Fighting Acne With Oil!

oil cleansing methodSounds crazy right?

Well, allow me to explain…..

Just over two weeks ago I “DARED” you to wash your face with OIL and see how you liked it. I took the same dare and began my “14 Day Oil Cleansing Method Challenge”. You can see the original post here:  Wash Your Face With Oil…I Dare You!

I went and purchased the oils and mixed them up in this cute little decanter. I also bought some clean, white cloths and a new stretchy headband. I was ready to do this thing right!
Well, after 14 days I’m here to report that OCM now has another devotee!
My skin feels and looks cleaner and clearer and it has evened out my dry vs oily areas. I think that’s the think I like the most! My oily areas were REALLY oily…and my dry areas were REALLY dry. The oils have helped bring back the balance my skin was needing so badly! It still sounds a little bit crazy…but I can’t argue with the results.

The first time you try it you will think to yourself…I must be out of my mind! Rubbing OIL into your face is so contrary to all so-called skin care systems out there. All we ever hear is how this wash or that soap will get RID of the oil on your face. I go into more detail about why this is a completely backwards idea on the original post, so I won’t rehash it here. But after reading about it…it just makes sense.

That is why I was anxious to try this cleansing method in the first place. AND…why I was anxious to convince my daughter to try it too. She and I had been having this “difference of opinion” over the expensive ProActiv acne treatment she’d been using for well over a year. She swore it was the only thing that worked….but then why was she still struggling with breakouts?

I finally convinced (OK…maybe bribed is a better word) her to take the 14 day challenge with me and since she was struggling with acne issues…we decided to take the advice of Briana who left this comment after the original post:

oil cleansing method

oil cleansing method

While I stuck with the sunflower and castor oil mixture I’d made, I gave my daughter my bottle of Tea Tree Oil to try as well.

Well, after two weeks Miss Skeptical is now a believer. Here is her experience, in her own words:  (and I didn’t even edit out the part where she has the nerve to call me “demanding”!) ;-)

Britta writes:

“I’ll admit that I was pretty skeptical about the “Oil Cleansing” method. I have really uneven skin (thanks Dad), so the idea of rubbing oil into the already oily areas on my face seemed like a bad idea. But my mom was insistent that I try it, to the point that she mixed the oils for me, gave me some washcloths and some headbands, and basically demanded that I take them with me. I’m not one to try and argue with my mother when she has her mind set on something, so I went home and dutifully tried it. At the time, I was having some serious dryness around my mouth and nose thanks to one of the store-bought acne washes I had tried a couple days before. And I was shocked to see that ONE treatment with the oils essentially fixed all that dryness. After that, I was way more inclined to keep using it.
I have been using the Oil Cleansing Method for a couple weeks now and I am thrilled with the results. My face is clearer, my skin is healthier, and my skin tone is way more even – no more oily or dry patches. I have been dabbing some Tea Tree Oil on my more “problematic blemishes”, and they start healing almost immediately. If you are considering trying this method for a clearer face, I would definitely recommend it. And the best part is it’s SUPER cheap, which is awesome for the acne-prone, but broke, college student.”

So there you have it! A completely unbiased (almost reluctant!) review of the Oil Cleansing Method from the “acne-prone, broke, college student”. It doesn’t get much more authentic than that people! :-)

Now that OUR 14-day challenge has concluded…..don’t you want to try it too???


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  1. G says

    I hereby challenge you to find me an alternative to my moisturizer WITH SPF. I'm a fair-skinned (with freckles) redhead who loves being in the sun (I run and ride mountain bikes a lot) so I definitely need something with SPF.

    I adore your blog, by the way!

    • says

      G, I too am fair skinned, freckles, but light brown hair. I use a mineral foundation with SPF in it and it works like a charm! I just started using the oil method (6 days in and LOVE IT) but always used the mineral foundation for my every day face sunscreen. I hope it helps! Mineral foundation is very light and doesn’t look like you’re wearing anything so its helpful! and doesn’t make your skin look super white like the iron oxide sunscreens do. Its a win win!

