The Oil Cleansing Method – Natural Non-Toxic Face Cleansing

The Oil Cleansing Method has allowed me to ditch face soap, lotion and even makeup remover and my skin has never been happier! That’s what I love about natural products – many of them have multiple uses and keep my medicine cabinet clutter-free. Not only that, this method is totally safe with no toxins, sulfates, chemicals and despite popular belief, oil does not clog up the pores with oil. You can blame clogged pores on hormones, bacteria and dirt and this method effectively cleans the latter two and moisturizes at the same time.

The Oil Cleansing Method - Natural and Non-Toxic Face Cleansing with Oil

After my face lotion finally ran out two months ago, I vowed I was going to try this method and stop buying face lotion and soap for good. Especially since every other part of my body now receives all-natural care, from my baking soda shampoo and apple cider vinegar conditioner, to my homemade organic body butter, my homemade lip balm, homemade deodorant, and my baking soda body scrub. Cosmetics and especially lotions are known for being loaded with unwanted garbage that I’d rather not have on my face.

I learned from my good blogging buddies, Sarah, from Nature’s Nurture, and Amanda, from Natural Living Mamma, what it is and exactly how it works.

How it Works: Oil Dissolves Oil

According to the, the basic concept is that oil dissolves oil so applying oil to the face removes dirt, makeup and oil and leaves the face cleaned and moisturized. I found that it’s the same concept for cleaning the hair, like in my no-poo post where I discuss how traditional shampoos, which contain synthetic detergents called sulfates, strip the scalp of its natural oils and cause the scalp to overproduce oil to compensate. This creates a vicious cycle wherein you need more shampoo and daily cleaning to remove the excess oil, thus drying out the hair and requiring conditioner. Once you start cleaning the scalp and hair with a shampoo that doesn’t contain those sulfates, the scalp returns to its natural state and produces the correct amount of oil and doesn’t need daily cleaning.

Sulfates Bad, Oil Good

So the same concept applies to our skin. Sulfates in body washes and face soaps strip our skin of sebum, our skin’s natural oil, causing our skin to be dry and to overproduce oil. Little do most of us know that our skin naturally regulates perfect oil production, but we remove its ability to do so when we disrupt the balance with artificial chemicals like sulfates.


Make Your Oil

Are you ready to try it yet? Great! It’s very simple and you might even feel like you’re in a spa.

Oils Needed:

  • Castor Oil (where to buy) – key ingredient, a must-have because it dries and cleanses.
  • Other carrier oil like: Extra Virgin Olive Oil (where to buy), Sunflower Oil (where to buy), Jojoba Oil (where to buy), or Sweet Almond Oil  (I Buy This One)
  • UPDATE – After making my own room deodorizing spray, I decided I wanted my face oil to smell as wonderful as the spray, so I added 2 drops each of Rosemary, Cedarwood and Orange essential oils. Frankincense is excellent for supporting skin health as it heals sun spots blemishes, but you might want something sweet like Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Grapefruit, or Sweet Orange to sweeten up the scent (where to buy high quality essential oils). The result is AH-mazing! It smells divine and I really enjoy washing my face now because it truly feels like a facial. PLUS, my face was even more moisturized and soft.

The Right Ratio For Your Skin Type

The basic concept is that oily skin needs more Castor Oil, and drier skin needs less. My skin is a on the dry side, so I’ve found I need 1:4 ratio of 1 part Castor Oil and 4 parts other oils. I have used Sunflower, Olive and Sweet Almond Oils and honestly don’t notice much of a difference between the three, so I now just use whatever I’ve got in my cabinet at the time. Each person is so different, so I suggest experimenting until you get the perfect combination.

  • Oily Skin – 1 part Castor Oil to 2 parts other oil, or 30% Castor Oil and 70% other oils
  • Combination Skin – 1 part Castor Oil to 4 parts other oil, or 20% Castor Oil and 80% other oils
  • Dry Skin – 1 part Castor Oil to 9 parts other oil, or 10% Castor Oil to 90% other oils

The Oil Cleansing Method Steps 1 and 2

The Fun Spa Part – Cleaning Your Face with Steam and Oil

Here’s how I do it, and there’s no right or wrong way as long as you use steam to open up the pores. I like to do it at night but in the morning I generally do nothing because splashing water on my face dries out my skin.

