Thursday, July 25, 2013

Troubleshooting the Oil Cleansing Method: What You Need To Know

The internet is full of confusing information about cleaning your face with oil right now. I've read so many crazy things that I wouldn't be shocked if someone said that it only works if you if you stand on your head and sing kumabya while you rub your face with oil. It's insane. Everyone has an opinion. Including me {grins}

I totally understand why so many people are confused about OCM. Hopefully I can tell you what I've learned and help you figure out what is best for you.

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My Story
I started off using coconut oil as a facial cleanser because with all the hype I knew there must be something to it. I did some research and most of what I read was really promising. I was still nervous because in a few places I saw that coconut oil gave people complications with their skin.

The coconut oil made my skin really soft and well hydrated, but I ended up getting some pimples on my forehead which appear to be comedogenic acne (clusters of small, hard pimples) which happens when a particular oils clogs your pores. {sigh} You can read more about comedogenic acne here. For me, it was time to go back to the drawing board.

bumps after coconut oilI am sure many people will use coconut oil and it will work wonderful for them and you may be one of them. In fact, I just met someone who has been using coconut oil and her skin looks wonderful! It just doesn't seem to work for me. ::sad face::

I wanted to keep trying OCM, but I was worried that it would cause similar results so I decided to decrease my chances of having a reaction by blending my oils.

I already knew that blending jojoba and almond oil works well for my skin because I use them in my Aloe Moisturizer and I have seen amazing results. It's basically my beauty product security blanket. I really wanted to use what worked in that product and translate it into something new to cleanse my face with.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?

Blending Oils 101
Blending oils for facial cleaning, which is part of the oil cleansing method (OCM), has been very popular in the last few years. The idea is that by using multiple oils you can reap the benefits of each one and decrease your chances of having side effects from either.

Blending oils for OCMBlending oils is so easy! But I want to stress that it is very important to get quality ingredients because your results will reflect the quality of your products. You should try to purchase non-refined, cold pressed, 100% oils with no additives. If you can, then please purchase organic because that will ensure that no pesticides were used in the growing stages of the plant. Remember, this stuff is going deep into your skin so buy the best that you can!

Let's get started so you can try the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM)!

Basically, you can pick your oils based on your skin type, but it is recommended that you use one product that is an astringent:

You have three options for astringents:
  • Natural oils
  • Essential oils
  • Separate astringent after OCM
Here are some natural oils that you could use:
  • Grape Seed Oil for any skin type, but most helpful for oily skin
  • Castor Oil for all skin types, but highly recommend for acne prone skin, but not for sensitive skin
  • Hazelnut Oil for all skin types
*If you have hemophilia, take blood thinners or have another blood clotting disorder do NOT use Grapeseed oil. It improves circulation, but, in these conditions, may effect the clotting of blood. 

If you do decide to use castor oil it should be 50% or less of your blend due to the level of sensitivity, it's reputation to dry out the skin, and it's ability to deep clean. Don't eyeball it. Measure it. I actually recommend starting out with less and working your way up. Personally, I think a range between 10% to 30% castor oil in a blend is all you ever need (and want), but you may find that you disagree. I just urge you to not use more than 50%.

Essential Oils

You can use an astringent essential oils such as juniper, carrot seed, ginger, lavender, myrtle, patchouli, rose, rosemary, and frankincense. I particularly LOVE frankincense for my complexion-- it's fantastic! Lavender is my other favorite because it can help to smooth out raised areas or scars.

I recommend that you start small and use 4 drops of an essential oil per ounce of natural oil if you have dry skin and up to 8 drops/per oz if you are oily. If later you feel as if you need more or less, then go up or down by one drop at a time. You do NOT want to exceed 12 drops combined of all essential oils per oz as it is recommended to keep essential oils to 2% or less of a skin care product. Even at 2% you will think the scent is weak, but trust me, it's better than having skin problems! 

Just make sure that you do a small "test" of your mixture on your wrist or hand before you use the product. They are very concentrated and you don't want to have a reaction slapped across your entire face. And remember, never use undiluted essential oils on your skin as they are far too concentrated.

Unfortunately, it's very difficult to find quality essential oils that are safe for skin care because the regulations are so poor. In fact, an essential oil only needs to be 10% "pure" to say that they are pure on their label! I have spoken to several people who have used brands which have caused them to develop skin conditions. So please be careful and only use high quality oils. If you want to learn more about essential oils please read this post about how to get good quality essential oils

You can also join my Natural Living Support Group on Facebook by filling out this form. We talk a little about everything natural, but we always have lots of fun!

