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Tried this method after reading the "Highly Recommended" post on acne.org (http://www.acne.org/messageboard/topic/141871-the-oil-cleansing-method-highly-recommended/). I only read about 2 pages that were filled with positive reviews, but I should have looked further into it. A little background: I had almost completely clear skin prior to using this method, but I use around 5 products per day including Tazorac, Aczone, Sulfur Wash, Birth Control, and Clindamycin (sp?)... so I thought "Wow, this would really lessen my routine and since I'm basically clear, it shouldn't be too bad..." After about 3-4 days, I noticed my pores looked clogged and bigger around my cheeks and forehead AND I have whiteheads and small pimples on cheeks/jawline (haven't had to deal with this since my teens [now 22 y.o.]). I now know that this method just clogs your pores and yes, initially, I had high hopes and it made my skin feel awesome/moisturized/ what have you... I am glad I stopped after 4 days, since I am super afraid I will get cystic acne (never had it before). Wish I never tried it, not for everyone, it may work for you, but if you are acne prone/oily skin, I really don't think this would be beneficial. If you have somewhat clear skin now, don't try this... seriously it took me so long to get clear and now I wish I had stayed with my routine. As someone else said: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
P.S. For anyone thinking I was doing it wrong- just stop, I did everything as instructed- used all natural ingredients, organic, clean towels, the ratio, etc. etc. You don't need to tell me that I wasn't doing it right.
Wow, so my journey with the OCM started on such a ridiculous high -I was on cloud 9 just imagining all the smug confidence I would have prancing about with my amazing new clear skin!! :/
I started it accidentally on holiday - I was previously doing Dan's regimen and had been doing for about 3 years - lapsing a bit for the past year or so after going on Dianette so not having to be too strict with it, but now off birth control and the sun was breaking me out but drying me out - I'd brought almond oil for my hair so used that a couple of nights to slap on then massage the dry flakes off with a muslin cloth (at this point I'd never even heard of cleansing your skin using oils!) Looked up benefits of oil on skin when I got home and discovered OCM - that's it i was looking into every night and bought pretty much everything going! - Castor oil, EVOO, rose hips oil, avocado oil (which again worked incredibly at first - my skin was clear, vibrant, my pores were so small and I used it as a base to my makeup - God's honest I had the skin of a pre-pubescent angel!!)
Anyway doesn't the bubble always burst??! I wasn't as unfortunate as some people who woke up with a painful pizza face :( ...rather I started breaking out gradually and also had lots of dry patches which I couldn't understand despite buying the castor oil none of the mixes I used were actually drying...? Anyway after persevering with it for a lot longer than I should've done - mainly because i was clinging on to this 'your skin may get better before it gets worse' business when really in the back of my mind I couldn't envisage that happening.....eventually I reluctantly stopped completely - even using a tiny bit as a makeup base which I really enjoyed, back to Dan's regimen and going to add in the glycolic acid as suggested, already my skin's a lot better after the damage OCM did - I guess we're all just searching for the one magic treatment that's simple, cheap and natural (and of course other-worldly in its ability to cure you of acne!)
I have been using OCM now for three weeks, every night and not using anything else on my face except a little sudocrem on some cystic acne that won't budge. While I can't say for sure that my acne is much better, the redness and soreness I was experiencing before has almost completely stopped. I mixed 8tsp of Olive oil and 3tsp of castor, with 5 drops of peppermint and 5 of tea tree oil. My boyfriend thinks it has made a big difference but I seem to have lots of little black heads, which I didn't notice before. Although that could be because I was preoccupied with the cystic acne, which was really inflamed and very painful.
Personally I think it definitely will be different for everyone, and for me, my skin couldn't get much worse so I was willing to give anything a try! The ingredients are relatively cheap and must be better than slapping a handful of chemicals on your skin, right?
I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but it's stopped my acne from being so painful, even if it hasn't eradicated it completely. My skin is much softer and feels less grainy and in need of a massive exfoliation, and I feel better for using something natural and not chemically harsh. Obviously, you have to be prepared for negative effects too.
I've been seeing a particular user commenting on the lower rated reviews here and encouraging people to continue with the OCM method even if it's not working, or giving 'helpful suggestions'. If it's not working for you, STOP. YOU are the one who has to deal with the nasty effects of the OCM, not some random user bleating about how great it is. Fact of the matter is, like every product on the planet, this method won't work for everything. If it does, great. If it doesn't, don't psyche yourself out thinking it will suddenly and magically work.