  • Take a washcloth, place in the sink, and turn on the faucet to warm.
  • While waiting for the water to get very warm, take a small amount of oil onto the fingers and rub until it becomes warm.
  • Apply the oil to your face and massage in a circular motion to loosen dirt, oil and makeup. I like to take a moment to enjoy the massage, too!
  • Check to see that the washcloth is very warm, but not hot and scalding, of course.
  • Squeeze out the water and drape over your face. Here is where I practice my deep yogic breathing and concentrate on relaxing and clearing my mind of the days’ stresses. Leave it on as the steam opens your pores, then remove once it cools to room temperature.
  • Use the washcloth to wipe your face – this removes the dirt, oil, bacteria and make-up trapped in your pores.
  • Repeat if desired, which I always do.
  • If your face still feels dry (if it’s winter time, this is a possibility), just take a dab of oil and massage it into the skin as a moisturizer. You’ll know it’s too much if your face is shiny and oily.
The Oil Cleansing Method Steps 3 and 4

Next, take your warm washcloth and place on your face, leaving it until it cools to room temperature. The heat and steam will open up your pores so they can be cleaned. Then, wipe off the oil, dirt, and makeup from your face with the cooled cloth. Repeat if desired.

Two to Three Day Transition Period

Just like going no-poo, your skin will have to adjust to producing less oil for a few days. Remember, it is used to over producing oil because soap strips it of the layer of sebum. For me, the transition period lasted only two days where my skin broke out in pimples. After all the impurities had come to the surface, my face returned to normal again on the third day. So, I suggest trying this method on the weekend when you won’t have to go to work (or whenever you have a few days off).

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

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About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. Isn’t OCM great? And so easy too! I love it. I am glad you do too! Thanks for the link back :)
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  2. I will definitely have to make this not only for myself but for my family too! Thank you for sharing this Sara!
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  3. Hi ladies! I have tried the OCM for the last three weeks and have been horribly broke out from it. I don’t know if it’s just using the wrong oil combination (I use castor and olive oils) or maybe too much steam or not enough? I usually wring the washcloth out and steam my face around 4 times and then splash it with cold water to close the pores. I don’t know what to do, I have heard hemp oil or almond oil can be anti inflammatory and healing, I’m just not sure what direction to go in. Any help or advice would be great! Thanks :)

    • Oh dear! I’m surprised to hear that. I have noticed that the steaming makes my face turn bright red and it stays that way for about 5 to 10 minutes. So, if you are steaming your face four times, I do think that is too much. Yes, I would try replacing the olive oil with almond, hemp, jojoba or sunflower oil and see if that makes it better. It might also be important for you to use organic oils if you aren’t already.

    • I have been using OCM for almost 2 months with good results. Still trying different carrier oils to see what works best for me. There is a natural facial recipes website that has a lot of recommendations for different skin types. There are carrier oils that work better if you have oily skin, Grape Seed Oil and Hazelnut Oil are supposed to be good for oily/acne prone skin. Hope this helps!

      • Thanks for sharing your tips, Kandi! Good to know about the oils.

      • I’ll have to try those other oils, because I’ve had the same issue. It doesn’t make me break out a ton – but definitely more than before I started doing it, which is too bad because the other parts of my skin were lovely.

        Now I’m on antibiotics and those always clear up my skin, so it’s just fine, but I’m not stoked about the idea of going back to the oils without trying something different.

        • Try Organic Jojoba oil. It technically isn’t an oil, it is a plant resin. It is easily absorbed by the skin because the compounds in it are very close to the sebum our skin naturally produces. I hope it helps!!

          • I was just reading about jojoba oil and you are correct, Shannon! Thanks for sharing.

            • Try coconut oil. It seems to have a healing effect on my skin, and I have multiple skin problems, especially exema. The coconut oil is solid, but melts on contact with the skin and is clearing up the exema I have been fighting for 3 years now.

              • That’s wonderful that coconut oil is working so well for you! I had trouble with it clogging up my pores and causing acne, so that’s why I don’t use it. But there are many who use coconut oil in this method. Thanks for sharing your tip!

      • I just started using Castor oil, grape seed oil, and olive oil (all organic) and within one week I can see my skin have changed tremendously good! And after I clean it As a moisturizer I used raw organic coconut oil, and it is awesome!!!! Good luck to everyone! ( forgot to mention that I have been suffering from rosacea and on top combination skin)

  4. I am so interested in trying this but my skin always breaks out :( Do you think this would make it worse?
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    • Hey Kara! Do you mean your skin breaks out when you use oil? Or just in general, you have trouble with acne? Because, my skin did break out for the first two days because your pores are adjusting to no longer being stripped of all their oils. So, it takes a couple of days for your skin to produce less oil and for all the impurities in your skin to rise to the surface. Then, for me, at least, my skin went back to normal in 2 days (still took a few days for the pimples to heal, but they went away and haven’t come back). I have not had trouble with excess oil or acne at all since.

