Ages ago I did a post called ‘Good Grease‘ which had my 5 favourite Balm Cleansers in it. I have been meaning to do a 5 Favourite Oil Cleansers ever since. Over the years I have fallen in love with oil cleansing as a super effective way to get off my makeup that is also gentle and balancing on the skin. Here are 5 I have been rotating through, from drugstore to luxury, and why I love each one.
If you’ve never used an oil cleanser to remove your makeup, well then you are missing out. They can be so nourishing and gentle, and break down makeup beautifully (even waterproof mascara!) if you get a good one. If you are afraid of the big “O” (I mean Oil people…get your heads out of the gutter!) then don’t be – there are so many amazing oils on the market now that won’t clog pores (like mineral oil) and aren’t high on the comedogenic list (like coconut oil).
How to Use an Oil Cleanser (the right way!)
First and foremost, you should be applying your oil cleanser to DRY skin (one to two pumps) and massaging it in. You will feel your makeup break up and this is how you can get every last spot of product including SPF off. After massaging in for a minute or two, some oil cleansers will emulsify if you wet your hands slightly, and turn into a milk. I massage around another minute to make sure everything is ready to come off.
Most importantly you need to remove properly – It actually terrifies me to hear so many ‘splash off’ their oil cleansers! If you only splash your face with water expecting that is enough to remove residue then I don’t want to hear any complaints about breakouts or ‘greasy feel’. You need to remove these with a warm washcloth folks, plain and simple.
Finally follow with your skin cleanser of choice (and if it is oil based then remove again with a washcloth)
Enjoy beautiful, balanced, clear skin!
The Drugstore Option
I’ve been loving this Palmer’s Skin Therapy Cleansing Oil* so much lately. Not only is it mineral oil free, which is something hard to find in the drugstore world due to its cheap cost, but it removes everything really quickly. It claims to have a rosehip fragrance which doesn’t particularly smell likes roses to me, but it is somewhat fresh/floral.
Pros: Smells nice, massages well, great price, emulsifies, doesn’t sting or cloud eyes.
Cons: Doesn’t always break down super stubborn makeup.
The Cult Classic
The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil has become quite popular over the years. This is one of the oiler feeling oils and has a very subtle chamomile scent to it. It removes regular makeup well, but not so hot with waterproof mascara, and does emulsify with water.
Pros: Smells nice, great price, emulsifies, breaks down makeup quickly, doesn’t sting or cloud eyes.
Cons: Slightly thicker so I use more in order to get a good massage, doesn’t dent waterproof mascara well, LEAKS HORRIBLY. (all caps necessary for that last point because I have been through several bottles of this and each one leaks if you don’t keep it 100% upright).
The Oily Skin’s Friend
Dermalogica has been around ages now, and when I saw they came out with PreCleanse* I was curious. Specifically marketed as being especially great for oily skin with rice bran oil which helps purify, this oil emulsifies really nicely and tackles most makeup like a breeze.
Pros: Smells nicely of lemons, emulsifies, breaks up makeup quickly, doesn’t sting or cloud eyes.
Cons: I need more than one pump to massage well since it is thicker. Lots of citrus oils which can be known irritants to super sensitive skin (though mine had no issues!), on the pricier side. Can only get at salons and spas.
The Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil gets everything off, every time. Slightly thicker though it massages really well, works fast and it emulsifies with water and wipes away clean – including waterproof mascara! The formula has botanical amino acids which actually work to break down blackheads and clogged pores.
Pros: No fragrance, massages well, breaks down makeup quickly, emulsifies, doesn’t cloud or sting eyes, removes waterproof mascara, comes in two sizes, excellent pump that travels well.
Cons: Can only get at Sephora, slightly pricier.
The Luxury Option
The Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil* is such a lovely lightweight cleansing oil. It a super thin texture which those who don’t love the idea of a greasy oil will enjoy, and it emulsifies to a delicate milk. The scent it very clean, almost soapy smelling, and it breaks down makeup quickly. The formula is also full of antioxidant benefits and leaves skin feeling particularly smooth which would make it great for a morning/second cleanse.
Pros: Smells fresh, massages well, lightweight formula, emulsifies, doesn’t cloud or sting eyes, breaks makeup up quickly, comes in two sizes, excellent pump that travels well.
Cons: Pricey, can only be found in Sephora’s or on Tatcha.com.
So which cleansing oils are your favourites? Have you tried any of mine?
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Jaime Pickering | 30-something, makeup hoarding (I prefer to call it "collecting"), classic rock loving, jeans and t-shirt girl - who just happens to love a little gloss from time to time.
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