Adult Acne, Dry Skin…Have you Tried the Oil Cleansing Method?


By: Vanessa Richardson (guest post)

Does this sound familiar…

I was one of the lucky few in high school who had perfect skin.  I wish I’d known just how lucky I was.  Alas, my blessed skin only lasted until about 22 when I was hit with adult acne.  At 33 it has shown no signs of releasing me.  I’ve tried everything… the washes, meds from the dermatologist, creams, facials, fasts and cleanses, everything. Sometimes I would get zit free, dried out irritated skin, but how is a red flaky face an improvement over zits?

After years of trying everything, I gave up and decided to just concentrate on keeping my face clean and moisturized.  That helped the most.  However, the soap still dries, the moisturizers are full of who knows what, and I still have the same acne issues that I’ve had for 11 years now.  *sigh*

A woman on a mission…

I’m always on the lookout for ways to EASILY eliminate chemicals from my life.  A year ago I switched to baking soda instead of shampoo. Three weeks ago, I switched out my face wash for olive oil.  Yup, I started washing my face with OIL.  It’s called the Oil Cleaning Method (OCM) and is based on the basic idea in chemistry that “like dissolves like.”  Therefore a gentle, effective way to dissolve the dirty oil on my face is to use clean oil.  It’s been fantastic. My skin isn’t all dry and itchy, it’s a little less broken out, and I feel good about using something natural on my face.

How you can get in on it…

The most common instructions for OCM call for using various mixtures of oils such as castor, jojoba, grape seed, olive, and almond based on your skin type. You rub the oil in for 4-5 minutes, place a washcloth soaked with hot water on your face for another 2-3 minutes, and then gently scrub off until the oil is gone.   I’ll be honest, I’m lazy AND I’m cheap so as this wasn’t going to work for me.  7 to 10 minutes to get my face clean? Nope, this had to be modified to work for my lazy butt. Here’s what I do:

  • I pour a quarter size dollop of olive oil into my hand and rub it into my dry dirty skin for about one minute.
  • Next I put a clean washcloth, soaked in hot water, on my face for about 30 seconds.
  • I gently use the same hot washcloth to scrub the oil off my face using a circular motion until all the oil is gone. It takes about a minute.
  • Then I look at the previously clean washcloth with shock and a little disgust.  All the crap that was on my face is now a brown Rorschach splotch on the cloth.

For the first week I just used olive oil.  I always have olive oil on hand and I didn’t feel like going out and buying something else (cheap and lazy remember.)  Also, I guess castor oil is drying so you only use it 2x/week.  I can use olive oil everyday, which is good because I need to wash my face every day. Now I use a mix rosewood essential oil and olive oil mostly because I like the smell, but rosewood is also good for the skin. The mix I use is an 1/8th of a cup of extra virgin olive oil and 4-5 drops of rosewood essential oil. I keep it in a glass jar on my bathroom counter.

Why I love it…

I’m done in about 3 minutes.  No moisturizer is needed afterward because my skin isn’t stripped of all its natural oils. The olive oil doesn’t hurt my eyes or taste bad if it goes somewhere it’s not supposed to, it’s gentle enough to use on my lips, and it gets eye makeup off better than makeup remover!

As I mentioned before I’ve only been doing this for about 3 weeks, so I can’t speak to the long term results, or say that it will work for everyone. All I can say with certainty is that my face is healthier and happier than it has been in awhile.  If you’re struggling with your skin, give OCM a try.  A good resource I found is


Vanessa Richardson (when she’s not having fun playing in the mud) is a newlywed living in Los Alamos with her husband Charlie and son Aiden. I’ve known Vanessa since we were kids and always looked up to her as the cooler, older, big sister of one of my best childhood friends. Thank you Vanessa for pulling this together for us. I’m looking forward to trying it out on my newly-developed dry skin.


This blog has moved! If you liked this article and you want to see more great content visit or have them delivered direct to your inbox – sign up!




Filed under DIY Beauty Recipes

2 responses to “Adult Acne, Dry Skin…Have you Tried the Oil Cleansing Method?

  1. Pingback: Adventures in Making Tallow Moisturizer | Hygea Health Bite

  2. vnesscar

    Here’s a new little tweak for OCM. Once a week mix a quarter to half teaspoon of sugar into your oil. Voila! now you have a cleanser/moisturizer/ EXFOLIATOR.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s