Cleansing Oils & Creams – Are you using them right?

27th March 2011 – Additional product review of Biore Cleansing Oil added – please scroll down to the bottom.


Makeup removers are my staple. I’ve been using cleansing oil for many years and to me, it is absolutely essential as I use makeup on a daily basis. In my experience, it is the most effective in cleaning off facial makeup of all sorts – waterproof, oily and non-oily.

I’ve used many types of cleansing oils and creams over the years. In the past 6 months or so, I also started using a cleansing cream from Clarins just to try out the product. The result I get from the cleansing cream from Clarins is not bad, but I still prefer a cleansing oil. But my blogpost today isn’t a review of any specific product / brand – I’d just like to highlight the proper use of such a product.

Who should use a cleansing oil and creams?

  • If you have normal to dry skin, and you use makeup regularly, cleansing oils and creams are suitable for you. People with oily skin may find this too oily and breakouts may occur if they do not cleanse the skin well enough.
  • If you are not a makeup user, but you wear a sunscreen that is oily and/or very water resistant, you may find that an oily cleanser is better for sunscreen removal. (I remember I had to purchase a separate Shiseido cleansing oil to remove their sunscreen!)

In a previous post on cleansing, I detailed how I double-cleanse my face. Click here for the older post in a new window. The use of cleansing oil / cream is the first step.

Not all of us know the right way of using cleansing oils. Here, I’m going to explain how it’s meant to be used effectively to remove your makeup.  (Actually there are instructions on the bottle, but some may not bother to read them.)

For a start, I always use a formulated makeup-remover for eyes to remove my eye makeup. Having done that, I’ll use a cleansing oil or cleansing cream to clean off the makeup on my face.

  1. To use cleansing oil, pump sufficient amount into your palm and then apply onto DRY skin.
  2. Smooth the oil all over your face in a circular motion. By doing this, you’re allowing the oil to meld with the makeup on your face and ‘lift’ it off your skin so to speak.
  3. After you’ve smoothed it evenly over your face, wet your palms and repeat the same circular smoothing motion. Now, the water on your palms will emulsify the oil on your face, causing the oil to turn milky.  Continue with this circular smoothing motion till you have covered your entire face.
  4. Splash water on your face and wash off the emulsified oil. You can also use a washcloth to wipe it off. Here, you’ll see that the milky substance has taken on the colour of your foundation…. Ensure that you thoroughly rinse your face. You don’t want any clogged pores!
  5. After rinsing, use a foaming cleanser as the second cleanser. Squeeze out a little onto your palm and create lather in your hands (do not lather on your face).
  6. Apply the lather onto your face, smooth it all over and rinse it off thoroughly. The foaming cleanser serves to clean off the oil residue on your face.
  7. After rinsing, dab your face dry (don’t wipe and pull vigorously! Be gentle to your face :p).
  8. Use a toner:  Make sure you finish the cleansing process with a toner to regain the right pH balance. The process of cleansing removes your acid mantle necessary for the protection of your skin, and a toner is formulated to regain that balance as well as removing the last traces of makeup.

The key to using cleansing oil is applying it on DRY skin. Putting cleansing oil on a cotton pad or applying the oil on wet skin are not only wasteful, but also ineffective.  Hope this blog helps clarify the use of this product.

For some pictorial explanation…..

Cleansing oil on lipstick on dry skin (do NOT add water!)

Mixing the oil with the lipstick..... (no water added)

Water has been applied to the oil-lipstick mix. See how it has emulsified. Rinse off.

27th March 2011 –

I bought myself a bottle of Biore Cleansing Oil and started using it yesterday.

It is necessary for me to write about this because this is the first time that I’m using a cleansing oil that can be used WET, as well as dry.  If you have read what I’ve written above, you are aware that most cleansing oils require application on DRY skin, but Biore’s Cleansing Oil is different.  I have seen others that can be used wet but never tried them.

My review:  A pleasant apple fragrance that’s not overpowering.  Doesn’t emulsify in water (the label says so as well) so it leaves a slightly oily feel on the face after washing.  Cleansing ability is good and 150ml for RM19.50 (discounted price at Guardian), it is a good buy.


One thought on “Cleansing Oils & Creams – Are you using them right?

  1. I had some questions when I started trying out a deluxe sample of the Missha BB Deep Cleansing Oil. Your post answered everything. Thank you~

    I always thought using the double cleansing method would be too much, but you really notice a difference when your skin is properly cleaned. 🙂

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