Why You Need to Seriously Rethink Your Cleanser



If you’d told us five years ago that we’d be lusting after a cleansing oil, we wouldn’t have believed you, but now we’ve tried one, we can’t go back! There are SO many benefits of using a cleansing oil that they’re now one of our fav beauty products. Cleansing oils will naturally balance your skin’s pH levels, hydrate, and dissolve oils and impurities that get trapped in your pores. Over time, you’ll notice your blackheads diminish, and your sebum production will be balanced. And FYI, cleansing oils are for everyone, even if you have oily skin! Before you rush and buy one, make sure you choose one that’s suited to your skin type  or you could be in serious trouble.

Why you need to switch up your regular cleanser for a cleansing oil

No matter what your skin type, the right cleansing oil will work wonders for your skin. Not only will it remove your makeup in the most organic way  no harsh chemicals, soaps or parabens  but the oil will combine with excess sebum and surface impurities, so when it’s removed, all those nasties are washed off with it, leaving your skin clean, soft, and mega hydrated.

The only issue is, with so many hitting the shelves, it can be overwhelming. So, to save you from stressing about finding the right one, here’s our ultimate guide to this miracle product:


Key Ingredients: Amino acids, vitamins A and C, Rosehip, apple seed extract.
Beware of: Nothing; any cleansing oil is good for you!

For those of you with dry skin, a cleansing oil is the answer to all your problems as your skin is seriously thirsty and needs the hydration. This means you can use pretty much any cleansing oil without hassle. Another major bonus is that it’ll also remove any impurities without causing any extra dryness like other more traditional chemical cleansers. To lock in moisture, look for cleansing oils that are high in essential fatty acids, amino acids, and natural vitamins, like vitamin A or C as these will really nourish and replenish your skin.

We recommend: Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, $48, or No7 Beautiful skin cleansing oil, $12.


Key Ingredients: Glycerin, botanicals, amino acids, BHA’s.
Beware of: Parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, sodium laurel sulphate (SLS).

We know it seems counter-intuitive to add oil to an already oily, acne-prone complexion but remember it’s possible to have oily yet dehydrated skin. The secret is to look for a lightweight, non-comedogenic formula as this will not be too heavy on your skin and won’t clog your pores. Oil cleansers are naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory which helps keep acne in check. To balance excess oil, look for dry oils (oils that are easily absorbed into your skin) containing glycerin as it’ll nourish your skin without leaving it looking greasy. Botanical extracts and amino acids are also really good at gently balancing sebum, plus they can help soothe any irritation and redness, giving you a more even-toned complexion.

We recommend: Keihl’s Since 1851 Midnight Recover Botanical Cleansing Oil, $32 or Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil, $8.99.


Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, apricot oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil.
Beware of:  Fragrance.

If you have sensitive skin, a cleansing oil can really help your complexion as it’ll work to balance and maintain your skin’s natural pH levels soothing any flare-ups and redness. Look for soothing, natural formulas like olive oil, that are fragrance-free to prevent any further irritation. Oil cleansers that contain natural oils like coconut oil are also ideal, as they contain fatty acids, which help replenish the skin’s barrier and boost skin renewal. So, it’s perfect for you if you have eczema.

We recommend: Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil, $46 or Burts Bee’s Facial Cleansing Oil, $16.


Key Ingredients: Marula oil, vitamin C, vitamin E.
Beware of: Heavy formulas, rosehip oil.

An oil cleanser is ideal for normal to combination skin types. Make sure you look for a lightweight formula that can simultaneously cleanse and hydrate. So start by trying cleansers with plant-based oils (like grapeseed, almond, and hemp) as these oils are quickly absorbed and super nourishing. Oil cleansers will also help restore and balance your skin’s pH levels while balancing sebum (oil) production around your T-zone –  so you can say bye Felicia to midday shine.

We recommend: Caudalíe Caudalie Make-up Removing Cleansing Oil, $19 or Simple Sensitive Skin Experts Hydrating CLeansing oil, $10.99, Sonya Dakar Buriti Purifying Cleanser£50


Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, rosehip, AHA’s, vitamin C, vitamin E.
Beware of: Lightweight, dry oils.

Oil cleansers are crazy hydrating and packed with anti-oxidants making them ideal for mature skin. The antioxidants will help fight free radicals that cause premature aging while improving the texture and elasticity of your skin. This will boost your facial radiance while firming and plumping your skin. Products that contain AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) are also great as they rejuvenate the skin by exfoliating the surface layer and helping it to retain its natural moisture levels.

We recommend: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, $28 or Derma E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil, $16.

How to use cleansing oils:

How you apply a cleansing oil can determine how well it works its magic:

  • Dispense roughly two to three pumps of oil onto your hands and warm the oil in your palms for 30 seconds to activate the ingredients. Then massage it into your skin for one minute (for extra tips on facial massage click here).
  • Then wet your hands and continue to massage your face until the oil begins to emulsify and foam.
  • Finally, rinse off the residue with warm water and pat dry with a warm towel. Make sure the water you use is not too hot as this will damage your facial capillaries and break your skin’s natural barrier.
  • If you’re wearing makeup, make sure to always double cleanse: follow your cleansing oil with a cleanser to suit your skin type. Then tone and follow with your fav moisturizer, this is especially important at night as this is when your skin loses the most moisture.

For the ultimate skincare regime, check out our guides to moisturizerstoners, and facial oils.