(Update 11/16/2014: Hi! There have been so many hits to this post recently, so I wanted to say THANK YOU for visiting! I hope you find this encouraging and helpful in some way. Please let me know your experience with OCM. I took a break for a while and tried a new product... haven't seen results, so I just went back to OCM. I will have another update in the new year, I'm sure!)
I have wanted to talk about my Oil Method Cleansing (OCM) experience for a while, and after talking about my pill (and a bit about my acne) experience, I finally decided to get to it. As you could guess, this isn't THE THING that worked, but I thought I would give another perspective of this method. Also, any links to products are affiliates, so if you buy anything through there, I would get a wee bit in return. Thanks if you do!!
Ok. So. Some background.
My Acne Type
I have cystic, painful blemishes mostly on my lower cheeks/jawline/upper neck and on my back (thee worst). They also leave some terrible scars. My skin is oily.
What have I Tried?
The pill. (Yaz, specifically)
Prescription meds (antibiotics, etc. Even the dreaded Accutane. It was HORRIBLE for me)
Creams/ointments (prescription and over the counter)
Plenty of cleanser/toners/etc.
Proactive/Murad/other well known products
Went dairy-free for about 4 months
And other things. I can't think of them all.
What is OCM, exactly, and why did I decide to try it?
Well, I mean... why not? I first was introduced to it by Stephanie over at Captive the Heart sometime in early 2013, read about it here (and here is another good overview, as well), and then decided to give it a try.
|I can't believe I am putting this online. Eep!|
Basically you take oil, and wash your face with it. You massage it all over your face and neck (keep your makeup on!), get the water nice and steamy, wet a wash cloth, put it over your face for a few seconds and wipe away. That's it! I do this at night before bed. It sounds gross... and it is, kind of. It feels very counter intuitive. My first try was to do what was recommended... different combinations of castor oil and almond oil. I did that for a while, and was not impressed. My face never felt clean. I didn't see any improvements. So, I stopped and went back to normal cleansers that made me feel like I was actually clean. I even went dairy-free.
What I do now
Then, Morgan wrote this post in October 2013 where she talked about using coconut oil! I was intrigued... still a bit skeptical, but again, thought "what the heck?!" I wasn't seeing any improvement with the dairy-free thing. So, sure. I'll try it.
It's the same process as above, still at night time, but I also added Thayer Witch Hazel w/ Aloe as a toner right after, and for the mornings. My face is quite oily when I wake up still, so after wiping it with a clean, warm washcloth in the morning, I use the witch hazel again. But! My face actually feels clean afterwards. I never have to scrub the heck out of my face to just feel like I have gotten the oil off. I am happy I started with the coconut oil!
And then! Around March (?), I began using the Clarisonic Mia 2 cleansing brush. I first heard about it here, it piqued my interest enough that I researched it for a while. I found a post (now I can't find it!) that explains their use of OCM + Clarisonic and decided to bite the bullet. (Disclaimer: the Mia 2 is expensive. Plain and simple) Let me tell you... I LOVE THIS THING! My face always feels so refreshed afterwards. I use it mostly at night, after I have wiped off the oil with the wash cloth. I take a very small drop of my body wash (antibacterial) to clean the brush head with warm water and then let the brush do it's thang. It vibrates (think electric toothbrush style) for a whole minute, in 20 sec, 20 sec, 10 sec, 10 sec increments. (Click here for a video on how to do it, and here for a more in depth review) The longer increments are meant for your T-zone (forehead and nose to chin), with the shorter increments for your cheeks. But, because my problem areas are my cheeks, I do the longer increments there. Once the minute is up, I rinse my face, pat dry with a towel. Use the toner. And done.
|When I look at these pics... I can actually see the|
Let's see, I have been doing it now for 8 months (4 months-ish with the Clarisonic) and I wish I can say that IT'S AMAZING AND I HAVE NO PROBLEMS. If that were the case, I would actually be shouting off the rooftops and you would have heard about it sooner. But even still, it has been working. It has helped with the redness, and maybe even with some of the scarring.
As you can see from October to now, my face has definitely improved. Putting these pics together has actually been REALLY good for me to see. You always see your flaws worse when you look at them everyday. So, I am happy I did this because, even though my skin is not "the pill perfect" it is better than I think. :)
I am so happy I decided to invest in the Clarisonic, you guys. I honestly think it's the reason I have seen more improvement in the last few months. I have realized that what I see mostly on my face is scarring, not blemishes. Don't get me wrong, I am constantly getting the incessant, painful blemishes almost daily, but I am pretty sure they are way less in numbers now.
- I take my eye makeup off separately before the coconut oil.
- I don't use a moisturizer, as some of the coconut oil stays behind and acts as one.
- I try not to use my washcloths for more than a week.
- Just like everything else, it takes time to find what combo of oils works for your skin. Coconut oil does horrendous things to some skin, but obviously it's ok for me. Everything you read will tell you to start with castor oil and a carrier oil (almond, grapeseed, jojoba, etc).
- I bought my first oils and the witch hazel at Whole Foods, and the coconut oil at Trader Joe's.
- Right after starting with the Clarisonic, you may see significant breakouts because your skin is adjusting to something new. Don't be alarmed!
- I have used both the sensitive brush head (comes with kit) and acne-prone brush head. I am not sure I have seen any sort of difference in what my skin does.
- It actually is pretty important to replace the brush head every 3 months, like they say.
- I bought my Clarisonic at Ulta.
I think that about covers things. Let me know if you have ever tried any of these things! Any questions?