My holy grail – cleansing oils

4 years ago Maja addicted me to cleansing oils and they remain my holy grail skincare product to this day. I think it is time I write an ode to my lifesaver, or should I say sunscreen pimple eliminator?

For years I watched how my skincare obsessed friends with dry skin removed every tiny sunscreen/makeup residue with cleansing balms. I did try them out, but not even double cleansing helped – they always broke me out. :(
After that debacle, I really wasn’t too keen on testing newcomers … cleansing oils. But Maja insisted that I really should as they wash completely out. Who should you trust if not your best friend, so I bought Balea cleansing oil (cheap drugstore brand) Maja recommended.

OMG! The first time I managed to remove sunscreen truly and a whole new world opened up for me. Mineral sunscreens? No problemo – no more clogged pores (well, in cases that the only removal was the issue).

WHAT ARE CLEANSING OILS (emulsifying ones)

Please don’t confuse them with normal oils. Cleansing oils emulsify when you add a little bit of water and wash of (almost) completely with water only. If there is still an oily feeling on your skin and it is not easy to rinse – not what I am talking about.

Peg-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate is not the only surfactant that can do that but is definitively the one I check for in cleansing oils. If it’s missing, it hasn’t emulsified on me – Caudalie make-up removing cleansing oil and Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil would be perfect examples.

What mystifies me the most is the fact that cleansing oils are super effective and jet so gentle to the skin. Don’t even get me started how much better my skin is doing without the stripping washing gels that never removed all the dirt.


  1. On my combo super sensitive skin, I get the best result if I massage 2-4 pumps (more in case of cheaper oils like Balea) into the dry skin.
    I remove eye makeup, foundation, sunscreen … everything.
  2. After at least 30-sec massage, I add just a tiny amount of water and emulsify the oil. I don’t use much force, but do give it time to reach my huge pores and suck everything out.
  3. Only then do I rinse everything with water.
  4. Double cleanse is gold for my skin type, so I follow up with gentle washing gel.
  5. The most important step for me … never ever open eyes until you gently pat the face with a towel. :D I have everything laid out in the correct order, so I don’t slip up. Otherwise – hello blurry vision. :D

Sunscreen and makeup are 2 main things I want to remove with cleansing oils, so no surprise, I mainly use cleansing oils as part of my nighttime routine. Gentle wash gel is all I need in the morning.
I had no issues with my sensitive combo skin, so I see them as appropriate for most skin types. Dry skins will benefit more from more nourishing cleansing oils while oily ones will probably favor the no film leaving oils.

Over the years, I tried quite a few of the cleansing oils and wrote individual reviews on them. Keep your eyes on the cleansing oil tag.

My WL is surprisingly short, and I want to try a different kind of emulsifying ingredient, so I am in exploring mode:
– Biodroga Cleansing Oil
– Dermatologica PreCleanse
– DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

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