The Oil Cleansing Method Explained

Totally different than oil cleansers, the oil cleansing method (OCM) refers to taking pure oil (or a combination of pure oils) and massaging them into your skin to remove makeup/dirt/oil and then removing the oil by either wiping it off with a microfiber cloth or using a regular foaming cleanser (and there is a lot of debate over which).


It can be very cheap
It is very gentle for skin that is super sensitive to products
It is the least-drying way to cleanse (if you use the cloth to remove and not the cleanser)
It’s all natural
It’s customizable
It is good for gritting

Cons: (if you don’t follow it up with a regular cleanser)

It is not super cleansing (it’s just oil not a cleanser) so it can be problematic for people who are prone to acne, clogged pores, sebum plugs etc. This is why the classic way doesn’t work for me and would have to be followed with an actual cleanser to remove it.
The oil left on your skin after cleansing can block the absorption of actives in your serums/moisturizers. Remember how in our routine we always apply oils last to seal everything in and not block any water-soluble actives?

Some people really swear by it but personally I prefer a great emulsified oil cleanser. However, if all I had was a foaming cleanser I would apply oil first to make it less stripping.

If you decide to take this route make sure you use oils that are compatible with your skin type, namely non-comedogenic and specifically high in linoleic acid if you are acne-prone. A cheap example is safflower oil (but make sure it’s not the high linoleic cooking version).