If you are like me you run for the hills when there is a mention of any type of oil in your skincare [or haircare] products! At least that's how I used to think... I literally once shuttered at the thought of oil anywhere near my face, because after all- I am acne prone and already producing enough oil on my own, thank you very much. And I am not alone with the confusion on the matter either, recently a reader sent me this question: 'What are cleansing oils? And should I be using them instead of regular skin cleanser?'
Over the last couple of years I've really changed my tune when it comes to beauty oils, but that change of heart didn't come without major trepidation and some trial and
error fail. I've done a LOT of research on oils and skincare, and seen some downright inaccurate crap posted on the internet. But after trying many products, discussing with my dermatologist and reading many skincare professionals beliefs on the matter- here is what I profess about cleansing with oil and my answer to this readers' question:
Cleansing with oil can be great if done with the right ingredients and with the right understanding of what your results will be. The idea that 'like attracts like' seems to be a running theme in the oil-cleansing community- ie, the oil cleanser will 'attract' the oils out of your skin which then allows you to wash them away down the sink with warm water.
And while the theory of that has some validity, the type of oil you apply to your face really is the key to the success or failure here. Because many oils are simply made up of different molecule types than the sebum in your skin. So slapping vegetable oil on your face, is not going to give you good results- although you are welcome to try that... I certainly won't be joining you!
There are however oil cleansers on the market that are designed to work with the skin and gently remove makeup, dirt and yes surface oil from the skin- leaving it hydrated and glowing. The difference with these oils is that they use plant based essential oils and have the ability to emulsify with water, meaning they will wash away easily from the skin without leaving a greasy residue. These cleansers are best for dry or sensitive skinned people, but oily and acne prone friends, like myself can certainly see benefits from usage too. I love to use my oil regimen in the winter months when my skin is parched from cold dry air, and when I've had any peeling from strong acne treatments or even harsh sunburns. I love how gentle oil-cleansing is and the spa like feeling I get when using these products. They really do hydrate the skin and leave you with a nice glow. My favs you ask?
- Kari Gran Cleansing Oil - uses sunflower, avocado, lavender oils and more
- Murad Renewing Cleansing Oil - uses sweet almond oil
- Clinique Take the Day Off Oil Cleanser - completely fragrance free option
These cleansers work especially great for people that are suffering from dry patchy spots on their face [Check out my video on just such a topic] and let me know if you've tried oil cleansing and your thoughts in the comments below.