16 Best Cleansing Oils for Every Single Skin Type, Tested & Reviewed in 2023

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1

Best Overall Cleansing Oil

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

Deep Cleansing Oil

1

Best Overall Cleansing Oil

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

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There’s a reason most beauty editors (including yours truly) consider this cleansing oil their desert-island product: The antioxidant-rich olive oil removes makeup so gently (and thoroughly!) that it actually makes washing my face kinda fun. The silky-smooth texture is also suuuper lightweight, so it doesn’t feel like oil on my skin. Plus, it gets bonus points because it can also be used to clean your makeup brushes.

  • Key ingredient(s): Olive oil, vitamin E
  • Size: 6.7 oz or 2.3 oz.

THE REVIEW: “This is hands down my favorite cleansing oil,” one tester writes. “I use it every night to remove makeup and sunscreen and whatever else I have on my face from the day. It doesn’t clog my pores and I don’t have to scrub at all to remove any of my makeup including my mascara.”

2

Best Cleansing Oil Balm

Cocokind Oil to Milk Cleanser

Oil to Milk Cleanser

2

Best Cleansing Oil Balm

Cocokind Oil to Milk Cleanser

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This thicker, balm-like oil cleanser—that has the consistency of Vaseline, sans the greasy feel—transforms into a milky consistency once massaged onto your skin. It’s formulated with oat extract which is particularly soothing if you have dry, itchy, or irritated skin, as well as glycerin which is a natural hydrator.

  • Key ingredient(s): Glycerin, vitamin E, oat extract
  • Size: 2.9 oz.

THE REVIEW: “I’ve been using this cleanser on my oily skin for over three years now, and I would never change,” reads one tester’s review. “It is light but clarifying, and it always helps keep my skin in check whenever I break out.”

3

Best Hydrating Oil Cleanser

Kora Organics Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil

Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil

3

Best Hydrating Oil Cleanser

Kora Organics Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil

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This cleanser by Kora is one of my new favorite products due to its ability to deeply cleanse all makeup and grime off of my skin yet still keep it soft and plump in the process. Silver ear mushroom works similarly to hyaluronic acid due to both ingredients containing glucuronic acid—i.e., a natural hydrator. The formula also contains the chemical exfoliant, lactic acid, so while it’s adding hella hydration, it’s also removing the oil and dirt from your skin.

  • Key ingredient(s): Aloe vera, glycerin, jojoba oil, silver ear mushroom extract, lactic acid, babassu oil
  • Size: 5 oz.

THE REVIEW: “This is the only cleanser/cleansing oil that has worked for my combination, acne-prone skin!” notes one reviewer. “It’s very gentle, I love the smell, and it’s an environmentally conscious brand.”

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4

Best Oil Cleanser for “Normal” Skin

Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Oil Cleanser

Pure One Step Camellia Oil Cleanser

4

Best Oil Cleanser for “Normal” Skin

Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Oil Cleanser

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You really can’t go wrong with this oil cleanser: It has camellia oil (an excellent source of vitamins A, B, D, and E) and natural anti-agers like green tea, rice, and algae, all of which work to cleanse, soften, and plump your skin. But my favorite part? Once I wash it away, there is absolutely no residue.

  • Key ingredient(s): Rice bran oil, camellia oil, green tea extract
  • Size: 5 oz.

THE REVIEW: “This is my bougie makeup remover and holy grail product,” notes one tester. “It gets all my makeup off, there’s no residue left behind, and it doesn’t burn my eyes. Feels luxurious and is well worth the money.”

5

Best Exfoliating Cleansing Oil

Mara Natural Chia + Moringa Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil

Natural Chia + Moringa Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil

5

Best Exfoliating Cleansing Oil

Mara Natural Chia + Moringa Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil

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My favorite thing about this cleansing oil from Mara is the fact that it contains glycolic acid—i.e., one of my favorite AHAs which does a great job at smoothing, brightening, and softening your skin. And while the chemical exfoliant is doing its thing, emollients such as squalane bring moisture back into your skin for a gentle, yet effective cleanse.

  • Key ingredient(s): Glycolic acid, chamomile extract, chia seed oil, vitamin E, squalane, aloe vera
  • Size: 4 oz.

