Ask Grace: Should I Be Using An Oil Cleanser In My Skincare Routine?

Hi Grace,

I have oily skin so I’ve always been cautious about using cleansing oils on my skin, however recently I’ve found that the cleansers I use leave my skin feeling tight and dry. I’d love to know more about the benefits of oil cleansing, and if you think it would be suitable for my skin type. It would be great if you could recommend the best oil cleansers and explain how to use them.


The benefits of oil cleansing

It’s a common misconception that people with oily skin can’t use oil-based skincare products like cleansing oils and cleansing balms. In actual fact, oils can be extremely beneficial in helping to remove excess oil and sebum from your skin. Think back to your high school science class—oil attracts oil.

In addition, cleansing oils can offer a much more gentle and kind-to-skin cleansing method, especially when compared with foaming cleansers and scrubs which can cause irritation and dry out skin—and can actually worsen oily skin by triggering the over-production of skin’s oil glands. Oil-based cleansers will help to clean skin but will also help to soften and moisturise in the process, so won’t leave skin with that uncomfortable tight, stripped feeling.

Cleansing oils are also incredibly effective for makeup removal, since they break down other oil-based substances on the skin. Heavy foundation and waterproof mascara won’t stand a chance against a cleansing oil or balm. They’re also perfect for using as part of a double cleanse which is the most effective way to deeply clean skin. 

You’ll also find that using a cleansing oil or balm is a much more luxurious cleansing process. You can spend time massaging an oil-based cleanser into your skin, not just to clean skin and remove makeup, but to give yourself a relaxing face massage and drain puffiness.

How to use oil cleansers

Start with your cleansing oil to break down and remove makeup, then one removed, follow up with a gentle water-based gel cleanser to remove any traces of greasy residue from your skin. This process will ensure that makeup is effectively removed and helps to prevent congested pores, which can lead to breakout and blackheads.

The best oil cleansers