Astringent after OCM
You can also use an astringent product (such as witch hazel) after you use OCM. I like Thayers Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is typically gentle on skin and has great properties for acne, rosacea, and other skin problems because of it's anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. It is a gentle astringent which also has moisturizing properties so it's less likely to dry your skin like other astringents.

Blending your Oils
After you decided on your astringent, then you can pick your oils! I recommend using one of these oils with an astringent oil OR two of these oils with essential oils or a separate astringent method. 
*Note that if you have a food allergy or sensitivity to a the food product listed in the oil, then do not use that oil on your body or face

Cleaning your skin with coconut oilAfter you pick your oils, then you combine them at a 1:1 ratio (with the exception of castor oil- please use 90% whatever oil you picked:10% castor oil to begin).

There is no medical reason why you can't choose more than one or two oils. Theoretically, you could put all of them in a jar, but the problem is that the more oils you pick, the harder it will be to tell which ingredient is causing any reactions. Also, the more diluted they are, the less of a result you will get. I recommend 2-4 oils, but you are free to make your own recipe. That's the beauty of making your own products-- you can really make it perfect for your skin.

But if you have never used oil on your skin before, then I would strongly recommend trying two oil initially, and then waiting a few weeks before you add another just to make sure that you don't have a reaction.

If you decide you need more moisture or are too dry, then increase your ratio of the oil that is for your skin type by 2:1 (again the exception is castor oil: You can slowly go up to 50% of the blend if you are oily and as low as 10% if you are dry. If you are still dry at 10% remove it completely and add a different oil)

Bare with me because I want to show you some examples:

Example: You have oily skin. You are using Grapeseed oil (oily skin) and Coconut oil (all skin types) at a ratio of 1:1. Your skin is still oily, so you increase the proportion of grape seed oil to coconut oil to 2:1. Also it can be said this way: grapeseed 66% and coconut 33%.

And, yes, I know it only adds up to 99%. I wasn't a math major, but I'm sure that there are some decimal places behind those numbers somewhere!

Example: You have regular skin. You are using Jojoba oil (all skin) and Castor oil (all skin) at a ratio of 80% jojoba and 20% castor oil. You notice that you are getting dry spots on your chin and cheeks so you increase your jojoba to 90% and your decrease your castor oil to 10%.

Example: You have dry skin. You are using sunflower oil (all skin) and avocado oil (dry skin) at a 1:1 ratio with 5 drops of lavender essential oil per oz of natural oil. Your skin is still dry. You can increase your avocado oil to 2:1 OR you can decrease your lavender essential oil to 4 drops. If you are severely dry, then perhaps try both.

I recommend reading Crunchy Betty's post about coconut oil and the oil cleansing method. She's one of my favorite resources because she does a lot of research and is very detailed.

For ideas about making your blends, I have been informed that I cannot "prescribe" you a custom blend to try for your particular skin type. My suggestion is to listen to your skin-- it will tell you what it likes and what it does not like. There are also many comments below which can help guide you in your selection and also a list of comedogenic oils-- the higher the number, the more likely to cause acne.

How I Am Using The Blend:
I have combination skin so I started using jojoba (all skin types) and almond oil (oily skin) at a 1:1 ratio. I became dry, so I removed the Almond oil and replaced it with Avocado oil at a ratio of 1:1. My skin felt better, but I was still a little dry so I change my ratio by increasing the avocado oil to 2:1 and my skin loved it! But then my oily T-zone started to be a little too oily, so I added the almond oil back in for a ratio of 2 Avocado: 1 jojoba: 1 Almond. My skin seems to looovveee this combination!
I cleanse in just a few easy steps:
  • Lightly massage the oil into your face 
  • Use a warm to hot washcloth on your face for at least 30 seconds to help loosen up the gunk in the pores and open them up so that the dirt can be removed.
  • Softly wipe/blot away the oil and dirt with the washcloth. Especially if you have sensitive skin-- no scrubbing! 
  • If you still feel oily after 10 minutes, then splash a little water on your face to remove any extra. 
  • I follow up with a witch hazel astringent (post to come!)
I can't believe how much dirt is on my face when I clean with this product! Amazing!

