My Oil Cleansing Method Experience + the Clarisonic Mia 2

UPDATE 1/21/2015: I just wrote another post recapping the last few months! Check it out, if you are interested!)

(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?
Um, everything?
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
improvement. Crazy!
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.

Other Tidbits

  • 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?

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  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jen! It takes guts to get really real online, and I appreciate your boldness! And there is definitely improvement, so that's wonderful - I'm thrilled that something is working for you! :)

  2. Oh my goodness your skin looks so much better in that side by side picture!!! I love using the coconut oil at night mainly because it feels like a little spa treatment every night. My mom got a clarisonic and I do feel like it gets my skin really clean though for my skin I don't like the idea of using it everyday. I keep a jar of TJ's coconut oil for the bathroom and others to eat (sticking fingers in to clean skin v. spoon for sauteing) and have been needing to replace the kitchen one for some time. I went to Trader Joe's yesterday and apparently they are not only out at their store but will be for a few weeks because the warehouse is out!! Proud of you for not succumbing to the Pill

    1. Thanks, girl!! :) I am surprisingly happy with the results so far. It wasn't until I wrote this, that I even saw them!

    2. Don't stick your fingers in your skin care oil. Pour the oil out onto a clean hand. Otherwise you contaminate the jar with your finger germs. I didn't realise that this was a factor in my coconut oil routine getting less and less successful as I used more and more of my oil. Whoops! learn from my mistake!

  3. Yay Jen! That's so great to see improvement, and kudos to you for sharing all of this!

    1. haha, thanks, Laura! I appreciate it. I can't believe I put these pics up either, honestly. But, if it helps other realize they aren't alone in this, then it's all worth it. :)

  4. Your skin is looking so much healthier! Just wondering if you have tried Arbonne at all? They have a great acne line as well :)

  5. Acne is one of the problems that a lot of people continue to struggle with. There are a lot of beauty regimens in the market to choose from, but of course, their effects may vary. You must be a very patient person for trying it all. Thankfully, you've found one that works best for your condition. Good luck!

    Byron Brewer @ Knight and Sanders

  6. Wow! Looking at your picture, I can say that the cleanser made a significant improvement in your skin! :D
    ~Pauline @ Clarisonic Philippines

  7. I love pumpkin seed oil for my acne prone skin. Also weekly glycolic peels for a few months helped my cystic acne. Sulfur masks also helped the inflammation.

  8. Forgot to mention that you should also check out the Whole30. The book is called, It Starts With Food. They also have a great website if you don't want to buy the book.

  9. Thanks for sharing this, Jen! It takes guts to get really real online, and I appreciate your boldness!


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