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zaichik

Should I resume oil cleansing after my acne subsides? My skin story so far..

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Background info / my skin story so far:

I am a girl in my mid 
teens. I’ve had a proper skincare routine since I was 10, so my skin was pretty good in my early teen years. I started developing a few spots and blackheads at around 12, which gradually got worse. They began to bother me a year later, so I started to use 'for acne-prone skin' products on my face, but they only seemed to make my face oilier. 

Then I found out about the oil cleansing method, how oil dissolves oil, and it just made so much more sense to me. 
I researched and compiled a list of different oils with a low comodogenicity and their benefits because I wanted it to be as tailored to my skin as possible.

I cut down my list to 5 oils, all of which I bought cold pressed and organic. Sweet almonds oil (carrier), castor oil (extracting), hazelnut (toning), peach kernel (moisturising), papaya oil (anti-aging) - I don’t need anti-aging stuff, but I’m just rather extra. After combining these and doing the ocm (I took these oils off properly, with hot water and a flannel), I toned with rosewater and moisturised with shea butter (I think this was the mistake)

Right, so after one day, ONE DAY of ocm, my skin looked clearer. One and a half weeks later of following this routine (as described above once a day in the evening and no other products) my blackheads had diminished to almost nothing - just slightly visible pores. Two weeks later, the painful spots on my chin and under my nose had completely disappeared, and my hormonal spots around my chin area were unnoticeable. Not only this but the redness that had been under my nose for 1 and a half years because of burning myself with tea tree oil was fading at a speed I thought impossible (I thought I'd be stuck looking like I had a cold forever). Fast forward a few months, my skin had not looked this clear since I was 10 (I have never worn foundation in my life, but I didn’t even have anything to conceal), and fast forward 1 year, my skin was the clearest it had ever been, and people *actually commented* on how glowy and healthy my skin looked. I did have a couple of spots here and there, but it honestly didn’t matter because they were so small and went so quickly. I was very happy and thought it would only get better.


Aaand then this happened. I got a couple of spots in the same place on both sides of my face, so squeezed them as I had always done. Lo and behold, two days later, I had a couple more, so I squeezed them. In a week, I had developed a line of spots in the same place on both sides of my face. I thought 'how strange' but didn’t think much of it. These spots managed to spread across my cheeks in the places where someone might contour (not me though, I don’t wear makeup), and within two months of the first appearance, after having been in denial, you might say, I identified this as an actual problem which wouldn’t go away on its own.


Possible causes, cures, etc:

So, I originally thought these spots were caused by stress, but they weren't like my other spots because they spread so fast. My parents thought the cause was the ocm, but I’m not convinced because surely the spots would have come up sooner - I successfully did ocm for 1 entire year without any problems whatsoever.. Now, after having researched this type of acne that the doctor said I had - propionibacterium acne, it says that this bacteria lives in anaerobic conditions, so I point my finger to shea butter. But, again, why did it take a year, for this to develop? Also, am I right in saying that oil helps bacteria travel and get into other pores? Why did the acne only happen in identical places on both sides of my face, where I used to never get spots? Why wasn’t it a problem on my chin, where previously all of my problems were? I have stopped squeezing the spots, thankfully, and I went to my doctor who prescribed me a topical treatment which dries the acne out. I gave up ocm for an oil-free cleanser and moisturiser to allow the treatment to be more effective, and it seems to be doing well. A month later I went back for a check up on the treatment and my doctor prescribed me oral antibiotics, which I use alongside the cream, because my acne is deep and moderate and it was rather stubborn at first.

The acne is already drying up, but my skin doesn’t feel or look as healthy as it used to, and I don’t know whether to return to the ocm, once this has blown over. If I start again with ocm I will cut out the shea butter for certain. My reasons for ocm are: I like ocm because it seemed to work on me, it’s really cheap and sustainable and I looked and felt amazing. My reasons against: ocm may block my pores and make a perfect place for acne to develop.


If I were to go ahead with ocm (of course only once I’m completely clear) what improvements should I make, what should I change, should I do it at all?
Edited by zaichik
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Shea butter, as far as I know, comes in at 0 on the comedogenic scale. Huh, go figure! :) 

It's also worth knowing that a lot of essential and carrier oils have antiseptic properties that will keep bacteria and fungus at bay. I know for certain that Castor oil has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory elements. Have you tried other oils besides the ones you listed? I recommend you look into Jojoba oil and Camellia oil. They're both super light since they're both very close to our natural sebum and they both are known to reduce zits of all stripes.

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4 hours ago, Sirius Lee said:

Shea butter, as far as I know, comes in at 0 on the comedogenic scale. Huh, go figure! :) 

It's also worth knowing that a lot of essential and carrier oils have antiseptic properties that will keep bacteria and fungus at bay. I know for certain that Castor oil has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory elements. Have you tried other oils besides the ones you listed? I recommend you look into Jojoba oil and Camellia oil. They're both super light since they're both very close to our natural sebum and they both are known to reduce zits of all stripes.

Yeah it is 0, but shea butter is very thick and sticky, and doesn’t allow oxygen to reach the pore, so I think that as the issue.

I rather liked castor oil when I used it, but I recently read somewhere that it has a biotoxin called ricin (vaguely knew about this all along) and some people react really badly to it. Also patently castor oil manufacturers add a preservative called dodecyl gallate, which is a common allergen. Also because it’s such a heavy astringent, it can mess up the acid mantel/skin barrier, black cause nicks in the skin all of which allows bacteria to pass through. 

So I’m unsure about castor oil.

No, I haven’t tried anything else, but jojoba oil is on my list, of possibilities, because it’s so similar to human sebum.

I’m going to have to give my skin a break, and when I feel like it, I’ll start use ocm again, but only occasionally.
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