Since I posted the Beginner’s Guide to Oil Cleansing, a few people have asked me which oils I’ve tried for oil cleansing and what I thought of them, so here’s a quick rundown of my experience. A few things to note:
- Your mileage may vary. Skincare is individual, what works for me may not work for you.
- Oils are natural extracts without a definitive, set composition – one brand will not be the same as another, and even different batches from the same brand can differ. The more refined an oil, the more consistent it’ll be, but the less antioxidants/vitamins/non-triglyceride stuff it’ll contain.
- Oils go off! Especially oils with a high linoleic acid, which unfortunately is also the type of oil that works best for my skin. If your oil smells different, it might be time to chuck it out.
- Oils sold for cooking and oils sold for skincare may have different compositions – cooking oils are sometimes enriched in oleic acid compared to their skincare counterparts, and often are more processed and will contain less antioxidants/vitamins/non-triglyceride stuff.
With that out of the way, here are all the oils I’ve tried so far:
Product used: Cobram Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($5.99 for 375 mL = $0.016 per mL)
Olive oil is high in oleic acid, which gives it a thick, rich feel and has a higher chance of comedogenicity (causing pimples). There are mixed reports about whether olive oil is helpful or hurtful in skincare, which I would bet is partly because of the crazy amount of contaminated olive oil out there (from that last article, apparently Italy sells 3 times as much olive oil as it produces, and only 4% of exported Italian olive oil is pure).
This was the first oil I tried for oil cleansing. Cobram Estate seems to be legit, so I wasn’t too worried about the contamination issue. I did find it thicker and stickier than I liked though, so it tended to hang around on my shower tiles, plus it smelled strongly of olive oil which made me hungry.
Verdict: Might be good for dry skin, but do your research and beware of widespread contamination.
Product used: Coop Sunflower Oil (Swiss supermarket brand) – similar to Coles Sunflower Oil ($2.70 for 750 mL = $0.0036 per mL)
I ran out of make-up remover in Switzerland and my skin was feeling dry, so I grabbed the oil from the kitchen and tried cleansing with it. My skin ended up looking better than ever! I put it down to the high linoleic acid content. It’s light, less likely to clog pores and might help reduce acne, though I can’t pretend I have anything but unreliable anecdotal evidence on that front. It was the oil that really got me back into oil cleansing, and I’m sure I’ll come back to it… after I’ve tried all the other oils! It was mildly scented.
Verdict: Fantastic basic oil, suitable for most skin. No complaints! Be aware that sunflower oil for cooking may be “high oleic”, which will work differently.