  2. Anonymous says

    Hi Jillee, enjoy your blog. I have a ?. This is a quote from your source post:
    "This deep cleansing method should be done regularly, but not too frequently"
    Does this mean this oil cleaning method should not be done nightly???

  3. Jill Nystul says

    G…..challenge accepted! :-) And thank you for the blog love!

    Anony….Good question! I don't do it nightly because (as odd as it sounds) it can be too drying for me. BUT, that being said…it may be that I need to adjust the ratio of castor oil I use. I have read elsewhere that using this nightly is perfectly fine. As long as you have a mixture that is working for you. I actually might try olive oil in my next batch. I've heard good things about this too. Hope this helps!

  4. Jill Nystul says

    G…..challenge accepted! :-) And thank you for the blog love!

    Anony….Good question! I don't do it nightly because (as odd as it sounds) it can be too drying for me. BUT, that being said…it may be that I need to adjust the ratio of castor oil I use. I have read elsewhere that using this nightly is perfectly fine. As long as you have a mixture that is working for you. I actually might try olive oil in my next batch. I've heard good things about this too. Hope this helps!

  5. Karyn says

    Hello, again, Jill! I have been waiting for your update before trying this method. My skin is so very oily and at 37 years old, I'm dealing with more acne than I ever did as a teenager! I'm going to the store today to purchase the oils for the challenge! I'm also going to try and convince my husband, who has extra dry skin, to try it too. I'll keep you posted.

  6. The Happy Camper says

    Love your blog, I've tried several things on it and have been very pleased AND it's fun! I've done the oil cleansing off and on since your original post and I agree, I love it. It takes make up off on believably, it feels good on my skin and my skin looks better. I have rosascea, so I'm curious to see if I see improvement in that after being more consistent. I'm using a mix of about 2/3 olive oil and 1/3 castor oil. Keep the good info coming! I wonder what tea tree oil would do for my rosascea? Thank you!

    • SongofSol4:2 says

      @ Anony,
      I am AA (both of my parents are biracial) and my college age AA daughter who has beautiful dark chocolate skin actually never experienced acne until she QUIT using Proactiv (didn’t fit her college budget). Anyway, she couldn’t seem to get the same results with other facial washes, so she decided to go natural and make all natural products from her hair gel, hair cleansers, and this type of oil based facial cleanser) She has actually been using this method for over a year and made a batch for me. It has worked GREAT for my daughter. The only drawback to me ( it bothered me more than her) is that she had what they call a healing crisis. However, once all of the toxins were out her skin is great. I have to be honest I have not used the batch she made for me. I do however; use 100% organic virgin coconut oil like a moisturizer. After reading this post I am encouraged to use the mixture she made for me. I trust that helps!

  7. Unknown says

    I have tried this as well. I am almost 50 and hormones up and down, extreme dry skin. I love my skin again. I cleanse and then put some more on, wipe off excess for the day. Soft happy skin. Olive oil, avocado and some sesame to lighten it up! Thank you.

  8. Eva says

    I started the oil challenge lastnight and my face felt nice but I must admit it felt so weird. I didn't like it but like everyone has said it just takes some getting use to. I used castor oil with vitamin e oil. I was looking for tea tree oil but only found a tea tree therapeutic toner. I don't know if that works too? If anyone can let me know where they got their tea tree oil from. Thanx

  9. Anonymous says

    The key is from what I have read is the castrol oil will draw out the impurities and deep down dirt causing acne etc, especially when using a warm washcloth to remove it or steam. EVOO closley resembles our natural oils in our skin. Giving our skin back the oils it needs to be healthy. Castrol oil also will thicken your eyelashes and eyebrows. I just finished week one and although I have had a small break out my skin it has never looked or felt better. I actually have a glow. I
    am going to have to adjust my mixture a tad bit. This is why it is best to make a small batch first and experiment. I am also oil free on my skin!

