Make Your Own Facial Cleanser & Makeup Remover: The Oil Cleansing Method – OCM

Today I’ve got another nudge for you… another simple, easy, frugal way to begin inching toward natural living with me.
Much like shampoo, most facial cleansers strip our skin of natural oils to replace them with synthetic ones. So, for over a month now, I’ve been going natural, and cleansing my face using what’s called the Oil Cleansing Method (or OCM).

The Oil Cleansing Method works on a basic rule of Chemistry: “like dissolves like.” You take a mixture of oils that are good for the skin, apply it to the face, it dissolves away surface oils along with dirt and makeup, and voila! You’ve got fabulous skin, naturally! This recipe works beautifully to remove even heavy makeup, and you can tinker with the formula to cater to your skin type. I have combination skin, so I figure I’m a good guinea pig.

The how-to:

  1. Mix. Combine 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons castor oil in a squirt bottle, massage onto dry face.
  2. Steam. Lay a hot, wet washcloth over your face to steam out the impurities. Thirty seconds to a minute.
  3. Wipe. Use the washcloth to wipe oil/dirt/impurities/makeup/general yuckiness off your face.
  4. Splash. Best part! Splash your face with cold water to close up your pores, and feel how moist and wonderful your skin feels. My favorite part of the morning!

If you like the Oil Cleansing Method and want to get fancy with it, you can get one of these for the steaming step. I already had one, so I started using it again, and it’s perfect for OCM.

Personalize:
The extra virgin olive oil is a great moisturizer, and the castor oil is the cleansing agent, and can dry out your skin if you use too much. That in mind, you can change the amounts of each to better suit your skin type.

  • Dry Skin: 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon castor oil
  • Oily Skin: 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 3 tablespoons castor oil
  • Normal or Combination Skin: 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons castor oil

Alternatives:
You can even ditch the EVOO for a different oil altogether, if you’d prefer. I found this list of alternatives over at Crunchy Betty, but I can only personally vouch for the EVOO.

  • Jojoba (all skin types, but very desirable for acne-prone skin)
  • Sweet almond (all skin types, especially oily)
  • Grapeseed (all skin types, especially oily)
  • Avocado (dry and aging skin)
  • Sunflower Seed (all skin types)
  • Olive (all skin types)
  • Apricot Kernel (dry, aging, and normal skin)
  • Argan (all skin types, especially aging skin … very pricey)
  • Tamanu (all skin types … very pricey)

Overall Impression:
The Oil Cleansing Method probably adds one minute to my morning routine, but the fact is, it’s worth it to me when I think of the money I’m saving, and when I feel how good my face feels after that splash of cold water. Prior to OCM, I used a cleanser sold by my dermatologist, and I honestly can’t tell a difference, except that now those dry skin bumps under my chin are clearing up and my skin doesn’t feel tight as it dries. I love products I can customize, and I love it that  it’s so affordable. Simple, cheap, healthy. I’m okay with that!

Would you/have you tried something like this? What are your thoughts?

8 thoughts on “Make Your Own Facial Cleanser & Makeup Remover: The Oil Cleansing Method – OCM

  1. Would it be possible to do this in the shower? I guess what I’m wondering is if the last part (cool water) is necessary. I know it’s fantastic feeling, but I’d just as soon wash my face while showering. Also, think I could put this on a cloth or loofa and use it to wash my body?

  2. There are days when I’m rushed and skip the cool water, so you could get away without it… or you could just turn your shower cooler for a minute. This is totally shower-friendly, as long as you remember to massage the oil in before your face gets wet. Then just wet your washcloth in hot shower water and proceed. You’d probably want your shower running as hot as you can stand without burning for that part… the wash cloth needs to be pretty warm.
    I don’t see why you couldn’t use this on the rest of your body, but to use it the way it’s intended, you’d have to slather yourself in oil before getting wet… I don’t know. I’m thinking there are probably better ways. Future blog? Probably. :)

  3. c m says:

    Sarah, we tried the shampoo for this week. It has been awesome.  The one BENEFIT for our youngest daughter, GREATLY REDUCED TANGLES!    Now, since we have almost 4 teens in the house and they LIKE that face cleaner, this is our next experiment. :)
    Thanks!

  4. Lesa V says:

    I only use the EVOO and Castor oil method and I’m convinced it’s the best thing for my 40+ dry, combo, flaky and sometimes acne prone skin.  I use it at night and it’s been the best part of learning to live with more natural methods.  Thanks for the confirmation it’s not just for thos of us with more ‘life experience.’ :)

  5. Alissa says:

    I have been looking to change my skin routine. I as well have been using a cleanser from a dermatologist, works well to control the acne and usually in summer (when my skin seems to be more oily) works great to control my occassional acne. It has exfoliating beads and I think they are drying out my skin too much. Plus the cost I would like to get away from. I am interested in the OCM but can’t seem to find a good blog that states how often is best. Some sites say every other day but then it leaves my wondering what they do the other days. I am used to washing morning and night, otherwise I find I break out easily, especially if I worked out. From your post it looks like you do this every morning, do you do anything at night? Do you exfoliate?
    Thank you

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