If you want to add essential oils here is a chart that talks about the benefits of each. Remember though that citrus does make your skin more photosensitive. Essential Oils Benefits to the Skin

If you have a different skin type or this formula doesn't work for you, then experiment with the information provided and see if you can't make something wonderful for yourself. If anything I've found out is that OCM is very much an individual process. There is no magic formula that will work for everyone so if this is something you want to do, then it's probably going to take a little experimentation.

If you have sensitive skin, then you may want to only use a lukewarm wash cloth as the heat my irritate your skin. Also, you may want to gently pat your skin with the washcloth to remove any excessive oil and then splash cool water on your face to remove the rest.

Do you feel like OCM is too much for your skin? You don't have to do OCM every night. I do OCM every other night, while others cleanse with oils once a week or any where in between.

If you have any redness, itching, or develop a rash there is a good chance you are allergic to something in your blend. Usually, it is an oil made with nuts or it could be the essential oil if it's not therapeutic quality. I would stop the OCM until the symptoms calm down and then eliminate the suspected culprit or change your OCM formula.

If your skin becomes just terrible immediately after you start the oil cleansing method (OCM), then you should probably listen to it. You probably have the wrong blend. I suggest stopping it completely while letting your skin return back to normal and using something gentle like the aloe moisturizer, which also has a gentle cleaning ability. When your skin calms down, then use a new formulation.

However, if you simply have a few extra pimples in the beginning it is probably NOT a reaction, but simply the skin purging itself of the old toxins and attempting to get used to the new, healthier method. This is especially true if you have used OTC acne meds, prescription acne medication, or have frequently used chemical peels. You can add Frankincense essential oil to your mix to prevent acne or you can use raw honey to treat existing pimples.

If you start to have clusters of acne around one month after starting the OCM that are small bumps, then one of the oils is probably blocking your pores. Research shows that this is usually a result of olive oil or coconut oil, but it can happen with other oils too. You can check this chart to see which oils in your blend may be causing your blockages: Comedogenic Ratings of Oils. Either remove the oil or blend it further with a less comedogenic oil.

If you start to have excessive drying, it may be due to jojoba oil or castor oil-- either remove it, decrease the amount in your formulation or dilute it with a moisturizing oil like avocado oil.

If your skin feels dry, you may be tempted to exfoliate more often. Exfoliation should only be done at the same rate the skin cells turn over: every 2 weeks at most. If your exfoliate too often, then you are making your skin raw and more susceptible to irritation.

I recommend using a honey mask once a week while using the OCM. I use one with coconut oil and avocado and it works great for me. The honey is the absolute best solution to keeping bacteria in check which is great for conditions like acne, eczema and psoriasis.

You can also use the honey mixed with cinnamon at equal ratios as a spot treatment for acne. However, this may irritate sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, then decrease the amount of cinnamon.

I have been researching and working on this post for weeks so I really hope it helps. Please let me know how things work out for you or if you have any other useful information to add!

If you'd like to join my Natural Living Support Group on Facebook please fill out this form or you can read DIY Beauty Basics 101

If you want more Coconut Oil ideas
Coconut Oil Hot Chocolate 

And if you're Pregnant or planning on becoming Pregnant, you have to read this!
Avoid Chemicals in Cosmetics while Pregnant

Disclaimer: Young Living and Amazon affiliate links are provided. This means your price stays the same, but I receive a small commission to support my blogging shenanigans. 
Sherri Griffin
Sherri Griffin

Thanks for checking out my blog. I get serious about a few things in life: animals, chemicals, and food. For the rest I can't promise anything so keep the bar low. For more about me check out my "About Me" page! Happy DIYing!


  1. Hi Sherri, I have been playing with grapeseed, argan, coconut, tea tree, and lavendar oils as my daily/nightly moisturizer. I switched to African Black Soap, also. I was wondering what you suggest as a good moisturizer for me? I have SUPER oily skin, a little acne, blackheads, and large pores. I need help! Thanks!!

    1. Ohh! Great! I love that you're playing with OCM! I hope you love the African Black Soap!

      Moisturizers are tricky because it depends on the level of moisture you want. I have a recipe for an aloe vera based moisturizer which is really light and not greasy at all which may be good for your skin. Also, another option for a gentle moisturizer is rose water with vegetable glycerin and distilled water added to it. I put it in a spray bottle and mist my face and even my hair for some extra moisture. These are both light moisturizers and the next step up is something like argan oil and apply a couple drops directly to your face. But if you're looking for something heavy duty there are a few options. The first is quite expensive, but amazing! It's from Primavera and it's the Intensive Seed Oil Capsules. I admit I don't use them anymore because of the price, but they are fantastic.They do have some other types that are less expensive ($30-40), but I haven't tried them yet. The other is a cheaper option by SheaTerra Organics, but it is worth noting that the SheaTerra brand is only 97% natural. They have different types to help with different skin issues-- I use the Rose Hips.

