It took me a long time to come around to oil cleansers. As someone with very oily skin, I was always concerned that an oil cleanser wouldn't be effective in properly cleaning my skin. The reality is, it's actually much more effective than the cleansers I was using before.
Now, I almost exclusively use oil cleansers - unless I'm testing out a new product. Oil dissolves dirt and makeup far more effectively than any kind of soap. As someone that wears a lot of mascara, being able remove it all while keeping your eyelashes intact through the process is a boon I'd previously only dreamed of. And while being extremely effective at ridding your face of makeup, they won't strip your skin of all its natural oils and lipid protection.
With all this in mind, below, find a list of my best oil cleansers. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of everything on the market. I discover new and amazing beauty products every day. But of the ones that I have personally tried, these are, in my humble opinion, the best.
This cleansing oil is made from rosehip oil which is one of my favourite oils. Rosehip oil has some amazing skincare benefits in that it has similar effects to retinol because it's very rich in vitamin A. Just to clarify, vitamin A - not vitamin C. Rosehip oil has no vitamin C because the vitamin C is water soluble and exists in the actual fruit, not the seeds which is where the oil is pressed from. Rosehip oil is also full of fatty acids which help to nourish and protect. Pai rosehip is particularly good because it's extraction process keeps all the goodness in the oil. Aside from all the skincare benefits, this cleanser is very effective at cleansing. It removes every scrap of makeup and leaves your skin glowing - free of dirt but very nourished.
Caudalíe's recently reformulated Vinoclean range includes this gem. The blend of oils includes sweet almond, castor, grape seed and sunflower oils. I love the inclusion of castor oil in this product because it's great for eyelash and brow growth. It's also proudly free of animal derived ingredients and all of the bottles are made from recycled plastic.
If you're skin is generally sensitive to face oils, this cleansing oil from The Jojoba Co. is a good option. Jojoba Oil is very similar to the consistency and nature of our natural sebum, hence it works with your skin not against. This formulation is enriched with antioxidants and can be mixed with water to create a milky cleansing consistency.
This contains certified organic noni, babassu oil, silver ear mushroom and apple seed oil - so it's full of nutrients and fatty acids to keep your skin nourished. The mushroom in particular is an interesting inclusion. The Kora Organics website claims is acts as a natural alternative to hyaluronic acid. This one leaves you feeling clean but also very soft.
Anything Biossance always gets a big tick from me because of the brand's environmental ethics. The backbone of all its products is a plant-based squalane. Squalane is an alternative to squalene a lipid found naturally in our skin, it's also present in the livers of sharks - animals that have been killed in order to harvest the squalene for skincare. Creating a plant-based alternative helps to reduce the demand for shark squalene. Biossance's squalane is also, in my opinion, superior to other plant-based squalanes which are normally made from olives. Olive squalane can cause breakouts in some people but the Biossance sugarcane squalane is much more tolerable.
Aside from the huge environmental positives, it's also just a great cleanser. Lightweight but very effective at removing makeup, your skin always feels baby soft after using this one.
Napoleon Perdis Rebirth of Venus Renewal Cleansing Oil
This is the first oil cleanser I ever used back in 2014. It's what I used to turn to when I was wearing a full face of glam makeup. I still have a bottle of it sitting in my bathroom cupboard. The ingredients list is a little weird and wonderful: marine-based Proteoglycan, olive oil and fermented lotus seeds. I'm not quite sure what these are supposed to do, but this one always leaves me fresh and poreless.
Arriving in a solid balm, you'll need to warm this one up in your hands before applying to your skin. What makes this one special is that it's powered by Augustinus Bader's patented TFC8 technology which triggers skin renewal and repair. Like other oil cleansers, it's tough on makeup but it also has intense anti-ageing benefits. It's an excellent addition to an anti-ageing skincare routine.
A balm that melts into a citrus-infused oil cleanser. Enriched with orange, apple and rosehip, this cleanser has lots of nutrients for a happy and nourished complexion. The packaging definitely of the more travel-friendly side. Pump bottle are hard to pack but this one has a screw top making it easy to stuff in your holiday bag.
For sensitive skin, try this. If your skin is reactive or prone to atopic dermatitis, this cleanser is designed for you. It's been created with as few ingredients as possible and all of them are designed to soothe and protect as they dissolve makeup and dirt. If you have any skin disturbances, this will help minimise them and aid in the repair of your skin barrier function. I like using this in extreme climates, either very cold or very hot as I find it bring balance to my skin.