Busting The Myths Surrounding Cleansing Oils And 9 That You Can Invest In

cleansing oil

For many, face cleansing with oils may sound terrifying. But the only oils we need to worry about are the fuel ones whose prices are skyrocketing or that pool of oil floating on top of your dal tadka takeout!

There’s a long list of benefits from using cleansing oils including a thorough but gentle cleanse, unclogged pores, fewer acne flare-ups, and even improved efficacy of skincare products which are able to penetrate to deeper layers of the skin. But along with these benefits come doubts about oil as a cleanser. Allow us to clear the air about some of these.

Myth 1. Cleansing Oils Clogs Pores And Leads To Acne

This is one of the most common misconceptions about cleansing oils. But oil cleansing works with the concept of ‘like dissolves like’, which means that oil is able to dissolve and remove substances with similar chemical structures, including oil, oil-based makeup and dirt. “Cleansing oils in fact leave your skin feeling supple and hydrated, and offer deep cleansing benefits even for combination and oily skin,” says Sonali Vengurlekar, Training Head-Fragrances & Skincare, Baccarose Perfumes & Beauty Products, adding, “They deep clean pores, as cleansing oils are developed to gently melt make up and do not get absorbed into the skin. Cleansing oils also help maintain the skin’s natural biota; in simple words, it helps protect the good bacteria on the skin.”

Myth 2: I Can’t Use Oil Cleansers If I Have Oily Skin

While this is a reasonable assumption someone dealing with greasy skin might make, the fact is opting for stronger cleansers in the hope of having less oil on the skin instead tends to strip it of its natural oils as well. The result? The skin ends up producing more sebum to make up for the lack of it leading to excess oil and even acne. Instead, gentle oil cleansers clean without stripping the skin of lipids and ceramides that are vital for balanced and healthy skin. While not all oil cleansers may suit those with oily skin, it’s a matter of finding the one that works for you.

Myth 3: I Don’t Need To Oil Cleanse If I Don’t Wear Heavy Makeup

Yes, cleansing oils are excellent makeup removers, but that’s not all they do. Think about all that build-up on your skin – sebum, external aggressors, grime, pollution and more. “Throughout the day, the skin attracts all kinds of unwanted invaders attracts dust, pollutants, dead skin cells and perspiration. These elements stick to the oil on the surface of the skin and within the pores. Oil cleansers bind with dirt and effortlessly break down sebum, sunscreen, and makeup, without clogging your pores,” says a DHC spokesperson.

Myth 4: Cleansing Oils Won’t Thoroughly Take Off Makeup And Cleanse

If you’re one of those who like to their makeup off to the point where the face feels squeaky clean, you may want a rethink. Sonali points out, “Taking off long-wear makeup often triggers women to use harsh gestures that involve pulling and rubbing the skin when using soap-based cleansers.” She further explains that this causes more harm to the skin stripping it off its natural lipids. “Think about the number of lashes that you may strip off with a cotton pad when removing that waterproof mascara,” she adds. She points out instead how relaxing a gentle massage would be with a cleansing oil after a long day at work or a crazy night out.

Myth 5: Oil Cleansing In The Morning Is Pointless

Okay, you’re not taking off makeup or sunscreen first thing in the morning, but as pointed out above, that’s not all that a cleansing oil takes care of. Have you ever woken up in the morning with that slightly greasy feel on the face even after you’ve religiously followed a nightly skincare routine? Well, it’s totally normal. At night, as you sleep, your face produces sebum and other oil-based impurities that accumulate on the skin. And while it’s definitely not as much as at the end of the day, your skin still needs a good cleanse in the morning to remove those impurities. An added bonus: you’ll kick off your morning feeling super fresh and ready to take on the rigours of the day.  

Cleansing Oil Options

1. Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Oil


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Enriched with double-squeezed Jeju green tea extract this oil cleanser gently cleanses and hydrates skin. Formulated with Beauty Green Tea, green tea root extract and natural cleanser saponin, this cleansing oil revitalises your skin resulting in soft, supple and glowing skin.

2. Clarins Total Cleansing Oil


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A refreshing, lightweight cleansing oil, with 47% organic sunflower oil and Alpine herbs, this water-activated turns into silky milk and dissolves waterproof makeup and pollutants while preserving the skin’s microbiota. 

3. Dear Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

This K-beauty product is a combination of oils from natural black grains. Black bean oil helps control sebum production and increase skin elasticity, black sesame oil prevents dehydration and skin ageing while black currant seed oil strengthens the skin’s protective layer to prevent trans epidermal water loss (TEWL).

4. Suganda Squalane Cleansing Oil


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Infused with squalene, hemp oil and vitamin E, this oil softens the skin and keeps it nourished as it dissolves and cleanses surface impurities and makeup. Formulated with these carefully selected oils, it won’t clog your pores. The product doesn’t contain any essential oil or fragrance. 

5. Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil

This lightweight cleansing oil features a blend of apricot kernel oil and tangerine peel extract and leaves the skin feeling clean and refreshed. It is to be used as the first step of a double-cleansing routine, followed by the Gentle Cleansing Foam.

6. See Love Gentle Makeup Cleansing Oil

A hydrating 2-in-1 makeup removal oil and cleanser, this is formulated with Japanese camellia and plum kernel oils. Its unique Skinlov-4 Blend with active Prickly Pear Extract helps soothe and calm, leaving skin feeling soft, smooth and balanced.

7. Caudalie Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil


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In addition to taking off makeup and impurities, this vegan, oil-based cleanser also enhances the growth of eyelashes thanks to the presence of castor oil in it. Massaging it on the skin, its 100% natural sweet almond fragrance makes makeup removal an enjoyable experience.

8. DHC Beauty Deep Cleansing Oil

This cult J-beauty product features a 100% organic olive oil-based formulation and vitamin E to cleanse, hydrate, soften and protect against free radical damage, and rosemary leaf oil to invigorate and refresh. As part of the double cleansing ritual, it can be followed by the DHC Face Wash Powder.

9. MAC Cleanse Off Oil

The brand describes this as ‘an industry-strength oil-based makeup remover that’s gentle on the skin.’ It is formulated with oils of olive fruit, evening primrose and jojoba seed and is free of mineral oils. 


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