Throughout our lives, we have been told that only oil-free products are to be used for keep skin clean and gorgeous. So, using oil for skin cleansing does seem counterintuitive especially for oily and acne-prone skin. But it turns out that oil cleansing can be effective and beneficial for all skin types. 

Oil cleansing has been part of skincare for centuries before being replaced with oil-free cleansing methods. However, it has recently seen a rise in popularity although some people might still be skeptical to try it out. But lots of people swear by oil cleansing method and many brands have added oil cleansers to their skincare lines. Read on to find out more about the oil cleansing method that is taking the beauty and skincare world by storm.

What is Oil Cleansing?

As suggested by the name, oil cleansing is the use of natural oils for gentle cleansing of the skin. The method involves using specific combinations according to your skin type to cleanse it and balance its natural oils. This leaves your skin healthier and more moisturized than traditional soap-based facial cleansers provide.

How Does Oil Cleanse Your Skin?

The oil cleansing method is based on the principle that ‘like dissolves like’. Hence, oil massaged into your skin dissolves dirty oil that is stuck into your pores and has hardened over time. The oil also moisturizes your skin to keep it from compensating by producing more oil that can lead to clogging of your pores and ultimately whiteheads and blackheads. So, dirty oil is removed from your pores and replaced with clean, nourishing oil.

Does Oil Cleansing Work?

A lot of people who have used the oil cleansing method say that it really works to make your skin clean and flawless. But when you start using the method, you may have to go through an adjustment period during which your skin actually gets worse before it starts getting better. This is a normal reaction when the impurities are pulled from your skin so you don’t have to worry if your skin doesn’t get better immediately after using this method. The best thing about oil cleansing is that it doesn’t involve using chemical-laden products that might be harmful for your skin in the long term.

How to Choose the Best Cleansing Oil for Your Skin?

As a lot of brands have added oil cleansers to their skincare line, choosing the best cleansing oil for your skin becomes confusing. But when doing so, you need to take different things into consideration.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, go for those cleansers which state that they are non-comedogenic as they won’t clog your pores. Tea-tree and peppermint oils are best for oily skin and salicylic acid is best for acne-prone skin.

For dry skin, look for argan or shea oils. These oils hydrate your skin well without making it greasy, which is what your dry skin really needs.

Also, go for high-quality products that don’t have any artificial scents or dyes added. These can irritate your skin so, it’s best to get unrefined, virgin oils.

Generally, castor oil and olive are used in DIY oil cleansing. Castor oil is popular for cleansing as it is a natural astringent and effectively rids your skin of all impurities. It is best for oily and combination skin but people with dry skin can also use it in less amount. Also, castor oil should never be applied undiluted and should be mixed with other oils. Olive oil is good for all skin types and is rich in vitamins as well as antioxidants. It is thus, good for hydration. 

You can make an oil cleanser by combining castor oil and olive oil in a 1:1 ratio. If your skin is oily then increase the amount of castor oil and if your skin is dry, add more olive oil.

How to Do Oil Cleansing?

As stated above, the oil cleansing method involves using oil instead of soap to cleanse your skin. You can use oil cleansing as the first step in your double-cleansing routine to remove your makeup before washing your face. You can also use the oil cleansing method on its own. Whichever routine you choose, you have to follow these steps for oil cleansing.

    1. Place a warm, damp face towel or washcloth on your face and let the steam open pores to release dirt and oil.
    2. Taking a quarter-sized amount on your palm, apply it on your face while massaging it gently into your skin for 30 seconds.
    3. Using the washcloth or face towel, wipe the oil away from your skin and proceed with the next step in your skincare routine.

What to Expect after Oil Cleansing?

After the oil cleansing, your skin will be free of makeup and dirt. You might need to moisturize your skin afterward if you have dry skin.

If you are using the oil cleansing method on your skin for the first time, your skin might take some time to adjust to the new cleansing method. Also, it might become worse during adjustment or if you are allergic to the oil. So, it is best to do a patch test before applying an oil cleanser. If you have cystic acne, talk to a dermatologist before trying out an oil cleanser as it might worsen the condition.

Finding the right combination of oils might also involve a bit of trial and error. So, if you experience an increase in breakouts you might need to use a gentler face wash or use another combination of oil.

How Often Should You Do Oil Cleansing?

You should use oil cleansing on your skin no more than once a day. You can use it less frequently as a special skin treatment also. The best time to do oil cleansing is at night before going to bed so that your face is free from all dirt, dust, and makeup of the day and is also well-hydrated. However, exactly how often you should do oil cleansing depends on your skin and preference.

Disclaimer: Content Research, Product Opinion & Publication Process

The articles, cosmetic tutorials, and beauty tips on SheBegan magazine are contributed by experienced fashion professionals, beauty & cosmetics experts. The team of our beauty and cosmetics professionals tests the products and then share the outcomes with proper citations and then after passing all the research & editorial checks; the content is sent live making sure there exists No Conflict of Interest. You can read about our authors, volunteers, team members and editorial board with our content review, product testing, tutorial guidance process here.


Suhira heads the editorial department of SheBegan Magazine. She joined SheBegan Magazine as an author in 2017, and her writings also appeared on cosmopolitan, lifefalcon and other mags. Suhira loves to write on wellness-related topics, skin/hair/beauty tips, relationship advice topics, and bridal grooming niche. Later, in 2019, she became the head of our editorial board and also holds the position of Growth analyst. Having had sufficient experience with fitness and nutritional balance. Suhira has worked as a fitness trainer at local Gyms, we utilize her experience in our fitness and nutritional recommendations.

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