Review: All the cleansing oils I’ve tried, rated

When it comes to cleansing my face, I swear by the double cleansing method. I’d never had bad skin to begin with, but it’s only until I started using both an oil and a foaming gel that even the occasional pimple became a very rare thing. All the oil cleansers (cleansing oils) I've tried: a DHC, The Body Shop, Kiehl's review

Even though this two step method and with it, the whole 387 step Korean skincare routine it’s been adapted from, have been around for quite a while, not a lot of drugstore brands have picked up on oil cleansers. A darn shame if you ask me, because that leaves us with very little cheap options to try out this silky soft way of removing your make-up. That’s why I decided to line up all the oil cleansers I’ve tried so far and compare and rate them. Because knowing is half the battle.

This article was first posted on April 13 2019. 

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil, € 32,50

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil

Let’s kick off with my absolute favourite: the Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil by Kiehl’s. This baby is chock-full of hydrating goodness and takes off my makeup like a dream. It’s light enough to be used around the eyes and rinses off easily.

While the essential oils might be an issue for the most delicate of sensitive skins, I adore the scent they add: the lavender puts me on the sleepy train to Dreamland, every time.


€ 35 for 175 ml
Available at Affiliate link

Uriage Cleansing Face Oil

Uriage Cleansing Face Oil

What in the frying oil is this? I mean, maybe if you have the driest of skin, you’ll like Uriage’s Cleansing Face Oil, but to me it feels like I’m rubbing cooking oil on my face. This formula won’t emulsify, making it kind of hard to wash the oil off.

It does what it’s supposed to, but it’s not trying to be charming about it. At all.


€ 9,99 for 100 ml

Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil

Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil

A very economical and efficient option, the Kose Softymo Deep Cleansing Oil is one that I keep going back to. I have repurchased this a few times now because I appreciate the thin consistency and a price point at which I don’t feel guilty taking three pumps for one wash.

Granted, it’s no Midnight Recovery cleansing oil, but a girl’s gotta choose her splurges wisely. I mean, in this economy?!


€ 10,10 for 240 ml

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, € 28

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

The Deep Cleansing Oil by DHC is a cult favourite due to its minimalist approach. The organic olive oil used isn’t very glamorous but it sure is effective at removing your make-up. It feels slightly thicker than the Kiehl’s oil thus takes a bit more massaging to rinse it off. Because the formula doesn’t contain any fragrance, this might be your best pick for irritable skin.


€ 28,80 for 200 ml or € 14,40/100 ml
Available at Lookfantastic Affiliate link

iUNIK Calendula Complete Cleansing Oil

iUNIK Calendula Complete Cleansing Oil

I usually like iUNIK’s products. They’re no-nonsense, pleasant to use formulas that do what they’re supposed to do. The Calendula Complete Cleansing Oil, however, dropped the ball. It’s a bit gloppy, needs a lot of work to emulsify and wash off, and on top of that doesn’t really cleanse waterproof makeup that well.

Skip this, but do get their Beta-Glucan Daily Moisture Cream or Serum if you’re on the hunt for a good, basic moisturizer.


€ 15,30 for 200 ml

Kenzoki Cleansing Milky Oil

Kenzoki Cleansing Milky Oil

Whenever I write about Kenzoki, I wonder: “Why does no one talk about Kenzoki?”. But then I’m reminded of the SUPER STRONG lotus fragrance that’s in many of their products.

I guess most of the time I don’t hate it? Either way it doesn’t put me off of this lightweight oil. Perhaps not the best option if you’re washing away a full beat, but perfectly fine for a light daily makeup. When adding water, the formula turns into a feathery soft milky substance. It rinses off easily, but definitely needs a second cleanse.


€ 19,90 for 200 ml or € 9,95/100 ml

Biotherm Biosource Total Renew Oil, € 25

Biotherm Biosource Total Renew Oil

The Biosource Total Renew Oil is confusing to me. I like it, but it definitely doesn’t feel like an oil to me. It lathers up just like any regular foaming cleanser and gives me that “squeaky clean” feeling – not quite uncomfortable yet, but worth noting if that’s exactly what you’re trying to avoid. Just like with most of Biotherm’s products, the fragrance is very pleasant, but it’s definitely there.


€ 25 for 200 ml or € 12,50/100 ml
Available at Affiliate link

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

Edit: This product is currently available under the name Camomile Dissolve The Day Make-Up Cleansing Oil. The product shown below has been discontinued. 

The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

Up until now, The Body Shop’s Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil is the most affordable option I’ve come across. Like the DHC oil, it’s a little thicker, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the product. It does what it’s supposed to do. If I was on a budget, I’d restock in a heartbeat. Also, the fragrance in this formula is very mild and pleasant.


€ 13 for 200 ml or € 6,50/100 ml
Shop NL Affiliate link / UK Affiliate link

Caudalie Make-up Removing Cleansing Oil

Edit: This product is currently available under the name Vinoclean Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil. The product shown below has been discontinued. 

Caudalie Make-up Removing Cleansing Oil

Caudalie holds a special place in my heart but this cleansing oil, oh boy, it’s a rollercoaster. With every use I am torn between whether or not I like the fragrance. The French pharmacy brand inconspicuously calls it a “mild sweet almond oil scent” but to me this smells like being dunked face first into frangipane pastry cream. On top of that, the oil only does a so-so job at removing my mascara. The price per ml might sound nice, but considering I need 3 pumps to really get the job done, you’re better off paying a little bit more.


€ 17,50 for 150 ml or € 11,67/100 ml

Even though they’re a bit of a “boring” beauty purchase, I like trying out new cleansers. Do you have a favourite cleansing oil?

  1. Leuk! Ik heb nog nooit een olie geprobeerd eigenlijk, maar ben benieuwd naar de van Lush en Clinique, daar heb ik veel goeds over gehoord. Heb jij daar ervaring mee?

    (Enne, hopelijk is het ok dat ik in het Nederlands reageer ?)

    1. Dankjewel! Nederlands is prima hoor ? Nee heb ik geen ervaring mee, ik wist zelfs niet dat Lush een olie had! Die van Clinique staat ook ergens op mijn lijstje. Laat me weten wat je ervan vindt als je ‘m aanschaft!

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