  5. Janie Murphy says:

    Just wash your face with plain baking soda.It cleans and leaves your skin feeling good.Not dry or oily.Baking soda put on a wet armpit also makes a great deoderant.Works all day for me.I use it to brush my teeth and wash my hair also.I add it to my washing machine to soften hard water.It is good on burns also.You can tell I really like the stuff.

    • Thanks for the tips, Janie! Baking soda does rock.

    • These are great tips when I first started trying to work w/the ntrl products… i found it is best to start w/ Baking Soda either alone w/ warm water or add a small amount into the palm of your hand w/ avery small amount of your daily facial cleanser (w/out chemicals). It’s a great for exfoliating.
      I use coffe grounds olive oil & raw honey “luv it”. Allthis being said I can’t wait to try Sara’s oil cleansing method. My skin is looking fantastic, & this would be my next step.

  6. Hi Sara! I just mean it breaks out in general … I never tried the oil cleansing though. I am going to run to my local health store this weekend to get some almond oil. Maybe it will actually help me skin :) I guess I have nothing to lose since I break out already, lol!
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    • Hi Kara! Okay, gotcha. Well, according to what I read about this method, it is perfect for acne breakouts because when you use regular soap and strip your skin of sebum, the pores get irritated and swell, trapping dirt, makeup and bacteria inside. So, this might be just the trick for you, unless your issue is hormonally related. In that case, this method will still probably help (as it’s helped me even while being pregnant), but you may still have some acne issues. Expect to do through a transition phase where your skin looks worse, though. It’s not a magical cure-all method, but I do believe it is certainly better than soap!

  7. Hi! I just tried this for the first time, and was wondering if its a bad idea to use toner (I use witch hazel, it’s lightened age/sun dark spots very noticeably) and then moisturizer after this process…I suppose I could use toner and then the oil again, if you recommend, but I don’t want the dark spots coming back..

    • Hi Deirdre! I wouldn’t say it’s a “bad” idea – if it’s working for you and you are happy with the way your skin feels, then I say, go for it! If you’re using pure witch hazel, then there should be no alcohol in it and it will be gentle on your skin. I don’t blame you one bit for wanting to keep dark spots away, so if it’s working for you, then I think it’s great!

  8. Could you add tea tree oil to this for acne prone skin? My 17yo son has mild acne and is open to try ANYTHING I throw at him… Just doesn’t want anything that’s too time consuming. :). Thanks

  9. Thanks for sharing! I’ve heard about this and I already do ‘no poo’ and acv, just to add to the all natural beauty regime!
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  10. Hey Sara! It’s funny you just wrote about this-I have been trying the oil cleansing method for about two weeks now using straight coconut oil. So far, I love it! I may be crazy, but I swear that a few brown marks on my face that I got with pregnancy have lightened a bit. And, it works as a really great eye makeup remover too. Love to you and all of your boys-miss you!

    • Hi Tracey!!! So nice to get a comment from someone I know. That’s awesome that you have already been doing this method. Isn’t it great? I just LOVE it! So, you’re doing it with coconut oil, eh? I know someone else who uses that, too. How do you do it?

  11. So if you no longer use face lotions is your face no longer protected from the sun? I am fair and would never go out of the house without some sunscreen on! I freckle really easily too.

    • No, in that sense, it is not. That is true. Now, I do use a natural face powder that contains zinc oxide, which is a natural sun screen (15 spf). Coconut oil has a natural spf of 5, so you could moisturize with that, but it is comedogenic, so you’ll want to be careful. You might be able to add some zinc oxide powder to the oil and use it to moisturize.

    • Sesame oil also has natural sunscreen in it so you might want to try that. I don’t use any sunscreen besides my mineral base, as Sara does and I am fair skinned certainly no sunbathing fan (and live in Arizona). Wearing a wide brimmed hat is also helpful to keep excess rays off your face and neck. Natural sunlight is so important to our bodies, particularly with the production of vitamin D and most sunscreens are toxic so some sunlight is actually healthy.

      Besides, freckles are sexy, I wait for mine every year.

  12. Hi Sara !
    I began OCM method,as of now it feels really good.I will keep you update on the progress. what about the sunscreen? will it work even in summer?

