On Using an Oil Cleanser
First off, this post is technically a two-in-one because it was originally meant to demonstrate and teach you how to double cleanse using an oil cleanser, but I decided I’d do a review on my favorite oil cleanser while I was at it, too!
Secondly, take a moment to look at the photos – particularly of the close-up one of my hand. Do you see those things? Those are referred to as grits, which are small “plugs” of accumulated dried sebum (facial oil) and dead skin. I personally differentiate between grits and solitary flakes of dead/dry skin because grits are generally hard while the flakes alone are usually soft and can break apart. The grits are what’s plugged in your pores while the flakes are on the surface of your skin. As you can probably imagine, removing these things makes me feel disgusted, and yet, oddly satisfied at the same time. Routinely using an oil cleanser prevents those plugs from becoming infected and leading to breakouts, making it a useful tool for those of us who suffer from oily-combo, acne-prone skin. But dry skin types can also benefit from using a cleansing oil in their routine by removing the flakes of dead/dry skin, keeping the surface of the skin smooth and ready for makeup application.
Last but not least, oil cleansing is the key component to removing makeup and sunscreen (particularly physical sunscreens, like those that include zinc). The cleansing oil melts the makeup and sunscreen so they can easily be washed off the surface of your skin (see the close-up photo of the back of my hand above where I applied foundation to demonstrate this). In other words, oil cleansing may easily remove grits, flakes, makeup, and sunscreen without you having to resort to rubbing it down sore with a washcloth trying to get it all off; this method does not lead to angry, aggravated skin the way traditionally washing everything off does, making it effective even for those with sensitive skin types.
The “Double Cleansing Method” Explained
Doubling cleansing? Sounds like it might dry your skin out, huh? Well, I’ll be the first to tell you: NO, it doesn’t! Assuming you have a good cleansing oil (luckily for you, I reviewed one so you don’t have to fret!), the double cleansing method is one of the best ways to wash e v e r y t h i n g off without abusing your skin. As mentioned above, oil cleansing will wash off a good portion of what’s on your skin. But following it up with a gel- or foaming-cleanser will remove any leftover traces of dirt accumulated on your skin throughout the day as well as the possible film of cleansing oil and makeup left over from the “first cleanse.” As long as your oil cleanser and gel/foaming cleanser do not incorporate any harsh drying or stripping components to them, your face should feel clean at the end of your double cleanse – but not squeaky clean or tight-feeling. I personally have great success with TheFaceShop – Deep Firming Cleansing Oil and CosRX – Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser when used together.
- Pump out the appropriate amount of oil you need to cover your entire face into a dry hand (for me, that’s usually 2-3 pumps).
- Rub the oil onto your dry face, lightly massaging the skin in circular motions and focusing on trouble areas.
- Introduce small amounts of water as you continue to rub your face in light, circular motions until the oil emulsifies/turns milky.
- Once your entire face is covered in this now milky-looking oil, wash your face as you would normally with water using your hands, a konjac sponge, or microfiber cloth (these are very soft and great for sensitive skin!) – not a rough washcloth.
- While your skin is still wet, spread your gel- or foaming-cleanser onto your face and wash it gently with water in the same manner as the oil cleanser.
- Pat-dry your face gently with a towel to a damp finish and follow up with a toner.
Review: TheFaceShop – Deep Firming Cleansing Oil
Packaging: It comes in a purple plastic bottle (200ml) with an airless pump. For travel purposes, it also comes with a little clip that prevents the product from leaking (tested and true – it works!).
Price: About $17 USD on Jolse (though it’s usually always on sale and much cheaper – I tend to get it for $13 USD). In stores, it seems to hover around the same price in CAD, but not all of TheFaceShop stores seem to carry it, which is sliiiiightly inconvenient for me, but I put up with it anyway because it’s my favorite cleansing oil.
Consistency: This cleansing oil is thicker compared to TheFaceShop’s ironically better-selling oil, the Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil (which I strongly dislike and I’ll explain why in a moment). I use 2-3 pumps to cover my entire face.
Scent: It smells floral and is not overwhelming in a perfume scent kind of way.
Ingredients: A CosDNA analysis revealed that the only potential trigger is butylene glycol (solvent + moisturizer) for acne, which only scored a 1 and is lower down on the ingredient list. (Warning: If your face is sensitive to mineral oil, look elsewhere, because this is the first ingredient on the list.) A quick google search reveals that diligent use of mineral oil will remove the grits from one’s face – it certainly did for me.
Aside from its simple ingredient list, I enjoy that it also incorporates Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, or, more commonly referred to as green tea extract. A 2013 study by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão Preto, University of Sao Paulo revealed that not only did it function as a strong antioxidant when applied topically, but also that it:
increased skin moisture in the long-term study.
After 15-30 days, skin microrelief was significantly improved due to a reduction in skin roughness.
This product also features acai berry extract which is another antioxidant. Admittedly, this ingredient isn’t very exciting for me only because there are not enough studies with definitive proof that acai berries are as great as some say they are. Still, with green tea extract in the mix, I just can’t frown upon this oil cleanser.
What amazes me is that this product doesn’t receive the attention it obviously deserves. Instead, TheFaceShop’s best seller is a harsh, highly perfumed product with loads of high-potential acne triggers and irritants! (See CosDNA analysis here.) I can’t believe I actually tried out this product due to the hype around it. Had I done my homework, I would have never even tried it! (Spoiler: it sucked.)
Overall Review: Simple ingredient list aside, I’ve repurchased this product as many as four times because it works. It doesn’t leave my face feeling tight or dried out the way TheFaceShop’s Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil did (nor does it smell overwhelmingly of perfume the way that other cleansing oil does either). This cleansing oil effectively washes away all of the makeup I’ve worn for the day and also rids grits! Obviously, I highly recommend this oil cleanser! 5/5.