What is ‘Oil Cleansing’ and Is It Good For Your Skin?

  • 3 min read

Lately, you may have heard people suggesting you wash your face with oil – likely evoking gasps of abject horror from you andmanyother people who’ve spent years being indoctrinated with the idea that oil + skin =bad

Not so fast, though! Oil cleansing is a non-traditional approach to skincare that has grown increasingly popular in recent years. If you're curious about what this trend is all about, stick around! We’ll cover what oil cleansing is, the most commonly used oils, and some things to keep in mind when deciding if it’s right for you.

What is Oil Cleansing?

Oil cleansing is a non-lathering method that uses oil-based products to "cleanse" skin by gently dissolving excess dirt, makeup, and skincare products – such as sunscreen – without harsh cleansers or scrubbing. 

This essentially helps preserve the surface of your skin so it’s hydrated and less prone to irritation from excessive detergents. It’s become popular because it offers a gentler cleaning option while still providing effective results.

What to Consider Before Trying Oil Cleansing

Oil cleansing is a natural and gentle way to clean your skin without using harsh soaps and lathers, but there are some things you should consider before you decide to give it a try.

Skin Type

The type of oil you use for oil cleansing depends on your skin type – so make sure you know what yours is before trying out different cleansers. 

Those with dry or sensitive skin might opt for olive or grapeseed oil, while those with combination or oily skin may benefit more from jojoba oil. If you’re unsure which is best for you, test a product on the inside of your wrist or get a pro’s recommendation.

Maintain Balance

Oil cleansing offers deep-cleaning power without stripping away natural oilsandhelps to keep the pH balance in your skin intact – but that doesn’t mean you can rely solely on it! 

Be sure to follow up with treatment products suited to nourish and protect your skin after every cleansing session so you can continue to maintain the delicate balance in your complexion!

What are the Types of Oils Commonly Used in Oil Cleansing?

There are many types of oils used in oil cleansing and they all have their own unique properties. Here’s an overview of some of the most common varieties:

Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the most popular choices for oil cleansing. It’s packed with antioxidants and vitamins that help nourish the skin while providing gentle cleaning power. Plus, olive oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling, redness, and discomfort associated with acne breakouts.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is another great option for oil cleansing and is beloved by many due to its affordability. Thanks to its saturated fatty acids, coconut oil helps to prevent dry skin and leaves behind a pleasant scent too! 

Just keep in mind that using too much coconut oil can cause irritation for some – such as those who have oily skin, are prone to breakouts, or have certain conditions, like eczema – so be sure to use it sparingly, if that’s you.

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is noncomedogenic, meaning it offers excellent cleansing benefits without the risk of clogging pores or irritating sensitive skin. 

This makes it a great choice for those with problematic or delicate skin who don’t want to sacrifice effectiveness for gentleness. Grapeseed oil also contains Vitamin E, which helps protect against sun damage over time.

Sunflower Seed Oil

Sunflower seed oil is one of the lightest oils available on the market, which means it won’t leave your face feeling heavy or greasy after you finish your cleanse! Sunflower seed oil contains Vitamin A and provides amazing hydration while gently removing dirt and debris from pores.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba Oil is a lightweight but powerful choice when it comes to oily cleansers; it’s full of antifungal properties which make it great for preventing breakouts as well as treating existing ones! 

Plus, jojoba has healing powers thanks to its Vitamin E content, which helps repair damaged cells.

Castor Oil

Castor Oil might be an old-school remedy but it’s still popular because of its deep cleaning abilities combined with excellent moisturizing effects on the skin.

Just bear in mind thatcastor oil is quite thick, meaning it’s more likely to clog pores and/or exacerbate unwelcome skin conditions than some of the lighter oils we’ve highlighted above.


Just like any skincare routine, oil cleansing won’t solve all of your problems, but for the right skin types, it can be a good option for those looking for a gentle, yet effective, cleanser. If you haven't already, it's wise to talk to a licensed esthetician before jumping in to make sure oil cleansing is right for you andyour skin!