That being said, I did this one time. I went to the Oil Cleansing website and followed their instructions. I forgot what I put in my mixture specifically. Let's just say it didn't work very well and I wasn't interested in trying again. Not to mention I also tried using coconut oil as a moisturizer because of all the rave reviews random people online gave it. I used organic, cold-pressed, unrefined virgin coconut oil as an evening moisturizer, and hell hath no fury, seriously. I had the worst breakout of a life time. I used it for several months before calling cold turkey on it. Never again. I even tried hemp oil for a bit, but that just didn't agree with me. Oils just don't work with my skin.
And I'm not a huge advocate of Paula's Choice, but she does discuss oil cleansing on her website.
Myth: The combination of oils and hot steam used by the oil-cleansing method will “deep-clean” skin in a way that no other product can.
Hot steam is irritating in every way possible. Irritation stimulates oil production directly in the pore and makes pimples look even redder. Using hot steam on a regular basis also can cause small blood vessels in your skin to rupture, over time creating a network of surfaced red capillaries.
So, keep that it mind guys. Be gentle to your skin.
I would also like to add that oils cannot purge your skin. The 'purging' phase is a hideous, ugly myth that people love to perpetuate on the internet. True purging is caused by peels, scrubs, AHAs, BHAs or retinoids. If the oil is breaking you out, that's because it is clogging your pores and your skin is more likely irritated if anything.
Okay, so my story might be similar to those who constantly searched and googled the internet on "how to clear up acne". First I tried Proactiv+...noticed nothing after the 60day window so I returned it for a refund. I had hopes for the OCM method and it was the worst decision for me: CLOSED COMEDONES EVERYWHERE once I used the OCM for about a month. I thought this was because of the "purge" stage, but I didn't know that meant that these comedones would actually work their way above my skin, making clumps of red comedones all over my cheeks.
oils I used:
grape seed oil
I started with a 50:50:10 ratio with the above and adjusted based on the feel on my skin. I added more jojoba if needs since it made the castor oil easier to smooth around on my face. I combined the above oils in a bottle. I used a nickel sized amount and put it all over my face and then used hot water to soak my washcloth and put over my face for a few minutes, wiped, wa-lah. I then used bragg's ACV with water and sprayed as a toner.
I did this for maybe 2 months until I was mortified enough. OCM all depends on your skin type "oh it's natural....oil dissolves oil...no harm there" no. This did not work for me, at all. It's February now and my hyper pigmentation marks are just starting to fade. The whole process was started in JUNE. that means it has taken me 8 months to get my skin back to what it was.
if you want to help your acne do yourself a favor and check out Paula's Choice products. THEY ARE AMAZING. I used her sample size ($9) 2% BHA liquid on the damage OCM did to my cheeks.
I have had severe acne since i was 13 and it got worse in my 20s. My move to europe for my graduate studies and my skin just took a turn for the worst! My acne scars started looking darker and my skin was insanely dry. I tried everything from prescription drugs, retinoid creams the whole deal. Then i tried using the Aleppo soap, and my skin just was not doing well at all! i am 25 and you would think acne is a thing of the past. but it was making me miserable, and i usually dont fret too much about my appearance. I took up regular exercise, stopped eating anything other that what i cooked and stopped diary as well. Nothing helped. So one day i came about the Oil cleansing method, and i decided to give it a try as well. i mean why not?! The only problem was i didnt have castor oil or any other oil except a good quality bottle of extra virgin olive oil. So i just started lightly massaging some olive oil every night and i would steam my face and wipe my face with a soft cloth. And i did that for a week and i realised my skin was looking so much better. most importantly my skin was soft! no dry, painful patches. its been about 2 months since ive been doing this. And i have go to say, this is the best my skin has looked in a while. i dont have any new pimples. Sure the acne spots are there, but it is definitely better than what it was 2 months ago. Its lighter and looks like its slowly disappearing. And i just use olive oil every night. My skin just feels so good. Definitely recommend this to everyone. This is literally the best thing i have done for my skin. i stopped using all the expensive creams and masks and the only thing i use now is a good bottle of extra virgin olive oil. I would totally recommend it!
I tried OCM for about 2 or 3 weeks and I just wound up with more acne. I used a half and half mix of castor oil and hemp seed oil twice a day. I went from having a few small zits on my forehead to having acne all over my cheeks, nose, the sides of my face, and my forehead. It took months for my skin to get back to how it was before trying OCM.
