What Is Oil Cleansing?

What Is Oil Cleansing?

In the world of skincare, there are a few new routines you need to know about if you’re struggling with attaining beautiful, healthy skin. 

Oil cleansing has amazing benefits for your skin and is beneficial for all skin concerns. 

Keep reading to find out how to implement this routine and how to choose the oil best for your skincare goals. 

What Are the Benefits?

Despite oil cleansing being seemingly counterintuitive for oil-prone, or acne-prone skin types, it actually helps to alleviate those issues. But how? Traditional methods of skin cleansing, more often than not, strips the skin and dries it out. This can leave the skin over-producing oil, and the negative cycle continues. 

Oil cleansing tackles the issue another way by mimicking the oil your skin already produces and removing any excess along the way. 

This process also removes makeup and gently cleanses dirt and pollutants, leaving supple, hydrated, and healthy skin. It also encourages the growth of good bacteria on the skin, which helps improve the appearance of acne and blemishes. 

The oil cleansing method may provide the following benefits:

  • Reduce the appearance of blackheads, whiteheads, and impurities
  • Support the removal of dead skin cells that clog pores
  • Remove makeup build-up 
  • Help to unclog pores from excess sebum
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines 

How Do I Oil Cleanse?

Before you start the process of oil cleansing your skin, you have to choose which oils are best for your skin type and whether you want to mix the oil yourself or choose a pre-mixed oil for your unique skin type. 

Here is a step by step guide to oil cleansing: 

  1. Use a hot, damp washcloth to dampen the skin to aid the oil in dissolving any makeup or dirt.
    Optional: If you prefer to start with a dry face, skip this step
  2. Apply your cleansing oil liberally in the palms of your hands (about 1-2 teaspoons should be enough), and gently massage it into your skin until you see that your makeup starts dissolving or that your skin is thoroughly coated in oil (about 2 minutes).
  3. Rinse your face in lukewarm water and use a washcloth to gently pat any excess oil on your skin.
  4. Continue the rest of your skincare routine after this step.

Another method is known as a double cleanse. To double cleanse, just add a few more steps before continuing the rest of your routine: 

  1. Wash your face with lukewarm water and cleanse with a mild facial cleanser
  2. Pat your face dry with a towel 
  3. Continue the rest of your skincare routine 

A double cleanse may not be necessary for everyone, and you can try out a traditional oil cleanse before using a double cleanse. A double cleanse is likely not needed if you can achieve your desired results from the oil cleanse alone.

Which Oils Are Best for Me?

With such a wide variety of oils out there that all boast different benefits, it can be tough to know which options will work well with your skin. The following oils are particularly common and can have many potential benefits for various skin types:

Jojoba Oil  

Jojoba oil is a humectant, which helps retain moisture in the skin barrier and seals the moisture to prevent water loss. It also helps aid the balance of healthy bacteria in the skin because of its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. 

This can help decrease the appearance of acne and blemishes and can soothe or calm irritated skin. The best part is that it's nonallergic; it is the oil that most closely mimics the oil produced by your skin.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil has non-comedogenic properties and is a great moisturizer because of its high fatty acid concentration. It also contains antioxidants and vitamins that are great for skin health, like Vitamin E. It is also soothing to the skin because of its anti-inflammatory properties. 

Grapeseed Oil 

Grapeseed oil has an astringent nature which helps tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This oil also has antimicrobial properties that help reduce the appearance of breakouts. This oil promotes an even skin tone.

Olive Oil 

Olive oil promotes multiple skin benefits that include reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles because of its antioxidant properties. 

Additionally, it penetrates deep into the skin layers and promotes a healthy complexion with Vitamin A and E. Olive oil also helps support an even skin tone. 

Castor Oil 

Castor Oil is best when mixed with another oil because of its thick consistency. It is rich in fatty acids that act as a humectant for the skin. Additionally, because of its antibacterial properties, it can help reduce the appearance of acne and blemishes. 

Understanding Skin Types: How Do I Find My Skin Type?

There are several different skin types, all of which require different forms of care. Identifying your skin type can help you hone in on products and cleansing methods that are best for your skin specifically. 

Sensitive Skin 

Sensitive skin is usually self-diagnosed and is typically associated with how skin interacts with products and cleansers. If you’ve ever used a product that caused inflammation, redness, itching, burning, or dryness afterward then you might have this skin type. 

