Healthy Skin: It Starts With Cleansing Oil and Double Cleansing

Posted on November 25 2020

It comes as no surprise that the art of cleansing oil is strongly connected to J-beauty, for some cleansing oil legends were invented by Japanese brands. 

The use of oils in the process of cleansing is not new. Before soap was even invented, humans in various regions of the planet used oil mixed with water to wash off dirts!

Beat oil with oil

Have you ever heard the Korean saying, “beat heat with heat?” You might have if you have ever been in a Korean restaurant on a very hot day and they tried to serve you hot stew. Eating and drinking something hot on a hot day helps adjust your body’s temperature to the temperature of the air, creating a weird balance that changes how you perceive the heat. A similar process applies with cleansing oil. Makeup, dirts, and various impurities create an oily film over your skin during the day. The best way to create a clean slate is to grab it with another (better) type of oil - as we know, water and oil don’t mix. 

Another advantage of cleansing oil is that the molecular structure of the galenic prevents moisture from leaving your skin. It can actually be seen as a hybrid product because it cleanses and cares at the same time. The mechanics are very simple: it eliminates makeup and dirt off your skin while preserving comfort and locking moisture in.

This technique is conventionally most recommended if you have dry skin, but can also be appropriate for oily skin or pimples. Unless your sebum excess or pimples are due to medical acne, there’s a cleansing oil for you out there! The choices are broad today since brands are creating specific cleansing oil products that target one skin need.

Japan and the cleansing oil heritage

Shu Uemuera for instance has no less than 6 types of cleansing oils available in the U.S. with specific benefits ranging from brightening to anti-pollution to extra-nourishing and more. When it comes to cleansing, the expertise of Shu Uemura is undeniable. The founder of the brand was the first one to bring it to Japan in the late 60’s after working as a hair and makeup artist in Hollywood. Mr. Uemura spent his professional life proving that every aspect of beauty is interconnected: hair with skin, skin with makeup. While it might be complicated to create a product that can take care of all three at once, Mr. Uemura created a product that would generate a virtuous circle for at least two: stronger makeup removal to create healthier skin that makeup would look better on… and repeat. Unmask - its original name - has had a fabulous glow up since its birth and the Shu Uemura cleansing oil range has become a field of exploration and innovation for the brand, which invests a lot in research and development on this special reference. 

Another cleansing oil champion is DHC’s iconic product, infused with rosemary essential oil to help treat imperfections. Rosemary essential oil is a very big player in the antibacterial game. Like most DHC products, the Deep Cleansing Oil has an olive oil base. Scary? Not at all! At the right dosage and with the right stability, olive oil can do wonders in cosmetics. Combined with rosemary essential oil, they make the perfect balance between nourishing and purifying properties. No wonder it’s one of the most famous cleansing oils. 

At the core of double cleansing

Although it came out a few years after Shu Uemura’s, the DHC star-product added to the popularity of double cleansing in Japan. If you are a beauty lover, you are probably familiar with the double cleansing method. This method consists in cleansing your face twice using two types of products: generally an oil first, and a wash-off cleanser after. 

For most Japanese women, double cleansing is the only way. Just removing makeup is not seen as real cleansing, and washing your face with only a foam will never be perceived as completely efficient. When I was a teenage girl in Japan, the precious savoir-faire of double cleansing was passed down to me via the use of my first cleansing oil - Shiseido’s. 

Mr. Uemura has recently been proven right: good and healthy skin comes with a thorough removal of all makeup residues. You won’t see a beauty magazine or blog not claim that cleansing is the first and most important part of skincare. We would rather fall asleep over our bathroom sink than get in bed with our makeup on, right? 

The new wave of cleansing oils

And the J-beauty industry is not letting us down! Innovations are pouring in every category and cleansing oils are no exception. Today, products go further on both cleansing and care as research keeps extending the list of daily external aggressions that our skin faces, which we must fight actively to preserve a healthy skin. 

Our skin has so much potential, and the right skincare products are the key to unleashing it. J-beauty has always embraced this optimizing philosophy, which in a way resonates with a lot of cultural aspects (from arts to gastronomy). Skinvill is a brand that took on the cleansing territory with this exact promise: “with every use, helps to beautify your skin.” You will find a plethora of cleansing types going from gel to foam to, obviously our favorite, oil enriched with various top-caring ingredients to make sure that they deliver! 

The Skinvill Moist Cleansing Oil, for instance, is filled with beauty serum ingredients that allows efficient penetration of the superficial layer of skin, the stratum corneum, to unclog pores from within and get rid of all impurities. Its composition is also rich in botanical oil to make sure skin is well nourished and able to maintain a soft and even texture. The likes of macadamia, avocado, and jojoba oil are some of the best in the nourishing game. 

Skinvill’s Moist Cleansing Oil is available at Cosme Hunt

Cleansing oil: the right method

The beauty of cleansing oil is that it can easily complement any type of beauty routine. Even better, you don’t even need a tool, you can apply it directly with your fingers (it’s even better to stimulate blood circulation and reactivate your skin’s own functions). This method is more efficient at night, after spending a whole day studying/working/playing. 

  1. Choose the Cleansing Oil that best fits your skin’s needs.
  2. Gently massage your face using your finger tips using circular motions. You can spend more time on areas that have the most pigmented makeup such as lips or around eyebrows. 
  3. Emulsify using a small amount of water. You can either rinse or leave as is.
  4. Use your favorite wash-off cleanser (foam, gel, etc.) to complete a thorough cleansing.
  5. Enjoy your makeup-free, dirt-free skin, ready to receive other skincare products. 

Now all you have to do is create your ideal cleansing combo. My advice? Follow the Cosme Hunt selection for the best cleansers J-beauty can offer.


To find out more, visit our website!


 Nawael Khelil

A gamer in her free time, Nawael is obsessed with kitten-heels and real kittens. After doing high school in Japan and graduating university in Paris, she moved to Seoul to work as a fashion and beauty journalist. Now, she's back to Paris where she writes about beauty trends, history, and culture.

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