Question: What is the oil cleansing method (OCM)?


The oil cleansing method, or OCM for short, is a way of washing your skin using only an oil, some water, and a washcloth.

This method is not the same as using cleansing oils. Cleansing oils are oil-based cleansers with emulsifiers in them that rinse off cleanly with water. In the OCM, a plain oil (without emulsifiers) is used, so the oil cannot be washed off with just water. Both are great for removing makeup, sunscreen, and any other waterproof products. However, the oil cleansing method is probably cheaper. OCM also helps loosen up clogged pores, so it's good for people with congested skin.

How to use the oil cleansing method (OCM)

To do OCM, follow the below steps:

  1. Apply a carrier oil to dry skin. Oils for the oil cleansing method can be sunflower, safflower, jojoba, grapeseed, olive, rice bran oils, etc. You can even use petroleum jelly or unscented mineral oil. It's also up to you to decide how much or how little oil you want to use during the OCM. I, for instance, like using a generous amount of oil so I can massage it freely into my skin without it running out. If I am wearing heavy makeup, I also tend to use more oil.

  2. Massage the oil into your skin. Use your fingertips and palms to massage the oil into your pores. This will remove sunscreen, makeup, and grime. Massaging the oil into your skin will also help loosen up clogged pores, especially as the heat from your hands warms up both the oil and your skin. As clogs start to come out, you might feel the oil start to get gritty. You can massage the oil for a few minutes or for as long as you like.

  3. Steam your skin. Either steam your face over a bowl of warm water for a few minutes or drape a warm washcloth on your face until the washcloth cools. Be careful not to use water that is too hot! Exposing your skin to extreme temperatures will increase the potential for you to get broken capillaries.

  4. Wipe and remove. Wipe everything off with a warm washcloth, towel, or tissue. At this stage your skin should feel hydrated yet not greasy. If your skin is still feeling greasy, wipe it again with a warm, damp washcloth to remove any residual oils.

  5. Follow up with a facial cleanser (optional). Some people like to use a separate cleanser after the OCM to make sure everything is washed off. Others don't do anything but splash their skin with water because they like the moisture the OCM provides. However, if your face is feeling greasy, it may be a good idea to use a separate cleanser afterwards.

The oil cleansing method helps to clean your pores without stripping your skin. It is great for removing makeup, sunscreen, and waterproof products. It also helps keep your skin nice and moisturized. The OCM is generally suitable for all skin types (even oily, acne-prones), but is especially well liked by those with dry and dehydrated skin.

For more information about cleansers and the OCM, click here.

Last updated: September 23, 2012

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