    • Hi Yamini! So glad you are enjoying the method. There is no sunscreen in it, but it will work in the summer. You may find in the summer, when your skin is more oily, that you might want to increase the Castor Oil in the solution to help. For sunscreen, you’d still need to rub some on if you needed it. I have a natural face powder that has zinc in it, which is a natural sunscreen. Coconut oil has an SPF of 5, so you could rub a tiny bit of that on (but it can cause breakouts).

  13. Hi Sara! I do like using coconut oil but I have found that it is a bit drying. I may try and mix it with another oil to add moisture. I just slap some on my face and rub it in then drape the hot washcloth over my face for a bit and rub it off.

  14. Hi Sara,

    This is the second time I’ve heard about the oil cleansing method and I’m really interested in trying it. The other article I read on it seemed to imply that you wouldn’t use it every day. Is that true? I’m assuming you use it every night?


    • Hi Julie! If you wear makeup every day, then yes, you need to use it every night to wash off the makeup. The days I don’t use makeup, I sometimes don’t do the method at night, although I’ve found my skin will feel dry from the water in the shower and I’ll need to apply oil. I don’t really think there are any rules per say on the method – do what you like and works best for your skin and lifestyle!

  15. I’ve been loving the oil cleansing method, but now I am curious….what do you think about adding a few Vitamin E softgels to the oil mixture? Isn’t Vitamin E known for healing acne scars, and good for the skin? What is your opinion?

  16. I’ve been using dr bronners diluted with water and tea tree oil. Does this cause the same issues that you describe for “soap?” This method has been bringing a lot of impurities to the surface but they heal fast. I’d rather get rid of any pimples altogether

  17. I really love this. The first week I could really tell a difference in my overall complexion; however, I still get regular acne on either sides of my face below my cheeks. This acne became regular around Nov. 2012 and I am completely befuddled as to why. I clean my face twice daily, eat as much healthy food as possible (not processed, mostly homemade, as much vegan as possible, no dairy, fruits and veggies, water) and I have been on birth control about 2 months. Oh, and I don’t have much stress at all. I think the only thing left is my hormones. Hopefully they will be regulated soon with my new birth control…

    • Sierra, I know what you mean. There is a site that claims OCM cures acne, like it’s magical or something. It can if your acne is caused by irritated skin from soaps, but not if it comes from hormones and genetics. You are already onto that and I agree your’s is probably caused by hormones. Sounds like you have a fantastic diet – exercise also helps control hormones. Makeup also plays a role – are you using natural makeup? I don’t know much about how to fight acne that originates from hormones and genetics, but it sounds like you’re doing all the right things!

      • I only wear make up a few times a week and go without it is much as I can. I don’t break a sweat every day like I should, though. I’m a full time college student so changing all my makeup products isn’t something I can afford but I’m working towards that. Maybe exercise is my answer.

        • Acne around your lower cheeks/chin can be related to hormones, which makes me think the BCP is causing your acne break outs. You may want to look into the fertility awareness method and/or different natural family planning protocols as a non-hormone based alternatives to the pill.

  18. Hi, I’ve been using straight coconut oil with this method for about a week. I love how my pores are so much smaller. Do you think coconut oil is a good choice for the long term or should I mix it with somehting else?

    • Coconut oil is fabulous! If it’s working for you, then I say, stick with it. If you find that it’s no longer being effective, for instance, once the seasons change, then I suggest switching to carrier oils. It’s really whatever you like and is working for your skin. Coconut oil can be comedogenic – it’s known for clogging pores. But, if it’s not doing that for you, then great!

  19. I’ve been using this recipe for a month now and my skin looks so bad. There are little red bumps all over my forehead and jawline. I hope it’s just detoxing, so I’m going to continue with it for a bit longer. I wonder how long this could go on. I’ve been battling acne for 20 yrs., so I didn’t think it would be a quick fix, but I wonder if there is anything else I can try or if I should just wait another month.

    • I’m so sad that I had to stop using this method. My face is covered in painful acne after 2 months of using the oil. I was really hoping that this would be a solution after years of trying to clear up my skin. There must be something more going on inside that is causing this to happen. I just wish I could figure it out.

