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Oil cleanser, moisturizer, and avocados next to sink

Oil and cleansing may seem about as compatible as oil and water. Yet conventional beauty wisdom notwithstanding, cleansing your face with oil may be a good option if you’re aiming to clean up your personal-care regimen.

Commercial facial cleansers typically contain ingredients that can damage your skin, including surfactants, preservatives, and synthetic fragrances. Washing with oils, however, can help your skin safely retain moisture. It can also unclog pores and even remove makeup.

Whether you’re buying a premixed oil cleanser or simply selecting a specific oil, choose one suited to your skin type. For example, consider avocado oil if you have dry skin; rosemary and camellia-seed oils are good for especially sensitive skin. For oily or acne-prone skin, opt for lighter varieties, like grape-seed or argan oil.


  1. Pour 1 to 2 teaspoons of your preferred oil into the palm of your hand
  2. Apply the oil to your dry face. Gently massage it into your skin with your fingertips.
  3. Soak a washcloth in warm tap water. Wring it out and gently wipe your face to remove oils and any impurities.
  4. Finish by applying moisturizer, if desired.

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