      I'm actually working on a post talking about different types of moisturizers so hopefully I'll have that up soon. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions or if you're looking for something more specific! Here are some links if you're interested:

      Aloe Vera:
      Rose Water:

    2. Oh my gosh thank you so much for the advice!! Last night I ordered some jojoba oil, rose water, and vegetable glycerin! I like light moisturizers so I want to try that rose water spray you mentioned. Plus, I like spraying on my moisturizer before applying makeup. (I used to use Urban Decay De-Slick which worked great until I wanted to stop putting chemicals on my face.) I'll let you know how it goes and thanks again!

    3. So glad that I could help! I think you'll like the Rose Water moisturizer! It's so light and refreshing, and it also smells AMAZING! Please let me know what you think about it! :)

  2. I love the OCM, I do it every morning. Then I moisturize with an aloe cream, and later tap a few drops of hempseed oil all over my face. That keeps my dry face hydrated all day! Remember to only use non-comedogenic oils on your face.
    Iherb has a wide range of oils. Use this code SQW448 and get 5-10% off on your first purchase :)

    1. Thanks!! That's great info and double thanks for the coupon code! :)

  3. Hey Sherri, I just started playing with OCM and am a little nervous, but excited to try something new! I too have combination skin, so I'm trying a 2:1 ratio of avocado and almond oil with a few drops of lavender essential oil, what do you think? The first night, I seemed a bit dry on my cheeks, any suggestions? Should I be using a moisturizer at night? If so, what do you suggest, Also, I only cleanse at night in the colder months and am and pm in the summer months, as my skin gets too dry if I cleanse twice a day in the winter. Sorry, I'm so rambly, just new to all this and need a bit of help :) I'm also going to try the african black soap in between OCM days, I too have sensitive skin that is prone to redness, so hopefully it'll help. Also, plan on trying your avocado mask and making up your moisturizer. Do you use the same moisturizer am and pm? Thanks for all your help and this awesome post!

    1. Haha! No worries! I ramble. This will probably be a ramble! ;)

      I think everyone is a little nervous when they start OCM! I know I was! I think your combo can definitely work! In my experience, if your skin still feels dry then you should use at least a light moisturizer. I use a few different things for a moisturizer: I make an aloe moisturizer, rose water mists (you can add vegetable glycerin for an added bonus), argan oil, or Shea Terra Organic's moisturizers. The aloe moisturizer, the rose water and the argan oil are lighter moisturizers and I usually have to reapply 3-4 times a day, but they all work really well. It just depends on preference really. Do you like to use a cotton pad to apply, a mist, or a couple drops of oil? Personally, I use all three and interchange them, but that's only because I can't decide which one I like better. The aloe moisturizer does have other benefits though-- it really does help reduce wrinkles and calm skin.

      But I do use a heavier moisturizer at night. I haven't been able to make anything that i find is a good deep moisturizer so I buy Shea Terra Organic's brand. They are 97% natural and affordable, but it does have sodium benzoate which I'm not a huge fan of. I'm going to be experimenting with some new brands soon, so I'll keep you updated.

      I totally understand your face care regiment. I only really clean my face in the PM and just splash water on my face in the mornings and then follow with a moisturizer, so I say do whatever program works for you! I'm a big advocate of listening to your body.

      Oh, you will LOVE the african black soap! Seriously, it's amazing. AMAZING. I love that stuff. It took away my redness so hopefully it will do the same for you! I hope you let me know!

      The avocado mask is so cooling and comforting. I hope you like it :)

      Let me know if you have any questions! I wrote a lot. You can also contact me at if you have any other concerns.

    2. Hey! Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions, you've been so helpful! I think I like a cotton pad or just a few drops of oil on my fingers best. Do you think witch hazel and unfiltered apple cider vinegar combo is good for an astringent, or just straight witch hazel? If so, s there a witch hazel you'd recommend? I think I'd like to try that! I would definitely need a night cream! I'll look at Shea Terra's website, but please keep my updated on any good finds you come across! Lastly, what brand of African black soap do you use?
      Thanks aagain :)

    3. No problem! Glad to help! :)

      Personally, I've never used ACV on my face, so I can't speak to that. I do use a non-alcoholic witch hazel and LOVE it. I like Thayer's brand. They have a bunch of different scents (or unscented) to choose from, too.