      • Hi Cara, I’m so sorry to hear that. Did you try several different oils or try increasing the castor oil? Personally, I think your acne issues are most likely due to hormones, as I went through that as a teenager, and changing your skincare routine isn’t going to fix it. This method will fix acne that’s related to irritated skin or sensitive skin that is bothered by the toxins, fragrances, dyes, etc. in store-bought makeup and cleansers. The only thing that helped my acne was going to a dermatologist…

  20. Hi all, I found a similar article and was intrigued at this meathod. I have been no poo for about 9 months with great results, and am on a quest to be more natural and have less chemicals in my life. The last few months have been an education as I found out I am in menopause, (at 47!) so with this education I am learning of some of the horrible effects of all of the chemicals in our lives. In the name of beauty, I’ve been using all sorts of stuff with names of ingredients I cant pronounce. Anyway, I had a major break out issue in the last few weeks, due to I think a reaction to a new foundation. I tried the oil cleansing meathod and in the morning I had to admit there was a significant change to my skin! I am only on day 4, but hopeful this is the healthy and inexpensive way to have great skin.

    • Thanks for sharing, Jennifer! I’m still digging it – I love this method! I love that it combines washing, moisturizing AND makeup remover in ONE! I hope it continues to work for you. You might have to tweak your oil combinations a few times.

  21. I have very oily skin with extremely fair/sensitive skin (redhead) and have been doing this for a few months now. I love it! I use EVOO (but I will change that to Grapeseed oil come summertime) with the castor oil and some sugar. The sugar dissolves after a minute or so when massaging into my skin so its not too abrasive. With the sugar I have found that if I use it on the areas where I’m getting skin tags, that the tags slough off! This I really love cuz who wants to look like the ole hag in fairy tales!

  22. I’ve been using the OCM for the last month. I love the cleaning method but am struggling to keep my face well moisturized. I started with 1: 4 castor to jojoba oil using castor on wrinkles and age marks on face after I oil and steam twice. I found that my cheeks in particular were dry so I switched to 1:9 castor/olive oil. Now my skin feels even dryer! Help! My old moisturizer did a very nice job keeping my skin moisturized but I don’t want to return to the chemicals.

    • Hi Liz! Are you wiping all of the oil off of your face when finished? I find that my face is much drier if I wipe the oil off, so I just lightly brush my face with the washcloth. I would reduce the castor oil even more (by just adding more carrier oils so you don’t have to dump it out and start over) and see how that works. I have had to reduce the castor oil a great deal from this recipe as the winter got colder. Let me know if any of that works for you!

  23. Thanks for your response, Sara. I decided to try modifying my routine a little. I was only patting my face the second time with the washcloth but then letting my face air-dry. I decided to try patting my face dry with a towel after using the washcloth and then applying a little more oil. It seems better now. My cheeks are not so chapped feeling.

  24. I’ve been doing this since December and I love it. I had problems with my skin being dry- especially my cheeks! I’m currently using 1T castor, 1T sunflower, and 1T avocado oil. I also found that makeup doesn’t mesh well for me with this routine. Luckily, my skin has cleared up for the most part and I don’t need foundation to make my skin tone even (used to be very red splotchy all the time!). I tried switching to a natural face powder but that just seemed to make it worse so I just threw it all out and if I have a blemish I just use a small amount of concealer on the spot. It doesn’t flare anything up and I just wash it off when I oil cleanse at night! I do use OCM at night and then in the morning I wipe with a little witchhazel if I have blemishes- usually during my cycle.

  25. Vanessa Bonkoski says:

    The Castor Oil makes the hair on my face grow like crazy! Is there something to substitute the castor oil?

    • Really? Wow, that’s surprising! I’d just eliminate it and see how your skin tolerates it. It’s not necessary, it’s just a really good oil for the skin.

    • Castor oil is known for causing hair growth (people use it on their scalp to increase hair length and strength, also you can put some on your lashes at night or eyebrows…but no, you don’t want a hairy face). My suggestion is do the OCM with hemp seed oil and I add a few drops of tea tree oil…it’s much easier on my sensitive and acne prone skin. The hemp seed oil should be kept in the fridge but you can bring a small container (a weeks worth) up to the bathroom and then wash out the bottle thoroughly and refill. I usually use pure aloe vera gel to moisturize or a mix of hemp and jojoba oil. Leav the castor oil for your hair and lashes!

  26. Oh wow – Fantastic to see such an organic, natural and pure site and following. The products of EllaPure and it’s Wonderwash is based on this exact concept. I look your piece on the transition. It’s so important. People who try this way say “oh it’s not working” just because on day 1 there skin changes. The transition is so so important

  27. I started using this method a year ago. I am 52 years old and had problems with break outs until I found this solution. I had been stripping the oils from my face causing it to over produce natural oils all my life. This stripping and astringent using was taught when I was young and is still taught today by mainstream HBA companies! Who knew that what I really needed was to just clean and not strip!
    All I can say is that I’m so happy with my skin at this time. I actually don’t need to use this type of wash everyday, but only a very warm wash cloth which I can do in the shower…and then I add a little jojoba oil + vit E oil to moisturize! I’m so glad to not be a slave to commercial products anymore!!

