Washing your face with oil may sound terrifying, but after hearing enough celebrities—Ginnifer Goodwin, Zooey Deschanel—and estheticians sing the praises of oil cleansers, we knew there was something there. Though it may seem counterintuitive, oil-based face wash won’t actually make your skin oily, nor will it clog your pores. The eight formulas in our slideshow remove makeup and impurities as well as traditional face wash, but they also nourish delicate skin without over-drying—which is why numerous skincare brands are jumping on the bandwagon! If our predictions are correct, drugstore formulas are right around the corner (in fact, L'Oreal's already released theirs in Europe!).
Josie Maran’s Argan Cleansing Oil ($32) removes makeup and makes skin feel incredibly soft and smooth—and made an oil cleanser convert out of our entertainment director! Apply to your dry face with dry hands, massage, add warm water, and rinse. It’s full of grapefruit, grapeseed, and argan oils, and washes clean with no residue!
We’ve been fans of Murad’s Renewing Cleansing Oil ($32) since it’s launch because it’s gentle, unscented, and makes our sensitive skin very soft. Apply with damp hands to a dry face; it dissolves makeup easily and rinses clean. The light formula is a mix of botanical oils and extracts to soothe and soften dry skin. (It’s also great for mature and fragile skin!)
If you prefer a foaming face wash, try Ulta’s Renew Hydra Quench Foaming Oil Cleanser ($18). It works into a foamy lather while removing makeup and cleansing skin. Apply to damp skin and let the Moringa and Abyssinian Oils do their work.
SK-II’s Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil ($60) is one of the lightest formulas on our list. Apply to dry skin with dry hands, massage, and rinse with warm water. It contains wild rose extract and a blend of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals to nourish skin—and rinses very clean!
Into scented products? Origins’ Clean Energy Gentle Cleansing Oil ($25) has a fresh scent of grapefruit, orange, and lemon. The formula full of olive, sunflower, sesame and safflower oils and makes our sensitive skin feel refreshed, but not dry. Pick up a pump attachment at an Origins store for easier dispensing.
Our graphic designer swears by Tatcha’s One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48) for her dry skin. The mix of camellia and rice bran oil remove makeup quickly and leaves skin soft and hydrated. Apply without water in circular motions, add water, then rinse.
From the brand that started it all, Shu Uemura is the OG of oil cleansers. We especially like their High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil ($31); it’s a reformulated version of their first oil. It’s packed with camellia oil, ginger root extract, and mineral-rich water. Apply to dry skin with dry hands, add water, and massage into skin.
Boscia’s Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil ($26) cools on contact thanks to peppermint and eucalyptus extracts. It cleans pores with a cocktail of green tea, rose hips, avocado, and golden palm oils, plus, it’s preservative free!