Using the Oil Cleansing Method To Reduce Acne

Earlier this month, I junked my bathroom, which left me high and dry and in need of an acne relief. I hadn’t really been doing much beforehand; pretty much just covered it up or put tea tree oil on it, which didn’t seem to help much at all.

Then I stumbled upon the oil cleansing method on the Thank Your Body blog and decided to give it a go!

I know it seems really counter intuitive to use oil to clean our face. I mean, most of us feel the need to wash our face before bed because we feel really greasy. But think back to your high school chemistry class. What did we learn? That’s right:

Like dissolves like.

In other words, Oil dissolves oil.

The oil cleansing method is such a simple idea. Use oil to get rid of the excess oil. It’s about balancing your skin, not scrubbing it to death. But you really need to try it to believe it.

Make sense to me!

Now, Robin recommends using different ratios of olive oil to castor oil for various skin types. But I didn’t have any castor oil, so I started with olive. After a week of using olive oil, I didn’t see any improvement. So I switched to an oil I DO have: COCONUT OIL.

Oil Cleansing Method

Oil Cleansing Method

  1. Massage oil into the face until your pores are saturated.
  2. Soak a washcloth in hot water, and cover your face with it for around 20 seconds to open your pores.
  3. Gently wipe off the oil with the hot washcloth. Do not scrub.
  4. Rub any leftover oil into your face.

One of the best things about this method is that it replaces two products (face cleanser and face moisturizer) with ONE completely natural and simple ingredient!

I’ve also been spreading a thin layer of coconut oil under my eyes before I go to sleep to reduce “tired eyes” (which I get easily). It’s working great!! Coconut oil promotes cell regeneration, so it’s also great for wrinkles. :)

Let me know if the oil cleansing method has worked for you in the comments!


  1. Mona says

    I love love love my coconut oil cleansing! I think when people say its gone wrong, its because they dont go to a place (like a health food store) that distributes multiple brands of organic and un filtered coconut oil. Its always best to ask about what the difference is between types, and which is more natural. Once you get all those done and choose the best type, it really is good.
    The coconut oil has faded my hyperpigmintation greatly, and I had dehydrarted skin from extra strong cleanser which it fixed in about 3 days :)
    Not all skin is meant for coconut though, but its a miracle addiction when it does.

  2. says

    This sounds really interesting, since switching to natural cleansing I haven’t found a way to keep my skin clear and it is frustrating, to say the least. I have been moisturizing with coconut oil, and it seems fine, but this sounds perfect, I love that this replaces the moisturizer too!

  3. Sara says

    I forgot to ask if you broke out after using the first time? I have been reading about break outs that happen after you use the coconut oil the first time. What was your experience? Also do you wash your face at all aside from the oil?


  4. Sara says

    Courtney, Since switching to Sweet Almond oil have you noticed a difference in your acne and pores? I am going to to try coconut oil because its what I have right now. But I am interested which oil you like better!

  5. Erica says

    We switched to oil cleansing about 6 months ago and I’ve never been happier with my skin. I started with castor oil and olive oil but soon switched. I don’t have a favorite oil yet, I’m still trying them out. My husband who always hade cronic dry skin, changed his shaving and cleansing routine to oil and his skin is baby soft. I started using this to find natural methods for my 10 year old daughter who develped acne early, she enjoys using honey to clean her skin, and I occasionally do an oil cleanse on her. It has been the best acne treatment we have found for her skin yet.

  6. Meg says

    Why do you emphasize not scrubbing? I’m not opposing, I just never grew out of the four-year-old “why? why? why? why?” stage. lol!

  7. Shirley says

    I am 65 years old and have been using this method for 2 months now, and my skin has never been better. At my age I am leaning toward dryness, and this method has faded the lines, moisturized, and made my skin soft and lovely. I am thrilled not to be using expensive cleansers/moisturizers anymore!
    Also,our cat had a very bad case of chin acne (yes, cats can get acne), and it is nasty to get rid of. The vet tried several different meds…nothing worked. A combination of coconut oil and castor oil got rid of all the nasty blackheads.

  8. Christine says

    I keep reading about the oil cleansing method, and have yet to try it (but I really want to – soon!). I’ve read a bunch of places that coconut oil is comedogenic and can clog your pores. If it’s working for you, that’s great – I was using it as a moisturizer myself, but wasn’t pleased with the sheen it left – I’m since switched to a blend of other oils, and I’m much happier with the results!

    • says

      Cristine, I have read that, too! That’s why I switched to sweet almond oil to see if it made a difference. I’ve noticed better results with the almond oil, but the coconut didn’t bother me either. Maybe it has something to do with skin types? I’m not sure. I would suggest just trying different oils to see what works for you. Castor oil and olive oil blends are supposed to work well. And I’ve heard good things about jojoba oil!

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