Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Oil Cleansing: The Good, The Bad, and My Skin

Most of my life, I have suffered from acne. I have had oily, large pored, discolored skin with tons of scars. Without makeup on, you can see the war zone that my face has been.

I wish I could go back in time, take my younger self by the hand, and show her the way. I'd tell her to ditch the harsh cleansers. I'd tell her to wash her face EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and to NEVER apply new makeup over day-old makeup (facepalm). I'd tell her to stop using benzyl peroxide, to always moisturize, and to clean up her eating. I'd tell her to stop touching her face with her filthy, bacteria laden hands.

I'm not crazy enough to believe this time travel would change my skin completely (genetically, I am predisposed to bad skin) but I'd love to have started better habits before scarring my face as badly as I have. I know a million posts have been done about the Oil Cleansing Method by now, but I just wanted to post a realistic review of it from a convert.

(after 8 months of OCM and zero makeup on...ignore the dirt smudge on my nose please)

I love OCM. I LOVE OCM. I have been doing it for approximately 8 months now. Is my skin magically clear? Have my scars faded drastically? Have I forgone makeup because of my glowing facade? No. None of the above. Some people have that relation with OCM and that's great and I'm kinda jealous, but it's just not me.

But, what I can say about why I love OCM is that...

I feel like I finally understand my skin. I have learned what it wants and needs and rejects. I am more in tune with my body after oil cleansing.

I enjoy washing my face. I have never washed my face regularly. For me, I'd put it off until my mascara was too cakey to apply a fresh coat or I needed a shower. I hated it and I hated looking at and touching my drab, mountainous skin. But now, I actually look forward to washing my face every night. It's a moment I take for myself almost every evening to breath and be in touch with my body.

My skin feels fabulous. Seriously, my skin feels awesome. I have to resist the urge to touch my face all day long.

My oilyness is under control. I will always have skin prone to oil, but I have realized that my skin needed more moisture so it was over producing. Now, I rub good oils in daily and don't feel my makeup sliding off my face mere hours after putting it on.

I need to exfoliate less. I have unnaturally fast cell turnover on my face, that mixed with my oily face, meant a good scrub down every time I washed my face. While I still exfoliate more than the average person (3-5 times a week), I don't get flaky anymore.

And yes, I do have less breakouts. My skin has cleared up by about 40% though I do feel as though I get more blackheads (something I hadn't struggled with too badly before OCM). But my skin tone seems more even and my breakouts are fewer.

So there you have it, my take on OCM. The reasons why I love it, even though it doesn't make me have skin like I had when I was nine. And, as a treat, the recipe I use to daily cleanse my face.

If your skin is oily and acne prone, I would highly recommend trying this recipe! I use basically the popular 1:3 ratio recipe. Once I switched to using organic oils only, and even more so once I switched to this recipe, I felt like I was finally loving OCM. I do this every night since I wear makeup, but others might not need to. 

I start with 2 parts Castor Oil because it's a good "cleaning" oil

Then I add 1 part Tamanu Oil (Tamanu oil is a thick oil that smells strongly of walnuts and is basically God's gift to earth. Read about it at mountain rose herbs or click my Women's Cure- all Soap listing to the left to learn more) In the picture below do you see that dark shadow sitting on the castor oil? That my friends, is tamanu oil.

10 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil to fight bacteria and acne

10 drops Lavender Essential Oil to fight inflammation and redness

Give it a good mix (the Tamanu Oil doesn't mingle well and will take a few shakes) and learn to love your skin!


  1. Great post! I have recently been considering trying the OCM - but I am still a bit hesitant. Okay, I'm down right scared! Like you, I have struggled with problem skin. I think reading this has pushed me over the edge & I plan on giving it a try. Thanks :)

  2. I have also had acne prone skin my whole life. I am now 35 and it is better, but not great - in fact, right now my chin feels like it is hosting a mountain range. Not fun. Anyway...I tried OCM last January. It ruined my skin. In fact, I am still treating a few spots where the zit has never really gone away. Not the scar, the zit. I so want to have it work for me. But I am soooo scared to try it again. Your post is the only one that comes close to getting me to try it. Who knows!

  3. I love oil cleansing too, but I went back to a regular natural cleanser since it's quicker and easier to do right in the shower. But I did love the OCM while I was doing it!