I Tried The Oil Cleansing Method…Here’s What Happened

Smothering your face in oil may sound like a counterintuitive cleansing method, but it’s exactly what beauty gurus have been raving about in recent years. The oil cleansing method (OCM) is supposedly all natural and customizable for different skin-types, including oily and acne-prone. But does it really live up to its promise of spotless and radiant skin? That’s just what I set out to discover. 

My favourite bit of this experiment was concocting my own oil mixture. Castor oil is a must-have for anyone trying OCM. As an astringent oil, it draws impurities and excess oils out of your pores (like attracts like is the rationale behind this). This should be mixed with a conditioning oil – I went for avocado because it’s high in vitamin E and I just really like avocados. If your skin is especially oily or acne-prone, jojoba and rosehip oils are the way to go.

Next came the question of ratios. The general advice is the oilier your skin, the more castor oil you should add. But I’d read some pretty damning reviews about how castor oil could strip your skin of all its natural moisture. So despite my oily(ish) skin, I decided to play it safe and use a third castor oil to two-thirds avocado. After giving it a good shake, it looked like this:

Then came the nitty-gritty of cleansing. Foam and gel based cleansers can confuse your skin if used alongside OCM, so I had to abandon my favourite products for a fortnight! A plus side of this was that I only had to cleanse at night since castor oil is deeply clarifying. After applying a warm cloth to my face to open up pores, I’d massage the oil into my face and neck before wiping off. It takes multiple wipes to make sure there’s no oily residue left.

So did OCM live up to its promises? Yes and no. My face did have a pretty glow right after cleansing, so much so that my dad once remarked, "You look as fresh as a watermelon!” It also felt hydrated enough that I didn’t have to moisturise at night. However, the dewiness inevitably faded by morning. It took a whole fortnight of OCM before my skin began to glow consistently.

Speaking of consistency, you really do have to be consistent with this method. I skipped out on a single night and found myself with an unwelcome spot the next morning. Luckily, it completely disappeared during my next cleanse. I didn’t need to use face scrubs during OCM as the cloth I had was very exfoliating (hooray for muslin cloths!) The oils were great at taking off lightweight make-up, but I had to use make-up wipes beforehand if I was removing something more substantial.  

All in all, I’d say that OCM provides a pretty decent cleanse – it maintained the same standard of skin I had when I was using a combination of cleanser, scrub and face mask. However, the oils can be quite pricey and you need to be willing to spend a good ten minutes a night on your face. If you’re very busy in the mornings then OCM is probably worth it – you can just wash, moisturise and go.


Edited by Tia Ralhan


Image Sources


2 + 3 - Writer's Own