OCM. No, this is not the close cousin of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Masking?) It actually stands for Oil Cleansing Method, and has been long touted for its skin benefits. Yes, people actually cleanse their faces with oil instead of facial soap or foaming cleansers. I’m a big fan of oil, so long as it’s a natural botanical source – no hydrogenated grossness.

So, how does OCM work, you ask? It’s science! Because like attracts like, oil will attract…go on, you know this one…oil. Yes, its almost that easy.

OCM-ers use a combination of different oils depending on skin condition, massage said oil into dry skin (not damp,) then use warm compresses to remove oil completely – along with make-up, dirt, debris and excess sebum (skin’s natural oil.) OCM-ers love the fact that their skin still feels soft and hydrated after cleansing and the epidermal hydrolipid barrier. This superficial layer is responsible for preventing bacterial invasion, protecting us from UV radiation and regulating oil and moisture balance, keeping us waterproof. It is removed almost every time we cleanse with traditional facial cleanser or products containing acids.

I’m all for gentle cleansing! I love the idea of the OCM, but for me personally, it works best when used once or twice a week instead of everyday. My skin is not terribly dry or oily, but it is temperamental (probably because I spoil it!) I use a combination of castor and coconut oil and add in a few drops of lavender or orange essential oil. I’ve already praised Living Libations Sea Buckthorn Best Skin ever, and use that a few times each week as well.

Here is some additional information on cleansing oils and the breakdown of oil combinations, courtesy of

Normal Skin: 2 tablespoons 2 tablespoons Oily 1 tablespoon 3 tablespoons
Dry Skin: 3 tbsp carrier oil (listed below) with 1 tbsp castor oil
Normal Skin: 2 tbsp carrier oil with 2 tbsp castor oil
Oily Acneic Skin: 1 tbspn carrier oil with 3 tbsp castor oil
Castor oil deeply cleanses and purifies the skin while removing excess sebum and killing bacteria. It is thick and needs to be combined with one if the oils from the list below in order to make the most effective cleanser. As I mentioned, essential oils can be added (1 or 2drops is all that’s needed per application.) Some OCM-ers like to make larger batches and store them in blue or amber glass dropper bottles for regular use. If you do this, be sure glass bottles are completely clean and sanitized prior to filling them and keep them in a cool place (not in your gym bag or the car.)

Extra virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) – moisturizing, good for all skin types, but especially dry skin
Unrefined/virgin Coconut Oil – antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial
Grapeseed – good for acne and oily skin
Jojoba – good for all skin types, especially mature skin and wrinkles
Sunflower seed – versatile for all skin types
Sweet Almond – soothing and moisturizing, good for all skin types

Here’s another great OCM story over at
So, what do you think? Do you love OCM or have a story to tell?

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