Best Cleansing Oils / Oil Cleansers

This is a little embarrassing to share, but makeup wipes used to be my entire skincare routine. That was up until I moved to the United States. Here I began to experience skin problems I had never encountered and started to learn how to care for my skin. As a makeup lover that was just using a few wipes to take it off and call it a day, I believe that using oil cleansers made a significant difference. No surprise there–I was finally cleansing my skin the proper way.

In the video below, I talk about what the purpose and benefits of using an oil cleanser (vs. any other beauty/kitchen oil), and I share my top picks. I have tried quite a few products over the past years, and these are the ones I have enjoyed the most. I do plan to continue to try more and will update the post as I find new products that work well. I hope you enjoy the video, and please leave comments to share your recs or ask questions.



This oil cleanser contains a very mild surfactant that makes the removal process easy, and beta-glucan to strengthen the skin barrier (studies show that it helps in the treatment of dermatitis, eczema, bed sores, wounds, and burns). I recommend this to people with delicate, easily irritated skin. I repurchased this one because it’s the only one that removes my Coola Stick Sunscreen (mentioned in this post) effortlessly.


  • Breaks down any makeup and sunscreens easily, even stubborn makeup and thick sunscreen
  • Free of potentially irritating ingredients
  • Includes ingredients that help to protect/repair the skin barrier


  • The scent may be unpleasant to some people (because it’s fragrance-free, it gets its scent from the ingredients)
  • Packaging is not travel-friendly (I have pumped some product in a different bottle when I needed to carry it with me)
  • Requires wiping it with a cloth (I cannot just splash my face with water to remove it)

Full Ingredients List: Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, Prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, decyl polyglucoside (polyglucose), sucrose cocoate, mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) from non-GMO sources, elderberry phytocyde (Sambucus nigra) fruit extract, xanthan gum, pre/probiotic complex, Beta glucan, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) oleoresin, superoxide dismutase (SOD)

The Kristina Holey + Marie Veronique Oil Cleanser is cruelty-free. Shop here.


I would not call it exactly a “rinse away” oil cleanser, because I cannot simply rinse it off by splashing water on my face. However, in contact with water, this oil turns into a milk, which is a pleasant texture for massaging the skin. With a damp face cloth, I am able to remove all of the product with no issue. Because of its rich texture, I think that people with dry skin would enjoy this product–as long as they have no issues with essential oils (keep in mind that the essential oils that make the fragrance are not listed). I actually enjoy its scent and have not experienced any irritation.


  • Pleasant scent (from a blend of essential oils)
  • Breaks down makeup well
  • Oil texture turns milky in contact with water and works well for massage


  • Significantly more expensive than the other oil cleansers that I like
  • Contains essential oils (some people are sensitive to some of them)
  • Requires wiping with a cloth (I cannot just splash my face with water to remove it)

Ingredients List: Camellia oleifera (Camellia) Seed Oil*, Shea Butter Ethyl Esters, Polyglyceryl-4 Oleate, Plukenetia volubilis (Sacha Inchi) Oil*, Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Oryza sativa (Rice) Bran Oil*, Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil*, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Prunus amygdalus dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Oil *, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Oenothera biennis (Evening Primrose) Seed Extract*, Rubusidaeus (Raspberry) Seed Extract*, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Seed Extract*, Borago officinalis (Borage) Seed Extract*, Sambucus nigra Fruit Extract, Alkanna tinctoria (Alkanet) Root Extract, Cymbidium grandiflorum (Orchid) Flower Extract, Tocopherol, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Aroma**, Citronellol, Geraniol, Nerol, Linalool, Limonene. *Ingredients from organic farming **Blend of essential oils

The Nazan Schanpp Oil Cleanser is cruelty-free, and vegan (PETA certified). Shop here.


This is easily one of the best on the market. It does the job well and can be rinsed off with water. On lazy evenings, I apply a few pumps to my face and begin to massage, and then I hop in the shower and rinse it off (massaging the skin while rinsing helps to remove it better, but the cloth isn’t necessary). Sometimes I don’t even follow with a second cleanse, because this oil cleanser does not leave residue on the skin. I love it.


  • Very effective and quick at breaking down makeup and sunscreen
  • Rinses off clear
  • Contains soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients like Calendula and Turmeric Root Extract
  • The rich texture feels great while massaging the skin


  • Contains essential oils, which are problematic for some people. I haven’t had any issue with it, though my skin is delicate

Full Ingredients List: Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, isoamyl laurate, Argania spinosa (argan) oil*, polyglyceryl-2 sesquioleate, polyglyceryl-2 caprate, Daucus carota (carrot) seed oil, Panicum millaceum (millet) seed extract*, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract*, tocopherol, Calendula officinalis (calendula) flower extract*, Curcuma longa (turmeric) root extract*, Citrus aurantium amara (neroli) flower oil*, Pelargonium graveolens (geranium) leaf oil*, Tanacetum annuum flower oil, Hypericum perforatum (St. Johns Wort) leaf extract, Santalum spicatum (sandalwood) wood oil, bisabolol, citronelol†, geraniol†, linalool†, farnesol†, limonene†
* Ingredients from Organic Farming
†Naturally occurring compound in essential oils; not an added ingredient
100% of the ingredients are from Natural Origin; 76.84% are from Organic Farming

The Kahina Oil Cleanser is gluten-free, cruelty-free, non-gmo and vegan. Shop here.


This oil cleanser is everything I hoped the May Lindstrom Pendulum Potion would be. I loved that cleansing oil texture and scent so much, but I did not appreciate that it did not contain any mild surfactant (used to make the product emulsify) that would allow it to come off easily. This Maya Chia oil cleanser has a similar, soothing, earthy scent, and a silky texture, but comes off like a dream.


  • Effective at breaking down makeup and sunscreen
  • The silky texture is perfect for a face massage
  • Rinses off easily, though I prefer to use a cloth to wipe it
  • Pleasant, soothing scent


  • Contains essential oils, which are problematic for some people. I haven’t had any issue with it, though my skin is delicate

Full Ingredients List: Salvia Hispanica (Supercritical Chia) Oil, *Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Oil, *Prunus armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, *Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Di-PPG-2 Myreth-10 Adipate, *Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Essential Oil, *Anthemis Nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Flower Essential Oil, *Citrus Aurantium Amara (Neroli) Essential Oil, *Citrus Reticulata (Mandarin) Essential Oil, *Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage) Essential Oil, *Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Absolute, Tocopherol (Non-GMO Vitamin E) *Organic or Wildcrafted (when available)

The Maya Chia Cleansing Oil is gluten-free, cruelty-free, non-gmo, and vegan. Shop here.


I am pretty sure that no one is surprised that I included this one. It’s been my go-to and only oil cleanser for years before more options became available. It’s a simple formula that does the job well, but it does require wiping with a cloth in order to be removed properly.


  • Effective at breaking down makeup and sunscreen
  • Smells like piña colada
  • Contains mild exfoliating ingredients like papaya and pumpkin


  • Contains essential oils, which are problematic for some people. I haven’t had any issue with it, though my skin is delicate.
  • Requires wiping with a cloth

Full Ingredients List: helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, caprylic/capric triglyceride, di-ppg-2 myreth-10 adipate, polyglycerol-3 beeswax, carica papaya (papaya) seed oil, cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil*, tocopherol, ascorbyl palmitate, papain*, lecithin*, fragrance/parfum *Ingredients from Organic Farming

The One Love Organics Cleansing Oil is cruelty-free and Eco-Cert certified. Shop here.

*first bottle was gifted