  28. The Oil Cleansing Method is an amazing old-timey way of cleansing. Great article! Thanks for posting. :)
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  29. Hi there! I found this via Pinterest and have it pinned. I’ve been doing this for awhile now and it’s been pretty good. I feel kinda stupid asking this, but I was wondering how do you get the washcloth clean? The oils make the washcloth pretty nasty and regular washing isn’t cleaning very well. I tried bleach, vinegar and finally that goop hand stuff. The goop stuff seemed to kinda work, but I was wondering if anyone else had this problem.

    • Hi Kathie! Hmm, I have not had any trouble getting my washcloth cleaned in the washing machine with other towels, on a hot water cycle. Are you doing that? I even use my gentle, homemade laundry detergent and it still works great. It might be that you have very hard water – do you know if you do? Hard water is full of minerals and causes things to stick to it. I have soft water here. Vinegar as a laundry softener helps.

    • I’ve had the same problem with my wash cloths getting nasty, feeling & smelling oily. I wash my towels in hot water. Suggestions?

      • Hi Luanne! Funny, I haven’t had a problem with them smelling and haven’t noticed oil buildup. All I do is wash my washcloths with other towels on a hot water cycle with my homemade laundry detergent. Here is the recipe for it: . Hope that helps, if not, let me know!

  30. I have been looking at OCM for a while now and I think you have finally convinced me to try it. I’ll let you know how I go!
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  31. There is controversy regarding Castor Oil because of its un sustainable growing practices (the harvesting and manufacturing exposes workers to a compound that is toxic, but it is removed in processing…so the castor oil itself is not toxic (once processed) so for those who don’t want to use it, hazelnut oil works wonderfully in its place.

    • Wow, thanks, Ashley. I had not heard of that Castor Oil before. When I first started making my own oil for this, I had read that Castor Oil was necessary. However, I’ve made it several times without it and haven’t noticed any ill effects, in fact, my skin likes it better.

  32. I am getting ready to start the OCM after hearing so many good things about it, but want to make sure I have all the facts before I regret it later! I run everyday at least 3 miles, shower, and then start my day with makeup, etc. If I use the method at night, what can I use after my runs in the shower? Should I just rinse my face off with water in the shower to try and get the sweat off? Should I use the oil method when I get back from my runs and then again at night? Thanks!

  33. I am wondering if a pump can be used for oil (like a lotion pump). I am inspired by your blog to use the oil cleansing method as well as no-poo (I am trying Dr. Bronners first). Anyway, would a pump get clogged with oil. I just make a mess with the squirt bottles.

    • Hi Amy! Yeah, a pump might get clogged with the oil, but, hey, it’s a great idea and worth the try! If it doesn’t work, you’d just pour it back into the other bottle. I’ve had my foaming soap pumps with body wash get clogged with just a few drops of essential oils in it, so oil does clog it up. Speaking of the no-poo, did you see my newer post on No-Poo where I talk about using Dr. Bronner’s and aloe and glycerine? That’s what I’ve switched to.

  34. I know I am late to the game, but, have you ever tried sesame oil? I have been using it on my face for almost 2 years. And nothing else. I am 54 years old and am finding that my face feels and looks younger. I had been using the sesame oil for oil pulling and read somewhere online that the people of India have used it for centuries for healing and for skin and hair cleansing. They also use it as a cold and sinus infection preventative. I use it for that as well. When I do the oil pulling each morning, I also put some on my fingertip and rub it into both nostrils, this helps to keep from getting other’s airborne germs into our lungs. Since I started this about 2 or 3 years ago, I have not had as severe colds like I usually do each winter. It doesn’t completely stop them, but I do not get as sick. Some of the people of India do this for their children each morning for this express purpose.

  35. I have been using this for over and year and will use nothing else! I love the feel of my skin. I have very sensitive skin, too. I use avocado oil in my mix. I also have been swearing that my eye lashes are growing and reading the above comment, I do believe they are! Love your site, thank you so much!!!

  36. Betty-Ellen says:

    Hi I am loving your recipes and formulas. I do have a question though. I went to buy castor oil and there are a few different kinds. My Grandma use to give me a spoon of it everyday. I don’t think this is the right kind for shampoo. Which kind do I buy to use for poo? There are some for hair growth, some for laxatives and some that appear to be a cream. Also there seems to be different glycerins. Is the vegetable one the best to use for all purposes?

