Particularly during the bone-dry winter season, washing your face with a cleansing oil is one of the most—if not the most—significant steps in a conscious skin-care regimen. Foremost, because it’s essential to strike that delicate balance of lifting off every last bit of dirt and makeup while preserving any natural oils. And yet, over-cleansing will leave skin borderline sandpapery and parched.
“The squeaky-clean feeling you may experience after using foaming cleanser or traditional bar soap is actually harmful,” explains Manhattan dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, M.D. “Stripping the skin of essential oils may disrupt the skin barrier, leading to dryness and inflammation.” This is where oil-based cleansers, which contain the same purifying ingredients as a traditional formula, but with higher levels of natural emollients that help soothe and hydrate, come into play.
And contrary to what you’ve heard, they’re not too heavy or greasy. “These oils are light in consistency and will not make you break out,” says Dr. Zeichner. “In fact, oil dissolves oil, making cleansing oils ideal for a variety of skin types, including patients who have oily or acne-prone complexions.” Fortunately, the latest generation of cleansing oils are designed to address specific skin needs for a more individualized face-washing experience.