If you’re familiar with Japanese skincare, then you’ve definitely heard of cleansing oil before. The concept of cleansing oil may sound a bit strange, especially for those with oily skin, because doesn’t applying oil to oily skin just make the skin even more…oily? Well, no. In this article, we’ll explain what exactly cleansing oil is, how to use it, and recommend our 15 favorite cleansing oils from Japan that you can try.
What Is Cleansing Oil?
In simple terms, cleansing oil is an oil-based cleanser that removes makeup and unwanted dirt from the skin. You might be wondering how exactly cleansing oil works because oil and water separate right? Yes, they do separate, which is why Japanese cleansing oils include many surfactants that help water and oil stick together. This is why cleansing oil can easily be washed away with water and does not leave behind a greasy residue.
Japanese cleansing oils also often include other skin-friendly ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and jojoba oil to moisturize the skin and improve its texture.
Why Should I Use Cleansing Oil?
You should use cleansing oil if you want to kill two birds with one stone! Cleansing oil is a fast, easy, and effective way to remove makeup from your skin without having to use wipes or cotton pads, making it a bit more eco-friendly than other makeup remover alternatives. When you use cleansing oil, you’re also cleansing your skin and preparing it for your skincare routine at the same time.
How To Use Cleansing Oil?
Cleansing oil should be applied at the beginning of your skincare routine. In a typical Japanese skincare routine, a process called double cleansing is typical in which an oil-based cleanser is used and is then followed up by a foam or gel-based cleanser. In order to correctly apply cleansing oil to your skin, simply apply a pump or two of cleansing oil to the palm of your hand, and gently rub it into your skin. No need to use a cotton pad, it is actually more effective to use your clean hands.
The best way to apply cleansing oil to your skin is by applying it to the T zone first, or to areas with a lot of sebum, and then spreading the cleansing oil to the rest of your face. Try to gently massage the cleansing oil into your skin, rather than aggressively rubbing it. Rinse the cleansing oil away with lukewarm water, pat your skin dry with a clean towel, and then continue on with the next steps of your skincare routine.
Best Cleansing Oil Featuring Olive Oil
This award-winning cleansing oil is not only a fan favorite among Japanese Taste customers, it is also one of the most popular cleansing oil options in Japan. What sets this DHC cleansing oil apart from other Japanese cleansing oils is its unique use of Spanish olive oil. Olive oil is known to have intensive moisturizing properties, which is perfect, especially for those with dry skin. In addition to olive oil, this cleansing oil also features vitamin E to hydrate the skin.
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil 200ml
Best Anti-Aging Cleansing Oil
For those looking to include anti-aging products into their beauty routine, then we highly recommend this Shiseido Elixir Cleansing Oil. This cleansing oil has a smooth texture that easily absorbs into the skin to remove even the toughest of makeup. The formula of this cleansing oil is also intended to keep as much moisture inside of your skin as possible which in turn prevents new wrinkles from forming.
Shiseido Elixir Superieur Makeup Cleansing Oil N 150ml
Best Cleansing Oil Featuring Hyaluronic Acid
Another Japanese Taste fan favorite and skincare cult favorite is this cleansing oil from Hada Labo because it's packed with hyaluronic acid. This particular cleansing oil has been formulated with two different types of hyaluronic acid to amply moisturize the skin. Hyaluronic acid, which is a substance that already exists in the human body, plays a vital role in keeping the skin’s texture smooth and plump.
Rohto Hada Labo Gokujyun Cleansing Oil 200ml
Best Budget-Friendly Cleansing Oil
If you want to try a Japanese cleansing oil but are looking for something that is budget-friendly but still effective, then this cleansing oil from Kose is the way to go. Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil is blended with 5 kinds of organic beauty oils to help remove all makeup and unwanted dirt from your skin and pores. The beauty oils help to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth and the cleansing oil itself is free of alcohol, fragrance, coloring, and parabens.
Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil 230ml
Best Mild Cleansing Oil
FANCL cleansing oil is a great option for those specifically looking for a mild product. The unique and gentle formula of this cleansing oil effortlessly glides onto the skin and removes all makeup and excess dirt from the skin and pores. The best part about this cleansing oil is that its mild formula does not strip the skin’s natural oils away. For those who really love FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil, we also offer this item in a two pack set.
FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil 120ml
Best Cleansing Oil For Clogged Pores
This cleansing oil from Mediplus is great for those who especially struggle with clogged pores. The oil seeps deep into the skin to cleanse the pores without disrupting the skin. It will easily remove all of the makeup and dirt from your skin without you having to scrub your skin and cause irritation. We love that this cleansing oil is packed with moisturizing components like macadamia and olive extracts to protect the skin from dryness as well as 8 different serums to keep the skin hydrated. Another great point about this cleanser is those with eyelash extensions can also use it!