  10. Unknown says

    I have started using this but not regularly to say how it is working… though I love how my skin feels after applying it. I do still feel like I need a moisturizer so I think I need to adjust my combo. For those asking what to use on "off" days if you aren't doing this daily, I recently read coconut oil is good for you face/breakouts so I started using that in the shower, even on days I've done this oil. It's easy to use and also leaves your face feeling soft.

  11. Anonymous says

    I cant wait to try this! I have struggled with oily/dry/acne prone skin forever! My preteen daughter is starting to struggle with blemishes as she heads towards the "changes". I would like to try this method for her as well, do think there is any difference on frequency of using this for a younger person?

  12. Anon Z says

    Thanks for a great site Jillee and thanks to everyone for your hints and tips. I started the oil cleansing method last night and am looking forward to continuing tonight.

    I just had one general question regarding this treatment and the homemade body lotion recipe you posted before. Is it true that oils increase chances of sunburn. If so, do you know any natural way to combat this without having to resort to million ingredient sunscreens? Its winter now and not so much sun, but summer is around the corner :-o

    Thanks in advance ;-)

  13. says

    make sure you do not use the tea tree oil in or around the eyes! My husband and I produce an all natural, nutrition based skincare line..and we use oils in our face & body cream, along with loads of Vitamin C, natural sunscreen. and several customers have dropped Proactiv from their skincare regimen and adopted our simple bar of Royal Honey and our Face & Body Cream, with excellent results

  14. Autumn Green says

    I just wanted to drop in and say I have been using the oil cleanse for about a month or so now. I love, love, LOVE it! I’m 39 and have old acne scars and my skin is sun damaged so I used a lot of moisturizers (olay) and I could only use Clearsil cleanser, everything else broke me out. The first week or so I have a few zits but they went away fast and now I’m down to “washing” my face a few times a week with the oils. I used grapeseed, castor, and just a touch of tea tree. I love that I don’t have to buy the pricey stuff anymore and this makes my skin feel SO good! My 15 yr old is also using it but we haven’t convinced my 19 year old yet. Anyway, thank you! I love your site, I visit at least once a day and I have tried many of your “One Good Thing”‘s!

  15. Glorie Kayhart says

    Hello, I saw your website about fighting acne with oils. my face get oily and sensitive. I get blackhead many times. many time I get ugly zits. I cannot stand any acne products because it cause more acne or dry my skin up.

    how cup olive oil ? how many drop of tea oil so i can make mixture. I want take challage for 14 days.

  16. Jamie says

    I love this! I am an esthetician and I use products by Dermalogica. I bet you didn’t know that the first step to a Dermalogica cleanse is a product called Precleanse. This product is oil based to remove makeup. It has olive oil, and several other oils containing Vits A, C and E. It removes oils and makeup without stripping skin or clogging pores. Clients never believe me when I tell them what this miracle product contains! Now we know how to make our own for half the price:) (please don’t tell my manager;)

  17. Linda A says

    I’ve been doing this for about a month now and I’m thrilled! I’m 44 and have very oily skin that is also sensitive. Everything broke me out! I’m happy to report my skin is almost completely clear now! I’m using a mix of castor oil and vitamin e. The olive oil seemed a bit heavy for me but vitamin e worked! I’m also alternating tea tree oil and oil of oregano when I do have a pimple starting. Works great and I’ve started my son on the same regimen. He’s clearing up as well! Thanks for turning me on to this method!

  18. Tiffany says

    Love this blog! I have a questions about this OCM though…I’m not sure if it has already been addressed, but will this method work on African American (or any other ethnicity) skin? As a black woman, I naturally produce more oil and I’m wondering if I’m going to do more harm than good by trying this. I have been battling acne since I was about 23 years old (I’m 34 now) – wasn’t this supposed to happen in my yucky and uncomfortable teen years? – Anyway, I have tried a little some of everything from Proactive to things a dermatologist recommended and saw very little in the results department. I want to try the OCM because…well…why not? LOL! I was just curious about my genetics playing a role in the compatibility of the method. Thanks for all of your wonderful tips!!

