OCM or How I Washed My Face With Olive Oil

I am shocked!  Shocked that it works and shocked that EVERYONE isn’t doing this.  Shocked that no one told me about this sooner!

For the last 3 weeks I have exclusively washed my face with a mixture (50/50) of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Castor Oil.  Yep.  That’s it.  No soap.  Just Oil.

I don’t know where I first heard of OCM, or Oil Cleaning Method, but I got most of my information from this site.  If you’re like me reading that will open your eyes to so many misconceptions we have about our skin and cleanliness.  Here’s my experience.

Now, in case you think I’m a total hippie that was previously washing my face with pure castile soap: my regimen was:

  1. Lancome Mousse Clarte foaming cleanser
  2. Aveda Calming Moisturizer
  3. (occasionally) Lancome Refining Toner

This has always caused an ethical dilemma for me.  First, Lancome is owned by Nestle which, while I don’t promote boycotting, I do personally try to avoid.  Second, Lancome tests on animals something I find appalling.  I have actually tried for years to break my Lancome habit but have found NOTHING that doesn’t make my face break out is zits and rosacea.
So, I was used to being spoiled with the best that modern chemistry had to offer.  I was sure it was doing wonders for my skin because;

  1. my skin felt nice and tight and shiny after washing.  This told me it has gotten rid of all the nasty oils clogging my pores!
  2. applying the moisturizer made my skin feel moist again but still tight and free of “grease”
  3. sometimes I’d use toner and get my skin super tight and “clean”
  4. I knew I needed the lancome because by the next morning when it was time to wash again my skin was a virtual oil slick

Obviously the Lancome was working, right?

>Then I became a SAHM and figured two things: One, no one would care if I broke out in a grand skin experiment and two, I wanted to find anyway to save money and Lancome is expensive.  So, I thought I’d give OCM a try.

For the first week I didn’t have any Castor Oil so I used only EVOO from my kitchen pantry.  I used a cloth diaper as a wash cloth because they are soft and I have bunches that were for the boys when they were preemies.  Here’s what I do:

  1. put a small amount of oil (or oil mixture once I got the castor oil) in the palm of my hand and covered my face liberally in the oil
  2. massage my face for 60-90s with my fingers.  You really want to get the oil worked into you skin.
  3. turn on the hot water and soak your cloth in very hot but not scalding water.
  4. place the cloth over your face, pressing lightly, and let rest until the cloth cools.  this is steaming your face so you do want it to be hot but not too hot.  I leave it on a minute if I have time but I’ve also done 15 seconds.
  5. gently remove the cloth wiping oil as you go.
  6. repeat steps 3-5 2 more times.
  7. Voila!

The first time I did it I thought “well this isn’t going to work!”  My skin felt like…well… skin.  Like the skin on my inner arm.  It felt “regular” moist and pliant.  No tightness at all and no squeaky clean shiny “clean” feeling.  I was sure that it I started like this I’d be completely greasy by noon.

The next morning my face still felt moist and soft.  Not greasy at all!  What?!? I just can’t believe it.  After 3 weeks my skin doesn’t change throughout the day.  I don’t go from stripped clean to oil slick over 24 hours.  Now my skin feels like skin all day long.  My black heads are disappearing, my pores look smaller and my rosacea looks 100% better.

I’ve worn makeup and the oil takes it right off.  I even “forgot” to wash my face one morning and later when I realized it I reached up to feel my skin and it wasn’t oily!  After 30 hours my skin still hadn’t reacted by overproducing oil.

No more chemicals.
No more $40 price tag.
No more animal testing.
No more skin fighting to maintain balance despite my undermining it every step of the way!


11 thoughts on “OCM or How I Washed My Face With Olive Oil

  1. Ahh, this sounds great. This is very in line with Dr. Hauschka’s philosophy and if you hadn’t already found something that works so well for you, I’d definitely recommend you try Hauschka’s (or Jurlique… or Ren)… then again it depends where on Earth you live. These are all natural, organic (oil based 🙂 cleansing systems that are, well, pricey – especially if they have travelled. Buying Hauschka in Germany is really quite affordable. In the States it is ridiculously pricey. Ahh, well. This is interesting, though. Might give the pure oil thing a try, too. Cheers.


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  4. Yay! I didn't know this was actually a 'thing'! I completely stopped washing my face five years ago and do an oil treatment maybe once or twice a month, sometimes I use lanolin which is very sticky but so so lovely when it soaks in finally. My skin use to always be oily and break out and now it NEVER does. I remove makeup with a bit of oil and splash my face with water and hooray! Happy skin!

    I always think that this must be why men seem to age so much gentler than women, because they haven't spent so may decades slathering up with chemicals!! Yucky!!!

    Thanks for the post xx
    My recent post The Strength of a Mother


  5. Awesome. I should try this. Currently I alternate between washing with water and a washcloth or washing with castile soap, and occasionally with baking soda. The baking soda is what I was previously using, and while it was cheap and natural, it dried my face out and perpetuated the oil problem. After washing, I use coconut oil as a moisturizer. Sounds like your method doesn't even require a moisturizer! I do like the results of using only water and sometimes castile soap. My skin doesn't get all dried out and I can go so much longer without washing. Wouldn't it be great to be like people in the olden days who just splashed some water on their face and called it good?
    My recent post Gut and Psychology Syndrome


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