Cleansing Oils

Cleansing is such a pain in the butt – maybe some of you enjoy it. Because I use things like primers, super waterproof mascaras and creamy blushers, I need something that will take it off! take it all off!

I was introduced to cleansing oils by Shu Uemura. The first time I ever had it tested on my hand, I remember thinking YUK! I’m not putting oil on my skin! Alas, my friend on the counter gave me some samples and I was in lurve.

There are so many brands and types to choose from these days – I must have tried about 15 (full sized bottles too) but here are some my fuzzy brain can remember.

A good cleansing oil should..

  • not cause any allergies
  • not too thick not to liquid
  • remove make up well
  • not leave a residue
  • leave skin feeling soft, not dry!

The correct way to use cleansing oil is to apply it so completely dry skin, massage over areas of your face including lips, then add some water to watch the oil turn into a white creamy milk, then rinse off. Most cleansing oils contains a high percentage of emulsifiers which enables you to rinse off the cleansing oil easily with water.

Cleansing oils are pretty powerful cleansers and its not rare to experience dryness – I certainly did, and when your skin feels this way, it will add its own oils to compensate = dryness. Emulsifiers make cleansing oil easy to rinse off with water, they can also cause irritations in more sensitive skin – as you will see shortly with my reviews, using cleansing oils hasn’t always left me without allergies.

Double cleansing helps – that is using something like cleansing oil first to remove make up then using a cream cleanser or foam helps get the skin really clean.

Even Tyra does it!

My most recent purchase:

Sana HIPITCH Deep Cleansing Oil.

At around £8 its a bargain for 250ml.

By the name of the product, you can guess that this is a heavy duty cleanser, designed to get rid of all eye and lip make up too. It certainly did that – just a quick rub and all the make up came off easily.

There is a very light scent – I can’t quite place it but its almost orangey but its not horrid. It has a liquidy texture that makes it a bit fiddly to apply, but it does really take everything off.

The thing is though – I tested this the other day and my skin has been looking very peachy lately and the day after I have three spots – the kind I get when I find a product is too harsh (hello Clinique). The only other thing I tried is Clinique Turnaround Cream…so either product could have caused the out break. Like a sorry boyfriend, I will give this one another chance.

Verdict? 7/10

Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils could be called the oldest. My favourite, the Green Tea:

I have used a full size of the Normal Oil (for normal, combo skin):

Rich (for dry skins):

My fav is the Green Tea flavour which is for all skin types because it has a refreshing floral scent, and feels great on the skin. I am not entirely allergy free when I use this product – I have had my troubles with it when my skin as been very sensitive. It also costs a bomb as it is a premium cleansing oil (Shu have since released two other premium oils, brightening and A/I). This costs around £42 in the UK.

They say: Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium A/O #1 selling shu uemura Cleansing Oil in the world. A premium, anti-aging and anti-oxidant skin purifier that thoroughly cleanses the skin while protecting it against the internal and external aggressions associated with aging.

Verdict: 7/10

The normal smells like medicine – I hated it at first but grew to really like it. The lightest texture of the three I tried, it did its job without any pretentions – I like it but I didn’t like it as much as green tea – since GT is about £4 more it doesn’t make sense to buy a big vat of this and not be overwhelmed by it. I recommend this if you have balanced skin – but I’d say pay a bit more and get the green tea.

They say:

High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil A calming and soothing skin purifier that gently dissolves all makeup and impurities while respecting skin’s integral balance. Suitable for all skin types. A shu uemura signature.

Verdict: 6/10

The rich smells of oranges – I have always found my face itching after using this even though I thought it would suit my face in the winter when its dry. The oil is thick and there is something about this one that irritates my skin and leaves little itchy marks. Maybe it would work for those with very dry skin?

They Say:

High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Enriched A rich, radiance-enhancing skin purifier that removes all types of makeup and impurities while respecting skin’s integral balance. Suitable for dry skin or skin in dry climates.

Verdict: 4/10

There is also a light for those with oily skin.

Fancl…hmmm. This is a thickish cleansing oil but I never did love it because it smells like chip fat to me. So I hated slathering it on my skin and I finished it as quickly as a possibly could. If you are allergic to fragrance than this is great, but if you loved chips as a child you may want to avoid as it may push you to going out and buying a portion yourself.

Cleansed – ok – not as well as the Shu. I don’t rememeber getting any itchies from it, but my skin still felt a tad dry afterwards. It was around £12.

Verdict: 5/10

Then there was DHC:

One of the first oils, I think, and a good, sure bet for those starting out. Not too expensive, definitely does its job. It made my skin a little dry though but I am guessing it would work for those who err on the oily side. It comes it a standard sized pump bottle….its really not that interesting. But this ones like Matt Damon – he’s good and stable, but a bit ugly.

Visual Guide from DHC:

Finally –

RMK Cleansing Oil.

This one is quite a thick, creamy texture and very lightly scented – almost citrusy but its faint.

This is a great cleansing oil. Its thick but turns in to cream nicely and cleans off all the make up in one go. It hasnt given me any itchies and it does leave my skin soft which rare after a cleansing oil. It doesn’t sting my eyes either.

However it is pricey. £22 for 175ml. Its probably the most expensive oil tested here (more than Shu it you work it out by cost per ML.)

It doesn’t feel right to use this one on it own. I use it followed by Nars Foaming Cleanser (although I may buy the RMK Cream Cleanser to go with this in the future – this is the step they use in the RMK facial).

Verdict: 9/10

Best Cleanser: RMK!

Best Value: HIPDITCH!

Best for Frying: FANCL!

Alternative Cleansers if you don’t like oils:

  • Cleansing Cream/Milk/Lotion
  • Cleansing Gel
  • Cleansing Foam
  • Bar Soap (Like Clinique/Nars….hello, I had one of these, where did it go?!)
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  1. Row says

    Hey Nikki

    they do sell it in HK! Are you going there? yes its really nice stuff no allergies to it or anything!

  2. dee says

    Thanks for the comparation. I was wondering how Sana will performs against Shu or DHC. I think I’m going to try Sana first. 😀

    • Row says

      Hi Dee

      Shu is ok but made me itch, DHC is quite a good allrounder. I think SANA works pretty well!