  37. Is it possible to use the oil cleansing method in the shower? I’ve never been a fan of washing my face in the sink, I always wash my face while showering before bed.

    • Oh sure! I know many who do. Might even be easier there. You’ll just have to stay in a little longer to let the washcloth sit on your face. But honestly, I’ve been doing the method so long now that some nights I just use the warm washcloth to wipe off dirt and makeup and don’t let it steam my face. Whatever works for you is what you should do! :)

  38. I am so excited to try this! I recently decided to start making all my own bath products: body wash, facial cleanser, shampoo and this will be my first attempt :) My question is though – will it remove eye make-up and is it safe to rub on your eyes?

    Thanks so much!
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  39. I had tried this method before but I supposed I didn’t give it much of a chance. I am thinking about trying again because my skin is so red and I still suffer from breakouts here and there. Do you do this twice a day?

    • Hi Sherry! Actually, no, I only do it once a day. I do it at night to clean my face and find I don’t need it in the morning. Yet another reason to do it! :) I highly suggest trying it again! What about it didn’t work for you last time?

  40. This site and all the comments have made my day. I recently discovered essential oils and have been reading everything I can get my hands on to learn more. I have had acne alll my life (a little over 60). My skin almost improved over night. The oil cleansing has worked wonders. Thank you all for sharing.

    • Wow, that’s quite a success story! I do hope this method continues to work for you. I’ve been reading so much about how acne is related to diet – you might be sensitive to foods like gluten and dairy. I’ve read that it all goes back to gut health and is a symptom of leaky gut syndrome. Just thought I’d throw that out there!

  41. Instead of Castor Oil, could you use Coconut oil perhaps melted down?

    • Sure, Kris, you could use that but you don’t have to melt it down. Coconut oil is fantastic for inside the body, but it is comedogenic (meaning it does clog pores on some people, not all). So, if you aren’t already prone to acne, I’d try it! If you are though, I’d stay away from coconut oil.

  42. I started this yesterday with castor oil, jojoba oil, and grape seed oil. It feels fantastic to massage the oil into your face and then steam with the hot towel. I live in a very dry climate and have dry flaky skin. I also have acne. My skin always look red an irritated, so I’m hoping this helps. Can I still use a normal face lotion. I love Cetaphil lotions. Or I was thinking of making my own with coconut oil and tea tree oil. Thoughts?

    • Hi Cameron! The idea is that you can now ditch the face lotion since this is a face lotion as well as a cleanser. I also use it to remove makeup! If you find your face is dry after wiping the oil off with the cloth, then just dab a bit of oil on your face and rub in for moisture.

  43. If the oil cleansing method is not working for you, I highly recommend that you try Dr. Bronner’s unscented soap. IT CONTAINS THE OILS THAT ARE RECOMMENDED with the OIL CLEANSING METHOD, but it also contains one key ingredient that is the main achilles heal of the oil cleansing method. That ingredient is: Potassium Hydroxide. The importance of this one element cannot be overstated. It is what causes saponification of the natural oils together with a base which gives these natural oils the power to pull the excess oil off of the face and replace those oils with the new oils contained in the “soap”….please understand that soap is not evil in and of itself. Almost every soap currently out in the marketplace is NOT good to be used on the face. Many of them have the wrong fats, excess fillers, and are generally very harsh for the face. But the very good properties of the oils found in the oil cleansing method, when combined with potassium hydroxide create a compound that is HYDROPHILIC on one end that hooks to the water when you are rinsing off your face and HYDROPHOBIC on the other end that hooks to the old oils on your face and pulls them off gently. When this process uses good oils such as are in both the oil cleansing method and Dr. Bronner’s liquid “soaps” you are allowing these new good oils to replenish the skin while gently removing old excess oils from the face. It is true that oil dissolves oil but unless you have a compound to hook to water then those old oils will just continue to mix in with the new oils and will not be able to hook to the water molecule in order to be removed properly. This one reason is why so many people are having trouble with the oil cleansing method and it takes so long to try and figure it out. I am not bashing the oils in the oil cleansing method (on the contrary) but they DO need a base such as potassium hydroxide (naturally produced from wood ash just as our ancestors made it) or sodium hydroxide. I sincerely hope that this will help someone and hopefully many people Just try Dr. Bronner’s products. The unscented works great for sensitive skin but the entire line is all natural ingredients with absolutely nothing else. You can make your own soap too using a pretty simple method that combines the oil cleansing oils with a base. By the way, I am a physician myself and I have no interest in Dr. Bronner’s products other than I know they work because they take the natural oil ingredients in the oil cleansing method and link them with potassium hydroxide to give you the power to clean your face naturally and replace the old oils collecting on your skin with these beautiful God-made oils. Good luck!

