The Oil Cleansing Method or OCM has changed my ideas about skincare for good.  When I started the Oil Cleansing Method I had already fallen in love with balms such as One Love Organics  Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm (which is perhaps why I never really went through the adjustment period many people do).  I understood well why cleansing with foaming or water containing cream cleansers were not the way to go because they stripped the skin of the vital acid mantle.

The perfecting of the technique…..that took some time and was a triumph of the will if there ever was one.

First there was the choice of oils.  Did I want a premixed one?  {See Our Top Picks for Divalicious Cleansing Oils}  Or did I want to mix my own? { See Oils for the OCM}  (I have a few premixed ones I love and have tried just about every combination of mixing my own.  It all depends on my mood, if I am travelling, and how lazy I am feeling OR if I want a specific scent or NO scent, as is the case sometimes with a pregnant woman!)

After six months on the OCM I have found a groove.

First, my favorite combination for my hormonal but oddly normal skin is 1 part castor oil, 1 part avocado oil and 1 part jojoba oil.  I mix in a few drops of whatever scent I want sometimes…… most of the time I just use it as is.  In more humid clients or times of the year I have to use 1 1/2 parts jojoba and 1/2 part avocado.  In drier climates or in the middle of winter, (or if my hormonal skin is going crazy that day) I might use a smidge more avocado oil.

The castor oil keeps my chin and cheeks (hormonal areas) perfectly clear with only the ODD blackhead peeking out so overall, for me, I don’t add more.  One mistake many people make is THINKING they have oily skin when their skin is generally pretty normal and just fighting for its life by creating an oil slick day after day.  If you have been over cleansing your skin day in and day out, try only 1 part of castor oil and resist the urge to use more because you IMAGINE your skin is really oily.  I am not suggesting it is dry, don’t get me wrong, just that your skin might surprise you and be relatively shine free if you give it a chance to adjust to natural surfactant-free cleansing.

For my acne prone clients I am finding more and more jojoba oil is really a good mix with sweet almond oil and castor oil.  Some people add tea tree but I find this can actually be a little drying in some people.

I still use my muslin cloth with fairly hot water and steam my face for about 20 seconds (until the cloth cools) and do this a good 5 to 6 times to remove residual oil and now will usually swipe my skin with a little witch hazel to remove any residual oil.   Bear in mind, my skin is charged with hormones from pregnancy and you may not need to use witch hazel but I often find my skin just feels a little more balanced with it.

Jojoba or almond oil make great moisturizers for after the OCM.  A lot of people use EVOO but me personally, I find a little too “heavy”.  My olive oil though is cold pressed, stone milled and full of “bits” and beautifully “cloudy”  and dark green so that might have something to do with it.  Some people do fine with coconut oil.  I reserve coconut oil for oiling my hair.

I am currently having a love affair with anything from May Lindstrom and use her Youth Dew as my only moisturizer at night.  During the day I will spritz some Liquid Vitamin Hydra-Mist and slather on Vital-C Serum mixed with Nutra Peptide Serum all from The Body Deli  and then use the Youth Dew on top.  Usually it is a little mascara, some Living Luminizer, add a little Lip 2 Cheek and I am out the door.

A few of you might be wondering why I don’t talk about sunscreen.  I do use it in the summer when the sun beats down on me but I don’t slather myself head to toe in it because doing so generally is one of the first reasons we have such a Vitamin D deficiency in the world today and, in the winter, since rosehip oil is a prime component of the Youth Dew and rosehip oil has a natural sunscreen, if I am not going to be out more than an hour or so, I don’t feel the need to add the heaviness of a sunscreen.  I do sometimes use a mineral foundation which has natural sunscreens as well.  In the Spring and Summer I tend to be a little more vigilant but I challenge anyone, especially those who live in the middle of a desert and right next door to the sun to find anyone paler than my skin and thanks to the wonders of bone broth, I have no sun spots either.  We will talk further about sunscreens and how many of them do more harm than good another day.  Trust me, it’s going to happen.

So basically, I can’t complain at all about the miracle that is the OCM.  I still use it pretty much every day, and the days I don’t use it, I am using nothing because I have worn no makeup.  On those days a little witch hazel goes a long way.  If I feel the need to cleanse and don’t want to use oil or my OLO Balm I will use Pai’s Rose & Camellia Gentle Cleanser but as great as this cleanser is (and for those of you who love cream cleansers that are not water based and are deliciously organic, this is my favorite!!!) it often sits collecting dust on the shelf because my skin doesn’t feel the need for cleansing if I am not wearing makeup.  For those who can’t fathom the thought of an oil or balm touching your face, I would recommend this cream cleanser to anyone.

The OCM will remain part of my slow beauty  routine for years to come not only for it’s amazing efficacy but for it’s ability to transport a frazzled mommy, if only for a few minutes, to a place of extreme self-care.  This ritual has transformed my skin from always congested and blackhead riddled to radiant even through the challenges and ravages of pregnancy and it can do the same for you if you have a little patience and faith.