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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oil Cleansing Method FINAL REVIEW: Be Warned

Disclaimer: Sorry about the gross photos, but it's my proof. I'm not just being a brat about this, I truly think it ruined my skin. As far as I'm concerned, OCM will no longer be on my beauty regimen.

Early September
Clear skin
Ok, I loved the OCM and raved about it in this post. However, a few weeks after that I started breaking out all over my face. I stuck it out, knowing that most people go through  a purging period before skin stays totally clear and pores are finally shrunk down beautifully. So I waited, faithfully doing OCM every evening, and then the pimples became painful cysts. I finally stopped using it and was so self conscious about my skin. It looked horrible!
Late September
Acne & cysts, Right side

I stopped using OCM. After a ton of research about natural methods and my particular skin type, I have been taking measures to 'fix' this horrible mess.  I now spot apply tea tree oil morning and night and am back to using my all herbal soap to cleanse. The problem is, my pores are clogging up again, but the cysts have shrunk and all but one has disappeared, but thank the Lord it's no longer is painful! I still have pimples scattered about my face and neck, but they are healing and breakouts are happening less and less frequently. I have been applying calming masks and continue to use the rice water toner. All this seems to be helping, but I can't help being frustrated at this method for ruining my skin!

Late September
Acne/cysts, Left side
Before OCM, my skin was clear from using the herbal soap and rice water, but I had read so much about how wonderful OCM was for clearing clogged pores. I thought it was just what I needed. And at first it seemed like a miracle! My skin tone was evening out and pores were getting unclogged and shrinking, but then the terrible breakouts happened. It has been months now and I wish I had never heard of the Oil Cleansing Method. I now have full blown acne and it isn't going away. I'm faithfully using weekly masks and herbal soap and fresh aloe daily but the tiny bumps, scars and pimples do not stop appearing. Thankfully, there are no more painful cysts, but I could do without the acne covering my chin, neck and cheeks.

October. Right side.
October. Left.
I've been reading about others who experienced the same as me and it seems like they all had acne prone skin before. I've never had acne prone skin. So, now I'm about ready to throw in the towel and purchase some commercially made cleansers to see if they'll get rid of the last of it. I've changed my diet and drink water with a splash of apple cider vinegar every day, along with an omega fatty acid supplement and vitamin E (all supposedly miracle workers for the skin) but it hasn't stopped the breakouts. You can see why I'm so frustrated. I haven't taken recent pictures, but it looks a little better (not much) and the bumps are no longer inflamed.

OCM is not for everybody and if you choose to try it, I would recommend using it maybe once a month to clear pores only where you need it so you don't risk overstimulating your skin and causing nasty breakouts.

Are you using something, natural or commercial that has worked miracles on your skin? Any suggestions would be welcome!


  1. I haven't been blogging and commenting much lately, but when I saw your post, I had to drop in! Thank you for sharing this...I'm not crazy:) I commented on your blog a while back about the OCM and tried it. I started breaking out, just like you. I've tried different cleansers since then, but my skin is still in bad shape! I always had acne prone skin too, but I didn't even have acne this bad in high school! My cheeks, my jaw line...it's bad and it's painful. I tried going without make up whenever possible, (I use mineral make up) but all I want to do is cover it up. Very embarrassing. It's a shame...I loved the idea of it. It's just not right for me, I guess. Hope your skin continues to heal. I feel your pain:)

  2. Wow, I'm so sorry this has turned out to be such a bad experience for you! We've been using coconut oil still for our OCM, but honestly I haven't been doing it nightly as I'm usually so ready for bed (little one, you know) that I just don't want to take the time. Hope that you can get it all cleared up and back to normal soon! Love ya!

  3. Marie, you are so not crazy. I'm so sorry for both of us! It's terrible, isn't it? I know, I haven't been really active on my blog either and kept thinking, I NEED to get back on there to tell people about OCM. I do remember your comment and the last you said about it was you were waiting for a review. I feel horrible for not writing this sooner for the benefit of readers like you who tried it after me. I know everyone makes their own decisions, but I apologize. If I find something that works, I will write about it on here. I hope we both find something soon because this is horrible!
    Oh, and I used to love mineral makeup as well and had to stop because it seemed to make the acne worse after each time I wore it. Not sure the connection there.
    I was seriously considering professional (aka insanely expensive) acne healing makeup like Eve Pearl. But now I'm hoping to find a cheaper alternative. Foundation starting at $50 is crazy to me!

    Rachel, thanks :) I'm glad it hasn't hurt you any! I'm definitely praying for it all to heal soon.

