Oil Cleansing: How to Fight Fire with Fire for Perfect Effortless Skin

By Ashonti Phillips

This may sound silly, but there was a time when I genuinely believed my skin was cursed. I would’ve believed that the sky was falling before believing there was a remedy for my complicated combination skin. From soft and gentle to the heavy-duty stuff, I just couldn’t seem to find a cleanser that gave my skin the targeted yet soft treatment that it needed. With that being said, I’m sure you can imagine how hard I laughed when a friend of mine recommended oil cleansing. I remember thinking something along the lines of: 

I’m never asking you for help again. 


Why on earth would anyone put more oil on top of their already unwanted oil? It simply made no sense to me at the time. If you have a similar mindset, then you may be equally as flabbergasted as I was to learn this scientific skincare mantra: Oil dissolves oil. 


Learning this fun fact lead to a complete shift in the way that I viewed skincare. Oil cleansing sounded terrifying originally. I mean, after all, until now we’ve all lived under the grim notion that using oil-based products is practically skin slaughter. However, to debunk this myth, we’ll need to first understand the premise of oil cleansing.  



So what is “oil” cleansing?


In all honesty, the oil cleansing method is nothing short of what you’re probably imagining right now: putting oil on your face! Oil cleansing is the process of massaging oils into the skin, allowing them to attach to surface imperfections and guck, without clogging pores. Contrary to popular belief, this cleansing process is much healthier for your skin than traditional cleansers which leave skin exceptionally dry and prone to irritation. The consistent and daily use of traditional facial cleansers can strip your skin, prompting the production of more oil. This is counterproductive and gross to say the very least. Oil cleansing differs in this way because it allows for the targeted gentle removal of excess oil - a two-in-one deal for removing makeup (even waterproof) and cleaning out pores. This also means that oil cleansing is suitable for all skin types: sensitive, combination, problem, dry, and even oily. 


Still not convinced you to need to toss your current cleanser? Let's take a further dive into my top 3 perks to oil cleansing.


1.) Oil Cleansing Regulates the Skin & Helps With Acne


I will be the first to attest to the miracle that is a cleansing oil, especially when it comes to getting your acne under control. Cleansing oils are phenomenal for balancing your skin's sebum production which in return help reduce and stop acne.

2.) Anti-Aging 


Oil cleansers are extremely rich in antioxidants due to their plant-based oils. This allows for skin to feel firm and hydrated. Antioxidants are known to neutralize free radicals, unstable atoms linked to aging and disease, by giving up an electron and protecting cells from damage. Constituents of plant-based oils also have proven to promote skin barrier homeostasis, anti-inflammatory properties, wound healing, direct and indirect anti-microbial properties, and even anti-carcinogen properties!


3.) Hydration for All! 


In addition to plant-based oils containing antioxidants, they’re rich in natural fatty acids. Essential lipids such as omega-3’s and omega-6’s are known to be the sturdy foundation of healthy cell membranes which are linked to hydration, protection against toxins, pollutions, and UV exposer, and even plumps the skin- meaning you can finally kiss those fine lines and wrinkles goodbye!

Oil cleansers are extremely fun to dive into due to their overall simplicity and impact, however, as with any investment, it's important to take note of key features to gauge the value. Get a bang for your buck!


Oil cleansing is suitable for all skin types due to its natural plant-based oils and overall gentle formula, making it perfect for those of us battling skincare demons such as acne, psoriasis, and rosacea. While this is appealing, it’s still important to note that texture, residue, and color all play a huge role in determining the obvious quality of oils. 

When picking a cleansing oil, the texture makes all the difference. How well does the oil spread?

You can often tell a quality cleanser based on its ability to move right away. Some cleansers do take 5-10 seconds to start slipping, and this will frequently cause massaging it into the skin prematurely. Often leading to too much or too little oil is used, creating a very drying effect. When analyzing the natural slip of the oil, you also want to take note of its stamina; how long can you move it around? Does it dry up quickly? The actual process of oil cleansing is extremely quick and though it’ll only be on your face for roughly 30 seconds a day, an oil's ability to maintain moisture after application can be extremely telling. During spa facials, cleansing oils are intended to last for the entirety of the session, how does your oil compare?


One foolproof way of checking quality oil products is by taking a gander at its emulsification, or in other words: What happens when the oil is applied to water? If your answer to this question is “nothing”, then we may have a useless cleansing oil on our hands. Emulsification is the forcing of a combination between two incompatible substances, in this case: oil and water. When this happens, you should expect an instant milky color change. If this doesn’t occur, it is very likely that your cleansing oil is the old-fashioned type, meaning that it requires wiping off and is probably only useful to dangerously dry skin. 


Lastly, you should always take note of any residue! Residue, or in this case leftover oil, is very common when using cleansing oils. Oil residue from cleansers is known to nourish the skin and provide a soft glow! However, this is very different from walking out of your apartment with what may appear to be an oil face mask. Residue should always be thin and light; if your cleanser is leaving you looking slick, thick, and shiny, chances are it may be time for a new oil cleanser.

What Do I Use?


My magical oil cleanser will always be Lyna Beauty’s very own Pre-Game Cleanser! Unlike other oil cleansers that have tendencies to leave behind thick and muggy residue, I find the formula to be very airy and lightweight- giving me luminous skin throughout the entire day. Though lightweight, the formula incorporates unique ingredients such as avocado oil, Marula oil, rosehip oil, and even hemp seed oil. This combination is original and stimulates collagen production, giving my skin a youthful and elastic flare!



If you’re looking for a sign to start oil cleansing: This is it! 


It's time to put the limiting beliefs on oil use in skincare to rest! Oil cleansing is phenomenal for a variety of benefits ranging from collagen production to skin regulation and should be implemented into your day or night skincare routine. I’ve never been much of a science person (honestly a subject with numbers is probably a no for me), but I can tell you that I will never forget the power of fighting oil with oil when it comes to my skin and maintaining balance. It’s time to fight fire with fire!