Oils that work best for sensitive skin include jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil, and almond oil.

Acne-Prone Skin 

Acne-prone skin is skin that usually experiences breakouts more easily than normal skin types. These skin types should use non-comedogenic oils that lessen the likelihood of a breakout. 

Oils that are best for this skin type include jojoba oil, hazelnut oil, and hemp oil.

Oily Skin 

Overactive sebaceous glands lead to oily skin by causing the skin to overproduce oil that causes a sheen or wet appearance throughout the day. Some oils have astringent properties that reduce oil production in the skin. 

Oils that are best for this skin type are grapeseed oil, rosehip oil, and argan oil.

Combination Skin

Combination skin is an interesting skin type because there could be a few meanings to this classification. Generally, it means you tend to experience oily skin in the summer and dry skin in the winter. It could also mean that you experience oil production in specific areas of your face. 

Oils that are best for this skin type include olive oil, aloe vera oil, and sunflower seed oil.

Normal Skin  

Normal skin, dubbed the luckiest skin type, is a skin type that doesn’t experience any problematic skin conditions. This skin type is not too oily or too dry and rarely experiences any breakouts. Pomegranate seed oil, coconut oil, and jojoba oil can all benefit this skin type.

You can also mix oils to achieve your perfect skin formulation, and it is normal for your skin to need some time to adjust. 

How to Mix Blends According to Skin Type

There are a lot of different oil combinations that you can try. Everyone’s skin is different, so feel free to adjust the recipes below: 

  • Oily Skin: 30% Castor Oil, 70% Grapeseed Oil
  • Acne-Prone Skin: 20% Castor Oil, 40% Jojoba Oil, 40% Hemp Seed Oil
  • Normal Skin: 20% Castor Oil, 80% Pomegranate Seed oil
  • Dry Skin: 20% Sunflower oil 20% Jojoba oil 60% Avocado oil 
  • Anti-Aging Skin: 20% Castor Oil, 40% Rosehip oil, 40% Sunflower oil 

This is an empowering skincare routine that lets you decide what benefits or changes you’d like to see in your skin. The best oils are organic, cold-pressed, and fresh. Some strategies that can help create your own oil cleanser are starting with an antimicrobial oil or reducing the spread of bacteria, like castor oil.

The drier your skin feels, the less castor oil you want to use. Typically, you should start with a 30% base in your formulation. 

Adding the core oil is where the fun customization begins. Choose one of the oils suggested above based on your skin type. Add up to 50% or more to the castor oil base or split the difference between two and add 25%. 

Finally, consider adding a more luxurious oil as a cherry on top. Adding up to 20% of a more lavish oil lets you reap more of the special benefits these oils possess. You can skip this step by adding more of your core oil if these oils are over your budget. 

If you like fragrance in your skincare, consider adding a drop or two of your favorite essential oil like lavender, tea tree, frankincense, sandalwood, grapefruit, or orange. This tip is not for sensitive skin types, as fragrance irritates the skin. 

How Often Should You Oil Cleanse?

We recommend nightly oil cleansing, but you can also opt to do a weekly cleanse or a deep clean. This method works for everyone and is especially helpful if you wear makeup daily. Keep in mind that adding a new routine always has an adjustment period. 

If you’re worried about any allergic reactions or irritations, always test the oil on the back of your hand to make sure that the oil will not react in any way.  


Having the perfect skin starts with having the proper balance of oil on your skin. Oil cleansing promotes healthy skin by balancing out oil production without stripping and drying out your skin. Your skin produces oil and thrives on a healthy balance, and oil cleansing works with your natural skin oils to promote healthy, supple-looking skin.

For those seeking the benefits of oil cleansing, it also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while keeping skin dewy and hydrated. This routine supports the balance you need if you struggle to find a way to achieve the equilibrium your skin is craving. 

For more skincare routines and tips that promote healthier and happier skin, check out our blog



Oily skin | Medline Plus

Skin care for acne-prone skin | InformedHealth.org 

Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils | NCBI

Sensitive skin | DermNet

Castor Oil Properties | NCBI

12 Amazing Benefits of Jojoba Oil for Skin & Hair | Organic Facts

7 Best Benefits of Olive Oil for Skin | Organic Facts

6 Amazing Benefits of Sunflower Oil | Organic Facts