Why You Should Incorporate A Cleansing Oil Into Your Face Washing Routine ASAP

For many of us, the quest for the perfect face wash has been a long road littered with disappointment. Like Goldilocks, we jump between cleansers that are too harsh and astringent or too weak and ineffective, never able to find that just-right product that leaves our face feeling clean but not sandblasted. Now, some skincare enthusiasts are claiming to have found the perfect balance with cleansing oils.


For those who haven't yet tried oil cleansers, this may sound strange. After all, excess oil doesn't just make your face shiny in all those selfies — it can contribute to blocked pores and blemishes (via Medical News Today). If you have naturally oily or breakout-prone skin, the idea of adding extra oil to your complexion probably sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

So, why are cleansing oils gaining such popularity among people with all skin types? To answer this question, you must first understand what oil cleansing really means.

What is oil cleansing?

Just like it sounds, oil cleansing involves using oil-based products to wash your face. While this may seem counterintuitive, there's actually a solid scientific reason that this approach makes sense. As cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Diane Walder explains to HuffPost, oils are naturally prone to bond with other oily substances, including excess face oil, makeup, and other impurities. So, when you rinse off your cleansing oil, these pore-clogging baddies get washed away with it.


"Cleansing oils contain hydrating and soothing ingredients that may actually be more effective and less irritating than some traditional cleansers. Oil absorbs oil, which means that these products can effectively remove dirt from and leave the skin clean," dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D., tells Self.

And if you're worried that cleansing oil will actually make your face more greasy or contribute to breakouts, rest assured: this generally isn't the case. Since you rinse the cleansing oil off immediately, it doesn't have time to make itself at home in your pores or create pore-blocking plugs out of your dead skin cells.

So, can you go grab the closest cooking oil and start oiling your skin clean? Dr. Zeichner says no. "There's a big difference between applying a cosmetically formulated cleansing oil versus rubbing canola from your kitchen onto your skin," he tells Self. In short, you'll need to select a cleansing oil that has been carefully and specifically formulated for the skin. Different cleansing oils may also be particularly helpful for different skin types, so look for products created for your particular complexion.


Benefits of oil cleansing

One of the greatest benefits of cleansing oils is that they can be less irritating than many other cleansers. For instance, many foaming face washes rely on chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) to help produce that silky lather. But these chemicals can be too harsh for some sensitive skin types, stripping away too much of your natural oils and contributing to a dry, flaky complexion (via The Derm Review). So, for people with delicate complexions, oil cleansers can be a gentler option.


Oil cleansers are also popular as a powerful but skin-friendly way to remove makeup. When applied to dry skin, they can even work wonders on waterproof makeup and sunscreen before being rinsed or wiped clean (via Shu Uemura). This helps you get a fresh face without having to scrub endlessly.

And when it comes to healthier skin, many oil cleansers include a blend of essential oils, adding extra health benefits. For instance, Kiehl's offers a cleansing oil with lavender and evening primrose oils, which can help smooth skin, impart hydration, and soothe inflammation. By adding essential oils to the mix, skincare companies can enhance their cleansing oil to create a holistic and rewarding experience, even for your one-of-a-kind complexion.