Facial Cleansers Get Greasy: Oil-Based Cleansers Beautify, Universally

By Nicole Teh

If you’re anything like us, you’ve likely been told (repeatedly, at that) to always look for oil-free products in order to avoid clogged pores and breakouts. But what if we told you that using oil to cleanse your skin could actually be the best way to remove those pore-clogging impurities and may actually be the secret to clearer skin?

Considering how often we’ve all been reminded of the perils of oil on our skin we completely understand how cleansing with oil could be difficult to absorb. (Recoiling at the mere thought of applying oil to your face? Read on!) In fact, it’s a wonder the non-oil-free skincare industry has even managed to sustain itself. But it has. And for good reason!

Is neem oil the secret to beauty?

Getting right down to basics, like dissolves like. So, start believing this: oil dissolves oil.

The basic concept of oil-based cleansers is that they dissolve the oil and impurities stuck in our pores (and even wash away makeup!), allowing us to cleanse our pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively. Even better, they double as a moisturizer too since they replace the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit to heal, protect and nourish.

6 vegetables that are great for your skin!

Still scared of breaking out? Oil, on its own, will not bring blemishes. The real culprits: raging hormones, built-up bacteria, dead skin cells and grimy dirt. So, while oil tends to get the bad rap, the sebum your skin produces is actually designed to help lubricate, heal, protect and moisturize our skin so that it can function properly. And when you strip away your skin’s naturally produced oil with oil-free cleansers, soaps and washes, well, your skin fights back. It over-compensates for the lack of moisture by creating even more oil. And let’s just get to the point here – in this war you’re waging against oil on your face, you’re destined to lose.

The solution: learning to work with your skin (and its oil), rather than against it. So, whether you have dry, sensitive, acne-prone, again or oily skin, oil based cleansers can help, all the while maintaining your skin’s natural level of moisture.

This doesn’t mean, however, that you should head to your kitchen and start cleansing with the canola! Rather, look for oil-based cleansers formulated to encapsulate residue (like dirt and sweat) and gently lift these impurities from the pores.

The skincare tips you need to know before any big event!

Oil-based cleansers are formulated in different varieties for gentle cleansing, specific to each person’s individual skin needs, but here are some of our top picks:

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, $28, shuuemura-usa.com
Designed to balance all skin types, this oil removes even the most stubborn of waterproof makeup, leaving your skin nothing short of golden.

Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil, $38, neimanmarcus.com
With ginger root extract to sooth and calm the skin, this olive and jojoba oil cleanser will undoubtedly leave any skin type feeling soft, supple and clean.

Envie De Neuf Rice Eclat Cleansing Oil, $76, enviedeneuf.com
Rice lipids in this oil work to preserve the hydrolipid film of the skin, while its water-soluble formula leaves the skin perfectly purified.

Kiehl’s Body Cleansing Oil, $28, kiehls.com
Bring the benefits of cleansing oil to your body with this fairly-traded Moroccan Argan Oil, rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. We particularly love using this oil when shaving for silky, smooth finish.


So, bid harsh make-up removers farewell and get greasy with us.

See why bar soaps are back (and better than ever)!