4
Sep

From No Poo to OCM and beyond

Living a more natural life really is one small step that ends up being a giant leap…..

Around the time I started with the No Poo journey, I found the OCM, I actually found out about it via the Facebook support group for No or Low Poo. OCM – the oil cleansing method – in a nutshell it’s washing your face with oil. Yip that’s right, oil!

According to http://beauty.about.com/od/skinflaws/a/adultacne.htm
“Acne is basically blocked pores that have become infected. Most pimples begin with blackheads, which are not dirt, they’re actually the result of oil and dead cells getting trapped in a pore where they block the duct and mix with bacteria”

So with the OCM you use oil, to wash your face, based on the premise that oil dissolves oil. So the oils that you use to wash your face are going to dissolve the oils on your face and when you use a face cloth you will be wiping away the dissolved yucky oil and dead skin. All this without using harsh cleansers that leave your skin dry and strip away your natural oils. When you are using soap or most face washes the natural oils are ‘washed away’ with the gunky oil, then you have to use a chemical moisturiser to make your skin feel soft. It’s a vicious cycle. Food matters did great article on the dark side of beauty products, see http://www.foodmatters.tv/skin-care-buying-guide

The OCM promise is super glowing, dewy, no blemishes, soft perfect skin.
For a more comprehensive way of describing it, see: http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com/ 

A variety of blends of oils can be used from coconut oil, to olive oil, castor oil and a carrier oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, avocado…..

Notes to Novices: Acronyms etcetera:
EVO – extra virgin olive oil. Some say stay away from it and it will over oily your face yet others say it’s amazing. Olive oil has the same PH as skin so makes for a nice balancing cleanser. It’s good for cooking so a surplus wouldn’t go to waste.

Coconut oil – I have read both for and against coconut oil. Some say it will clog your pores, while others swear by it. It’s great used in natural deodorant, so won’t be a waste if you get some and it didn’t work.


Castor oil – comes from the castor oil plant, normally associated as an over the counter laxative and to induce labour as well as a huge range of other benefits (it’s so cool it’s got it’s own website: http://castoroil.org/castor-oil-for-skin/) For OCM it’s used for it’s anti inflammatory properties, not to be used neat as it may dry out your skin. 

Carrier oils – Carrier oil is an additional oil you’d mix the castor oil into to apply to your face. As mentioned before, castor oil can dry out your skin so you’ll need to dilute it with another oil. The choices are quite diverse and really depend on your skin type and preferences. This website has tons of fantastic info and dozens of oils to chose from depending on what your skin is like http://purifiedskincare.com/cleansing-oils-by-skin-type/

 My OCM journey was far less dramatic or documented as the move to natural shampoo was, yet the majority of GOLDEN RULES still apply.

I started with normal ‘buy it to cook with’ sunflower oil, actually I had already bought it to cook with and was super eager to get started, so just used what I had. Bought some castor oil from the chemist, making sure I let the staff know what it was for, not because of a desire to share my experience, just didn’t want them to think I needed a laxative.

Mixed about 80% sunflower oil with 20% castor oil. First thoughts…. didn’t feel as weird as I thought it would. Felt really nice, a nice relaxing massage, especially once the oil warmed up a bit. I wet my face cloth – a Norwex micro fiber cloth – with really hot water and wiped off the oil. My face did look glowing and felt really soft, felt clean and even a slight bit on the dry side.

After awhile my skin just didn’t feel like it was getting really clean, especially around the jawline. Also the blemish free skin I was ‘promised’ was not forth coming. I expected an adjustment period, yet when I was in the shower and I ran my fingernail over my cheeks or forehead dirty browny gunk was under my nails, even after washing my face.

Remember GOLDEN RULE 1:Do your homework. Firstly, steam is your friend! Hold the hot wash cloth over your face to allow the steam to open your pores then when you wipe off the oil, it will remove the gunk.

And secondly, a clean face cloth goes a long way, I was using mine over and over just giving it a good rinse in between and washing once a week. Since you are wiping oil off with the cloth, washing cloths regularly is essential.

As with No Poo experimenting is needed to find your perfect blend.
I used the sunflower/castor oil mix for a good few months until my Knight lovingly told me I smell like a fish and chip shop :/  As he put it better he tells me I smell than have people at work think it but say nothing.

Next I tried a blend of almond oil and castor oil, adding in a few drops patchouli essential oil. Patchouli is know to aid relaxation and smells pretty good too, so I felt it was the perfect addition. This smelt waaaaaay better than the sunflower oil.

The results, apart from my skin looking super glowy after washing, I still got the odd spot as I did before using the OCM. So no miraculous spot free skin, yet I did find that when I did get a spot it would clear up and the ‘recovery time’ was quicker.

Speaking of spots, adult acne or pimples are mainly caused by hormones or stress, so the teenage way of dealing with them won’t work.
I quote “Adult acne is also deeper and appears as cysts, or ‘under the skin’ pimples, which can’t be drained. from http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/skin/articles/battling_grown-up_breakouts.aspx and “As teenagers, our skin is relatively thick. As we age, our skin thins out and becomes more sensitive to products” from http://beauty.about.com/od/skinflaws/a/adultacne.htm

The fact that I still got spots, especially on a regular monthly basis, is nothing to do with a failure on the OCMs part, so I took the promise of blemish free skin with a pinch of salt.