OCM might work for someone who doesn't have acne, but if you do, I don't recommend trying it.
if you use the right combination and don't rub it into your face.
When I first started It caused my skin to break out a bit more but that eventually settled. I read something somewhere about how it might do that, and it did, so i guess it's a thing.
I find a mix of %50 Castor oil, %30 Calendula oil (with an olive oil base) and %20 Jojoba oil with 4-6 drops of tea tree works well for me.
I use pretty hot (not scalding) water to really warm my skin up for quite a while before applying the oil and then let it sit for a minute so the castor oil can help extract any junk from clogged pores (castor is a "drawing" oil.. that's why we use it, that's why it can be drying). and then use more hot water on a clean microfiber washcloth (I bought 12 of these at the dollar store SPECIFICALLY for face washing) to GENTLY wipe it away, because when I exfoliate my skin gets red and irritated.
So there you have it.
I tried oil cleansing on my torso using a mixture of Castor Oil & Olive oil (heavier on the former). I didn't notice any big changes at first, then my skin rapidly broke out (like after a week) in what almost looked like sores. I haven't had acne like that in years.
I tried a number of dietary things to clear it, and also sprayed my torso with sea salt water nightly (I do this on my face, which has kept it clear for years). Not much made a difference...
...that is until I read about Vitamin D3. Another acne-sufferer posted his success with it, using a combo for VitaminD3 & Vitamin C. He was taking these for other reasons, and noticed it also cleared his acne. I take about 10,000 mg of D3 and 500 C each day (he used less of the former). It's been about 6 weeks and the change has been so up-lifting. It was slow to start, but then picked up. I must note that I added Vitamin C to my routine at about week 4, and thats when i really saw some fast changes...might be due to the 2 vitamins interacting, or just that D3 needed about 4 weeks to really work.
I know you're supposed to wait a few months (at least 3-6) before writing a review of a method, but just thought i should let folks know.
I'm actually very surprised by all of the positive reviews. I will just start out by saying that this method is NOT for all skin types. I have very sensitive acne prone skin. I have tried everything on the market and have gone to dermatologists with no luck. I've been on birth control for hormonal irregularities and that has helped tremendously in the past. Now, being a freshman in college and having a highly stressful job, my body is undergoing stress that it has never dealt with before. In reaction to that, my face is breaking out worse than ever so I wanted something natural to help reduce it a little bit. I tried the OCM for about a week. First few days were great. I saw improvement in my skin's appearance and I loved how my skin felt. Fast forward to the fifth day, I woke up and my face was completely inflamed. Little red bumps all over my cheeks, face felt scaley and itched like crazy. I was extremely disappointed, I wanted this method to work.
I will just say this, if you have sensitive skin, I don't recommend this method. I'm not against trying it out, but I will share the warning signs that I saw before my skin became irritated.
Usually when I try something new that works for my skin, I will see an immediate improvement that is consistent. After the third day I saw new blemishes forming and I noticed that my face felt hot. If a product actually works, this will not happen. I should have stopped the method right then and there but I didn't listen to my body and am now paying the price for it. I also noticed that my face was actually becoming very dry.
If you are wanting to try this method, I recommend only doing it every few days, on a small area of your face. Maybe just try it on your chin or one cheek just to see how your skin reacts.
If you are suffering with the same irritation I am, I will share with you what I recommend on doing. What I am doing as of right now is just letting my face heal on it's own. I wash and steam my face with a warm wet washcloth, nothing else. No soap, no oil, just warm water. Afterwards, I moisturize my face. This is working for me so far. After I see that my face has healed back to the way it was before, I will go back to my normal cleansing method. The reason I am not using soap on my face right now is because my skin is already irritated and I am worried that it will make it worse. I do wear makeup, but I've noticed that gently washing my face with a warm washcloth does take it off. Another thing I recommend is a very mild soap called Black Tie soap made by the Black Sheep Soap Company. You can find this soap on [link removed] if you look under Black Sheep Soap Company. It is meant for acne prone skin and it has helped so many people. The soap is made with all natural oils and it has completely cleared my acne in the past when I wasn't so stress prone. It balanced out my skin's oil production but I still used a moisturizer with it. This is the method I will essentially go back to when my face heals. I just wish I would have stuck with it.