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Dear Detox Diva:: What to Do When the OCM Fails

Pai Camellia rose cleanser

It’s not always easy being “green”.  (Don’t worry, I am not going to turn into Kermit the frog and break into song.)  But let’s face it.  It can be a challenge switching from conventional beauty products  to natural and organic beauty products.  It can be even more frustrating when you try to use DIY beauty products instead of an off-the-shelf product.   I have had my own failures with my no ‘poo challenge.  I just couldn’t get the hang of it no matter how long I gave my hair to “adjust”.

The oil cleansing method (OCM) is one of those natural beauty methods people either love or hate and rarely is there any other attitude in the middle. Cleansing with oil is one of the most nourishing rituals you can do for your skin in order to restore its protective sebum layer and pH levels or ‘acid mantle’ so often stripped with conventional skincare products.  But what do you do if you try everything on the OCM and your skin becomes an even angrier mess than when you began? What if, despite your best intentions, you just can’t seem to get the glowing skin everyone claims is so effortless on the OCM?

Below is a question from one of our readers asking these questions.

Dear Detox Diva::

I have been using the Oil Cleansing Method for about 2 months now.  My face is breaking out in blackheads and white heads in my chin area and my cheeks and I have cysts on my forehead.  I have tried mixing more castor oil, less castor oil, no castor oil, and every different oil on the planet it seems.  I have used tea tree oil, lavender and even special “skin beautifying” blends.  My skin has a sandpaper texture and a light covering that looks like a burn that has never been there before.  I really want to use something natural and I really want the healthy glowing skin you say is possible with the OCM but nothing that anyone (including you) has suggested has worked for me.  What can I do?~B

Dear B::

First, let me commend you on sticking it out 2 months and trying the many different suggestions I have given you before thinking of giving up, especially since your skin has gone so haywire in the process.  I am not one of those people that believe, however, that one should sacrifice beauty simply because I say that the OCM is the best method of cleansing your skin.  I believe wholeheartedly in the method because it works for me and countless numbers of clients but for every client it works for, there is at least one that face challenges either in adjusting to the method or has other issues such as nut intolerance or even an EFA imbalance where the Omega 6 far outweighs the Omega 3 in the body making even nut oils impossible to for the body to tolerate.

When you have tried every combination of oils and nothing seems to be working, instead of assuming your skin is still detoxing (3 to 6 weeks is the norm), realizing that the OCM could, quite possibly, not the method of cleansing for your particular skin is much better than continuing to force the issue.  If you are getting cysts on your forehead it is clear that something else is going on in your body that probably should be addressed.  {See our post What is Your Skin Trying to Tell You About Your Health? to figure out what breakouts could mean in your body based where they are occurring on the face.}

In the meantime, since I understand completely that you wish to stay as natural as possible with your skincare, trying a mild cream cleanser without water as an ingredient will calm the skin while gently cleansing and nurturing it allowing it to heal.  My favorite cream cleanser has to be Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser.

This formula is gentle enough for the most sensitive skins and will never dry your skin yet is effective enough to remove even the heaviest of makeup and city grime quickly and meticulously.  The accompanying muslin cloth lifts away dead skin cells with ease and is a “not to miss” feature of this cleanser.  Skin is left clean, fresh and nourished.

Pai Cleanser contains no water and is as rich as a balm cleanser so it is as effective as the OCM but, where certain oils (including castor) can be overstimulating for intolerant skin, this cleanser is soothing, protecting yet still is every bit as powerful as the method.

I would encourage you not to give up your quest for natural beauty products but give yourself a little leeway in realizing that no one product or method works for every person and understand that sometimes going against the grain and allowing yourself to change it up and find a fabulous product that does make your skin glow.

3 replies
    • thedetoxdiva
      thedetoxdiva says:

      Yes, actually you CAN completely substitute off the shelf beauty products with homemade products BUT why would you want to with so many great brands? Many people do substitute with great success as did our grandmothers who were often much younger looking than we. But with so many beautiful products, I wouldn’t be able to because I love being able to experiment with beautiful natural skincare. People DID get along without packaged products before they were available so it is ludicrous to think it can’t be done. (I make my own rosewater!) But it might not be so fun!

  1. Entensi
    Entensi says:

    You can substitute the off-the-shelf beauty skincare if you choose so. But it’s always a lot of fun to try what others made for you. There are so many creative people making great products around the world, I’m always curious to make the next discovery. And you can try to make your own version if you like it


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