The whole cleansing oil thingy, and why it’s great.

As I wrote last week, oils are great.

In particular, oil is a real good thing for your hair. Nourishes it. Makes it obedient. Feeds it. Tames it. Hydrates it. Reads it bedtime stories.

Now, onto the facey oil stuff, specifically, cleaning said face with oil.

Important starty bit: Do not fear oils on the face. Our skin is made up of oil and secretes oil, ('sebum') –  it gets oil. Good mates with it.


I cleanse with oil.

For those not on this skin care wagon already (it's the one with streamers and an infant donkey painted on the side) cleaning the face with oil sounds counter-intuitive. But! It is actually a fantastic, superb, wondeful way to thoroughly remove makeup and oil – yes oil! – from the face. The skin is made up of oil and moisture, so why not ensure its levels are topped up?

A good cleansing oil completely removes all impurities, even waterproof makeup, by using incredible like-attracts-like technology (replacing gross oil with nice clean oil), all the while keeping your skin perfectly balanced and not-at-all-stripped or dry. Remember: too little oil means your skin starts overproducing sebum and you get oilier skin, plus congestion/clogged pore/general unhappiness. Cleansing oils are hydrophilic, which means they can be washed off and dissolved easily and there's no build up or film left over.

And finally, cleansing oils are hydrating. Very much so.

I always cleanse with oil (as part of a double cleanse) when I've been wearing a lot of makeup, plus silicone primer and sunscreen, but if you have very dry skin, or clean your face then immediately need to moisturise right after because of tightness, (you're probably using the wrong cleanser, darling, skin should never feel tight after washing) you may really beneift from oil cleansing as it is inherently, deliciously moisturising. (Like all cleansers, there are different kinds of cleansing oils for different skin types – oily, dry, normal, whitening, etc.)

Fun tip: And a lot of people with acne find oil cleansing very helpful for stabilising and balancing and hydrating their skin, in particular a homemade mix of two teaspoons of castor oil, with one teaspoon of a carrier oil like jojoba oil plus a few drops of tea tree oil. Your skin may flip out for a few weeks! Especially if you've been using very astringent, drying skincare up until this. Your skin needs to adjust. You have been warned. 

I love Dermalogica Pre-Cleanse and shu uemura's Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium a/o Advanced. ("The Green one.") 

Shu uemura cleansing oil


How to clean the face with oil:

(There are a few ways to do this. None are wrong so long as you start with a dry face and end with a thorough removal of the oil.)

  1. Start with a filthy face. No makeup removing required. 
  2. Put some cleansing oil in wet hands and massage all over (your dry, dirty) face for at least a minute, until it is fully emulsified and all milky. Clean and massage over your eyes, too. But close them tight because oil in the eyes is ANNOYING.
  3. Leave the oil to sit on the skin for a bit, then either rinse off with warm water, or take a hot-warm face cloth and rest on the face for ten seconds or so, to compress the oils into the skin. 
  4. Wipe the oil off the face with the cloth (or just rinse) til she's aaaaall gone.

If your skin feels great, stop there, or follow with your regular cleanser for a very thorough clean, also known as a double clean I mentioned earlier. Then serum/moisturise as normal.

Have you tried cleansing oil? Made your own? Tell us your tale, you rascal!


Responses to this drivel: 2 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 2 )
  • Danni

    Holla! Learning to oil cleanse changed my life. I have crazy, dry skin that would always feel tight. Now I cleanse with plain old castor oil and have scrumptious, clean skin all the damn time.

  • Nancy

    Hi Zoe!

    Was just wondering if the cleansing oils from Shu uemura could be used as a daily cleanser (when not wearing makeup) or is it solely used as a makeup remover?

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