Using the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) is a scary concept, purposely putting oil on your face every day. However, I’m here to tell you that it works!
But I only had success when I used this brand , though. When I tried to DIY using household oils, my acne flared up, so be careful what you use!
This post was updated October 2019. In the five years that I’ve been using the oil cleansing method for my hormonal acne prone skin, I have been very pleased with how my skin has responded. I hope you feel the same way, too, and don’t want you to be discouraged. So keep on reading to find answers why this natural beauty cleansing method might not have worked the first time around.
Has the Oil Cleansing Method Made Acne Worse for You?
If you have been washing your face with oil and still have breakouts and acne, or you don’t think your skin looks as good as it should, there could be a good reason.
First of all, switching the way that you clean your face is going to take some adjustment.
“Any time you make a major change in your skin-care routine you can expect to see some break-outs, a period of time referred to as an “initial breakout period” or a ‘purging stage” said Jaime McGuigan, Holistic Chemist for the W.S. Badger Company.
The process of washing your face with oil changes the way that your skin has been behaving, too.
How Good Oils Get Rid of Acne-Causing Oil
“The concept behind the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) is that like dissolves like which means that the new oil will dissolve and replace the old oil that is deep inside your pores. As this old oil loosens, particularly in heavily congested areas of your skin, you will often see break-outs as a response. It can take up to a month for your skin to adjust to your new skin care routine but once the old oil has been thoroughly cleaned from your pores this response should subside,” McGuigan said.
And if you are using oil cleansing for dry acne prone skin, you are really changing your skin’s behavior. So you might be experiencing problems that you weren’t before as your skin becomes more hydrated.
So, as you are cleaning your face with oil, all of the bad stuff from weeks and months past come to the surface.
Including dirt, pollution, makeup and dead skin cells.
As all of this stuff starts coming to the surface, it will need to be replaced with healthy oils that you want in your pores.
I experienced this myself, as blackheads seemingly rose to the surface on their own and popped out. Which is something that never happened when I was using a mineral cleanser that ended up drying out my skin.
4 Reasons Why Oil Cleansing Could Make Acne Worse
If it has been longer than a month and your oil cleansing method made acne worse, there is likely something else going on, according to McGuigan.
The oil cleansing method to get rid of acne might not be working for you if you are doing it wrong. These are the top four things that she sees that can actually make acne worse while trying the oil cleansing method:
- Wrong combination of oils for your skin type – be sure that you have really done a thorough assessment of your skin-type; this is something many people get wrong. If you switch you should be able to see positive results fairly quickly (There are several Badger face cleansing oils for different skin types. This Badger face cleansing oil I have used for years and love. I also use and highly recommend Derma-E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil. It smells so good!).
- Water temperature – should be shower hot but really doesn’t need to be beyond that and can cause irritation at higher temps.
- Over-enthusiastic exfoliation – may lead to irritation that can appear to be acne but actually isn’t. Use of the washcloth when removing oil should be firm but gentle (not scrubby). You want to draw the dirty oil off, not rub it all back in.
- Leaving old oil behind on the face to be re-absorbed – a good number of people who are switching to this method will not remove the oil thoroughly enough, leaving a film of old oil on their face that gets rubbed back in. This situation will eventually resolve itself, because you keep replacing a portion of the old oil, but this will slow the process down. It is far preferable to gently draw off as much of the dirty oil as you can at each cleaning.
What About Hormonal Cystic Acne?
If you have hormonal cystic acne, there is only so much that a face cleanser, such as cleansing oil, can do for you. While you will be able to clear up more of the acne, you will still have hormonal changes that will always work against your skincare routine.
Be sure to talk with a doctor that understands the delicate cycle of hormones in your body. And knows how to get them under control naturally.
I have struggled with hormonal cystic acne for over a decade before finally starting to have my acne clear up. It was one of the reasons I knew I needed to see an endocrinologist. My hormone lab results showed that I had a pretty big imbalance with my hormones. Thankfully, I did find relief from so many symptoms of hormonal imbalance and I am doing much better today with natural HRT (hormone replacement therapy).
Acne is not just the only symptom of having your hormones out of balance. There’s so much more that you could be struggling with by not finding the answer. I encourage you to seek out a great doctor if you are suffering but think that your hormones will just magically adjust themselves.