So many things can cause dry skin: A change in seasons, the environment you live in, your genes, or even all of the above. While moisturizing seems like the most obvious solution for dry skin, using the right cleanser is essential. The best oil cleansers for dry skin remove makeup, excess sebum, and any grime from the day without breaking down your skin's moisture barrier in the process.
But let's get one thing straight — using an oil cleanser is nothing like slapping straight oil on your face. The addition of emulsifiers, which turn these cleansers milky white when they come in contact with water, allows them to give you a deep cleanse and still wash away clean. But not all oil cleansers are created equal. Super dry skin types should look for products that contain nourishing oils like olive and camellia, but avoid potentially drying oils (yes, that's a thing) such as lemon, tea tree or ginger oils.
When it comes to how to use an oil cleanser, it's a bit different from traditional water-based cleansers. Oil cleansers are applied to a dry face with dry hands. Next, massage the oil into your skin for about a minute, and when you're ready to wash off the cleanser, wet your fingers and massage your skin again until the cleanser turns a milky white. Then it can be rinsed off easily, taking everything with it.
Many people use their oil cleanser as part of a two-step process known as double cleansing. This involves following up your oil cleanser with a water-based, foaming cleanser to provide an even deeper cleanser. However, if you’re super dry, avoiding the second cleanse is likely your best option — though you could double up a couple of times of week if you feel your skin can tolerate it.
A great oil cleanser can help keep dry skin feeling moist, even right after washing. And, best of all, many formulas contain additional ingredients to brighten, gently exfoliate, and calm — so there’s something for everyone.
1. An Olive Oil Cleanser That's Insanely Popular Worldwide
This popular oil cleanser has 2,000-plus positive reviews and counting. In fact, it's so popular that one is sold every 10 seconds worldwide. The first ingredient in this vitamin-rich formula is olive oil, which effectively nourishes and hydrates the skin. It glides over the skin easily, so your fingers onto pulling at your face while you wash, and it rinses clean without any residue.
2. A Gentle Cleansing Oil For Even The Most Sensitive Skin Types
With dry skin often comes sensitivity — especially when you’re experiencing a change in climate. This formula incorporates black sesame and black currant oils which protect, promote skin regeneration, strengthen, and provide protective antioxidant benefits. The impressive ingredient list is perhaps why the brand touts this product as more than just a cleansing oil.
3. A Camellia Oil Cleanser Inspired By Traditional Japanese Skin Care Rituals
This rich oil cleanser contains traditional Japanese camellia and rice bran oils that have been used for centuries because of their softening and deeply hydrating benefits. The blend contains a combination of antioxidants, fatty acids, and Vitamin E for hydrated skin that's more even in tone and texture.
4. A 100 Percent Natural & Organic Cleanser That's Been A Longtime Favorite
This OG cleansing oil comprised of argan, sunflower, and jojoba oils sweeps away dead skin cells, excess oil, and makeup while replenishing skin with essential vitamins, lipids, and fatty acids. The 100 percent natural and certified organic formula has been clinically tested to be non-comedogenic, so there’s no need to worry about it clogging your pores.
5. An Affordable Cleansing Oil That's Loaded With Hyaluronic Acid For An Instant Boost Of Moisture
Just because this olive-based oil cleanser is on the more cost-effective side doesn’t mean it isn’t a total powerhouse. This cult favorite incorporates Hadalabo’s signature use of super hyaluronic acid that deeply penetrates the skin, keeping it hydrated long after you rinse it off.
6. A Nourishing Oil Cleanser That Melts Away Makeup
Though this oil-based cleanser rinses clean without leaving behind any residue or film, it has a fantastic reputation for effortlessly removing makeup — even the stubborn waterproof kind. It’s also a treatment product of sorts as the formula contains coffee bean oil to invigorate and promote skin cell turnover and rosehip seed oil to repair and nourish the complexion.
7. An Essential Oil-Packed Cleanser That Leaves Skin Soft & Moist
Sure, the price is up there, but this results-driven oil cleanser is made with a blend of clinical-grade essential and biocompatible oils to effectively remove makeup and impurities while keeping moisture levels in check. Many die-hard oil cleanser reviewers cited this formula as one of their favorites.
8. An Oil Cleanser That Brightens The Complexion
This brightening oil cleanser gently removes dead skin cells and instantly perks up your complexion due to the addition of Vitamin C, apricot seed, and grapefruit extract. Of course, this dermatologist-tested formula also removes dirt, grime, and makeup without leaving behind a residue.
9. A Lightly Exfoliating Cleansing Oil That Helps Shed Dry Skin
While this gentle cleansing oil will help a dry complexion retain moisture thanks to fatty acid-rich coconut and sunflower seeds, it’s the lemon peel oil in this formula that makes it unique as it has the power to remove dead flakes, cleanse, brighten, and stimulate the growth of new cells. Fun fact: The Erno Laszlo brand has been around since 1927.
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