Oil Cleansing – A Natural and Effective Way To Care For Your Skin

Oil Cleansing Method 2

In today’s edition of “Save My Sanity Saturday” (where I give myself a break once a week from posting something new) I am revisiting an idea that I strongly believe in but that I have gotten out of the habit of doing! Washing your face with oil.

Yes, you read that right…washing your face with OIL. Sounds like it makes about as much sense as brushing your teeth with sugar….or washing your hands with mud! But something I have come to realize over the years is that sometimes the most counter-intuitive ideas turn out to be the BEST ideas!


sourdough baguette

For example: when my chef friend Heather told me to run my store-bought sourdough baguette under the kitchen faucet before putting it in the oven to warm up..I thought maybe she’d been sampling the cooking sherry. ;-) But sure enough…it came out perfectly.  Crispy and crunchy on the outside…warm and soft on the inside.


Oh Justin...you're cute...but not cute enough to make me buy ProActiv anymore!

Oh Justin…you’re cute…but not cute enough to make me buy ProActiv anymore!

So when I first heard about this “Oil Cleansing Method” I tried to keep an open mind. It wasn’t too hard though…because it definitely appealed to my disdain of all things over-priced, over-packaged and over-filled with stuff we can’t pronounce and to my desire to put ProActiv out of business!  haha.  Just kidding.  I have spent a small fortune on their product over the years for my kids…and while I will admit it has been helpful…it is definitely not all those celebrity endorsers make it out to be. And it’s definitely not worth the price you pay for it. Even the facial stuff you buy at Walmart is ridiculously priced nowadays.

But despite my disgust over the high price of all the so-called skin “care” stuff we spend billions on annually as a country…the more I read about this…the less hostile I felt and the more amazed I was. This stuff just makes sense!

I’ll try to save you all the research I did on the topic and attempt to put it in Reader’s Digest version:


washing with oil

Your skin NATURALLY produces oil for a reason. Oil helps lubricate, heal, protect, and moisturize your skin. Contrary to popular belief (and contrary to what the makers of acne products want you to believe), OIL does not cause acne. Hormones, bacteria, and dirt are to blame for that. So all these products we buy to get rid of the oil…cause our body to compensate by producing MORE oil. Oil that then pools up on skin that is already irritated and inflamed from the chemicals and fragrances in the soaps we are using…no WONDER breakouts occur! It’s a vicious cycle I tell ya!

So when you think about it…replacing the dirty oil on our faces with good quality oil is the perfect solution to so many of our skin problems…including acne.

That is the whole idea “in a nutshell”…but there is a lot more information available if you click here.



me and britta

My daughter and I got into a spirited discussion about this the other day. Despite the fact that she still battles breakouts…she swears by the pricey ProActiv she’s been using for a couple of years now. For a recent college graduate, she sure can be dumb sometimes.  J/K Britta! ;-)   To her credit…she agreed that if I bought her the requisite oils to try this out…she would give it the “ol’ college try”. har har.

So we are both taking the challenge and I promise to report back in a few weeks.


jessica alba

(Do you think it’s unrealistic to think my skin will look like this by then??)   ;-)


If you are interested in taking the challenge too….here is the “recipe” for making your own blend of deep cleansing oil from TheOilCleansingMethod.com.

Oil Cleansing Method

Once again, I would direct you to TheOilCleansingMethod.com for DETAILED instructions on this “method”. (I feel I must warn you however, she gets a bit metaphysical about the whole experience. I found myself rolling my eyes a little…but you might like that sorta thing.  Just so ya know….)

Basically it boils down to 4 simple steps: (love simple steps!)

