Oil Cleansing Method

I’ve been peeling so much from this series of chemical peels and retin-a that it’s been driving me crazy, and this cold, dry weather isn’t helping.  I’ve had to resort to cleansing with oil twice a day instead of my normal cleanser, and it is helping a lot.  This is called the oil cleansing method, or OCM. 

You can buy oils specifically for cleansing, but if you read the labels, many of them contain chemicals that you don't want to add on top of skin going through chemical peels.  Simpler is better.

Yes, I have oily, acne-prone skin, so using oil isn’t something I’ve been dying to do, but after experimenting with too many different oils, I found one that really agrees with my skin.  I’ve been using apricot kernel oil on and off for several months, so I know it doesn’t exacerbate acne for me.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, this oil may work for you too, but you’ll need to experiment.  I first tried a combination of olive and castor oil, but the olive oil was too rich, and the castor oil dried out my skin…hard to believe about oil, right?  I also tried jojoba oil, and while it wasn’t as rich as the olive oil, it did cause some clogged pores for me.  The apricot kernel oil is really doing the trick though, and I thank a fellow blogger for turning me on to it.  The brand I like is Aura Cacia, and I've linked it here.

If you’ve wanted to move to the oil cleansing method, you probably know that not every oil works for every person, but don’t give up.  And if you’re doing chemical peels or using retin-a, especially in dry weather, you may need to move to oil cleansing instead of putting more chemicals on your face.

Here’s how I use it to cleanse:

  1. moisten my face with warm water
  2. pour about a quarter-size amount in my hand and apply to face
  3. rub around and massage for 1-2 minutes
  4. if you have a lot of flakes, you can use a wet cloth to exfoliate here; if not, skip this
  5. thoroughly rinse two baby wipes to get the chemicals out
  6. use one baby wipe to remove oil
  7. use the other baby wipe to remove any remaining oil
  8. moisturize – don’t skip this step
 I probably won’t need to use the oil after the winter is over, but it is certainly saving my skin for now. 


  1. castor oil does dry the skin if used in a really large quantity...I always use a mixture of castor + olive in the proportion of 25-75 which suits me perfectly but the castor oil is not pure...it has lot of additives which made me discontinue it...we do not get apricot oil here though will keep searching...but I love oil cleansing method...it amazingly increases the glow of the face...

  2. I'm so excited to have found your website. I think I'll finally go ahead and buy some 35% glycolic and give it a try. Thanks for the wonderful info.

    I noticed that you refer to using rinsed baby wipes on your face and I thought I'd recommend flannel wipes to save you money and save on waste (http://www.amazon.com/OsoCozy-Flannel-Baby-Wipes-pack/dp/B000138GMU). They are soft and lovely. So much better than a washcloth and you don't have to throw anything away! I started using them after buying them for my infant daughter and now I won't use anything else.

  3. Thanks Becca for the info and link. Yes, I would much rather use something that I don't have to toss. I think you'll love the glycolic acid; it's the one thing I just couldn't be without now. Take care, Gabi