      I use two types of black soap and love them both so it depends on what you're looking for. I posted about both of them here: if you want to read about how they are different. Shea Terra and Coastal Scents are the brands I use. ;)

      I will keep you updated on the moisturizer! It's been my mission to find one for a while now, but I can't find anything I really like yet. I have some thing ordered so I'll let you know if it turn out to be better than the Shea Terra brand.

    4. Great, I will look into those brands. Really enjoying your blog by the way, some really good stuff on here! I'm glad I found you :)

    5. Thank you! I'm glad you found me too!! I'll keep you updated. :)

    6. Catrina, I just wanted to let you know that I've been using my new moisturizer for a few days and it really seems to be great. It absorbs easily into my skin with zero irritation and I can't believe how soft my skin feels! I really like the ingredient profile-- it's all natural. It's called 100% Pure and I used the Jasmine and Green Tea Moisturizer.

  4. OH really, that's great! Tell me again where you found it? I've been enjoying OCM and the African black soap! It initially made my skin a bit dry, but I use a night cream, so that helped. My skin is mostly dry, not combination like I thought. Thanks so much for the update :)

    1. Oh, Catrina, I am seriously a crazy online shopper-- I bought it from I don't live near any "natural" stores and I find their prices are usually lower than stores like Whole Foods anyways. :) Happy Thanksgiving or Happy Thursday (depending on where you are from!)

  5. I LOVE amazon, my hubby and I shop on the all the time! I live in Chicago, IL so Happy late Thanksgiving to you too :)
    Update- OCM seems to be going well, but think African black soap is too drying for me. What do you think about doing OCM every night for someone like me who has dry skin?

    1. I'm glad the OCM is going well for you! Black soap can be a bit drying for some people-- are you using a moisturizer afterwards? You can definitely do OCM every night! The only thing you need to watch out for little clusters of pimples-- that means the oil is clogging your pores. If you see that, then just back it down to every other day or every third day. I'd love to hear how it goes for you. :)

  6. Hi Sherri,
    I recently changed up my OCM routine and am having some redness and dryness, maybe you can help me figure out the culprit. I began cleansing in the am with raw honey and using a 2:1 ratio witch hazel to Raw apple cider vinegar as an astringent and then a facial oil blend of Jojaba and geranium and lavendar essential oils, 3 drops of each. I then do OCM each night with mostly avocado oil and a little sweet almond and jojoba, again with a few drops each of lavendar and geranium essential oils, followed by the same astringent and then my facial oil again. It's day 5 of this new regimen and my chin is super dry and some other areas are starting to show signs of dryness. I didn't use the astringent last night or today, as I think that maybe be part of the issue. Any ideas would be so helpful! Was loving OCM and now I wish I wouldn't have changed things up! Thank you :)

    1. Hi Catrina, you have gone all natural, girl! I did the same thing when I saw how much I loved my first natural product and I switched everything over ASAP. Then I had a reaction and I had to go backwards to figure out what went wrong. It's super frustrating so I feel for you!

      Let me tell you what I think it could be from reading your post...

      1) Initially, I'm wondering if 3 drops of each essential oils are too much, especially depending on the volume you're using with the jojoba oil. Essential oils should be a very small percentage of your skin care-- usually around 2% of the total volume. You may want to take them out briefly to see if your skin gets some more moisture. I usually recommend people starting out using 1 drop of each oil-- no more than 3-4 drops for a few weeks because essential oils can be irritating if it's more than 2% of the total volume.
      2) I know we talked a little bit about witch hazel before, but did you end up getting the non-alcoholic version? If you have one with alcohol--- then I'd say that is probably it.
      3) Your ACV may need to be diluted more. ACV has a pH of around 3 and our skin is closer to a pH of 5.5 so the goal is to dilute the ACV to match your skin. I use ACV for my hair at a lower ratio because my skin is really sensitive, but I've never made an ACV and witch hazel toner before. I looked up a few recipes and they seem to dilute it to 2:1 but then add vegetable glycerin or jojoba oil to the recipe. What they add to the WH/ACV mis seems to vary from just 1 TBSP to doubling the volume, so it's something you may have to play with to find out what your skin likes. You can always just add water too to thin it out if you don't want to add more oil or vegetable glycerin.