  19. Kay says

    I just wanted to say THANK YOU!

    I had bouts of moderate to sometimes severe acne and NOTHING worked. I was on Accutane and tetrocycline for a while, but it stops working as soon as you stop taking it (no one wants to be taking acne pills forever) I’ve tried virtually every cleansing system out there, from drug store brands, over the counter topical treaments to proactive and nothing made my acne go away.
    I saw this post and thought it was ludicrous to put oil on your face because they say that’s the cause of acne; excess serum, BUT I figured what do I have to lose?
    I tried the combination for oily skin (30% castor oil to 70% sunflower oil) and saw improvement in 3 days and clear skin in 2 -2 1/2 weeks!
    My skin is very sensitive so everything I was putting on it made it more irritated.
    Thank you thank you thank you!
    I now have glowing porcelain skin, my confidence has been boosted and I’ve never felt better about my complexion.

  20. Krystle says

    I tried this for 3 months (not wanting to be a quitter and give it a fair chance) and while my skin FEELS wonderful, it LOOKS terrible! My mix was 1/3 castor, 1/3 jojoba, 1/3 avocado, with a few drops of tea tree oil.
    My acne has never been worse. And I was SO hoping that this would be the magic solution for me. :(

  21. Jennifer says

    was so excited to come across your site :) I’ve spent hours checking it out and have already tried several tips! I was looking at the store for these oils and found sunflower oil but not sunflower SEED oil, also there were Virgin & Pure varieties – wanted to verify to make sure I get the right oil. thanks for any input you can give :)

  22. Courtney says

    First of all, thank you for your amazing post! :)
    I am a 16 year old female who has been struggling with acne for probably about 4 years. I have tried basically any kind of cleaner, treatment, moisturizer, “miracle worker” created. (Ok, a bit dramatic but you get the point.) Currently, I am on the Regimin and have been on it since June this year. I have seen dramatic results, but I still struggle with acne like I was convinced I wouldn’t be. My skin is VERY dry, though it can look oily at times. My skin used to be the exact oppisite, but I suppose after all the “experiments” and trials and errors on my skin, it can’t help but to be dry. I honestly can’t stand to leave my face without any moisturizer for more than 10 minutes. Lately, my skin flakes even with moisturizer on.
    My mom knows about my struggles, though she is the first to say that my acne has significantly improved so that makes me happy. :) Anyway, she seen this through Pinterest (she uses it more than me..should I be worried? *wink*) and has been trying to get me to try it ever since. Seriously though, she’s almost demanding that I try it. ;) So, I decided to read the articles and I’m starting to REALLY consider doing this. BUT! I would like to know a couple of things…
    1) I have LOTS of post acne marks and scars…would this Oil Cleansing Method help with either of those? I would love imput from both people who have tried this method, and those who have not.
    2) How likely is it that my acne will *worsen* at the onset of this?
    3) Does anyone know the best time to do this? Day or night? Every other day/night? Switch it up? Or does it depend on my skin? Do I have to experiment with this?

    Any advice, tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated as I am probably going to try this. (*sigh* Moms, ya know?)

    Thank you for reading! :)
    I would appreciate anyone’s opinions, thoughts, experiences on this and so forth.

