Best Cleansing Oils for the Face

As someone with aging, dehydrated skin, I swore by oils as moisturizers, but I had never tried an oil cleanser. After some testing, I found my perfect match and now I'm sold (more on which one I fell for below). 

Oils as cleansers make perfect sense if you know a bit about how oils work with the skin. You're meant to put them on dry skin, massage them in and let them do their work dissolving oils, grime and even waterproof makeup. You then rinse your face with warm -- never hot -- water or use a muslin cloth to remove the cleanser. 

Oils are great for most skin types but I don't recommend them for oily skin. You need to pick the right oils for your skin type. Most cleansers are marketed for certain skin types. Barring this, look for the following on the bottle:

  • Olive oils are great for sensitive skin
  • safflower works for combination skin
  • all oils work well with dry skin

Don't miss The Best Cleansers for Dry Skin

This is the oil cleanser I use every night. I was introduced to Tracie Martyn Amla Purifying Cleanser while shopping in ABC Home and Carpet in NYC awhile back and now I'm obsessed.

I use it in tandem with a hyaluronic acid serum and Tracie's moisturizer and my aging, drying skin problems have cleared up. No more flaky skin. That said, I do find if I go off of it for a weekend, the flakes reappear.

Reviews all over the Web prove I'm not alone in my love for this cleanser. Users with rosacea, dry and sensitive skin seem to be the biggest fanatics. Glad I'm not alone.

The only con is the price. It's expensive. But if you use only one squirt instead of the recommended 3, the product will last longer.  

In my research for facial oils, this one kept cropping up again and again. Bloggers, editors, regular people, celebrities are using this Japanese brand and apparently loving it. This cleanser is the bestseller from this Japanese company.

So what do they love about it? It's affordable price and its effective cleansing. Turns out DHC is great for all skin types and is a great choice for those with sensitive skin because it's olive oil based. 

Many of the oil cleansers I've researched come from Japanese and Korean brands. Apparently, the people in these countries go ga-ga for natural oils. TATCHA is a Japanese company and this cleansing oil is a bestseller. It hits a home run review-wise as there seems not a bad review of this cleanser on the Web. 

Made up of camellia and rice bran oils, apparently, camellia oils are a treasured secret of geishas over the centuries. They use camellia oil to remove their stage makeup without drying or damaging their skin, according to TATCHA found, Victoria Tsai. 

In my research, this cleansing oil was one of a few that kept popping up in reviews as an example of a great cleansing oil. 

It's formulated with antioxidants and botanicals including hydrangea leaf, amino acids and geranium. It is also free of fragrances. 

Lots of oil cleansers start out oily and end up milky when you add water to them. This is the case with bareMinerals, which is marketed as "lightweight." The oils it contains are borage, sunflower, bilberry, and cucumber.

 BareMinerals is famous for its makeup, but this cleansing oil proves the brand also knows its skincare. This cleanser gets great reviews on the Web. 

If you are looking for a super pure, natural cleansing oil, you can't go wrong with Juice Beauty. Formulated with grapeseed, may chang, ho wood and sunflower oils, this cleanser is ideal for all skin types and is marketed for women concerned with aging. 

This cleansing oil gets great reviews online. People with oily, dry, combination and skin prone to cystic acne were all giving it 5 stars. A few people complained they felt it did nothing for their skin, but if this is the case for you, I recommend returning it.  

 Developed from the original cleansing oil with updated ingredients Combines 4 different types of oils for better cleansing efficacy Helps dissolve stubborn & waterproof makeup as well as residues on skin Infused with camellia oil, ginger root extract & depsea water Provides nutritive & restorative propterties Enhances clarity, transparency & healthiness of skin Suitable for all skin types

Described by Vogue as "probably the best cleanser in the world," Eve Lom's oil-based cleanser uses a mix of oils including Egyptian Chamomile oil, Eucalyptus oil, Clove oil and Hops oil to soothe, cleanse and tone skin. According to a video on the Eve Lom Website, you're meant to apply the cleanser to dry skin, massage it in and then dip the muslin cloth that comes with it (buy more from Amazon) in hot water, squeezing out the excess and then using the cloth to exfoliate and wash off the cleanser. 

Reviews are overwhelmingly positive, although I think it's interesting to note that Beautypedia Website gave it only one star, claiming all the cleansers is full of irritants that could potentially inflame sensitive skin and that the price is too high to pay for a cleanser that includes the same ingredients as some cheaper versions. 

Users, however, really, really love it. 

This is a super-affordable oil cleanser from beauty brand Ulta and it gets 5 stars on Beautypedia, making it worthy of a mention here. 

Fragrance-free and oil-enriched, this cleanser works best on all skin types except maybe oily. Users like it because it lathers up nicely, doesn't contain fragrances which could inflame sensitive skin and leaves skin feeling clean but not taut. 

Bobbi Brown swears by her own cleansing oil on my favorite blog Into the Gloss, so of course I had to look it up. It gets good reviews on Sephora, so I included it in this list.

According to the Bobbi Brown Website, this cleansing oil contains a special blend of oils that calm the skin and boost hydration. The jasmine flower extract and kukui nut oil moisturize, while the blend of organic sunflower, olive, and jojoba oils cleanse without leaving skin feeling dry or tight.

Josie Maran is famous for introducing Argan oil to the Western world and this is her version of a cleansing oil made with -- you guessed it -- argan oil.  

Other oils in this cleanser: Sunflower, safflower, and grape seed.

It gets good reviews online. 

This cleansing oil is recommended by renowned makeup artist Lisa Eldridge on her Website. While she's really a pro at makeup, the key and really the foundation to a flawless look is flawless skin so she really cares about skin products. 

L'Oreal makes really nice affordable products and if Eldridge likes it...that said, one thing I noted is the user reviews are not as complimentary. Makeupalley reviewers gave it 3 1/2 out of 5 stars on average.