The 9 Best Oil Cleansers For Oily Skin

by Lisa Fogarty

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

It's time to embrace the most paradoxical beauty rule in the books: cleansing oily skin with oil. If you've never tried an oil cleanser the concept might sound bizarre at first, but the best oil cleansers for oily skin are worth your time and investment.

Contrary to what you might think (or have been told for years), oil cleansers have the power to dissolve oil unlike any other cleanser ingredient. Water-based cleansers fall short when it comes to effectively removing makeup and ridding your face of the excess sebum that can clog pores and create pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. Meanwhile, super drying products meant to attack acne with ingredients like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide may have the opposite effect on skin — they can dry out your skin and actually prompt it to produce even more oil as a response.

Oil cleansers can be used alone before your toner, serum, and moisturizer, or as part of a two-step cleansing routine known as double cleansing, which is popular in Japan and South Korea. This method involves washing your face twice — first with an oil-based cleanser that gently removes oil and makeup, and then with a water-based, foaming cleanser that provides a more thorough deep cleansing to truly rid your skin of all traces of excess sebum and makeup, thereby preventing acne and blackheads from forming.

Take the first step toward treating your oily skin with a cleanser that's going to do it justice by considering one of these outstanding oil cleansers.


The Travel-Friendly Balm Cleanser That Melts Away Makeup In Seconds

Heimish All Clean Balm, $18, Amazon

A no-nonsense solid oil cleanser that cleans without any bells and whistles (or added fragrances), this formula is aces at removing notoriously difficult-to-get-off gel eyeliner and waterproof mascara and has hypoallergenic ingredients that are ideal for sensitive skin. If you're traveling, it's the perfect suitcase-friendly oil cleanser — because it's solid and won't spill and make a mess. And it's huge. One container will last you a long time.


A Cooling, Refreshing Cleanser With Peppermint

Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil, $26, Amazon

Fresh and invigorating, this cleansing oil is unlike any other in that it revives tired skin with peppermint and eucalyptus, while removing dirt and oil from pores with rose hip, green tea, and golden palm oils. The antioxidant jojoba leaf fights free radicals on your skin and prevents future skin damage. This oil is a blessing on mornings when you need a jolt, as well as evenings after a long day spent outside or in the sun.


A Non-Greasy Cleanser With Botanical Extracts

Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil, $12, Amazon

If your number one reason for not wanting to try an oil cleanser is that you suspect it will leave a greasy residue on your skin, cast your fears aside and try this hydrating cleansing oil, which is made with pure grapeseed oil that cleanses pores and then evaporates, leaving your skin looking and feeling smooth. This gentle cleanser is, rich with botanical extracts, and free of parabens and other harsh chemicals.


An Olive Oil Cleanser With Hyaluronic Acid

ROHTO Hadalabo Gokujun Cleansing Oil, $24, Amazon

This Japanese cleansing oil is made with olive oil, jojoba seed oil, and hyaluronic acid and is made to both cleanse skin and impart a radiant glow to your complexion. Reviewers say this is a one-step wonder that can be applied to dry skin, rubbed gently over made-up lashes and skin, and then rinsed off with warm water. It's described as "super gentle" but highly effective in removing every bit of makeup.


A One-Step Cleanser & Makeup Remover With Camellia Oil

Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, $63, Amazon

The Japanese camellia oil that makes this cleansing oil so desirable is rich in antioxidants and Omega-6 fatty acids and is known for its ability to lock moisture into skin and leave it looking more supple and soft. It's also killer on makeup — even foundation and waterproof mascara — and is effective you can use it alone, without following up with a water-based cleanser.


An All-Natural Cleansing Oil With Grape & Sweet Almond Oils

Caudalie Make-Up Removing Cleansing Oil, $29, Amazon

Sweet almond and grape seed oils are the key ingredients in this natural cleansing oil, which is non-comedogenic and designed specifically to remove the most stubborn makeup. Reviewers love its non-greasy formula and the fact that it even includes castor oil for a little added eyebrow/eyelash growing love.


A Deep Cleaning Olive Oil Cleanser That Helps Heal Acne

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, $27, Amazon

The name says it all: this deep cleansing oil digs deep into congested pores to unearth excess oil and dirt and it's formulated with vitamins and antioxidant-rich ingredients like olive oil that nourish skin and prevent it from drying out. Reviewers say this has the power to heal acne, prevent new pimples from forming, and leaves skin ultra moisturized.


A Hypoallergenic Oil Cleanser For Sensitive Oily Skin Types

Banila Co. Clean It Zero, $24, Amazon

No matter what your skin type — or whether you have an oily T-zone and super dry cheeks — this oil cleanser tackles the issue with ingredients like hollyhock extract for flaky skin and Ecocert natural oil to remove dirt, oil, and residue from pores. Its unique sherbet texture is a hit amongst reviewers, many of whom say this product has completely changed their skin and made it much clearer and smoother. And it's ideal for sensitive skin and contains no harsh chemicals or additives.


A Vegan-Friendly Organic Oil Cleanser With Sunflower & Argan Oils

French Girl Organics Cleansing Oil, $35, Amazon

Who said powerful cleansers can't contain mostly organic ingredients? This vegan-friendly oil-based cleanser is made with organic argan, jojoba, sunflower, olive, and castor oils and smells like fresh rose. Rely on it to remove makeup and surface oils without ever stripping your skin of its natural essential oils and moisture.