Wash Your Face With … Oil?marta c taborga
The idea of “washing” your face with oil sounds completely contradictory — after all, oil is exactly what you’re trying to remove, right?
Wrong. “I’m a big fan of cleansing oils,” says Francesca Fusco, MD, a dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
Though oils have been used in skin care since the dawn of civilization — the ancient Greeks were said to have bathed in the stuff — Fusco suspects the recent resurgence is due to a passion for natural products. “Everyone is returning to natural, healthy, and green products and cleansing oils sound more natural than soap and in many cases, they are,” she says.
So just what are the benefits of facial cleansing oils?
Effective makeup removers: “Facial cleansing oils melt away makeup easily,” says Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, a clinical instructor in dermatology at Johns Hopkins Hospital Center and codirector of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery in Washington, DC. That even includes eye makeup, but be careful if you’re wearing contacts, cautions Fusco. “The oil can get on the lens and form deposits.”
More natural ingredients: A lot of gel and cream cleansers and even makeup wipes contain hard to pronounce ingredients that can dry out your skin. “Cleansing oils tend to be paraben-free, which is always a plus,” says Angela Orlandi, an esthetician based in New York City.
Gentle on skin: “Cleansing oils don’t strip the skin of its natural oils,” says Fusco. They hydrate really well and that hydration can last throughout the day or night, especially with the aid of a serum or moisturizer on top.
Is Your Moisturizer Working?
Who are facial cleansing oils right for?
Surprisingly, the experts agree that cleansing oils work for almost all skin types, including dry, combo, mature, sensitive, and oily. “Oily skin is not going to become oilier when you cleanse with one,” says Orlandi. “In fact, drying cleansers are more likely to cause acne because they are stripping your skin of all its oil, in turn, making you produce even more oil.”
Cleansing oils can be particularly beneficial for those with chronically dry skin, eczema, and psoriasis. “These products are missing sodium laureate sulfate and are less likely to irritate skin and trigger any problems,” says Fusco.
Finding the Right Facial Cleansing Oil for You
Oily skin: Boscia MakeUp-BreakUp Cool Cleansing Oil ($28), contains botanicalamino acids that gently whisk away excess sebum.
Dry skin: Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser ($64), contains a super-hydrating blend of beta carotene, vitamins A, C, and E, lycopene, and omega 3.
Combo skin: Bareminerals Mineralixirs Facial Cleansing Oil ($30), with safflower oil and litchi extract, gently exfoliates as it cleanses and hydrates.
Aging skin: Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil ($32), contains argan oil that repairs and hydrates skin cells along with grape seed oil that helps improve skin’s elasticity.
Sensitive skin: DHC Cleansing Oil ($28), lists soothing olive oil as its main ingredient. The gentle, water-soluble formula won’t irritate even the most sensitive skin.
How to Wash With a Cleansing Oil .
When you’re ready to wash your face, squeeze a few drops of the cleansing oil onto palms and apply to damp skin.
“When your face is damp, it is hydrated and plumped up with moisture,” says Fusco. “The cleansing oil will help seal in moisture.”
Using the balls of your fingertips, massage it in a circular motion. Rinse with lukewarm water or a clean, damp cloth. Follow with your regular moisturizer.
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