THE REVIEW: “I’ve tried many luxury cleansing oils over the years, and this is easily my favorite,” one tester notes. “The smell is wonderful, it doesn’t leave my skin feeling greasy, but very clean without over-drying.”

6

Best Cleansing Oil for Hyperpigmentation

Epara Cleansing Oil

Cleansing Oil

6

Best Cleansing Oil for Hyperpigmentation

Epara Cleansing Oil

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If you struggle with hyperpigmentation and/or dark spots, you want to look for products formulated with brightening or exfoliating ingredients. The Epara Cleansing Oil relies on licorice root which contains a natural active (see: glabridin) and is said to be effective in fighting discoloration. Not only that, but it also is a great antioxidant and provides skin-soothing benefits.

  • Key ingredient(s): Glycerin, argan oil, vitamin E, licorice root
  • Size: 5.28 oz.

THE REVIEW: “This face cleansing oil really cleanses my face while moisturizing it and not leaving my skin dry,” one review reads. “It’s not too oily and glides on so smooth.”

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7

Best Drugstore Cleansing Oil

Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil

Ultra Light Cleansing Oil

7

Best Drugstore Cleansing Oil

Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil

Now 25% Off

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Guess what? Those gritty, citrusy, stingy face washes aren’t the only cleansers at your drugstore. This super-affordable cleansing oil from Neutrogena is mild enough for most skin types, and when I say it really removes every trace of makeup, it really removes every trace of makeup.

  • Key ingredient(s): Glycerin
  • Size: 4 oz.

THE REVIEW: “I had used micellar water for years to remove makeup before cleansing but it started making my skin dry and flaky,” one reviewer notes. “It removes all my eye makeup, even waterproof mascara. My skin is very clean but not stripped or dry—it’s hydrated and soft.”

8

Best Cleansing Oil for Waterproof Makeup

Be the Skin Daily Complete Cleansing Oil

Daily Complete Cleansing Oil

8

Best Cleansing Oil for Waterproof Makeup

Be the Skin Daily Complete Cleansing Oil

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The olive oil—which is high in hydrating squalene and protective antioxidants—and glycerin in this cleansing oil means it isn’t playing around when it comes to effectiveness. Massage it onto dry skin and it’ll wash away your waterproof mascara and full-coverage foundation with ease. It’s also got a nice dose of ginger root extract, which causes a warming sensation when first applied, and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

  • Key ingredient(s): Olive oil, vitamin E, glycerin
  • Size: 6.7 oz.

THE REVIEW: “I love how it melts all of my waterproof mascara and leaves my face feeling all sorts of clean and not dry or stripped of all moisture,” reads one review.

9

Best Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin

Avène XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil

XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil

9

Best Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin

Avène XeraCalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil

Harsh cleansers can seriously irritate sensitive skin types (especially with conditions like eczema or atopic dermatitis). This ultra-gentle cleansing oil cleans irritated, itchy skin without drying it out and helps repair damaged skin barriers with soothing vitamin E and hydrating glycerin.

  • Key ingredient(s): Vitamin E, glycerin, evening primrose oil
  • Size: 13.5 oz.

THE REVIEW: “Does not aggravate my rosacea,” notes one tester. “I’m allergic to everything, my skin is eczema-prone and I also live in a very dry climate and use retinol daily. This is so soothing to use morning and night,” adds another.

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10

Best Squalane Cleansing Oil

Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil

Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil

10

Best Squalane Cleansing Oil

Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil

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Squalane is one of the most effective facial oilsit’s super hydrating (but never heavy) and gentle enough for sensitive skin—so it’s only fitting that it’s a great cleansing agent too. This cleansing oil pairs squalane with a handful of antioxidant-rich ingredients, like evening primrose and sunflower seed oils, to lightly moisturize your face while removing makeup.

  • Key ingredient(s): Vitamin E, squalane, rosemary leaf extract
  • Size: 6.76 oz.

THE REVIEW: “It took me forever to finish this bottle because about two pumps takes my entire face of makeup off,” one review reads. “I have acne-prone skin, for some reason, this oil is the only one I can use.”