  • 1.  Mix cleansing oils
  • 2.  Rub/massage it in for about a minute (BONUS: it’s a great eye makeup remover too!)
  • 3.  STEAM face with VERY warm washcloth until cloth cools.
  • 4.  Wash/wipe off oil

So there you have it….all the information and How-To you need to get started.  Now go wash your face with some oil….I dare ya! :-)

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

update: one week later

I said I would update after 14 days…but I couldn’t wait! I will update again in another week…but today…just a little over a week after she started using it…my daughter was raving over this new oil cleansing method! I could hardly believe it! She said her face is already MUCH clearer and her face isn’t dry or oily…but just right.
I tried….I really, really TRIED not to say “I told you so!”…but I may have let one slip out. :-)  She was a good sport about it though.  She didn’t really care because she is so pleased with the results!
So there you have it.  Quick update half way through our 14 Day Challenge.  More in another week!

update: two weeks later

In my continuing research of this method…(which I am becoming more and more sold on!) I found a WEALTH of information HERE at acne.org on the HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Oil Cleansing Method. I suggest you check it out if you want even MORE information.

Both Britta and I are sold on this method of cleansing. We have both been amazed at how much healthier our skin feels. Now if we can just be consistent, that is always the challenge for me…..


Have you tried the Oil Cleansing Method? What do you think of it?

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  1. Tracey says

    Hi daft question. could you please put the amount of ingredients in measurement form, like tsp, tbsp please.
    thank you

    • Julie says

      The measurements will depend on which formula you use & how much you want to make up at the time. I store mine in a clear condiment bottle that I bought in the kitchen section at Walmart. I use the balanced formula since my skin is no longer as oily as it used to be before I began to use the OCM. The balanced formula is 20% castor oil & 80% percent the other oil of choice. I use sunflower oil because it so closely mimics the body’s natural oil & my skin loves it.

      Because I make a bottle full I use ounces as my measurement. So, think of the finished amount as being 100%. 1 is 10% of 100%, 2 is 20% of 100%, and so on. Therefore, I use 2 ounces of castor oil to 8 ounces of sunflower oil. The measurements would be the same if you used teaspoons or tablespoons.

    • Rachel says

      I got a 3 oz. flip top bottle in the travel hygeine section to store my mixture in. I use the balanced skin formula (20/80), so that roughly comes out to 3 1/2 teaspoons castor oil to 14 1/2 teaspoons of grape seed oil.
      I haven’t tried OCM before but I am anxious to see how it does since it was less than $10 for 30 oz. of oil and my flip top bottle. Much cheaper than my cleaners and moisturizers as well as chemical-free!

  2. says

    You are awesome!!!! I love your Sanity Saturdays :) Where do you recommend buying the two oils?

    I just broke down and ordered ProActive for the first time Thurs. nite for my 14 year old (suffering from pretty bad breakouts lately, poor girl). But we do have 2 weeks until the Proactive is supposed to come… Would love to have an option of which we could afford to buy more than a 30 days/year supply.

    Thank you. I can’t wait to try this method.

    • Julie says


      I buy cold pressed sunflower oil with the other oils in my local grocery store. Castor oil can be found in the pharmacy with the laxatives.

  3. says

    Very interesting! Several years ago I read that Jackie O used Jojoba oil to clean her skin. I tried it and it was great but then got out of the habit.

  4. Deb says

    I am definitely going to try this. I have been battling my awesome gift of adult acne for months. I am not amused! Gotta love getting older, sheesh. I have a question for anyone who uses this: I have found using toner really helps in my current routine. Do you still use toner after the oil wash?

    • Julie says

      Just be aware that your skin may (mine didn’t & neither did my daughter’s) go through what is called a purging period. From what I’ve read, about a week or two into OCM some people’s acne becomes worse – like the old saying about things becoming worse before they get better. Again, I use OCM (at 41) & my daughter uses OCM (at 15) & neither of us had that happen. If you notice your acne seems to get worse don’t give up. Keep using OCM. It is simply the impurities being pulled from the skin that other cleansers have missed. This should last 2 weeks or less, as the oil cleanses & helps heal your skin. As you massage your face the first month or so you may feel little gritty pieces on your face. Get one on your finger & look at it. You’ll be amazed to see that just by gently massaging the oil into your skin that the black/white heads are lifted from your pores. After a couple of months all of mine were gone.

