The 12 Greatest Cleaning Oils in 2021

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You know how to do it. You put on some killer makeup – opaque foundation, waterproof mascara, fake lashes, all the work – and head out into town, blissful in the moment. Fast forward to a few hours later and you find that before you settle down for the night there is one thing you must do to keep your pillows clean and your complexion clear. You have to take all of the makeup that you worked so hard for. And if you’ve tried a few cleaners during your day, much like us, you’ll know that some just aren’t up to the task. Either they are too weak and leave sooty streaks of mascara all over the face, or they are too aggressive and leave skin that feels tight and bone dry. That’s why we’re here to introduce you to the one product that gets the job done and still leaves your skin supple: a cleansing oil.

What does a cleaning oil do?

Cleansing oils bridge this fine line and remove unwanted make-up, sebum and impurities without depriving the skin of its natural oils and moisture. And even if you have oily skin, you should still try: Cleansing your skin without drying it out can actually help control sebum production so that your T-zone is more balanced. However, cleaning oils are not all created equal, and some of them just stand out from the crowd. Here we have compiled the best cleansing oils for removing makeup and perfecting your complexion for every skin type. Go out and clean.

For purists

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (6.7 fl.oz.)

It’s a classic among celebrities and makeup artists alike, and it deserves the hype. Vitamin E powers this rich oil that nourishes the complexion by cleansing it and fighting free radical damage.

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For sensitive skin

Huile Fondante Demaquillante Milky cleansing oil

The French keep things simple and as far as we can tell it works. Enriched with avocado oil extract, this formula is gentle and moisturizing and leaves no residue after drying.

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For oily skin

Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil

Biossance
sephora.com

$ 30.00

We know what you’re thinking: I don’t have to add more oil to my oily T-zone. But listen to us! Not only does this formula remove all of the excess grime and grime, but it also locks in the essential moisture that helps keep your sebum production under control.

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For thorough cleaning

Vitamin B enzyme cleansing oil + make-up remover

One Love Organics
dermstore.com

$ 42.00

We love and strongly believe in double cleaning, but after long days we want to get our sleepy, lazy selves to bed asap. This formula removes stubborn makeup with just one cleanse, and its pumpkin oil, antioxidants, and vitamin E restore the skin’s pH and protect your moisture barrier. It’s basically a one-stop shop for flawless skin before bed.

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For flower fans

Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil

The facial oil version of this formula has been an editors’ favorite for years, and their botanical powers are just as strong with this cleansing option. Fans of herbal fragrances will likely find every excuse to lather up with it: squalane made from olives softens skin and dissolves makeup, while lavender essential oil soothes and evening primrose promotes suppleness.

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For dull skin

Gentle cleansing oil

Sulwhasoo
amazon.com

$ 29.60

This K-Beauty all-star actually treats the skin as they cleanse it. Mandarin peel extract and apricot kernel oil brighten and cleanse the complexion so the rest of your routine can move in right away.

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For a full-on-face beat

Go awl! Au Naturel cleaning oil

UOMA by Sharon C
walmart.com

$ 14.98

You know when you stare in the mirror with a big face and know that it will take forever to remove it? This is where this affordable option comes in to best prove you wrong. The natural blend of oils cuts through even the most stubborn makeup, but won’t strip your skin either.

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For sensitive skin

Light cleaning oil with rose hips

dad
credobeauty.com

$ 49.00

High in antioxidants, rose hip oil has been touted as an antiaging miracle and is the main ingredient in this gentle oil. If you’re prone to staining after cleaning, this simple yet powerful formula will keep you balanced.

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For oil skeptics

Barrier + Foaming Oil Hydrating Cleanser

Skin fix
sephora.com

$ 28.00

If you want the deep cleansing benefits of an oil but aren’t a fan of that heavier, oily feel, this weightless lather formula is the perfect compromise. Its algae-hyaluronate blend intensely moisturizes for the plump finish we love, and is fragrance-free to suit even the most picky of skin.

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For dry flakes

Cream Skin Milk Oil Cleanser

LANEIGE
amazon.com

$ 35.99

The texture of this K-Beauty export is milky, dreamy, and utterly unique. It contains white leaf tea water to strengthen the skin’s barrier and it tones the skin as it cleanses. However, that does not mean drought. It will make the skin so soft that you will wonder if you are just sleepwalking and finished your entire routine, overnight mask and everything.

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For dull skin

The camellia cleansing oil

Tatcha
sephora.com

$ 15.00

This formula is a masterful example of deep cleansing without drawing moisture out. Vitamin-rich camellia oil and the brand’s own complex of rice, algae and greeting tea moisturize, balance and cleanse the skin.

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For redness

Rose cleansing oil

monastery
standarddose.com

$ 48.00

The cleanser you choose can make or break whether you start with our reddish or clear skin. Rose picked from Reunion Island gives this formula its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory kick for irritated or blemished skin.

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Taylore Glynn is the Beauty and Health Editor at Marie Claire, specializing in skin care, makeup, fragrances, wellness, and more.

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