    • says

      Anita….thanks so much for leaving a comment about that! I obviously deleted it immediately. Usually my spam filters catch that sort of thing! I can’t believe that got through! I apologize! Thanks again. :-)

  23. says

    I decided to try this even though it didn’t make a bit of sense to me. I didn’t have castor oil yet when I first started so just used coconut oil. As I was running it on my face I was reminded of an elderly lady I’d met years and years ago. Her skin was amazing for her age so I asked what she used. She used Vaseline on her face every night, wiped it off with tissue and then rinsed. I never tried it but clearly didn’t forget it. I used that info to create my own method. I rinse first with hot water to open the pores, rub in the oil, wipe and rinse or just rinse if I’m in the shower. Then I rinse with cold water to close the pores again. Now I use a mixture of half and half castor and coconut oils. As crazy as it still seems to me my face is clearing up and looking better. The craziest part to me is that if I skip putting oil on as a moisturizer after I cleanse with it then my face gets very dry. Crazy I tell ya but true lol

  24. says

    I’ve been saying for days by no means use a
    wash cloth since it can be frustrating. The same holds true for hand held purification devices.
    I tried a small amount of of them recently and though I do have to confess that they are
    quite fun to make use of the irritation they
    hand over is unwelcome when it comes to acne affected skin types.

    If you want to exfoliatate your face and body and
    like how a hand held device works, a optimal option is to use a
    chemical exfoliation. My solid suggestion is to
    just rinse with bare hands, and never use any power tool face
    cloth or otherwise.

  25. Laurie says

    My entire adult life I fought a very oily t-zone. I had to blot and reapply makeup at least once during the day. I frequently applied straight rubbing alcohol on my skin in an attempt to dry it up–I now realize I was probably exacerbating the problem. I am 53 years old and love what OCM has done for my skin. I’ve been using this method for about 3 weeks and love that when I check my makeup mid-day the oily shine is gone, but my face is beautifully moisturized. Just wish I would have known about this method years ago. Thanks Jillee!

  26. Amy says

    I have really oily skin and i can’t seem to get my acne to clear up. I just want to make sure i’m understanding correctly, If i use the caster oil and sunflower oil, the ratio would be half and half right? and i can switch up the ratio to more caster oil and less sunflower oil the help dry it up more? is that how it works?

  27. Sherri says

    Jill, is your daughter still doing the oil cleansing method as her face wash? My daughter started 2 weeks ago, she was an avid proactive user, now her face is so broke out that it is sore and her senior pictures are in two weeks. I don’t know if she should continue or go back to her proactive!

    • Kaitlyn says

      Sherri, this is Jill’s daughter-in-law. I saw your comment and I thought I’d give you my advice. I don’t think Jill’s daughter is still using this method. – but I did use it for a while. I would have kept using it but I switched to a Doterra essentials oils acne wash that I really wanted to try. I noticed that my skin definitely was getting worse with the oil before it got better. I mean, it got really bad for a while. I have a feeling if I had stuck with it, it would have started getting better. But I’ve also read some comments from readers that said using it everyday was way too much for their skin and made it a lot worse. So I would maybe have her only use it every other day or even just a couple times a week and see how that turns out. You might need to do some trial and error to figure out which oils work best and even try higher quality oils from a health food store (if you aren’t using those already). If it’s any consolation to your daughter for her senior pictures – I know they can do retouching so that you won’t even be able to tell she was broken out. I had pretty bad acne in high school and you can’t even tell in my senior pictures :)

    • Autumn says

      Hi Sherri,

      When Jill first posted this I began the OCM. I LOVED it! I talked my daughters into trying it and now they swear by it. I use castor oil, grapeseed oil and tea tree. I bought all of them at Walmart. We have tried others but that combo seems to be the best. Don’t put straight tea tree on anything…it will dry it to the point of peeling. I used half castor, half grapeseed and then just dumped a small amount of tea tree in. I do it just like Jill says with the washcloth and hot water then rinse with clear water. I find that if I have a spot that looks dry or like it’s going to break out soon I scrub a little harder with the washcloth. I also use it as a moisturizer after I wash. Good luck!