      My skin is extremely sensitive & has always been acne prone. OCM is the only thing that has ever gotten rid of the acne & all the dry flaky spots I used to have. I love it! Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it’s a very cheap way to care for my skin.

    • Lesli says

      Acne-prone skin is the bane of my existence…not fun. I’m definitely a proponent of the OCM, but I’ve found that the castor oil causes nasty cystic pimples for me, so I use just olive, sweet almond or jojoba oil. I also like a toner, and what has actually done wonders for the acne is an apple cider vinegar toner – diluted in equal parts with water. Hope that helps!

  5. says


    I’m a bit older than you, 62. I have always suffered from an oily T Zone.
    I tried the original OCM with the castot oil but it unfortunately increased the blemishes.

    I wondered if you could please tell me the ratio of olive to almond oil you use.
    Also, do you use a different blend in summer?

    Thank you…………………….sincerely Nancy x

    • Gwyn says

      Hi Valerie, I don’t know much about Castor oil but I do know there are several others that are great for skin including (but not limited to) Coconut Oil. I would strongly suggest making sure whatever you are using it is the best quality, organic and expressed or pressed in the most ideal way for that oil. A little web search will net plenty of info about oils to choose from. Also you didn’t mention how long you continued with the blend you were using. Often people will have breakouts and what seems like an attack of acne (I guess it is in a way) when they first start because the skin is actually detoxing. The oils are pulling out long embedded toxins and expelling them so while that is causing acne and seems horrible it actually means it’s working and once over the hump you know all that junk has been flushed out. The same thing can happen when detoxing other ways, people often report feeling lousy, worse than ever in fact or in certain bacterial infections like Lyme when symptoms get much worse as the organisms are being killed off with antibiotics (they call it “herxing” or Herxheimer reaction).

    • Julie says

      I use the same blend all year in South Carolina. Usually mildly cold winters that dry skin & extremely hot & humid summers that always left me feeling like my skin was more oily. Since OCM balanced my skin I no longer have those problems.

    • Sally says

      I actually tried the “recipe” version of OCM and had the worst break out really bad acne (actually the first bad break outs of my whole life because I was fortunate my teenage years and during 4 pregnancies). After doing a little more reading, I found people suggesting using straight jojoba oil. Now I put a little bit of that on a cotton ball, wipe my face (you should see the dirt that comes off with it!!!) and jump in the shower and do the steaming part to wipe it off. It’s worked great for me…absolutely no more break outs. I do this about every other day.

  6. Peggy says

    I have been very pleased using coconut oil on my almost 60 year old skin. I follow with a moisturizer.
    Love your e-mails and blog. Thank you!

    • brenda says

      coconut oil is working really for me also. this really does make sense. dermatologist had my friend with an extreme dry skin condition STOP using oils and other moisturizes so her skin would sense dry skin and react with increased oil production. AND IT WORKED.

  7. Sherri McNeeley says

    Castor oil, WHEN INGESTED, can cause smooth muscle contractions, which is why it has been used as a laxative for eons. Since the uterus is smooth muscle, castor oil is not recommended to be taken INTERNALLY by pregnant women. Also note the proportions Jillee has given: castor oil can be very drying, since its action is to pull moisture away. Don’t use it straight on skin, but in the amounts she has listed. OCM really works. Sherri, RN for 25 years.

    • Rebecca Ednie says

      Yep, she’s right. Wouldn’t affect a pregnancy taken topically. Rebecca RN

    • Shirls says

      The last time I had castor oil in my house was forty six years ago. I was pregnant and overdue and told to have castor oil and orange juice. I mixed it and just LOOKED at the stuff for four hours. Couldn’t bring myself to swallow it. Then the contractions started! Go figure.

  8. Peta says

    Hi Jill. I have been following you for a while & look forward to you e-mails. I think you need to include a warning with these oil cleansers. It has been scientifically proven that oils on our skin are absorbed into our blood stream (tell it to an aromatherapist). I think they were really looking to prove aromatherapies are Hoo Hah. Take that scientists. Anyhow castor oil can bring on uterine contractions. This would be really bad for a pregnant woman.

