Oil Cleansing Method: A radical way to clean your face

If a couple of years ago you had told me about cleansing my face with oil I would have cringed and called you insane.  The stigma associated with oil is that it causes acne, when in reality pimples, cysts, zits, blackheads, whiteheads are a result of several different factors including hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells and the buildup of these factors.


Most commericial soaps are notorious in stripping away the natural oils in your skin leading to dryness, causing the skin to over compensate by producing more oil resulting in clogged pores, blackheads, acne, whiteheads.

The basic premise behind the oil cleansing method is oil dissolves oil (1). The oil used to massage your skin will dissolve the oil that has hardened with impurities and found itself stuck in your pores, the steam will open your pores, allowing the oil to be easily removed (1).


Regardless of the skin type, two oils are required:

Castor Oil which has potent anti-inflammatory, but is also healing and cleansing properties forms the base of the formulation (1). A little bit of castor oil goes a long way and too much will leave you, with dry skin.

The second oil or carrier oil will dilute the proportion of castor oil and will depend on your skin type. Always choose organic, cold pressed oils as they contain an abundance of nutrients and fatty acids that processed oils don’t.

Steer clear of coconut oil as it is comedogenic in nature (clogs pores) and may exuberate acne and blackheads.


The rule of thumb for the proportion of castor oil: carrier oil is very dependent on your skin type. A drier skin will need lesser castor while an oily skin oily skin will want to blend in more. Initially it is a trial and error phase until to hit on the perfect blend that suits your skin.


Prepare. Mix your oils together. Set a clean washcloth beside the sink. Turn the hot water on to warm up.

Cleanse. Starting with a dirty face (no need to pre-clean here, even if you’re wearing makeup), rinse your face lightly with the warm, running water. Pour the oil in the palm of your hand and then apply gently all over your face massaging firmly, but slowing, always moving upwards. Massage for 2 minutes, focusing on problem areas and then let the oil sit on your face for 30 more seconds or more.

Rinse. Soak the washcloth in clean, steamy water and apply it to face holding it there until the washcloth returns to room temperature. Slowly begin to wipe off, rinse the washcloth and repeat until you’ve wiped all the oil off your skin.

Moisturize (Optional). Should need it, the smallest drop of the same oil formula patted over damp skin will provide the necessary lubrication to keep your skin from over-compensating in oil production.


  • Balances the skin
  • Detoxifies while removing impurities from pores
  • Moisturizes
  • Removes makeup and dirt thoroughly
  • Ideal for all skin types
  • Prevents overproduction of sebum

The OCM can be done regularly but not frequently (once per day). There is an adjustment period, whereby the skin might be oilier than normal or you might notice breakouts but this is only because the pores are purging the “gunk” which will settle in 3-5 weeks.

The OCM requires patience both in terms of the procedure and in procuring results.

Learning to work with your skin, not against it, will save you tremendously.