  44. Just want to add one more thought to my previous post. I have run into an issue before with Dr. Bronner’s unscented soap where I believe not all of the oils were saponified well enough and it must have been sitting on the shelf at the store for some time and the oils had begun to go rancid. In my opinion, if you are going to go this route, either purchase online to ensure the newest product or try making the liquid face soap yourself using these natural oils along with food grade potassium hydroxide that you can search out online and order. Obviously, not everyone has the time for this; but you can learn how to make it online and a large batch can go a very long way.

  45. Hi. I’ve been using the oil cleansing method for approximately 5 – 6 weeks now. I am having some issues, but that is completely due to my “menopausal mania”. 😉 I am having trouble getting the washcloths clean. I’ve been washing the washcloths with the other bath towels, in hot water, regular cycle on the washing machine, with the home made laundry soap. The washcloths are getting icky and funky and their ick and funk is starting to spread to my towels. They smell like rancid oil! EW! So today, I took all the washcloths and put them in the kitchen sink with a pot of boiling water and some Dawn dish liquid. Let them soak till the water was cool enough to handle. Still oily feeling. Then I refilled the sink with more boiling water, more Dawn, and some Oxiclean. Again, I let them soak till the water was cool enough to handle, then I scrubbed the devil out of them. This helped some, but they still smell like rancid oil. I’m beginning to think I need to throw them all out and start all over. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Zhanna! Oh wow, I haven’t had nearly that trouble with my washcloths! They are coming out clean and smelling fresh, after two years I’m still using the same washcloths. It could be several reasons – you could have really hard water which makes it hard for oily things to get washed well and cleaned. It could be your detergent – I make my own (here’s the recipe) and it works very well! You could try soaking them in some vinegar, or using vinegar in the fabric softener compartment of your washer. That works very well for my towels.

      • I have read that ammonia helps. I haven’t tried it yet. I will next week. I’ll report back with my findings.
        And yes, we have hard water. :/

        • OK. I soaked the washcloths again in boiling water, with 1 cup of plain ammonia and a little Dawn dish liquid. I let them soak until they were cool enough to handle, with rubber gloves on. You do not want ammonia on your skin! I gave them a good scrub, squeezed them out, then tossed them in the washing machine with the other towels. I washed them all in hot water with my homemade detergent plus some oxiclean. This helped tremendously!!!!! They are still not completely free of the smell. I’m afraid I waited too long to try to get them clean. I have decided to buy some new washcloths and do the ammonia treatment every week. :)

  46. For those of you concerned about using castor oil, you can use evening primrose oil instead.
    “Evening primrose oil is a rich source of gamma linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid of major importance to the health of every organ in the body. It is perfect for the use on skin to help deliver nutrients to keep skin healthy. Evening primrose oil can be used on eczema and psoriasis with great results. Use on hair and skin to help reduce dryness and act as a barrier to hold moisture in. As a natural astringent, evening primrose oil helps to keep oil production in the skin in control to help prevent acne.” A quote from

    • Great tip, Zhanna! Thanks for sharing!

      • I would love to try this as I’m slowly moving towards more natural products. I have PCOS and one of my issues is excessively oily skin, resulting in breakouts. I’ve been seeing a dermatologist for a number of years and have tried many things, but still have significant issues. I want to try something else but am afraid to put more oil on my face since I’ve always been told to stay away from it. Which oil would be a good one to start?

        • Hi Camille! I’m sorry you’re suffering so. I’d start with a higher ratio of castor oil and sweet almond oil. Neither of those are very greasy, and the castor oil can be drying. Your skin will probably go through a transition phase. Have you looked at dietary changes and removing other chemicals from your beauty routine? I believe strongly food is what causes most health problems.

    • Thanks for the extra information on primrose oil. There is so much to learn about skin and hair care. I’m in my 40’s and have dealt with acne all my life. Have been experimenting with the oil cleansing method and invested in a variety of oils that turn out to have a higher ratio of oleic acid which is not as good for acne prone skin. Oils higher in linoleic acid are supposed to be better for acne which is why primrose oil is on my shopping list. I’m also trying to address all the moisturizers, sunscreens, and foundation that touch my face. The DIY face powder is how I found this site.

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