The 17 Best Oil Cleansers, No Matter Your Skin Type

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It may seem counterintuitive, but the term “oil cleansers” is not an oxymoron. Since oils attract other oils, the best oil cleansers work to cut through oils in your makeup and skin care products when it's time to wash everything off. As most are made with noncomedogenic oils, they won’t clog your pores; and as they’re inherently nourishing and free of harsh surfactants, they won’t strip your skin dry — so, put simply, pretty much everyone needs an oil cleanser in their arsenal.

To get the most out of your oil cleanser, use it as the first step in the double-cleansing process, which should look a little something like this: Massage your oil cleanser gently into dry skin, wipe everything away with a cotton pad, muslin cloth, or clean wash towel, and marvel in that strange satisfaction of seeing how much product you just sloughed off your face. With your skin clear of top-level grime like makeup, sunscreen, excess sebum, and environmental pollutants, your second cleanser can more effectively do its job of cleaning out your pores. Follow your cleansing oil with a water-based cleanser, like a gel or foam.

Also, something a lot of people don't consider: Oil cleansers are equally effective for cleaning the rest of your body, especially if you find that most soaps and shower gels tend to dry out your skin. You'll find a great choice that was designed specifically for use on your body on this list.

And for those who prefer richer textures, I’ve included a handful of cleansing balms on this list, too. The cleansing oil’s thicker cousin, balms begin with sherbet-like textures but melt into lovely, oily-milky consistencies with the heat of your skin. They work identically to oils to slough away makeup, including stubborn formulas, and leave your skin feeling coddled and soft.

Ready to shop? Then scroll on for the best cleansing oils you can get right now.

The Overall Best Japanese Oil Cleanser
  • Also available at Ulta, $29

One bottle of DHC's Deep Cleansing Oil is sold every 10 seconds worldwide, according to the brand, making it one of the most popular cleansers of all time. The iconic golden formula suits every skin type, including fickle combination skin. Organic, refined olive oil deeply hydrates dry skin, while rosemary leaf oil, a natural antiseptic, works to detox and balance excessively oily pores. Vitamin E caps off the formula’s botanical trifecta to repair damaged skin and protect it from free radicals. Customers love how this potent but silky oil leaves skin feeling soft, moisturized, and not at all greasy.

The Overall Best Korean Oil Cleanser
  • Also available at Ulta, $23

There are so many amazing Korean oil cleansers on the market (the double-cleansing method originated in Korea, after all) that it’s borderline heretical to dub just one the best. But this oil cleanser from Klairs is an undeniable cult-favorite. It uses a blend of antioxidant-rich oils — like sesame, black currant, and jojoba — to leave your skin clean, soft, and bright. The reviews section on Amazon is filled with people of all ages, with all skin types, raving about this foolproof stuff; and at $20, it’s a relatively affordable choice.

The Best French Oil Cleanser

Francophiles, there’s an oil cleanser for you, too. This cleansing oil from Caudalie, the beloved French pharmacy brand known for their farm-to-bottle formulas, contains a blend of sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, and castor oil — the latter of which can encourage lash and brow growth, as a bonus. Not only is this non-comedogenic, but according to reviewers, it works to actively clear up skin: “I massaged it in while watching Netflix for like 10 min for a deep clean once and it pulled out every single one of the blackheads on my nose and my chin,” one reviewer raved. If that’s your strange idea of heaven, you can pick up this luxe cleanser for just under $30.

The Best Drugstore Oil Cleanser

It’s not surprising that one of the best drugstore oil cleansers this side of the Atlantic hails from from Burt’s Bees, considering that these cleansers are typically made up of simple ingredients — what Burt’s Bees does best. Indeed, this formula is made of entirely natural ingredients, including skin-softening coconut and argan oils, while the brand’s signature vitamin E and rosemary leaf extract condition and calm your skin. Pro tip: You can pick up a pump-top dispenser if you find the flip-top packaging a little unwieldy.

The Best Affordable Japanese Oil Cleanser

At about $15 on Amazon, Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil is ridiculously cheap, considering how well it performs. A bonafide cult-favorite, this Japanese drugstore oil cleanser has a relatively thin consistency — a nice option for those who are turned off by, say, DHC cleansing oil, which feels more like olive oil — but it still sloughs away all traces of makeup, leaving your skin clean, clear, and baby-soft. Some reviewers even claim this helps tighten up enlarged pores. You can pick up a refill for under $10 when your bottle runs out.

The Best Oil Cleanser For Congested Skin

While most of the cleansers on this list are appropriate for acne-prone skin, the Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil is formulated specifically to offer congested pores a deep, thorough clean. It’s made with salicylic acid, the BHA found in most topical acne treatments, to thoroughly clear away acne-causing impurities, while citrus oils offer more clarifying benefits. Jojoba oil keeps your skin nourished, without clogging pores.

Editor’s note: Find more of the best oil cleansers for acne-prone skin here.

The Best Oil Cleanser For Reaction-Prone Skin

If you have rosacea, or are otherwise susceptible to rashes and inflammation, consider this Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil. This cleanser is designed to gently break down makeup, unclog pores, and refresh tired skin, but its gentle, preservative-free formula shouldn't irritate ultra-sensitive types (it's also free of artificial fragrance, gluten, and other common aggravators). Rosehip oil and green tea extract are especially effective for reducing redness and inflammation associated with rosacea, while avocado and olive oils will help keep your skin soft and nourished.

