Facial cleansing oils are a big beauty trend—and these dermatologists are on board. Here are their guidelines for choosing the best cleansing oil for you, plus a few of their top picks.
Washing your face with oil has become a wildly popular trend, encouraged by celebs and beauty experts alike. But is it for everyone?
“The theory behind oil cleansers is that they’re thought to remove bad excess oil because they have similar chemical properties as skin oil, which allow them to interact,” says Arielle Nagler, MD, a dermatologist at NYU Langone Medical Center. “This is in contrast to washing with water, which separates from oil.”
The best facial cleansing oils of 2021, according to dermatologists and customer reviews.
- Best Deep Cleanse: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
- Best Lightweight: Burt's Bees 100% Natural Facial Cleansing Oil
- Best for Oily Skin: Tula #Nomakeup Replenishing Cleansing Oil
- Best for Acne-Prone Skin: True Botanicals Pre-Cleanse Oil
- Best for Dry Skin: Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil
- Best Anti-Aging: Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Bioderma Atoderm Cleansing Oil
- Best for Makeup Removal: Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil
- Best Exfoliator: St. Ives Exfoliate & Nourish Facial Oil Scrub
- Best Hydration: bareMinerals Oil Obsessed Total Cleansing Oil
- Best Fragrance-Free: Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil
- Best for Pores: Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil
- Best Capsules: Eve Lom Cleansing Oil Capsules
- Best Jojoba Oil: Era Organics Facial Cleansing Oil
- Best Coconut Oil: Garden of Life Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Amy Kassouf, MD, a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic, clarifies that many cleansing oils are better suited for people with dry skin who could use a little more moisture, rather than people who naturally produce a lot of oil. “Generally speaking, sensitive, dry skin will do better with this type of cleansing than oily skin types.” She also reminds her patients that not all oils function the same way, and many of them have either pro- or anti-inflammatory properties.
So, what can you do to choose the right one? Be sure to research products carefully before use, and if your skin does not improve in the way you want it to, reassess your skincare routine, Dr. Kassouf says. Here, 15 different cleansing oils to try based on your specific concerns.