11

Best Cleansing Oil for Dry Skin

One Love Organics Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

Organics Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

11

Best Cleansing Oil for Dry Skin

One Love Organics Botanical B Enzyme Cleansing Oil

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Take a peek at all of its five-star reviews on Ulta, and you’ll quickly understand the hype around this oil cleanser. Spiked with moisturizing oils like sunflower, papaya, and pumpkin seeds, it helps take your makeup right off without leaving your skin tight or dry. Heads up that folks with ultra-dry skin will love the moisturizing, non-stripping nature of this bb.

  • Key ingredient(s): Vitamin E, sunflower seed oil
  • Size: 4 oz.

THE REVIEW: “It felt very relaxing, nourishing, and luxurious and did not sting my open acne wounds which was a plus,” one review reads. “I love that it is acne-safe and does not leave a film like some other oil cleansers.”

12

Best Exfoliating Cleansing Oil

Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil PHA

Pore Cleansing Oil PHA

12

Best Exfoliating Cleansing Oil

Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil PHA

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The hero ingredient in this oil cleanser? Polyhydroxy acid, aka a super gentle exfoliator that helps dissolve dead skin cell buildup. That means you’re getting two benefits with this one—it’ll help remove your makeup while also leaving your skin softer and smoother over time.

  • Key ingredient(s): Gluconolactone, squalane, glycerin, tea tree oil, sunflower oil, lavender oil
  • Size: 10.4 oz.

THE REVIEW: “I have super sensitive skin and really struggle with cleansers,” one reviewer notes. “This one is great, my skin liked it immediately. It takes off makeup great and doesn’t dry me out.”

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13

Best Oil Cleanser for Double Cleansing

Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil Makeup Remover

Gentle Cleansing Oil Makeup Remover

13

Best Oil Cleanser for Double Cleansing

Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil Makeup Remover

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Trust: This oil cleanser is the perfect formula for double cleansing thanks to the fact that it gently dissolves your makeup without leaving behind a greasy film due to the absence of mineral oil which is an ingredient that can make your skin feel or look greasy. Just pat your skin dry and follow up with your favorite gel or cream cleanser.

  • Key ingredient(s): Citrus extracts, squalane
  • Size: 6.76 oz.

THE REVIEW: “My skin is brighter and less dull which is something I saw just after a day of using it!” one review reads. “It’s very effective in removing my makeup and does not leave my skin dry after.”

14

Best Foaming Cleansing Oil

Skinfix Barrier+ Foaming Oil Cleanser

Barrier+ Foaming Oil Cleanser

14

Best Foaming Cleansing Oil

Skinfix Barrier+ Foaming Oil Cleanser

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If you can’t get behind an oil-based texture, you’ll love this foaming cleanser from Skinfix. It’s got all the benefits of a classic cleansing oil (thanks to the formula’s glycerin and squalane), but it creates a lightweight, foaming lather that leaves your skin ultra-smooth and soft.

  • Key ingredient(s): Squalane, vitamin E, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, jojoba oil, aloe vera
  • Size: 6 oz.

THE REVIEW: “This cleanser is great,” one reviewer notes. “I have oily skin and most face washes I’m used to completely strip it. This one gives it the perfect balance—it’s very gentle and my skin feels plumped, clean, and moisturized.

15

Best Natural Cleansing Oil

Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser

Nourishing Oil Cleanser

15

Best Natural Cleansing Oil

Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser

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This natural cleansing oil from Tata Harper breaks down makeup and face oils without stripping your skin. Basically, your face will feel clean and soft but never tight, thanks to the soothing camellia oil in the formula, as well as super moisturized, which can be credited to all the added oils (hi, olive, argan, and jojoba).

  • Key ingredient(s): Olive oil, argan oil, jojoba oil
  • Size: 4.1 oz.

THE REVIEW: “This is absolutely the best cleanser ever!” writes one reviewer. “I was hesitant to purchase at the high price tag, but I’m hooked forever! Fresh clean scent that is tough enough to remove all makeup and not strip my skin.”

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16

Best Cleansing Oil for Full-Coverage Makeup

Dermalogica Precleanse

Precleanse

16

Best Cleansing Oil for Full-Coverage Makeup

Dermalogica Precleanse

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Meet the oil cleanser that breaks down eight coats of mascara and full-coverage foundation like a g’damn pro. Oh, and the formula’s conditioning rice bran and vitamin E oil smooth and soften your skin without leaving a greasy residue.

