The idea of using oil to wash your face may give you pause, but cleansing oils are a fast-growing category of skincare that you should consider adding to your repertoire. Although Shu Uemura was the first to come out with a facial cleansing oil way back in 1967, other beauty giants like M.A.C, Lancome, L'Occitane and Shiseido have recently debuted their own versions.
Here's a primer on what they are and why you should make the switch.
What is a facial cleansing oil?
Cleansing oils are based on the premise that like dissolves like. The oil in the cleanser bonds with the makeup, oil and dirt on your face, dissolving and gently lifting grime from your skin.
What are the benefits?
Unlike detergent-based cleansers, cleansing oils clean your face without stripping your skin of all its naturally occurring oils. Detergent-based cleansers can be too drying on some skin types, causing oil glands to double-up on oil production in order to replace the moisture lost through cleansing. But cleansing oils are mild and gentle to the skin, effectively removing even waterproof makeup while maintaining the skin's natural moisture levels. The result: soft, smooth, supple skin.
Who should use facial cleansing oils?
Cleansing oils can be used on all skin types, although you may need to sample a few before picking one that works for you. While most cleansing oils work for all skin types, if your skin is dry, oily or acne-prone, pick one that's specially designed for your skin type. Shu Uemura has five versions of their pioneering cleansing oil to meet the needs of every skin type.
How do you use facial cleansing oils?
Most cleansing oils should be used on dry skin -- this includes your face and your hands. Pour a small amount into the palm of your hand, rub together and massage it into your face using small, circular motions. Pay particular attention to your eye region, especially if you're wearing waterproof mascara. Remove the cleanser from your face with a washcloth dampened with hot, but not scalding, water. The warm washcloth will help open your pores to remove dirt and impurities from deep down.
Oil cleansing is best done at night before you go to bed, but most cleansing oils are mild enough to use in the mornings too. If your skin feels a bit greasy after using a cleansing oil, try using a little less and wipe down your face with a cotton ball and toner after cleansing.
Tell us what you think! Do you use a facial cleansing oil? Would you try one? Let us know in the comments!