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Beauty Wars: Facial Cleansing Oils – The Slickest of Them All

We speak from experience – facial cleansing oils are far from the villains they've been made out to be in the skincare arena. Here's proof.

Adding oils of any sort to the skin is counter-intuitive, even more so cleansing oils. Cleansing routines are built to remove excess grease from the skin. With that being the end goal, cleansing oils seem like an unlikely solution especially if you’re a member of the Slick Sisters Club. The last thing you need piled onto your skin is more oil. Or so most of us have been led to believe.

Science, however, proves otherwise. Without getting all Einstein-y, oils in fact dissolve other oils. Ergo, cleansing oils do a stellar job at thoroughly cleansing the skin by breaking down the oils in your makeup. And because these are oil-based formulas, they do so without stripping down the skin. Just like fighting fire with fire – who would’ve thought!

If you have dry, parched skin that’s crying out loud for moisture, cleansing oils are really a no brainer. However, being on the opposite end of the spectrum you have to exercise some caution with the formula. A pro-tip from a fellow walking oil slick, lightweight oil cleansers that spread easily over the skin are ones that fare the best for us.

Here, we put five much raved about oil cleansers to the test.

Shu Uemura Ultime8∞ Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil

Shu Uemura’s range of cleansing oils is touted as the crème de la crème of cleansing oils. You’d also find us in the choir singing its praise. For the past decade, Shu Uemura’s cleansing oil has been Yoyo’s holy grail. The gentle formula effortlessly removes even stubborn eye makeup – you won’t have to get violent with it – and washes off thoroughly. None of that icky film of oil clogging the pores. Shu Uemura also has the widest lineup of cleansing oils, each suited to a specific need. Take your pick!

Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser 

We at the Kulala team are big fans of Tata Harper and the Nourishing Oil Cleanser lived up to our expectations. If you’re unacquainted with the brand, all of its ingredients are grown and harvested from the backyard of its facility in Champlain Valley in Vermont. With Tata Harper anything, you get what you pay for which in this case is quality ingredients. The Nourishing Oil Cleanser is a lightweight formula that doubles up as an effective makeup remover. As you work the cleanser into your skin, the light minty scent relaxes the mind while you’re at it. What a treat! As suggested on the brand’s website, we like to use this cleanser in the first half of our double cleansing routine.


Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil

Boscia’s MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil is perhaps one of the more unique cleansing experiences that we’ve had in this lineup. The cooling after feeling that it leaves on the skin is unusual for an oil cleanser but we’re not complaining. It’s particularly enjoyable when you’re winding down for the day. However, you do have to put in extra work to get makeup off completely with this lightweight formula. If you ask us, double cleansing is the way to go.

Origins Modern Friction™ Cleansing Oil with Radiance-Boosting White & Purple Rice

Our latest find of the lot, Origins Modern Friction™ Cleansing Oil with Radiance-Boosting White & Purple Rice is one that’s meant to be applied on dry skin. When you’re ready to wash it off, the oil when in contact with water transforms into a milky formula. Call it magic, call it science, whatever it is, we want some of it. It left the skin with a radiant, smooth finish like you were born with it. Also, we stan a cruelty-free brand! We do, however, wish the bottle came fitted with a pump – the application can get a tad messy with this one. You’ve been warned, pay closer attention.


Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil

If you’re a stickler for natural beauty brands, look no further. We confess. We kept our expectations low for Pai’s Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil. For one, we were unfamiliar with the brand and, two, taking the hint from its name, we assumed it performed “light work”. And it did just that. While it did a fairly ok job at removing our makeup, it left behind traces of smeared mascara and eyeliner. We’d suggest double cleansing, removing your makeup prior, or skipping this oil cleanser entirely.

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