I'd been on birth control since I was 16. I came off the pill now and again for a few months at a time in the 14 year period between then and now, but always went back on because my periods were never regular and there's nothing worse (in my opinion) than not having a clue about when your period is next due.
I went off birth control (for obvious married person reasons) in February of this year. Beyond all of the mental, hormonal and emotional issues that will prevent me from taking it again, about 5 months after getting off the pill, I started to break out.
Having been a pill taker for so long, I breezed through high school with great skin. I didn't know how to deal with the fact that, all of a sudden, I was going to have to come up with a skin care regimen.
My new-found aversion to the bad things they put in lots of products these days had me surfing the 'net to find some alternatives.
I decided to start with the Oil Cleansing Method. It made sense, and everyone seemed to say that it was the BEST THING EVER. After a long search (ending with Amazon) I got some castor oil and started giving it a go. Crunchy Betty has a great bit of info on it including a "Trying and Troubleshooting" guide found here.
I *really* like it. I use about 50/50 castor oil and sweet almond oil, with a few drops of tea tree essential oil thrown in. I don't have a pre-mixed container so just mix as I go. Once I get a small empty container I think that will be a better method. I found that the key is HOT (without burning yourself) water on your steaming cloth. If the water isn't hot enough, you won't get clean enough. Some websites suggest steaming in the shower but the one time I did this, I ended up with a super oily face. I think the shower just doesn't get hot enough.
It is actually amazing how well this cleans my pores, and my blackheads are greatly reduced. It also helped the super freaky bizarre extra oil extravaganza that started going on on my face a couple of months ago. My skin is soft and hydrated without being oily, and it's super clean. I follow this with a toner. I have no idea if it's needed but it's my special made-it-myself toner and it's not doing any harm.
If I was less lazy, I would do this every other day. I agree with Crunchy Betty that it's probably not required every day, but I don't do it enough. I use OCM once or twice a week, and make extra effort if there is an event coming up.
Some people have reported an adjustment period for their skin, and others broke out and stopped the OCM altogether. I guess we're all different, though this could be down to not steaming fully and/or using an oil that's maybe not great for your skin.
I would highly recommend giving this a try for a week or two, and would be interested to hear what people think.