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Cleansing with oil seems counterintuitive, but the oil cleansing method is actually a simple, natural practice that has so many benefits for the skin!

Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.

What is Oil Cleansing?

Oil Cleansing Method

The basic idea of oil cleansing is to use natural oils in specific combination to cleanse the skin and balance the skin’s natural oils. The results are more nourished and hydrated skin than traditional soap and detergent-based facial cleaners can give.

As the website dedicated to the oil cleansing method explains:

“The basic concept of this skin care and cleansing method is that the oil used to massage your skin will dissolve the oil that has hardened with impurities and found itself stuck in your pores. The steam will open your pores, allowing the oil to be easily removed. Should you need it, the smallest drop of the same oil formula patted over damp skin will provide the necessary lubrication to keep your skin from over-compensating in oil production.”

Still skeptical? I can understand, especially if you have oily skin. But read what acne.org has to say about the oil cleansing method:

“Fact: Oil dissolves oil. One of the most basic principals of chemistry is that “like dissolves like.” The best way to dissolve a non-polar solvent like sebum/oil, is by using another non-polar solvent similar in composition: Other oils. By using the right oils, you can cleanse your pores of dirt and bacteria naturally, gently and effectively, while replacing the dirty oil with beneficial ones extracted from natural botanicals, vegetables and fruit that heal, protect and nourish your skin. When done properly and consistently, the OCM can clear the skin from issues like oily skin, dry skin, sensitive skin, blackheads, whiteheads and other problems caused by mild to moderate acne–while leaving your skin healthy, balanced and properly moisturized.”

But does it actually work?

Short answer: YES! It really does. In addition to leaving the skin moisturized and clean, oil cleansing is also great for dissolving makeup without harsh scrubbing and has the added benefit of fuller lashes and brows thanks to the conditioning property of oil.

Ready to try it? Keep reading for some of my favorite cleansing oils and a how-to!

The Best Cleansing Oils

Beautycounter’s Lipid Defense Cleansing Oil

This luxurious, lightweight cleansing oil gently yet effectively removes makeup and impurities without stripping essential lipids from the skin. Rich in vitamin E, fatty acids, and Beautycounter’s plant-derived Retinatural Complex, the formula reinforces the skin’s fragile moisture barrier for a soothed, nourished complexion. This bad boy is part of the Countertime Collection and is full of anti-aging benefits.

Featured Ingredients:
Retinatural Complex: Bakuchiol has been shown to provide skin-care results that are comparable to retinol—without harmful side effects such as skin irritation and increased sun sensitivity—and Swiss Alpine rose boosts the skin’s antioxidant defense.
Vitamin E and Essential Fatty Acids: Help to maintain the integrity of the skin’s moisture barrier.

After just two weeks of use*:
100% said it left no residue
100% agreed it didn’t irritate the eye area
97% said skin felt soft, smooth, and nourished
97% said it easily removed face and eye makeup
*Based on a 32-subject consumer perception study after two weeks of use.

Read more about the entire Countertime Collection here.

Oil Cleansing Method

Pai’s Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil

Formulated with sensitive skin in mind, this cleansing oil can take a full face to task gently—no rubbing or tugging required.

Featured Ingredients:
Rosehip Extract: A dense supply of essential fatty acids and vitamins A, C, and E help repair and protect the skin against environmental stressors.
Castor Seed Oil: Rich in antioxidants, Castor oil leaves your skin feeling deeply moisturized, while protecting it from free radicals.
Sunflower Seed Oil: High in Omega-6 fatty acids and Vitamin E, Sunflower Seed oil is hydrating, retains moisture and is gentle on your skin.

Use code “ref_fearfullymadefearlesslyliving” for 15% off at Follain!

Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm

Beautycounter Cleansing Balm
Picture from Heather Bowling on Instagram

Shifting gears a little bit, as this cleanser is a balm: solid at room temperature, but still contains oils to help melt makeup and impurities away. With a blend of lotus extract, jojoba seed oil, and avocado seed oil, Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm soothes and destresses skin while increasing luminosity.

After just one week of use*:
100% said skin looked brighter and more radiant
100% agreed it removed face and eye makeup
100% said skin felt nourished and more hydrated
97% reported no greasy residue left on skin
*Based on a 32-subject consumer perception study after one week of daily use.

Used as an overnight mask**:
91% said they woke up to more radiant, luminous, glowing skin
94% agreed skin felt soft, nourished, and more supple
100% said skin felt smoother
** Based on a 32-subject consumer perception study after one night of use.

This one is a great multitasker and the tub lasts forever! Okay, maybe not forever, but close to a year. It’s a great investment and multitasks for other skin issues as well. Shop here.



How To Wash Face With Oil Cleansing

  1. Massage oil cleanser into dry skin. Use smooth circular strokes that can also be a gentle facial massage. Massage for at least a minute or until you are sure that the oil has saturated your skin. This will also remove makeup effectively, so no need to remove makeup first.
  2. Soak a clean washcloth with hot water. Open it and place over your face. This will create steam against the skin to remove the oils and any impurities in the skin. Leave the wash cloth on for about a minute, or until it cools. Use the washcloth to gently remove remaining oil. There will still be a thin layer of oil on the skin and this is beneficial.
  3. You may not need to follow with any moisturizer. However, I often oil cleanse as my first cleanse and then follow with a second cleanser, toner, serum, and moisturizer. But, it’s up to you!
Oil Cleansing Method

Have you ever tried the oil cleansing method? Did it work for you?