      I don't think your OCM would be an issue unless you have an allergy to nuts. Jojoba (in a small amount of people) can be drying, but I would initially think it would be one of the other three options. I'm glad you took out the astringent last night so you can rule it out as to if it's the issue or not!

      Please keep me updated and let me know what you find out!

  7. Hi Sherri,

    Thank you so much for your input! I too think it could be both the ACV and witch hazel combo and/or the essential oils in my daytime facial oil.

    What do you think if I switch strictly to the witch hazel (which is the Thayers alcohol free brand by the way) and just continue to add jojoba oil to my facial oil as it gets used and no more essential oils? Would you recommend the witch hazel once or twice a day?I made a 2 ounce bottle and would hate to dump it all out, I'm thinking I could just dilute it as I use it with more jojoba. Then once it's gone I'll try just jojoba with maybe one drop of each oil or none at all? Do you think I should try a different daytime moisturizer? Maybe just eliminate an oil for moisturizing altogether? Are you still enjoying your new moisturizer?

    Sorry about all the questions again! I'm truly just trying to figure this out and really appreciate your insight :)


    1. Catrina,

      I think keeping the witch hazel in your routine would be a good idea. It's got moisturizing properties so it would more likely help your skin!

      Personally I like to use the toner morning and night, but I only use the witch hazel toner at night. During the day I use rose water. If you use the witch hazel for a week or so and you're body seems to like it, then you could always try a diluted ACV toner. From what I read it's really good for skin! You could use one for the morning and one for the night. I like doing different routines day/night because I think it helps your skin stay really fresh!

      Personally, I would remove the jojoba for about a month just to see if your skin improves with the witch hazel (possible ACV toner) and OCM. Then after you see an improvement, you can add the jojoba back in and see how your skin reacts. That way you know if you can handle the diluted version of the essential oils. I've become a big believe in doing one natural thing at a time because the backtracking can be such a pain! And I usually give my skin at least two weeks between adding products because sometimes a reaction can take a bit of time, especially with oils.

      I do enjoy the 100% pure moisturizer that I bought-- it's been really light and easy on my skin. However, jojoba oil is a great moisturizing oil. For that reason, I would recommend first trying it without the essential oils, but waiting until you see your skin improve with your slimmed down routine and knowing that the witch hazel and OCM are doing it's job.

      Oils are always the trickiest because everyone reacts differently to them, but if you try the jojoba oil without essential oils and your skin doing well, then you know you can tolerate the jojoba. If you add one drop of an essential oil in every week and then you have a reaction to the 3rd oil, then you know you can't tolerate that particular essential oil.

      I know it's a bit of a pain, but I recommend really slow baby steps so you know exactly what your body likes and what it doesn't. I hope this helps and no worries about the questions! That's why I started a blog :)


  8. That is very helpful, thank you! I would have to agree, too much too fast and my skin freaked out! However, I will need to use something to moisturize while I eliminate the jojoba altogether, otherwise I'm too dry. I guess I'll first see if the OCM and moisturizing witch hazel combo keep me moisturized and then as you said I can add jojoba back in solo and then maybe add one essential oil in every two weeks to see how my skin reacts. Otherwise I'm thinking I may try the moisturizer you are using.
    I added 2 drops each of lavender and geranium to my OCM mix too, but I was using lavender before in the OCM mix and did just fine, so I don't think it's my cleanser, I think it's all the other stuff, as you said...(sorry was thinking out loud there :)) My skin was loving the 2 parts avocado, 1 part sweet almond and 2 drops of lavender, I don't know why I found they need to change it! Anyways, thanks again for all your help and I'll be sure to keep you posted on how things develop.


    1. Oh, Catrina, I have changed things that worked for me soooo many times to something that wasn't as good. I feel your pain! You can try the pure Jojoba, but I would recommend stopping it if you have any increased irritation or if you don't seem to be improving. For some people, undiluted jojoba can be drying. I'd just like to rule that out for you ;)

      I'm glad to be of service! I'm always happy to help. I'm glad that you're figuring it out because it can be a bit of a headache! But it sounds like you're on the right track! :) Thanks for keeping me posted! I love knowing how this is working out for you.