  4. Please, please, please don't take the blame here:) I had heard of the ocm over and over again and just finally tried it. I love the benefits of coconut oil and would have eventually tried the ocm even if I had never read your post. I'm glad you shared about your results. Like you said...it's wonderful for some people...just not everyone. Thanks for the warning about mineral make up. I'm using Bare Minerals right now and it seems to be okay. I've used some other stuff with bad results. Bare Minerals is expensive,(to me) but everything else causes me to break out more. I ordered a basic kit from Sephora. I hope you find something that works for you. Thanks again for sharing both your triumphs and struggles! Hugs!

  5. Thank you for the sweet comment, Marie.
    I had actually been looking at Bare Minerals as well because it has only 5 natural ingredients. I'm glad to know it isn't adding to the problem. I just might try it because I saw a great deal for it on an infomercial. Thanks and cyber hugs right back atcha :)

  6. I'm here cause OCM ruined my skin too. I have bumps underneath the skin around my cheeks and the sides of my head. Pretty much the areas I concentrated the most on...I had finally found a routine that gave me great skin and wanted to take it to the next level and...*sigh* i'm pissed and embarrassed to go outside...I can't even look people in the eye anymore, I feel so gross.

  7. oh my gosh. your face looks like... my face after I tried OCM.

    It was slightly blemished before, but now it's just painfully inflamed all over.

    I tried everything to bring it back to 'normal' but nothing is helping.

    Right now, I am going to try "black magic" cleanser from ohwto.com which I hear can be miracle worker.

    I hope it gets better

  8. I've never used the OCM cause I'm content with my alpha hydroxy regimen. However, I was curious about OCM and found people were having great success with it but... it is not to be used as part of a daily regimen, it's a treatment and should be done only a couple times a week, max. So maybe too much of a good thing can be disastrous.

    1. From my own experience, I would have to agree. Looking back, I think maybe if I had used it more moderately this craziness could have been avoided. If I could do it over I would try it much less frequently!

  9. I haven't tried this yet, although I am planning on it - lots of blackheads, etc.! - but I am pretty sure that most websites advise you don't use coconut oil as it will clog rather than clarify and moisturise - it's just too heavy. At least, that's what I read. Maybe that's what happened? I'm wondering of the others who have had a bad experience used coconut too, or something else?
    SOrry you have had a bad time of it. Its awful when your skin is bad, there is just no hiding it at all! Hope you are getting better gradually.

    1. Thank you! My skin did fully heal although I still have a few scars. I've heard the same about coconut oil clogging pores from others who tried OCM with it. So you may be right!

  10. Maybe it was the virgin coconut oil? I've read on several websites it can cause breakouts.. I've been using the OCM for over a month now (daily - sometimes twice daily) and it has cleared up any blemishes I had before. Maybe try 1 part castor oil 1 part jojoba oil and 1 part raw honey? And then I use apple cider vinegar as a toner afterwards.

  11. @darkchime- I'm sorry you went through this too! I hope your skin is healing well.

    @Anonymous & JericaB- In hindsight I think I may have done it too frequently. My advice would be to be very careful and when OCM helps your skin get better with no blackheads and smaller pores like mine was you should back off and maybe use it for maintenance after that. It's what I would do if I could do it over. I would go back to using only natural soap and use OCM maybe once a month to maintain. Thanks for the advice! If I were ever brave enough to try it again, I might give the raw honey a go as I've heard from others how beneficial it can be.

  12. I am so glad that I read this post. I was going to try the OCM, but was very hesitant. I don't know that my skin is "acne prone," but I had been breaking out along my jaw line. It was frustrating because nothing helped. Recently, I started using a lemon slice covered with a few drops of honey. It has done wonders for my skin!!! I was so excited when I actually started seeing results from it. I used to swear by Dove sensitive soap, but I think the moisturizers just made my face worse. I use the lemon/honey a few times a week and then wash with natural soap the other days. Some mornings I just wipe my face with a warm cloth. I also stopped using shampoo and conditioner and started the baking soda/water and apple cider vinegar/water method (NO POO). I went through the first two weeks with liking it, a few days of hating it and now my hair has normalized and I LOVE IT! No chemicals! I hope this helps and good luck! Hopefully, your skin will clear up soon :)

    1. Great tips! I need to try the lemon and honey.

  13. So sorry you went through this.
    OCM will remain a no-go-zone for me.
    Thanks for posting.

  14. Was just reading and am glad I did. All you hear are the rave reviews however it is always good to know both sides of the story. I am so sorry that you have had such a bad expereience. I hope you recover swiftly!! I have always had to be careful with my skin and will fill you in on a couple of ticks that worked for me. The most most most important one is to cut out dairy!!! I promise it makes the biggest difference in your skin. (I still eat some cheese but have cut out the milk, ice cream yogert etc and it really helps. The other is using pearl cream...(not really for the acne side but it has never caused a breakout) the cream evens skintone and is worth a try. I actually have people coment on my skin which no one ever used to do that.