The Best Oil Cleanser For Extra-Sensitive Skin

Like all Avene products, this cleansing oil is formulated specifically for those with the most sensitive skin types (it’s even safe enough for babies), and/or skin conditions like rosacea and eczema. In here, the brand’s signature Thermal Spring Water soothes redness and inflammation, while omega-6 restores the skin barrier to keep irritation at bay. The whole formula is pH-balanced to avoid stripping the skin, free of any and all common irritants, and it bears the stamp of approval from the National Eczema Association.

The Best Brightening Oil Cleanser

Fermented rice water is rich in antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamins that boost your complexion’s brightness, elasticity, and softness, so it’s been a staple in Japanese and Korean skincare regimens for centuries. Rice-derived ingredients are also the headliners in this cleansing oil from K-beauty brand The Face Shop, which makes good on its promise to brighten your skin instantly. It’s made without heavy ingredients, like mineral oil, so it feels extra-refreshing on your skin. Follow it up with the brand’s complementary rice water foam cleanser for a foolproof double-cleansing regime.

The Best Affordable Organic Oil Cleanser

The Badger Damascus Rose Cleansing Oil boasts an organic certification from the USDA, which is about the toughest stamp of approval you can get, as far as organic cosmetics labelling is concerned. As you might expect, the formula is made up entirely of recognizable plant-based ingredients, and it’s quite simple: The eight-oil blend includes jojoba, sunflower, apricot, and chamomile, to name a few — all rich in fatty acids and antioxidants — while vitamin E also works to condition and soften your skin. This version also includes rose oil, which is especially beneficial for balancing acne-prone skin (in addition to imparting a lovely, soft floral scent). Though it’s also available in Argan and Unscented versions, if you prefer, both of which are similarly USDA-certified.

The Best Luxury Japanese Oil Cleanser

Luxury beauty lovers, rejoice! You can pick up a bottle of Tatcha’s gorgeous Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil right on Amazon. This cleanser is powered by camellia oil, another traditional East Asian ingredient that’s packed with antioxidants and nutrients and is renowned for its featherlight consistency. Indeed, this cleanser works up into a delicate, milky emulsion, so it feels lovely and light on all skin types. Meanwhile, the brand’s proprietary blend of superfood ingredients (algae, green tea, and rice) offers antioxidant protection over the long term, and boosts your radiance instantly.

The Best Luxury Organic Oil Cleanser

The Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser is a splurge-worthy option made with 100% natural ingredients, 62% of which are from certified organic farming. Like all Tata Harper products, it’s packed with an indulgent blend of farm-fresh botanicals, like meadowsweet extract and avocado oil, which all work together to cleanse, nourish, and smooth your skin. Plus, that iconic jade glass bottle doubles as a piece of decor on your bathroom counter.

Another Inexpensive Oil Cleanser To Consider

Another Korean pick, the TONYMOLY Wonder Apricot Deep Cleansing Oil is a sweet-smelling oil that emulsifies into a gentle, milky cleanser when activated with a little bit of water. Vitamin-rich apricot seed oil, the hero ingredient, works to break down makeup and surface-level grime. Meanwhile, a fleet of natural oils work to restore hydration, repair damaged cells, and boost collagen production for bouncier, more elastic skin over time. At a hair under $20 for this generously sized, 7.9-ounce bottle, the price tag is quite reasonable.

The Best Oil Cleanser For Your Body
  • Also available at CVS, $24

A moisturizing shower oil, like this one from French pharmacy brand Bioderma, is a nice alternative to traditional shower gels or soaps if your skin feels tight and itchy after stepping out of the shower. This silky, fragrance- and preservative-free oil is part of Bioderma’s Atoderm line, which is designed for clinically dry and hypersensitive skin. It doesn’t contain sulfates, the detergent that gives soaps and shampoos their satisfying lather, but which can seriously aggravate dry skin. Instead, this shower oil is packed with deeply nourishing ingredients that restore your skin’s protective barrier at a cellular level, which helps seal in moisture in the long term.

Editor’s note: Looking for more moisturizing shower oils? Check out more here.

Editor’s Pick: The Best Oil-To-Foam Cleanser

The name speaks the truth: This brilliant cleanser comprises both steps of your double-cleansing routine, so it’s truly the only cleanser you need. Massage a pump or two into your dry skin, and let the blend of sensitive skin-friendly oils — like jojoba, chamomile, and oil — cut through makeup and daily grime; then add a little water, and the oil kicks up into a froth that dives deeper into your pores for a more thorough cleanse. Even if you don’t fancy yourself a product minimalist, you’ll reach for this two-in-one cleanser on late lazy nights, like I tend to do. Or, bring it along with you on trips (the pump top locks closed) to streamline your travel skin care kit.

The Best-Selling Cleansing Balm

You can’t talk about cleansing balms without the Banila Co Clean It Zero Original Cleansing Balm, one of the most popular Korean cleansers of all time. With a near-perfect rating on Amazon, this Original version is a holy grail cleanser for thousands of K-beauty lovers. If you’re feeling a bit more experimental, try any of the four alternative versions — Revitalizing, Nourishing, Purifying, and Pore Clarifying — which offer more targeted benefits, in addition to a thorough, skin-softening cleanse.

The Best Brightening Cleansing Balm

Spiked with papaya enzymes, a natural source of AHAs, this cleansing balm from Glow Recipe works to actively polish your skin as it sloughs away your makeup. Papaya extract and papaya seed oil nourish the skin and calm irritation. Be sure to massage this into your skin for a good minute or so to give those enzymes a chance to work their magic.

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