Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Skin Care: Cleansing Oils

I have super dry skin, so in the winter, any way to get any extra moisture is big news to me.

I was getting burned out on my cream cleansers.  Admittedly, they were drug store brands, but still, they just weren't cutting it for me.  They really didn't work worth a darn as makeup removers.  I'd wash my face and then still have to get out my oil based makeup remover to get my eyeliner and mascara off.

The final straw for me with my drugstore cream cleansers was when I purchased the Burt's Bees Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream.  I didn't like that my Target brand cream cleanser was so heavy on the menthol.  I felt like it just irritated my skin.  So I scanned the back of the Burt's Bees bottle for the ingredient list and I didn't immediately see any so I went ahead and bought it.  Mistake.  Menthol is actually the 20th of 35 ingredients in the product.  And the Burt's Bees cleanser was way more menthol heavy than any of the other drugstore brands I had tried.  It was just a big disappointment.

So in trying to find a new cleanser that:

  1. wasn't a cream cleanser with tons of menthol
  2. wasn't too terribly expensive
  3. was hydrating
I started doing research on cleansing oils.  Supposedly they're great for people with oily skin.  Seems counter intuitive, but like dissolves like, ergo oil should be great at breaking up oil.  I don't have oily skin, but seemed to me that an oil based cleanser should also be fairly hydrating and be pretty good at removing my eye makeup without needing a separate cotton ball and cleanser.

I googled around and found lots of posts for DIY oil cleansers.  They seemed to run the gamut as far as the different variants of oil you could use.  Safflower, Jojoba and Castor oil seemed to be some of the more popular oils to use, but as it turns out, I don't have any of those in my kitchen.  So, I went with:

Olive oil.

Olive oil's been around forever.  I use it mixed with sugar for a lip scrub.  For body exfoliation, I use olive oil and kosher salt.  But ... as a facial cleanser, it isn't my favorite.  

First off, it smells.  Even the extra virgin olive oil smells like ... well ... olive oil.  I am not at all sensitive to smells.  Most of the time, I don't even notice.  But the olive oil on my face was really weird.  And it's really thick.  It does a fantastic job of removing makeup and moisturizing skin, but it feels really thick and it doesn't wash off.  I had to take a washcloth and wipe it off which really seemed to undermine the "gentleness" of using an oil cleanser.

After the olive oil, I tried grapeseed oil, which I also happened to have in my kitchen.  I liked it better than the olive oil just because it doesn't really have a smell.  But like the olive oil, it's really thick and you have to sort of fight with it to get it off your face.

I decided to go ahead and splurge on an actual oil cleanser.  When I was looking a couple of months ago, there weren't a whole lot of them on the market that I could find.  There was Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil, Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil and Shiseido  Ultimate Cleansing Oil.  (Though in looking right now, it seems like most of the major brands now have cleaning oils, Nars, Origins, the list goes on). 

They aren't cheap.  They run anywhere from $20 - $50 a pop.  They seem to be packaged in about 5-7oz bottles.  

I settled on the Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil mostly because it was more cost effective.  (Not as cost effective as olive oil, but I also didn't smell like an Italian restaurant, so there you go.)
I love this stuff.  It is a really lightweight oil.  It does a fantastic job of removing all my makeup including waterproof liner and mascara.  It washes off so easily.  And it leaves my skin super hydrated.

The only downside for me is that I use this stuff very liberally.  I use 2-3 pumps of it to remove my makeup, then wash it off.  Then I use another 2-3 pumps to give my skin another good cleansing and massage.  At this rate, I'll be going through a bottle of this about every 6 weeks, but I'm not sure I care.

This stuff is so superior to cream cleansers or my DIY oil cleansers that I will gladly pay for it.