  15. Hi there! I stumbled across this looking for help. I've had the same experience as you. I used OCM for 5 months (stupidly thinking the severe break out was due to restarting the pill)...it's been two months since I stopped and my skin is still not improving. How did you end up sorting it out?? I'd appreciate any advice you have, I'm so sick of looking revolting :(

    1. I'm sorry you're dealing with this as well. My skin has healed but some scars remain.a quick rundown of some things I did to heal. It still took over 15 months to clear up. Patience and consistency is key!
      I did the following:
      -drink 1 tsp apple cider vinegar in 8 oz water twice a day
      -wash face with gentle natural soap. No
      rubbing. Pat dry.
      -use witch hazel as a toner after cleansing
      -apply light layer of moisturizer after toner
      -spot apply tea tree oil to acne before bed
      -stop picking at acne
      -stop wearing foundation
      -wear a natural sunscreen every day
      -apply a soothing diy face mask once or twice a month. I loved using raw honey.
      I hope these can help you find some things to heal your skin! I know how horrid it can be.

  16. Same here..I also have the same symptoms..Did anyone go to dermatologist ? I also have mild itching at times.
    I really appreciate this post.

    1. I didn't try a dermatologist. But if I could have afforded one, I probably would have tried to find a naturopath that specializes in skin care. I have no idea if they exist, but that would have been lovely! Hope you can find what works for you.

  17. this is REALLY helpful! i was OCMing with jojoba for a little while and was fine, then added castor oil and all hell broke loose. major breakout on my chin and my skin turned really dry and flakey. the dryness went away within a few weeks but the scaring and zits are still around and it's been 3 weeks or so.
    i've been cleansing with rosewater or diluted apple cider vinegar. one of my main problems is touching my face! GAH! i have to make myself stop cause i'm making it worst. some days it seems to improve but then this morning it looked worst...and it's my bday. :(

    when you spot apply tea tree is it diluted?

  18. Hi there! I tried OCM once and it broke me out.. I think it depends on our skin type whether it will be successull or not. But OCM is definitely not for me. :(

  19. Coconut oil is a known comedogenic substance (Clogs pores) it is also a very heavy oil and should only be used on dry/mature/non acneic skin. I had terrible acne before I started COM. I did my research though on the best oils for different skin types. I use a 1:1:1 ratio of castor/grapeseed/jojoba. All 3 are non comedogenic. Grapeseed is VERY high in antioxidants and vitamin E and also functions a natural astringent and antimicrobial so no need for toner or tea tree oil. I noticed from your picture you were using pharmaceutical castor oil. That alone could have been the problem. You will need to find cold pressed, cold processed castor oil. I get mine from vitamin Shoppe. If you use refined castor oil (means it is heated to 450 degrees and processed) all the skin enhancing properties are literally cooked out. That's great if want to swallow castor oil as a laxative (pharmaceutical) but not for skin/cosmetic application.

    All three of the oils I use are cold pressed, organic, and cold processed.
    Since the first day I switched I never had any issues. But again... do your homework. If you have oily scenic skin to begin with, your basically throwing yourself in a ditch by using olive or coconut oil.

  20. Hellooo!Thaaaanks for sharing your experience!I thought I was crazyyy!It is so sad that I found you after having used it but I guess I know now that olive oil(I mixed Olive Oil and Jojoba Oil) is not for my skin.I have tried so many things since,but nothing works!Actually it makes it worse!Tried different kinds of soaps and cleansers and lotions like eskinol lemon and Clearasil(I works more on the black spot,so I decided to use it after the little bumps disappear for the black spots).Now I have been using(For 2 weeks now) the carambola soap,it dries them and sometimes,they get bigger.But I have to be patient and wait for a month at least.Will give you update on how it went.What about you??Did you finally found something that remove them from your face>

  21. Hey love
    I tried out the oil cleansing method a while back, not for long - maybe about 2 weeks max? And I too broke it in (itchy) red bumps that looked just like yours! They weren't pimples per se, they didn't have a head, and they were really itchy and made my face really red. I think it happened bc I wasn't safely using my oil! I just had it in a container and would double dip my finger in any time I needed more oil? I think maybe I contaminated it and that's why the bumps showed up bc I was using rancid oil on my face! Anyway I stopped ocm and I was super gentle on my face and in about 2 weeks it had gone back to normal. Normal acne that is, not these itchy allergy like bumps that weren't even acne ...


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