  9. Hey Sherri,

    Happy almost new year! I just wanted to let you know that my skin is doing much better! I've been doing honey cleanser in the am, followed by Thayer's witch hazel and then Andalou Naturals face lotion. At night I do OCM, again followed by the witch hazel and then the face lotion. My skin feels soft, smooth and not dry or red and irritated, yay!! I DO love the witch hazel, it really does moisturize, it's great! I'm going to stick with this for a while, but hope to find a moisturizer with a better ingredient profile then Andalou, it's pretty good, but I know there's better. Thank you again!

    1. Happy New Year's Eve! I'm so glad to hear that you found a routine that's working for you. It's amazing the difference when it clicks, right? I'm so glad you like Thayers. I'm in love with it too. It's definitely the best that I've tried. :) Yes, Andalou is a pretty good moisturizer. It's just so hard to find a good one that's 100% natural! I'm always keeping my eyes open for new products-- so hopefully we'll find something amazing and completely natural soon!

      I'm happy for you! :) Thanks for letting me know!

    2. Happy New year! Thank you! It is hard to find a good one and one that's safe and works well for my dry skin. I will use up the Andalou and probably switch to something else. Let me know if you find anything you really love!
      Take care and I'll continue keeping up with you in 2014 :)

    3. Happy New Year to you as well! I use 100% Pure and I think they are about the same as Andaulou. I'm always experimenting so I will definitely let you know if I come up with or find anything better! :)

  10. Hi Sherri! Great blog - thanks for all the wonderful information. I has an allergic reaction to a new makeup so I started using coconut oil (organic cold-pressed) as a cleanser and moisturizer. It was too drying, so I began to use veg glycerin before applying the oil. I just splash some water on my face and then massage in a few drops of glycerin - quite lovely and simple. After about 3 weeks, the coconut oil caused a huge breakout. I started using witch hazel as a toner, which has toned down the redness considerably, and switched to using a 1:1 blend of avocado and coconut oils for my cleanser. I am now using a tiny bit of avocado oil to moisturize after the toner and glycerin - so far, so good. I have also switched to using a pure castile soap for showering and shampoo, and am having good results so far. Thanks for such good advice and great reviews of products and homemade stuff, too! (I should mention I am 40, Caucasian, and just now starting to see the effects of very sensitive perimenopausal skin, in case that is helpful to any of your readers.)

    1. Hi Kay! I'm sorry you had to go through all of that, but it seems like you've found something that works for you and that's FANTASTIC! I had a lot of issues with OCM to start with too-- it takes a while to find the right combination. I'm so happy you found a combo that your skin loves!

      I love vegetable glycerin, too! Just be careful-- if your skin starts to dry out, then try thinning it with some distilled or purified water. It can be drying for some people (like me!).

      It's wonderful that you're using the witch hazel toner. It's amazing and does such wonderful things for skin. I don't know how I ever lived without it now!

      I'm really interested in how the castile soap shampoo works for you. I've thought about doing that, too, but I really like my coconut oil bars and I keep thinking that I shouldn't mess up a good thing. :)

      If you want to try makeup-- give a look at 100% Pure product lines. I know some people still have an issue with their makeup, but it's all plant based. I have really sensitive skin and traditional make up makes my skin breakout and sometimes I'll even get a rash, but I have't had any problems with anything from the 100% Pure line.

      Thanks for the information and the positive feedback-- it's really appreciated! And Happy New Year :)

  11. Hi Sherri! I started using the OCM a week and a half ago. Before using this, midway through the day I would have to use an oil blotting paper but not anymore! It has definitely decreased the oil production BUT two days ago about 6 fairly large painful acne bumps starting forming around my chin. Right now I'm using about 20% Castor oil, 20% Grapeseed oil, 20% Jojoba oil, 20% Almond oil, and a few drops of tea tree oil. I use this every night then just apply a little bit of Jojoba oil to any dry areas. I have read so many comments from a bunch of different websites trying to see if anyone else had this issue. I noticed in a response above that you said, "If you notice multiple little bumps then you will know one of the oils is clogging your pores". These bumps are the tender ones and a few are pretty big. Do you have any recommendations on what I should change?

    1. Thanks so much Sherri! I'll definitely check it out.

  12. Thanks so much for the info. I'm curious if anyone has experience with the various recommended astringent oils? As a make-up artist, I would NEVER put something with lavender on a model's face because it is a stimulant and can exacerbate redness, which is a risk I couldn't take on the job!

