Cleansing oils are the newbie of the beauty world, and whilst this sounds like a counterintuitive cleansing method (especially for those with oily skin) this celeb-favourite skincare product can actually be a really effective way to remove dirt that a make-up wipe just won't reach. It's not just the dirt-busting qualities of this skin hero that makes it a top pick for your daily cleansing regime either, it's also a quasi 'spa facial in a bottle'... if you use it right. So, what exactly is it and what makes the best cleansing oil? Read on.
Cleansing oils work to dissolve any dirt such as leftover makeup on the skin. With a few drops applied to the forehead and chin areas of your face and gently massaged in, you'll be able to wipe with a damp warm towel and be astounded at quite how much dirt and grime you wipe away, even if you have just passed a makeup wipe over your face. Debunking the biggest myth here: because the cleansing oil combines with the oils already on your face and is then wiped away with the dirt it has collected, even sufferers of oily skin can use the product because it isn't actually leaving any extra oil behind. You can use cleansing oils on their own as a cleanser to replace makeup wipes, with many of the best ones being able to tackle even waterproof mascara in a flash. Or use part of double-cleansing, where the cleansing oil takes care or step one, removing impurities and step two involves using your regular cleanser to finish the job.
Often infused with additional vitamins and minerals, if you often find you suffer from that horrid over-taught feeling when cleansing your face with a water-based cleanser or make-up wipe, this might just be your new skincare hero as cleansing oils work to soothe the skin and lock moisture in. Plus, while the massaging motion of the suggested application process and warm flannel (or muslin cloth if you are a pro) work to open up the pores to enable unwanted dirt to be extracted, the oil does not actually set into the pores as the rinsing process washes it all away. So, no blocked pores, supple skin and evidently with repeated use there are the added benefits of slower skin ageing and reduced lines... sign us up!
If you really want to extract the best value out of a cleansing oil - let's face it, they can be pricey - you can follow the beauty gurus advice and not only apply it to cleanse your skin but spend a bit longer on the massage process and incorporate a daily facial into your routine. With many of the best cleansing oils containing essential oils, add a warm bath and a couple of candles and you'll have a mini-spa day prepped in your own home, with all the right scents to boot.
1. Elemis Nourishing Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil
Soothe and soften the skin with this luxury cleansing oil
Best for: Soothing | Size: 200ml | Skin Type: Sensitive | Application: Pump
For those who are often prone to irritation, customers found this Elemis cleansing oil to be particularly gentle on sensitive skin. The formula is bursting with a range of different natural oils including Winter Rose, Omega-9, Chia seed and pomegranate, so you can expect your skin to be left feeling fruity fresh. It is pricey, but a little goes a long way with this cleansing oil, so you only need 1-2 pumps massaged into the face and neck. It is recommended to then wash this off with warm water and follow up with a moisturiser for best results. Users love this cleansing oil because it doesn’t leave their skin feeling tight like some cleansers do.
2. Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil
Get rid of stubborn dirt and make-up with this daily cleansing oil
Best for: Removing make-up | Size: 200ml | Skin Type: All types | Application: Pump
If you wear make-up daily, then you’ll know that removing it before bed is essential in ensuring your skin stays clear and healthy. This cleansing oil is designed for daily use and users love how it makes their skin feel. Those with all skin types, including sensitive and problematic, all said how gentle this cleansing oil is on the skin which is perfect for removing the harsh chemicals we often put on our faces. Some have said this cleansing oil doesn’t go very far if using every day, but the trick is to mix it with a little water and wash your face with it for the best results.
3. Origins Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil
Soothe dry skin with this vitamin rich oil
Best for: Dry skin | Size: 200ml | Skin Type: Dry skin | Application: Screw cap
For those who really suffer with dry skin, particularly throughout the winter months, this cleansing oil is rich with vitamins and perfect for hydrating and soothing irritated skin. Users love the citrusy aroma and say that this oil-based cleanser is very good at removing stubborn dirt in tricky areas such as around the nose. So, if you suffer from blackheads, this could be the product to try and users found a significant difference after using this oil. It doesn’t have a pump application, which can make it tricky to control the amount of product you use, but applying it to a cotton pad is said to be the most effective way to apply this to your skin.
4. Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil
Balance your skin’s pH levels with this lightweight oil
Best for: Restoring pH levels | Size: 175ml | Skin Type: All types | Application: Pump
This cleansing oil is popular for its lovely botanical smell and ability to remove all traces of make-up or other products from the skin. Those with naturally oily skin did say that they felt this cleanser didn’t really help their problematic skin, but for those with dry or normal skin, it left them feeling clean and refreshed. The blend of botanicals is designed to restore the skins pH balance for a soft and supple feeling. If you are looking for a cleansing oil that will double up as a massage oil that sets you drifting off with a spa-like scent, this is the one.
5. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
Keeps your skin looking young and healthy
Best for: Mature skin | Size: 200ml | Skin Type: All types | Application: Pump
If you feel your skin is looking a bit dry and dull, then it could be worth trying this DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. The texture of this oil is slightly thicker than most, meaning a tiny amount goes a long way, plus, it gets rave reviews for its ability to leave your face feeling soft and almost 'glowing'. Some don’t like how strong the smell is, and if you have sensitive skin this might not be ideal for you, but for dryness and skin that generally just feels a bit weathered, you can expect good things from this cleansing oil.
6. L'Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil
This Shea Butter oil will leave your skin soft and smelling divine
Best for: Softening | Size: 200ml | Skin Type: All types | Application: Pump
Shea butter is great for moisturising the skin, and it usually smells amazing too. This cleanser has been rated very highly for its hydrating properties and the ability to remove dirt that your eyes miss and even stubborn make-up too. Adding a little extra water and using a cotton pad means you can even remove waterproof mascara with this cleansing oil, not something all cleansers can promise. Those with sensitive skin have no complaints, and overall customers found this a great value cleansing oil for daily use.
7. Simple Cleansing Oil
An affordable cleanser that is kind to skin
Best for: Budget | Size: 125ml | Skin Type: Sensitive | Application: Screw cap
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a cleanser that might not agree with your skin, then Simple is a great high street brand to try first. This cleansing oil is popular for being very kind to skin and being successful at removing make-up. Some users who have oily skin already did find this product didn’t improve their skin, but if you do get irritated easily, this product with water is said to be one of the best cleansing oils for sensitive skin and at a purse-friendly price, would be a great starting point for anyone who is still unsure about the benefits of a cleansing oil over their traditional routine.