DHC: The Ultimate Cleanser

It's no secret that olive oil can be part of a healthy lifestyle.  But how do its benefits translate into skincare?  Quite well - with a little help from the Japanese, by way of Spain.

Cleansing oil is old news by now.  There are tons of options on the market, and now, cleansing balms are taking over some of their real estate behind the beauty counter.  I have a tried-and-true favorite (see my Stuff I Love tab), but when LaMer released a cleansing oil last month, I set out to explore other options on every end of the price spectrum.  

But first things first: do you need to add a cleansing oil to your regime, and do you need to double cleanse?  I personally feel it depends on the oil itself, your skin type, and what you're wearing on your face during the day.  Wearing eye makeup warrants a quality cleansing oil.  Think about it: constant tugging at that area with cotton pads and liquid eye makeup remover will encourage sagging and wrinkles.  As far as the double cleanse is concerned, I've had my doubts.  For years, certain brands were touting their cleansing oils as a one-stop-shop, but have come to change their tune.  As a skeptical consumer, I've wondered if this is a marketing ploy to sell more cleanser.  I turned to Shannon Jones, New York-based esthetician and author of Practical Skintuition, for some insight.  She's the master behind many a camera-ready complexion, and a seasoned skincare product expert.  

"I always advise people who use an oil cleanse to do a double cleanse to make sure that all the dirt and makeup is released," says Jones. "Great for dry skin because it's less stripping, great for acne because it's more thorough. Plus, the second cleanse is less stripping of natural oils."  

Well, that settles it: there's a legit reason to double up on cleansing duties before bed.  Now back to the cleansing oils themselves: I'd love to tell you about the LaMer, but at $85 a bottle, the only way THAT was happening was if I could get my hands on a sample.  And who wants to fall in love with a cleanser that costs as much as...a great pair of sneakers?  Or a 65 pound kettle bell?  Or a few days' worth of groceries?  You get the point.  NEXT!

TATCHA PURE ONE STEP CAMELIA CLEANSING OIL

 Looks nice next to my toothbrush at least.

Looks nice next to my toothbrush at least.

Candies. A note. Extravagantly-layered tissue paper.  I was pretty sure a little person was going to pop out of the box I ordered from Tatcha and serenade me with a violin.  The brand is definitely selling an experience - and at $12 for a 25ml (less than an ounce) travel size, they'd better be selling a great product.  Camelia and rice bran oil are the star ingredients, which may account for the user - unfriendly viscosity.  This stuff just doesn't spread.  Even worse, I felt like I was tugging around the eye area to loosen my mascara.  And to add insult to injury, there were those tell-tale raccoon circles under my eyes after I rinsed.  I will say that the product rinsed clean from the rest of my face, and I thoroughly enjoyed the complimentary sample of Tatcha's Rice Enzyme Powder.

GARNIER CLEAN + NOURISHING CLEANSING OIL

 Hmmm...think she actually uses Garnier?

Hmmm...think she actually uses Garnier?

I bought this after Salma Hayek's now-discontinued cleansing oil renewed my faith in drugstore cleansers.  Then this one let me right back down.  Geared toward dry skin types, this oil does a great job at removing heavy mascara and eyeliner, but leaves an uncomfortable residue on the surface of the skin.  There is NO WAY I could get away with skipping my second cleanse after using this.  I'm also wary of using jojoba on my face (reserve it for use in my hair, since it's a thicker oil), and it being the main ingredient might have something to do with the post-wash feeling of grime.  Or maybe it's the fact that MINERAL and CORN oil are the first two ingredients!  Yuck, yuck, yuck.  Good viscosity, decent price-point, but not worth a second purchase.

THE FACE SHOP RICE WATER BRIGHT CLEANSING LIGHT OIL

 You can never be too rich. Perhaps I chose the wrong formulation.

You can never be too rich. Perhaps I chose the wrong formulation.

Holy fragrance overload, Batman.  The overwhelming aroma of someone's grandma freshening herself up for a church social is what sets this K-Beauty brand cleanser apart.  If you prefer a very light oil and can get past the smell, this might be for you.  It's recommended for oily skin types and doesn't leave residue on the face, but you might need to touch up a bit around the eye area.  Either way I can't get past the assault on my nostrils.  Blech.  

DHC DEEP CLEANSING OIL

 Feel free to chime in and translate if you can.

Feel free to chime in and translate if you can.

Made in Japan from olive oil cultivated in Spain, this product cushions the face, removes every last bit of makeup, leaves skin feeling clean, and doesn't smell like a salad fixing.  Dare I say my skin feels so smooth after using this, I've been tempted to forgo my second cleanse.  I'm not the only one who's found love on the DHC website: a bottle is sold every ten seconds worldwide.  Additionally the company is a joy to order from, offering frequent discount codes, fast shipping, and four free samples with every order.  I scored the 6.7 ounce bottle for $23.50 (normally $28).  Considering how little I needed to use, and that I didn't need to follow up with additional eye makeup remover, it's a great value.  Get yours here!

Now if only the rest of our spring cleaning could be so joyful...