My most important skincare revelation to date has been mastering the art of the double cleanse, and adding cleansing oils to my repertoire. Nothing has made a bigger difference to my skin than adopting a nightly two-step cleansing routine. So if you haven’t started double cleansing yet – or have no idea what I’m on about! – keep reading to learn all about the first step: cleansing.
As we know, oil attracts oil, so it makes sense that cleansing oils are so effective at removing grease & grime at the end of the day. The good oils attract the bad oils, such as excess sebum and makeup, bringing them to the skin’s surface and allowing them to be easily washed away. I’ve been using them since 2013, when I first discovered Dr LeWinn’s 4 Fusion Cleansing Oil, and I always have a couple in rotation!
The trick is to massage the cleanser into dry skin in soft, circular motions for at least 30 seconds. This gently draws out oil-based substances while helping you to relax. This part is divine! There’s something so satisfying about it, and I honestly believe it helps get me ready for a good night’s sleep. Make sure to pay extra attention to anywhere you get oily, or notice residue tends to linger – for me, this is my chin and nose.
When you’re ready, add a few drops of warm water so that the oil turns milky, and continue massaging. This allows the cleanser to emulsify, drawing the dirt & makeup away from your skin. Then simply rinse until all traces are gone. Your skin will feel silky smooth straight away, ready for step 2!
You can also use cleansing oils to remove eye makeup, but I’m going to leave that to you. I’ve never had any luck with this, as it always irritates my eyes and I find that I have to scrub too much, but I know plenty of people rave about it being a gentler alternative!
Not sure where to start with cleansing oils? I’ve featured four of my current favourites, and they each bring something different to the table.
The Innoxa Restore Hydrating Facial Cleansing Oil is lightweight and hydrating, infused with argan, jojoba, grape seed, soybean, camellia and rosehip oils. It’s designed to fight the signs of premature ageing, and is gentle enough for the most sensitive skin. It has a pleasant scent – a woody, sweet orange – which is calming to use at night. It has a small dropper-style opening in the top, rather than a pump, which can be slightly messy but will come in handy when I’m down to the end of the bottle.
If you’re interested in more ‘oily’ oils, I’ve got you covered. The namesake ingredient in the Swisse Moringa Cleansing Oil contains behenic acid, a unique detoxifying agent that removes dirt and impurities while healing and conditioning the skin. Rich and packed with antioxidants, the non-drying formula protects your skin’s natural barrier. And the Natural Instinct Skin Refining Cleansing Oil* boasts 6 botanical oil extracts designed to gently cleanse while encouraging smoother, more youthful skin. With a warm, citrus scent, this nourishing oil promises an improvement in skin tone while cleansing. Both products leave a gorgeous glowy sheen, which means they’re also idea for use in the morning as a standalone cleanser.
I’ve also thrown in the Natio Argan & Almond Facial Cleansing Balm* as a wildcard option, if you’re still not keen on using oil. This luxurious, creamy balm melts away makeup, dirt and impurities while calming and reinvigorating your skin. The argan and sweet almond oils work with shea and cocoa butters to deeply cleanse, leaving the skin soft and supple. This works exactly the same as a cleansing oil, but feels more like a traditional cleanser, washing away with no residue. This is actually one of my favourites, but can be tricky to find!
Stay tuned for “Step 2: Washing”!
Are you using cleansing oils yet? Share your favourites in the comments!
Note: cleansing oils are very different to ‘oil cleansing’, which is a method of cleansing using castor oil, sunflower seed oil and/or olive oil. I personally find these clog my pores, and don’t have the same benefits as cleansing oils.