While I’m on the subject, I want to mention something else I learnt about – sebaceous filaments. What I was rather disappointed that the OCM didn’t clear up my black heads. For years I’ve had lots on my nose and chin, stubborn as anything to remove, well I’ve never been successful in removing them.  From GOLDEN RULE 2:Get support in the form of a facebook group, I learnt about sebaceous filaments.

From http://www.livestrong.com/article/546911-difference-between-blackheads-sebaceous-filaments/
“A blackhead is a solitary eruption on the skin, while sebaceous filaments form an even, random pattern throughout an oilier area of your skin such as your nose or chin. Blackheads tend to be larger and darker while sebaceous filaments have a grayish or tan hue rather than a blackhead’s charcoal color. Sebaceous filaments typically feel smooth to the touch, unlike a large blackhead which might have a raised rim around the recessed, plugged pore. Blackheads may accompany whiteheads, the raised white pimples that indicate an acne breakout. Sebaceous filaments occur on virtually every adult’s nose and bear no association with acne.”

As the writer of this site said, http://www.thegloss.com/2014/07/22/beauty/nose-blackheads-little-dots-sebaceous-filaments-sebum/ all those years thinking I have the worst blackhead problem ever was actually nothing to do with blackheads at all. Taking that in mind too, the OCM was looking even better.

Pros and cons
Pros: Natural, feels so amazing, not making skin feel tight or overly dry (if it gets dry, decrease the amount of castor oil), cost effective (wash and moisturise in one), only have to wash your face once (I wash evenings only), removes all make-up (mascara, eye shadow, foundation, sunscreen), compulsory pamper time and no yucky chemicals.

I tried a number of methods
– Massage oil into face, heat facecloth with hot hot water, put on face for awhile to steam then wipe off.
– Massage oil into face, heat facecloth with hot hot water and just wipe off.
– Massage oil into face, fill bowl with hot hot water, towel over head and steam face, wipe oil off with facecloth.

This brings me to the biggest con TIME. Either of the above just took forever. Sure it felt like I was giving myself a nice pampering and it was only once a day at night. But if I was super tired or out late, the last thing I wanted to do is spend ages steaming my face. If you don’t do it properly it felt yucky and gunky oily especially around the chin.

Another con, also related to time, was the facecloth maintenance. Seriously, what a pain. I chose to hand wash them separately because my Knight was not keen on oilifying everything else in the wash with them. I had six cloths and since some where cheapies, the colour would run a bit which wasn’t encouraging and well it was a schlep.

Final con, seeing how I’m poo free and only wash my hair every five days, smearing oil on my face, near my hairline makes for unhappy neighbours. This includes pretty much anything that gets touched with oily hands. Side track – those that say that soaps don’t strip the natural oils on your face, when I washed my hands with soap to get the oil off them, they came clean. If soap is doing that to a big doucing of oil on my hands, don’t tell me it’s good for delicate natural oils on your face.

It left me in a bit of a spot, excuse the pun, I loved the concept and the feel, when doing it properly, but the upkeep was a pain. Incidentally at the same time I was using baby oil as a moisturiser for my body. Again loved the concept, but if I used the oil in the shower it would create a slip hazard, not fun. Yet if I used it out the shower the towels would get all oily and yucky. Then my hips of all places were getting such dry skin, literally flaking off.

Why is that of any relevance……My Knight bought a new steed and the car dealership gave him a spa voucher for his business. He treated me to a massage and the spa used a really great oil for the job. I got chatting to the masseuse about what she was using. Then my new best friend – baking soda and I are seasoned friends by now and I do love meeting new friends – entered my life.

 Water soluble oil!!! Heart Heart <3<3

She was using Nature’s Purity water soluble massage oil. The awesome thing about water soluble oil is that it washes away or dissolves in water. It literally turns all white and washes away.

Primarily used in spas because it doesn’t ruin client’s clothes or their towels, it seemed perfect for my needs. I got the Mediterranean Blend-  Avocado, Olive and Jojoba Oils in a base of Sweet Almond Oil with Vitamin E and Vitamin E Acetate (which makes it water soluble) Bought it from a online shop called Beautyworld http://www.beautyworld.com.au/inc/sdetail/120/711

I got the small bottle 500ml for around $20. Bought it the middle of April and finished around July or August. Not bad going considering this is my face wash, face moisturiser and body cream and occasional hair treatment too.

So my current routine consists of a blended mix of the ws oil, jasmine, sandalwood, vanilla and lavender essential oils. (I’ve used lemon grass, patchouli and eucalyptus eos too).  I bought some serum pump glass bottles and use about 4-5 pumps of oil to wash my face, rinse it with warm water, then use my Norwex microfiber cloth to dry my face. If it feels a bit dry I rub one pump on my face before bed and that’s it. So easy, quick, the benefits of the OCM but less work 🙂 Perfect! I also use it on my body as a body cream alternative.

What I’m loving, besides that great glowy skin, quick spot recovery time, natural no chemical approach, three in one beauty care, is the scope for creating my own blends. I initially used the essential oils because my Knight was a bit iffy about the pure oil smell. However the more I use them and do research, the more I’m grateful for his super sensitive nose. As I learn more I’ll definitely post more!!

In conclusion, love the concept of the OCM in it’s original format, was just not viable for me due to the time and maintenance involved in keeping it up. I really feel like I’ve got the best of both worlds. Again like with no poo, I found when you go out to learn a little you end up learning alot, I’m super excited to carry on along the essential oils journey.