burn is for haha, though I’m not really looking for a friggen acid peel every day.

    The tea tree did not impress, it stinks frankly. gah. And I can’t really see it working any better than the plain olive oil combo did, but then I used it 3 times cos of the smell…

    Then, I got my hands on the ingredients of a posh organic face “gel” and they had lots of essential oils in there:

    clary sage
    carrot seed

    donno where I might get frankincense, sage or carrot seed essential oil but hey, The internet is my friend eh?

    So, what I like about this oil cleaning method is that I am never bored with my routine, as I can try something new and see what happens. Sure my face is my lab and sometimes I creat a monster EEEEEEk, but i’m used to having zits so this is just the same old same old to me, but fun!

    Thanks for getting me hooked!

  40. Does anyone know if this method helps with blackheads? I don’t have an acne problem per se, but I do have a TON of blackheads and cant figure out why or how to get rid of them. It’s so gross. I rarely have an actual pimple but blackheads are just as bad. Please advise 🙂

  41. Yes, pregnancy can trigger or even worsen existing acne. However, there are also reports from some women that their breakouts decreased during pregnancy. But to those women who experienced what Sarah had to go through during pregnancy, I advise that you avoid oral prescription drugs like Accutane (Isotretinoin). Drugs can cause serious birth defects, such as teeth and bone abnormalities.

  42. You are quite entertaining — loved the post. It does makes sense b/c I’ve heard/read that when you keep depleting the oil and sucking everything out of your skin, your body tries to compensate & therefore makes more oil – hence the acne & breakouts. I’ll have my daughter try this — I am a former Acutane user because 30 years ago that is the only thing that worked – and it did!

  43. Hi! I came across your blog last night (LOVE it!) when I was searching for info about using oil to help with acne. I’m wondering if you are still using this for your face, or how long you did use it and how well it worked for you. I’d love to hear how it holds up over time. Thank you!

  44. I know this is way late in coming, but I’ve used a 75% olive oil, 25% caster oil mix to cleanse my face every night for about 3 years, now. I was scared to death to try it the first time, SURE I’d become a zit field overnight, but to my surprise, that didn’t happen! I, too had the lovely, porcelain skin in high school, but that lovely porcelain skin is DRY, which tends to wrinkle fast as we age, so the olive oil helps keep mine pretty healthy. In winter, I can rub a little straight olive oil into my face just before I go to sleep so I don’t dry out as much with the heat on. I’m still astonished that it works so well! (And I still hesitate to share my method… how weird is putting straight oil on your face??)

  45. “kick in the clam”…….too funny

  46. I have noticed a bunch of people using coconut oil. I can tell you from personal experience and from research that it will clog pores and is listed as a highly conedogenic oil. I used it to shave my face for about 6 months thinking I was doing myself a solid by getting away from alcohol based, overly perfumed shave gels.

    I had read coconut oil was a great skin care oil, but my lovely wife, who has skin like a porcelain doll – began using it and also started breaking out. We ended up buying a clarisonic Mia and a couple of brushes to unclog our skin.

    So far I notice improvements but we both broke out after starting it. I’m interested in trying the OCM which is how I found this page.

  47. thanks alot, i started using the castor oil on my face during this week, since winter is drying my face and my acne just wont go away, sara you are adorable. thanks for sharing your story…i will definitely keep this castor oil cleansing up, my skin literally is glowing so much even my bf started using some of it…and he has no problems,…the great thing about this oil is that it is thick and it really disappears once massaged in well…i hope to continue this regimen for a few hoping for a change ..have had acne for over 10 yrs and diagnosed with PCOS, so my hormones are going crazy,….thanks for the blog

  48. Hey Sarah, I’ve been washing my face with Trader Joe’s Lavender body oil for quite awhile now since I heard about the oil cleansing method. I know it’s not the perfect combination or anything, but it works well for me. I’ve really got pretty easy skin. I like the price and lavender has always worked well for my complexion. I was actually researching this method for a 33 yo friend with really bad acne. She’s yet to try accutane, but that’s her next step. I’ve convinced her to try this method of cleansing if I’ll mix it for her (I’m a pharmacist and she hates to do research, so I’m doing the work for her 😉 Just wanted to say thanks for being so transparent in this post. It’s much appreciated! I have a blog myself ( where I decided to be transparent about my own battle with prescription drug addiction in order to help other. So I know how hard it is to be transparent! 🙂 Have a blessed day!

  49. Pumpkinseed oil, high in Vitamin E, recommended for mature skin, non-clogging 🙂 Awesome stuff for oil cleansing!

  50. I am 51 years old and have been using the OCM for about a year. 1/3 castor oil to 2/3 sunflower oil. I used to have occasional breakouts – I haven’t had one since. And my skin looks a lot younger (I think) and is so soft. I swear by it. I have been tempted to add a drop of vitamin E or try some other essential oils but haven’t yet. Love it!!!