Cleansing Oils: Have you tried one yet?

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My cleansing oil story

When my oily skin turned perimenopausal, it could no longer tolerate my cheap and cheerful Simple facial wash. As a therapist, I have seen dull, dehydrated skin transformed by cleansing oils, so I decided to upgrade.

Cleansing oils dissolve make-up without drying out the skin

Unfortunately, the detergents in many water-based cleansers can’t differentiate between hydrating skin oils (lipids) and the oils in make-up – they strip the lot and dry out the skin. (It can take up to twelve hours for lipid levels to be restored). However, cleansing oils have a similar structure to lipids, targeting make-up and excess sebum whilst leaving our precious lipids in place.

Good bacteria love cleansing oil!

You are probably fed up with me nagging you about looking after the good bacteria in your gut. I really do believe that the health of your skin is dependent on the health of your gut. Our skin needs to be slightly acidic (between 4.2 and 5.6) for the good bacteria on the surface to flourish.

These good bacteria work closely with the immune system to strengthen the skin barrier and prevent inflammation (I believe that preventing inflammation is the future, not just for skincare but also for health). Unlike facial washes, cleansing oils have no pH – yay!

Cleansing oils vs emulsifying cleansing oils: Does it matter?

Single oil or oil blend cleansing oils leave behind small amounts of fatty acids, which leave the skin soft and supple rather than tight. But does this residue stop active ingredients from penetrating?

Cleansers need some water-based emulsifiers to remove soluble dirt and sweat.

(Just remember that whilst cleansing oils have no pH, emulsifying cleansing oils contain a small number of surfactants, so just check the pH. (However, it tends to be fairly low compared to most facial washes).

To double cleanse or not to double cleanse?

A few weeks ago, I bumped into an ex-colleague who commented on my ‘glowy’ skin. And then the lady at the deli where I get my sourdough bread asked how my skin looked so bright first thing in the morning!

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Can I use a cleansing oil if I have oily skin?

I always assumed that cleansing oils were too rich for my spot-prone skin. But for the past year, I have been double cleansing with Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil, followed by Neostrata Clarifying Cleanser. My skin has been very happy – no spots!

Read my full review of Clinique Take the Day off Cleansing Oil.

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