Dear science-y people of GT, help me to skin! I just want to be pretty and not pimply, sore, itchy, and red. The internets are not helping, and I fell down the oil cleansing method (OCM) rabbit hole on Monday.

According to proponents of the OCM, there are good oils to use, and bad oils. Coconut oil, apparently, is just a toss-up and you should try your luck because if it works for you, it’s a true panacea. Or, you might end up with an outbreak that will ruin your skin for six months, and you shouldn’t have been using it in the first place, dummy!

Everyone seems to agree castor oil is good for cleansing skin, but what you use with it is up to you and your skin type. There are handy-dandy charts outlining the best oils for your skin type, but hold up! Make sure your chosen oil isn’t comedogenic! That shit will fuck you up. Unless it doesn’t. You’ll just have to find out!

My questions are:

  • Is OCM even worthwhile?
  • Is there such a thing as a non-comedogenic oil?
  • If oils can be non-comedogenic, is there really a scale for pore blockability?
  • Does any of this shit actually work? Like, will it penetrate the cutaneous layer and dissolve the excess sebum currently blocking the fuck out of my chin pores?
  • Why does it have to suck so hard to be a woman?

So after I OCM the shit out of my face, I have to apply goops. Salicylic acid is supposed to clear the junk out of my pores, and then alpha hydroxy acids are supposed to help get rid of the dying and weak skin, making me look like a newborn baby’s buttcheeks. However, if I want to do a REALLY good job of that, I can turn to retinols to “encourage cell turnover.” Now I want turnovers.


Because of my history with my skin, I’m trying a regimen of vitamin C in the morning and retinol in the evening, so hopefully in a few weeks I can be all glowy and gorgeous, and get away with the light foundations instead of the movie magic special effects stuff, and then I can traipse through a field of daisies.

Unless I’m entirely delusional.

Am I entirely delusional?