How To: Use A Cleansing Oil and Cleansing Oil Reviews

Back when MAC first released its cleansing oil, a lot of people were skeptical about it. How do you wash makeup off with oil? Doesn’t oil make your face all greasy and cause breakouts?

The truth is, cleansing oils have been a staple in the Asian skincare regime for a very long time. They break down and melt away your makeup like no other and most of them contain emulsifiers so when they are in contact with water, they turn into this milky white liquid which can be easily rinsed off.

The key to using cleansing oil is to make sure your face and hands are both dry. Pump a few drops of the cleansing oil onto your palm, spread it all over your face and massage gently. Wet your fingers, massage all over your face again. Rinse off with water and ta da! Makeup-free face!

If your skin feels greasy afterwards, you can wash your face with a gentle cleanser or wipe it with a cotton ball soaked with witch hazel.

Below are reviews of some of the cleansing oils I have used!

DHC Cleansing Oil ($24)
This has always been one of the best selling cleansing oils in Japan and is literally featured in every single beauty magazine! It works great and takes everything off, including dirt, oil and waterproof mascara. Plus it contains olive oil and vitamin E, so my face never feels greasy nor tight after I wash it off. Highly recommended!

Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil ($20)
Fancl was really popular in Hong Kong when I was a teen and this was one of their best selling products. It utilizes nano-technology to penetrate deep down into your pores to break up even the most stubborn makeup into nano-size particles so it slides right off your skin. It also contains Soft Cushion Oil, Rose Hip oil, Green Tea Catechin Oil and Squalane. Texture-wise, it does not feel as heavy as DHC but works just as well. A few drops of this and all of my makeup is goneeeee! Like all Fancl products, this is free of preservatives, sterilizers, petroleum surfactants, fragrances and mineral oil which makes it suitable even for sensitive skin. Thumbs up!

Kose Softymo Super Cleansing Oil
I picked this up during one of my trips back to Hong Kong because it was surprisingly dirt cheap. The texture is a lot thinner than most cleansing oils and it does not clean well at all. It also tends to leave behind a greasy film and I definitely need to follow with a cleanser or toner to get rid of it. I will not be buying this again.

Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil
This works a GAZILLION times better than the Super Cleansing Oil! It contains Orange Oil and Rice Bran Oil to effectively remove all traces of makeup while moisturizing your skin. It cleans my face very well and leaves it feeling fresh without any tight feeling or sticky residue. I have been using this for years and I always go back to it!

You can get this now at the Makeup For Life Beauty Store!

Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil ($26.50)
Over the past few years, Shu Uemura has come out with 5 different versions of this product for different skin types:

* Original for all skin types
* Fresh for normal to oily skin types and acne-prone skin
* Enriched for drier skin types or those in drier climates
* Premium A/O for anti-aging and anti-oxidant purposes
* Premium A/I for those with damaged, dry or sensitive skin, seeking anti-aging benefits

I bought the Original one back in 1999 and it was my very first cleansing oil. It contains a blend of 60% light oils, 40% rich oils, vitamin E and tea tree fragrance to remove makeup and impurities thoroughly while maintaining the skin’s integral balance. The texture feels a little heavy and a lot like DHC. It does remove all makeup and dirt effectively and effortlessly. If only the price was lower!

Read more on The Asian 5-Step Skincare Routine!


  1. can you purchase the DHC cleansing oil anywhere besides online and asia?? do you know any stores that might sell it in the US??

  2. hey! my goodness, your site is awesome :] i love to checking this site every week to read your updates. thanks so much! i’ve noticed that you mentioned in a few entries that you had dry skin. i have the same problem, and unfortunately my skin tends to be flaky. when i use my foundation whether its liquid or pressed, its still VERY dry and gross. >:[ can you please recommend a regimen or some products for exfoliating and moisturizing skin? thank you sooooo much! <3

  3. Hi, I would like to order this online too, but i don’t know how to order them online. Is there an english site for it?

  4. do you like any of the other dhc products? i was looking at their website and they have a set for $75 for the cleansing oil, soap, moisturizer, and one other thing. i was just wondering if you’ve tried any of their other products. thanks!

  5. thks for the wonderful reviews. cant wait to get my hands on the dhc to try. too bad, there isnt any i can get in SG. 😛

  6. Thank you for the blog on the DHC Cleansing Oil. It was pivotal in helping me decide to give DHC skincare a try. I recently developed sensitive skin. Quite frustrating especially for one who used to switch and mix and match skin care products on a regular basis since the age of 13. I never had major breakouts/pimples (even in my teens). My skin was dry because of my nearly non-existent pores but it always behaved. Now in my late 30’s my skin decided to become fussy (but my pores are still nearly non-existent, thank goodness). I now have occasional breakouts and irritation. So, I decided to pick a skincare line and stick to it. I just got the DHC Cleansing Oil (and the other DHC Q10 products I also ordered). Last night was the first time I’ve ever used DHC and an “oil” to cleanse my face and neck. The cleansing oil wasn’t runny (I didn’t have to apply so much product) nor drying at all. I used it again this morning. And I HAVE to rave about this product. Oh my gosh! I didn’t know I had white heads on my chin until they started to come out this afternoon. Just only after 2 uses, my skin is responding positively to this product. Incredible! I love this product and I’m excited to continue being a DHC customer. Can’t wait to tell my family and friends all about this product!

    Jenny, there is a DHC retail location in California:

    Marukai Pacific Market Store
    1620 W. Redondo Beach Blvd. Retail #1, Gardena, CA.
    (310) 324-1035
    Mon – Sat: 10 AM to 7 PM
    Sun: 10 AM to 6:30 PM

    Thank you again for your blog.

  7. Have you tried Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Cleansing Oil? It’s not available in the States, but I picked up two bottles when I was in Hong Kong. It works really well, and is around 100HKD =)