We should all be using a cleanser at least once a day, but ideally twice. Once in the morning, to freshen the skin and rinse off any residue from your overnight skincare, and a double cleanse in the evening, to get rid of makeup, dirt, debris and oil.
Traditional cleansers (think the water-soluble ones, in cream, gel or foam textures) primarily work with surfactants – ingredients which easily remove makeup, oil and dirt, but which can also leave the skin feeling tight and dry after cleansing. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it can actually cause your skin to break out; the dryness can stimulate your skin to increase its oil production, leading to an imbalance which can cause blemishes, blocked pores and blackheads.
With that in mind, it’s so important to use a cleanser which maintains the natural oil balance of the skin, instead of stripping it away. And oil cleansers, despite what you might think, are just the ticket! Oils not only moisturise, they are also lipophilic, which means that they are attracted to the oils on your skin, including sebum, which is the excess oil that causes those pesky breakouts.
Oil cleansers can also include surfactants and emulsifiers, to allow the oils, makeup, debris and dead skin cells to combine with the water and wash off easily; this is how cleansing oils can remove makeup and daily grime without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Plus, they’re a great and gentle way to effectively melt away waterproof mascara.
But what if you have oily skin, we hear you ask?
Oily skin will likely find that an oil cleanser is the best thing for them to use, even if your natural reaction is to steer clear of adding more oil to the skin. Many cleansers on the market treat oily or acne-prone skin by drying it out; however, when skin recognises this, it works harder to produce more oil to rehydrate the skin – thus causing a vicious cycle of trying to battle the excess oil whilst causing it to continue production.
A good-quality, carefully-formulated cleansing oil will not block your pores or cause an imbalance of the skin, regardless of skin type. The cleansing oil is attracted to the oil on your face, and they bind together, meaning that as you wipe away the oil, you’re also removing the daily build-up, all without dehydrating the skin.
Cleansing oils can be used in the same way as other facial cleansers, and they’re great for removing stubborn ‘long wear’ makeup products like long-lasting lipsticks and waterproof mascara. Simply apply a small amount to damp skin, and spend a minute or two gently massaging it into the skin and all around the eyes, working it into the eyebrows and eyelashes to lift up all the makeup effectively. You can remove it with cotton facial rounds, or to get deep into the pores, use a hot cloth to leave your skin feeling lovely and clean. Follow with a splash of cold water to refresh and close the pores – and it really is as easy as that.