  • Key ingredient(s): Vitamin E, rice bran oil
  • Size: 5.1 oz. and 10 oz.

THE REVIEW: “It dissolves my makeup quickly, easily without scrubbing or effort, and with no residue or drying,” one review reads.

What is a cleansing oil?

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Cleansing oils are cleansers that usually contain an oil base, along with an ingredient called a surfactant—which helps bind dirt on your skin and remove it without disrupting your skin barrier,” says board-certified dermatologist, Rachel Westbay, MD. These cleansers work well for removing makeup, are super gentle, and because cleansing oils are water-soluble, you won’t have to worry about them leaving behind a heavy layer of oily residue.

Cleansing oils are commonly used as the first part of a two-step K-beauty process called double-cleansing. In short, you begin with an oil-based cleanser that’ll rid your skin of oil-based products (i.e., makeup, sunscreen) and rewash your face with a water-based cleanser that’ll rid your skin of the water-based gunk (i.e., sweat, dirt). As a result, your skin will be left feelin’ super clean without actually stripping it.

How does a cleansing oil work?

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Cleansing oils work due to the chemical principle, “like dissolves like,” which states that similar substances will dissolve each other, Dr. Westbay explains. So, when you massage an oil cleanser onto your skin, the oil in the cleanser and the oil-based gunk on your skin integrate, allowing the product to attract and dislodge sebum and other oil-based gunk.

Board-certified dermatologist Monda Gohara, MD, paints us a picture: Pretend you’re the first of your friends to arrive at a party. A few moments later, you receive a text that your friends are there, but they’re congregating outside. You go outside to hang out with them because, well, they’re your friends. It’s the same with the oil element in these cleansers—“like attracts like, or, the oil attracts oil.”

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Can oily or acne-prone skin still use a cleansing oil?

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“Yes, cleansing oils are products that every skin type, even oily and acne-prone skin, can incorporate,” says Dr. Westbay, adding that some people even argue that oil cleansers may be beneficial for oily skin types.

Some cleansers—especially those that leave your skin feeling ultra-tight or, stripped, after rinsing—dismantle your skin’s acid mantle (aka, the film on our skin’s surface that acts as a barrier to bacteria, grime, and other contaminants) and render it too acidic, Dr. Westbay says. When the acid mantle is unbalanced, it has the potential to result in irritation, breakouts, and rashes. “Cleansing oils don’t change the acid mantle at all,” she says.

How do I use a cleansing oil?

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You use a cleansing oil by gently massaging a pump oil all over your dry, makeup-covered face for 30 seconds—carefully rub your lashes to eliminate any mascara—and rinse. (Remember, your skin needs to be totally dry!) You can either follow with the rest of your skincare routine or give your face one more round of cleansing.

Dr. Gohara says that a cleansing oil will not replace your standard face wash because “it is just an extra step to remove more particles than a standard cleanser alone.” And don’t feel like you need to double-cleanse every day, says Dr. Gohara. In fact, because they essentially act as a makeup remover, you only need to use them when you’re wearing makeup.

Headshot of Siena Gagliano

Siena Gagliano

Associate Editor

Siena Gagliano is the associate editor at Cosmopolitan, where she primarily covers beauty in the makeup, skin, and hair spaces, as well as some fashion and lifestyle. Wanna know how to get the best brows of your life? Gotchu. What about how to achieve ridiculously glowing skin, a super bouncy blowout, or exactly how to use that viral face mask? Check, check, and check. Before joining Cosmopolitan, Siena was a writer at Bustle and several other media outlets. As NYC’s newest resident, she has vowed to find the best (extra) dirty martini this city has to offer—and yes, that means ~attempting~ to try every cute cocktail spot in the city (hit her up with some recs, pls). Follow Siena on Instagram where you’ll see that her account is mostly dedicated to pics of her cute dog and that magazine life.

Headshot of Ruby Buddemeyer

Ruby was the beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, where she covered beauty across print and digital. Her work has appeared on The Zoe Report, Fashionista, and StyleCaster. Follow her on Instagram

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