  13. thanks for the post .... lot of questions answered for a first timer like me

  14. THanks for the was great for a beginner like me. I also read Crunchy Betty's post but yours made more sense for me. I love the examples and all your insight. I jumped into OCM by just throwing sesame oil on my face and I loved how it felt. But I thought I should learn more about this method. Thanks again! I am going to go for the joboba/grapeseed combo

    1. You're welcome! I'm glad that you could understand everything! I always worry about how well I'm communicating ideas so it's wonderful to have confirmation that I'm doing alright!

      Ohhh… jojoba is one of my favorite oils for the skin! I think you'll love it with grape seed oil! I hope you let me know what you think.

  15. I am eager to try this but have a question. Since coconut oil hardens, has anyone had issues with their drains getting clogged? Just a concern. Can't wait to experiment with this. My skin is SUPER dry.

    1. This is a really good question! I have never had an issue, but I make sure to wash it away with hot water. I hope you let us know how you like OCM, if you try it! :)

    2. I've been doing it since last weekend and LOVE it! It gets my face so clean. I'm still looking for alcohol free witch hazel, no luck at Walmart. Maybe CVS will have it. Thanks for the post about this! Loving it!!!

    3. Christy, thank you so much for sharing your comment and I'm THRILLED you're liking your results! :) Hmmm but the search continues for witch hazel! Did you check I-Herb?

  16. Hey Sherri,
    This might turn into a really long comment. So I happened upon your oil cleansing entry about five weeks ago, maybe six, and I was totally intrigued! I read a ton of comments too, because you answer so many questions, and that's super helpful! Anyway, I decided to try the OCM. I wasn't really sure what type of skin I had because I've always used cleansers that dry out my skin and therefore make me look ten yrs older than I am, and I'm only 22. I did know, however, that I had acne prone skin. So I went by my towns natural grocer and picked up some jojoba oil and sweet almond oil, both organic and pure. The first time I washed my face with the oil, my face was beautiful. I was like, this is amazing! It didn't reall do anything except give my face moisture and it just looked really good, you know? Anyway, so I decide to try the OCM every night, just to see how my skin reacts. A few days in and I notice a few more bumps than usual, but I was just thinking that's probably the oil cleaning out the crap from under my skin. Then, I buy some of that rose hips black soap you reccomended because I felt like the OCM was making my skin a little more oily than I like. By the way, soon after I started washing my face with oil, I realized that I definitely have oily skin. Like. Real oily. So about a week ago I decided to wash my face with the black soap most nights and then only do the OCM like two times a week. I decided to do this because my skin is horrible right now. I don't think I've ever broken out this much. And it's bad acne too, painful big bumps. Ugh. Anyway, so I'm trying to see if you could suggest anything? Like should I completely stop doing the OCM? Or try different oils? Add in some essential oils? I just want to give up, but not really because I believe this method will be good for my skin. Recap of what I've been doing: 2:1 jojoba oil and almond oil; black soap; witch hazel after every time I wash my face. That's about it.
    Thanks for being helpful, even if you don't know what I should do.

  17. Thank you for responding Sherri! I will take your advice and see how it goes!

  18. This post kept me motivated. I started the OCM 15 days ago ( I keep a journal to see my skin's progress). At first I used 1/3 castor+ 1/3 safflower + 1/3 jojoba, and for the first week my skin was glowing. I have some persistent pimples and hyperpigmentation, but nothing really serious (just annoying). After the 8th day I noticed some bumps around my forehead, then around day 10 I got rash-like bumps around my cheek area (which usually were clear) and the skin itched. It freaked me out, but then I decided to let my skin res for the day. I changed my blend to 1/4 castor + 4/5 jojoba now, and I did a baking soda exfoliation just to remove some dead skin. Currently my skin isn't all that glowing, and there's some pimples on my cheeks... But it's only been day 15, I'll wait until day 31, then I'll reduce the frequency of the OCM. Wish me luck!

    1. Yay! I'm glad you liked the post and I will keep my fingers crossed for you! :)

  19. Hello Sherri,

    My best friend just had a baby and saw your blog and decided to use OCM to help her acne. She recommended I give it a try because I was recently switched off my estrogen birth control to a mini pill and it has done nothing but wreak havoc on my skin.

    I'm concerned the coconut oil will clog my skin and I was wonder if using just jojoba oil would be an okay first step.


    1. Per the FDA I cannot give individual advice or recommendations as this could be considered a "medical treatment". Everyone's skins can behave differently to the any carrier oil so there is no promise than any one would be a solution or a problem. I hope that helps!



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