The Best Oil Cleansers for Every Skin Type

by Eleonore Condo
Originally Published: 

Collage by Ashley Peña
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Last year, I suddenly began struggling with texture on my forehead. Little bumps peppered my skin, and no matter what I did, I couldn’t get rid of them. Then, I learned about double-cleansing: washing your skin first with an oil-based cleanser, followed by your usual face wash. (Like most excellent beauty advice, we have Korean skincare to thank for this practice.) Starting with an oil cleanser helps eliminate excess sebum and dissolves thicker, oiled-based products like sunscreen or makeup, the second wash then gets rid of away any remaining dirt. After two days, I noticed a change, and after a week, the bumps were completely gone. Now, double-cleansing and I are ‘til death do us part. If you’re just getting curious about oil cleansing, there are a dizzying number of options to choose from, from heavy dute makeup-melting balms to silky, acne-friendly formulas. Here are some of my favorites for different skin types and concerns:

Best For Removing Makeup

This über gentle cleanser melts off the smokiest eye with ease. Each tub comes with a vial of their Bamboo Booster which you can mix with your Slaai to create a gentle exfoliator.

Best All-Natural Formula

Living Libations’ oil is an all-in-one cleanser, exfoliator, and moisturizer that’s packed with nourishing ingredients, like antioxidant-rich sea buckthorn.

Best for Sensitive Skin

Like all AB products, their Cleansing Balm is as luxurious as it is effective. The formula is hydrating and thick but not heavy, and filled with vitamin E, avocado oil, squalane, and the brand’s signature TFC8 complex.

Best for Acne-Prone Skin

The lightweight, slippery formula is perfect for acne-prone skin thanks to the addition of ginseng seed oil, which protects and imparts a soothing, grassy scent.

Best for Dry Skin

100 percent organic, olive oil-based and fragrance-free, this cleanser washes away the day’s grime without irritating your skin. After rinsing it off, the skin feels silky, not tight, and incredibly clean.

Best for Combination Skin

The perfect beginning to your routine, Environ’s oil lifts any excess sebum that might contribute to acne, all while reviving and moisturizing your skin.

Most Nourishing

Furtuna’s latest is an oil balm that provides thorough but gentle cleansing while delivering all the benefits of their hand-picked botanicals, such as smoothing, hydrating Sicilian Manna.

Lightest Formula

Danucera’s multi-use balm can be used to cleanse, mask, and hydrate—and it’s so light it feels more like a gel than an oil.

Chicest Packaging

Of course, it’s what’s inside that counts, and Wonder Valley’s elegant bottle is full of beneficial ingredients like sea buckthorn, tocopherol (a great source of vitamin E), olive, avocado, and grapeseed oils.

Deepest Clean

Sulwhasoo’s formula is enriched with herbal extracts like satsuma peel and chestnut for hydration and herbal oils like apricot kernel oil and camellia seed oil, which deeply cleanse without stripping your skin.

Best for Easily Irritated Skin

Avène’s soothing cleanser is ideal for anyone who deals with rosacea, eczema, or other inflammatory skin concerns.

Best for All Skin Types

This antioxidant-rich cleanser dissolves all traces of makeup, leaving skin looking radiant and feeling soft and cared for.

Best for Anti-Aging

Suki’s cleansing oil is perfect for anyone with mature skin or those of us looking to prevent signs of aging. It contains moringa oil, an ingredient that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps soothe inflammation.

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