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Cleansing with a Cleansing Oil vs OCM (Oil Cleansing Method)
Cleansing with a Cleansing Oil vs OCM (Oil Cleansing Method)
by Jennifer Flanagan
In the world of online forums, blogs and Social Media, OCM (aka Oil Cleansing Method) has made its way around as a popular way to get rid of clogged skin and acne. There is another - not so nice - side to the oil cleansing method though that doesn't get talked about as much.

The reason I am writing this article is because of the overwhelming volume of customers that have come to us after having tried the oil cleansing method, with less than stellar results, and sometimes horrendous results leaving them with cystic acne that either won't go away, or leads to deep and embarrassing scarring.

Oil cleansing method (as opposed to cleansing with oils generally) usually consists of using one or more oils in a blend to massage into the skin to work clogs (blackheads, persistent bumps or sebaceous filaments) out of the skin.
Usually the oils are massaged into the skin from anywhere from 2-15 minutes.

Common oils used are Castor Seed, Olive, Jojoba, Grapeseed, Safflower, Sunflower, Almond, Apricot, Avocado and sometimes Mineral Oil (ick!) Other oils are sometimes used as well. The biggest mistake made with the oil cleansing method, is using castor oil above 5-10% in a blend. It is such a rich rich oil that although it seems to work out the clogs at first, cystic acne often follows.

The problem with the oil cleansing method (not for everyone but for a majority of the skin that is clog prone) is that the oil cleansing seems to work at first, by massaging the oil into the skin it works the top of the clog out, but at the same time, the other contents of the pore get pushed even further into the skin layers causing the pore to get clogged and eventually cause a cystic acne spot to form.
What I have found in my time of consulting with customers is that it is the ladies with the
smaller pores (especially small pores where they get the clogs and breakouts) that are not able
to do the oil cleansing method without having this happen.
So what else can one do with clogged pores? How can you avoid the acne that comes along with it?
A few tips to help with this..
1. The first thing to consider is avoiding cleansers that strip the skin. Working from the ground up when it comes to skin care. If we dehydrate the skin it causes the clogs to form even faster and makes it harder for them to get out. (the dehydration causes us to feel the need to use oils and/or moisturizers to make up for the lipid loss!) causing a catch 22 cycle, because the moisturizers and oils can clog the skin back up.
2. Same idea as above, but with toners.. if you have a toner that strips your skin (due to alcohol or propylene, hexylene or butylene glycol or other solvents) you will end up in the same situation. Dehydrated skin that forms clogs easily that sometmes also lead to acne or even cystic
acne.
3. Amp up the hydration!! The more hydration the skin has the less it will clog.
4. Use vinegar based toners/tonics as they help to work the clogs out (and bonus they make
pores smaller)
5. Use gentle acids like mandelic to help work the clogs out.
I hope this article helps to shed light on the oil cleansing method and why I don't usually suggest
it.
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