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Should You Be Using an Oil-Based Cleanser?

Uncovering the big benefits of using an oil-based cleanser suited to your skin type

Written by: 100% PURE ®


All aboard the oil-cleansing bandwagon: join the other oil-cleanser converts as they rave about radiant complexions! Yes, people really DO wash their face with oil – well, in a sense – and the results might surprise even the oiliest of skin types.

Oil-based cleansers are rapidly growing in popularity in skin care routines, often as part of a double cleanse. We’re shining a spotlight on how all skin types can benefit from using an oil-based cleanser, and how to choose the best one for a soft, supple complexion!

What Exactly Is an Oil-Based Cleanser?

For many people, cleansing brings to mind foamy lathers and squeaky clean skin. The idea of oil cleansing does seem a bit counterintuitive to a sensible skin care regimen – especially for oily skin types. We’ve all heard that oil can clog pores, and to opt for oil-free cleansers for clear, radiant skin. But a quality oil-based cleanser can actually do the opposite!

Cleansing oils deeply penetrate the pores to dissolve impurities and bacteria, and infuse the skin with essential vitamins. Unlike traditional cleansers that can strip the skin of its natural oils – and exacerbate skin problems like acne – oil-based cleansers are far more gentle. They’re skilled at dissolving makeup, bonding to excess sebum, and sweeping sunscreen away from the skin to leave you with a smooth, supple complexion.

Balm towel
How Do Oil-Based Cleansers Work?

Oil-based cleansers are like these magic erasers for quick and easy removal of all types of makeup and sunscreens. These gentle degreasing gems contain an oil base, along with a traditional skin-cleansing ingredient called a surfactant. This surfactant helps bind to dirt on the skin, and sweep it away without disrupting the skin’s delicate lipid barrier. But the surfactants are not the superstars of the show – it’s the oils that take center stage.

Cleansing oils don’t just nourish and moisturize the skin, they also work as solvents: ingredients that can dissolve similar substances, like excess sebum. Oils are a special type of solvent because they’re lipophilic. This means they’re naturally attracted to other oils, including the sebum our skin produces and the oil-like ingredients often found in store-bought makeup. This is what allows oil-based cleansers to quickly dissolve makeup and excess oil.

For those nervous about using a cleansing oil product (looking at you, oily skin types), quality oil-based cleansers are formulated to be rinseable with water and not leave an oily residue. This is because the surfactants and emulsifiers come together as a team, to allow the oils and what they’ve dissolved to combine with and then be easily rinsed with water.

Oil cleansers
Skin Types That Benefit From Oil-Based Cleansers

Oil-based cleansers are the perfect first line of makeup-removing defense! Whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, using cleansing oils can transform your complexion.

For best results, it’s important to choose an oil-based cleanser that suits the specific needs of your skin. This will depend largely on your skin type, how much makeup you need to remove, and whether you’ll need to emulsify with water – or not.

  • Dry, mature skin types
    Cleansing oils work best when applied to dry skin. Rather than rinsing your face with water like you normally would, you’ll wipe away your day – or night –activities and impurities with a dampened, warm face towel.

    We recommend using our Argan Oil Creamy Cleanser, which is loaded with silky smooth argan oil, infusions of anti-aging rosehip, and antioxidant-rich açai. This moisturizing superstar leaves skin super soft and supple, without stripping healthy lipids or moisture.

  • Double cleansing or normal/combo skin types
    Oil-based cleansers for this skin type work best by adding some good ol’ H2O. You’ll apply a cleansing oil onto wet hands and rub them together to create a milky foam. Then rinse with warm water, and you’re done – unless you’re double cleansing!

    After an oil-based cleanser, you’ll follow by a water-soluble cleanser to provide a deeper cleanse. A great multitasking superstar for this skin type and double-cleansing is our Coconut Oil Cleansing Milk, which is made with skin softening coconut milk, skin moisturizing coconut oil, hydrating coconut water, and intoxicating vanilla bean.

  • Oily, acne-prone skin types
    Our Blood Orange Cleansing Balm works like a dream when applied to dry skin, and removed with a warm, dampened face towel. This balm is moisturizing oil-based cleanser made with degreasing blood orange, and features coconut and olive oils to sweep away even the most stubborn makeup, debris, and impurities. This balm is also perfect for acne-prone skin due to its antibacterial essential oils and oil molecules that bond to and remove excess oil.

    PRO TIP: For this skin type, it’s not recommended to use cleansing oils every day. Try using an oil-based cleanser as-needed for heavy dirt, makeup, or oil removal or to replenish stripped skin.

With this foolproof collection of tips and benefits, your skin should be glowing, soft, and supple in no time! Whether you’re dealing with dry skin, oily skin, or combination, using an oil-based cleanser is your hot ticket to jump starting any skin care routine. Your skin will thank you daily!

Want more tips on choosing the best cleanser based on your skin type? Check out our blog to get the latest on these topics and more!

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

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