Mediplus Cleansing Oil 160ml
Best Additive Free Cleansing Oil
This unique and additive-free cleansing oil from Kumano Yushi features hydrophilic oil to cleanse the skin and bring any unwanted impurities to the surface. The hydrophilic oil gives this particular oil a unique texture. The cleansing oil almost resembles a gel rather than an oil. Other ingredients like jojoba oil and squalane are also included in the cleansing oil’s formula to moisturize the skin. The moisturizing components included in this cleansing oil are not only great for hydrating the skin, but they also aid in anti-aging as well.
Kumano Yushi Pharmaact Additive Free Cleansing Oil 500ml
Cleansing Oil With The Best Texture
If you’re looking for a more luxurious cleansing oil that hands down has the best texture, then the Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Cleansing oil is perfect for you. This particular cleansing oil has a cashmere-like texture that glides onto the skin like a dream to cleanse and protect it. The cleansing oil has been formulated with 8 botanical oils to effortlessly remove all makeup and impurities.
Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Cleansing Oil 150ml
Best Cleansing Oil For Removing Mascara
Removing mascara can be a little tricky when it comes to removing makeup. If you’re finding it difficult to remove your mascara and are looking for a cleansing oil that can remove your mascara easily, then we recommend this Kao Biore Makeup Remover Perfect Cleansing Oil. Kao’s sub-brand Bio is famous among the beauty community for their great makeup wipes, but now you can get their renowned makeup removal action with this cleansing oil.
Kao Biore Makeup Remover Perfect Cleansing Oil 230ml
Best Value Size Cleansing Oil
Those with sensitive skin should check out Muji’s mild cleansing oil. It’s formulated with a blend of olive oil and jojoba oil to gently cleanse and remove makeup from the skin. Many Japanese Taste customers have commented that this is their go-to cleansing oil and that it is highly effective even on their sensitive skin. It’s also free of artificial fragrance, coloring, refined mineral oils, and alcohol. Another point that we love about this cleansing oil is that it comes in a value size of 400ml, meaning that it will last quite a while even with daily use.
Muji Oil Cleansing Mild 400ml
Best Cleansing Oil For Sensitive Skin
For those with seriously sensitive skin, then this cleansing oil from Shiseido may be perfect for you. In fact, the d Program line of Shiseido products has been formulated especially for those with sensitive skin. It will gently but effectively remove makeup from your skin and cleanse it, without stripping the natural barrier of the skin. Your skin will feel fresh and clean after using this cleansing oil!
Shiseido d Program Essence In Cleansing Oil 120ml
Best Brightening Cleansing Oil
If you want to cleanse your skin but brighten its texture at the same time, then you should check out this cleansing oil from Kosé’s Sekkisei line. If you’re not familiar with Sekkisei, all of their products are aimed at brightening and whitening the skin. This cleansing oil is formulated with different kinds of oriental herb oil to brighten your complexion while improving the texture of your skin.
Kosé Sekkisei Treatment Cleansing Oil 160ml
Best Cleansing Oil For Dry Skin
We highly recommend this cleansing oil from Nivea for those with dry skin. Packed with four beauty oils; squalene, rosemary, jojoba, and argan, this Japanese cleansing oil can cleanse and moisturize even the driest of skin. This cleansing oil can even wash off even the most stubborn of waterproof mascara.
Nivea Cleansing Oil Beauty Skin Makeup Cleanser 195ml
Best Luxury Cleansing Oil
If you’re looking for a luxury Japanese cleansing oil, then we can’t recommend the SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil enough. Right off the bat, this cleansing oil features SK-II’s signature patented ingredient Pitera™ which is said to be extremely rehydrating and is especially great for anti-aging. The cleansing oil’s formula is also extremely effective and can remove makeup, sunscreen, and even the most waterproof mascara. By regularly using this cleansing oil, your skin will reach a smoother and more translucent texture.
SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil Pitera Essence Makeup Cleanser 250ml
Best Cleansing Oil For Normal Skin
Even if you don’t have overly dry, sensitive, or oily skin, using a cleansing oil can still be a beneficial part of your skincare routine. The Tiss Deep Off Cleansing Oil from Shiseido will get the job done without causing irritation to the skin. One Japanese Taste customer even mentioned that they saw positive results after only 3 days of use!
Shiseido Tiss Deep Off Cleansing Oil 230ml
Have you tried or are you an avid user of cleansing oil? Which cleansing oil piqued your interest the most? Let us know in the comments below!