  28. Michelle says

    Hi Everyone,
    I am a 39-year-old woman who has suffered from acne since college. I have been on the Proactiv rollercoaster since then. If I missed even one morning with not washing my face with the cleanser and putting on the repairing cream my face would break out, even worse. I have tried different diets, different cleansers, different creams… nothing has been successful. I really detest every two months paying the $50 bill for my Proactiv, but more than that I could not help but be freaked out by all the chemicals I was sticking on my face. So when Jill posted this challenge I thought I would give it a try. I have been following Jills blog for a while and have never been disappointed by any of her ideas or crafts I have decided to copy. I knew I would not want to put on my Proactive moisturizer when I was finished with the oil cleanse treatment, so I researched online what would be a natural alternative. I kept reading that coconut oil was good for your skin and had antibacterial properties.

    So following the advice on the post I mixed up a combination of extra-virgin olive oil and castor oil with a few drops of lavender oil mixed in. In the morning I have been washing my face with a two drops of Dr. Bronner’s Castille soap and then at night I take a nickel size amount of the oil concoction on my face and rub it in. Then I heat up a washcloth with running water and put it on my face letting it steam for a minute. Then I use the washcloth to wipe it off. I then do a final rinse with cooler water. I found coconut oil at the health food store by a brand-name Now, made for hair and face. I take a dime size amount and rub it on my face. At first my whole face including my neck freaked out. I had little bumps and large cysts of acne on my face. But now I am happy to report two weeks later my face has cleared up and I do not even have one pimple. My face feels soft and moisturized, not the usual tight feeling I always had. Thank you so much Jill for inspiring me to try that oil cleanse method. I am hoping to celebrate my 40th birthday pimple free after 20 years of acne!

  29. Hana says

    Hi! I’ve been using grapeseed oil every other day and I can already tell the difference! my skin feels more balanced and smooth. I got a few breakouts last week (inevitable certain times of the month) but they are healing faster than normal. This one is a winner!! Thanks Jillee you are awesome!

  30. Lori says

    I am curious about what you do to wash your face on the off days. I wear makeup daily and can’t imagine going to sleep or working out without ‘washing’ my face. So if I use the OCM every other day, what do I use on the days I don’t OCM??

  31. Heather F says

    can you use both lavender AND tea tree oils? I’ve heard that the lavender helps with redness and has a “calming” affect and that the tea tree oil helps with acne so I was thinking of adding a couple drops of each to the mixture??

    • says

      I get all of my oils from Doterra but you can find some brands at health food stores. You can sometimes find them at Walmart or a grocery store but they usually aren’t very good quality. You can use coconut oil as a moisturizer but I’ve heard that it can clog acne prone skin.

  32. Deana says

    I came upon your blog trough Pinterest and I LOVE it.. I am on day 5 of the OCM and my face looks horrible :/ is this normal? My face is breaking out horribly. I am using castor oil, grapeseed and tea tree. I really want this to work it makes my skin feel so soft!

    • says

      It will probably work differently for everyone. I know with a lot of acne products your skin gets worse before it gets better. You might have to try different combinations of oils to find what works for you. I’d read through a lot of the comments on this post to see what has worked for others as well.

  33. nicki says

    Okay, I had been looking at this post for almost a year now. Finally decided to break down and try it. So far, 2 weeks in, my face hasn’t been breaking out and it’s really evened out my oily/dry areas. I’m using castor oil & grapeseed oil, 25%/75% mix. But I still have blackheads, it’s not doing anything for those. I’ve never had any luck with those Biore pore strips, but I think my skin will actually look good once I get rid of the blackheads. Any ideas on ways to remove blackheads?

  34. Philip Besecker says

    Acne products work in different ways, depending on their active ingredient. Some OTC acne products work by killing the bacteria that cause acne inflammation. Other acne products remove excess oils from the skin or speed up the growth of new skin cells and the removal of dead skin cells. And in some cases, acne products work by doing a combination of these things.

  35. Denise says

    Okay, Jillee…OCM’s working pretty well for me so far. BUT…how do you clean those washcloths????? I use your laundry soap (powder), hot water,vinegar rinse – but they still smell like (castor?) oil, and the mascara doesn’t come out very well. Any ideas? I wouldn’t mind even soaking them in a five gallon bucket before laundering, but I have no idea what to soak them in!


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