Oils are solvents, meaning that they can absorb the oils found in our make-up and excess sebum produced by our skin to deeply cleanse the face without disrupting its natural protective barriers or leaving it stripped of moisture. "The theory behind oil cleansers is that they're thought to remove bad excess oil because they have similar chemical properties as skin oil, which allow them to interact. This is in contrast to washing with water, which separates from oil," says dermatologist Arielle Nagler, speaking to Health.com.
Another reason to opt for an oil-based cleansing method is because oil cleansers are more gentle on the skin than other make-up removal alternatives, like make-up removing wipes or micellar water, whilst still removing hard-to-budge make-up like waterproof mascara.
The idea of cleansing with oil can sound counter-intuitive for those with oily or combination skin, but there is an oil-based solution for every skin type. Those with acne-prone or oily skin should be sticking to lighter natural oils like coconut oil, lavender oil and vitamin E-rich grapeseed oil, which won't weigh too heavily on the skin or cause breakouts. This goes for sensitive skin, too – oil cleansers can provide a natural solution for those who flare up at harsh chemicals. Those combatting dry skin can opt for oils with richly hydrating properties like avocado oil and olive oil.
Here's a list for the best cleansing oils to adopt into your skincare routine this winter:
10. Neutrogena Deep Clean Cleansing Oil, $18.99; at neutrogena.com.au
Tested by ophthalmologists and dermatologists, this product cleanses and nourishes skin without leaving a greasy residue or blocking pores by using a blend of fine oils that extract impurities, leaving the face clean and rejuvenated. It offers the perfect solution to oily skin craving a deep cleanse without stripping moisture.
9. Bare Minerals Oil Obsessed Cleansing Oil, $46; at mecca.com.au
Garnering stellar reviews from users, the Bare Minerals Oil Obsessed Cleansing Oil is lightweight and effortless, leaving skin smooth and silky without blocking pores. It uses a blend of sunflower, bilberry and cucumber oils to remove impurities and nourish the complexion.
8. Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil, $28; at sephora.com.au
This paraben-free cleansing oil provides sensitive skin with a deep and soothing clean. It’s 100 percent fragrance-free and avoids allergens and irritants, dissolving make-up and excess oils without causing irritation.
7. La Mer The Cleansing Oil, $120; at mecca.com.au
By using marine oils and ionizing sea salts, the La Mer Cleansing Oil is a detoxifying cleanser that simultaneously removes make-up and conditions skin. Users rave about its unique ability to soothe skin, minimizing blemishes and acne.
6. Dermalogica PreCleanse, $65; at mecca.com.au
Watch the most stubborn make-up disappear with this plant-based cleanser. Using olive and kuki oils as well as rice bran and vitamin E, this formula dissolves sebum without disrupting your skin’s protective barriers to deliver a deeply penetrating clean.
5. Avène Xeracalm Cleansing Oil, $35.95; at adorebeauty.com.au
Carefully crafted for dull, dry or sensitive skin using minimal ingredients, this soap-free cleansing oil uses lipids to protect the complexion from external influences, and soothes and repairs dry skin.
4. Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil, $36; at adorebeauty.com
Using a rich infusion of coconut oil and argan oil, this cleanser is 100% free from harsh parabens, SLS and petrolatum and gently softens skin, making it the ideal gentle and sensitive oil cleanser for those with dry or combination skin types.
3. Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Cleansing Oil, $52; at mecca.com.au
This product stands out among the rest by boasting the ability to reduce wrinkles and fine lines by using fruit stem cells and reservatrol. On top of that, its organic and cruelty free formula firms skin and smoothens the complexion, making it the perfect anti-ageing cleanser for mature or sensitive skin.
2. Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, $73; at mecca.com
Making up the first half of Tatcha’s iconic double-cleanse technique, this award-winning product is renowned for its capacity to seamlessly melt off all make-up (even waterproof), and leave skin feeling fresh, clean and hydrated. Using a blend of Japanese camellia oil and rice bran oil, it will leave your skin feeling clean and luxuriously soft.
1. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, $39; at lilabeauty.com
This much-loved holy grail of cleansing oils is a water-soluble solution that uses an olive oil base to remove make-up and dirt. The formula also contains capric triglyceride and pentylene gloycol to moisturise and enrich skin. Recommended by dermatologists, it’s a deeply nourishing cleansing oil that poses benefits for every skin type.