  9. Valerie says

    I love this oil cleansing method! I’m 50+ years old, and have always had an oily T zone area (down the center of my face) with “normal” skin over the rest of my face. With the OCM my oily area is less oily; my makeup comes off easily (even mascara!) and I seldom/if ever! have any adult breakouts. I don’t use castor oil, though, I use olive oil with almond oil (during the winter, especially, when my skin is drier, I find the almond oil is less drying.) I’ve been using this method for about a year now, and I can’t see me using anything else to cleanse my facial skin!

    I use a mild moisturizer on my skin after cleansing – I don’t know that I “must” do it, but I like the way it makes my skin feel, so I use it!

    Good luck, ladies!

    Greenville, SC

  10. says

    Sounds interesting! But I have a couple questions. Can any other oils be used in place of castor and sunflower seed? How about olive oil? Grape seed oil? Coconut oil? Just wonder because I don’t have castor or sunflower seed oils and don’t really want to buy them for something I’m not sure I’ll adopt as a regular practice. And the second question. Should this cleaning be followed by a regular moisturizer? Or will the oils nourish and moisturize the skin enough?

    • Tina says

      You do need the castor oil, it’s the cleansing agent. You can use other oils for the moisturizing pat of the combo. I use grapeseed oil. I’ve read not to use coconut oil because it will clog your pores. I have used coconut oil though, and had no problem…I just didn’t want to have to warm it up to mix it each time. If you research Oil Cleansing Method, I know there is at least one site that gives a breakdown of different oils and what type of skin they are good for. I just don’t remember which site I saw it on a few years ago.

      • says

        I took a small amount of my coconut oil and put it in an old (washed) facial product pot and keep that in the bathroom. If I just scoop a bit of that into the palm of my hand and rub it around a bit, it turns to liquid quite quickly! I just thought you might like to try this since you said you didn’t like having to heat it up :)

      • Sarah says

        The heat from your hands is enough to melt the coconut oil if you rub it around with your hands. I use coconut oil ALONE and it works just fine for me. I would recommend the castor oil, but if you don’t have super sensitive or super oily skin then you can forego it and get the same results! Everyone will get different results, but just so you are aware I have never used castor oil ever with this cleansing method and have had nothing but great results :)

    • Tina says

      You do need the castor oil, it’s the cleansing agent. You can use other oils for the moisturizing part of the combo. I use grapeseed oil. I’ve read not to use coconut oil because it will clog your pores. I have used coconut oil though, and had no problem…I just didn’t want to have to warm it up to mix it each time. If you research Oil Cleansing Method, I know there is at least one site that gives a breakdown of different oils and what type of skin they are good for. I just don’t remember which site I saw it on a few years ago.

      • Kim Wilber says

        I was wondering since you said you use the grapeseed oil, is it supposed to only liquid. I wanted to try this tonight since I had some grapeseed oil on hand already but it is all just liquid, not cream. Is it supposed to be that. I’ve never done this before so I’m not sure exactly how it’s supposed to look.

    • Julie says

      The castor oil cleanses by pulling the impurities from the pores. The other oils moisturize. After I steam my face & wipe the oil away I put 2-3 drops of the oil mixture in the palm of my hand, rub them together & pat them on my face. No other moisturizers needed.

      I do OCM each night & in the morning all I do is rinse my face well with water in the shower. My skin has never looked better & people are amazed when they ask what I use on my skin. I actually had a recovery room nurse waking me up after a surgery asking what I use on my skin & telling the other nurses to look at how clear & smooth my skin was. She thought I was kidding (or likely loopy from the anesthesia) when I said nothing but oil. LOL

    • Jackie says

      I have issues with castor oil myself, so I just use grapeseed oil and add a drop of lavender eo and tea tree oil eo to it and use that. Works great!