It's time to ditch those makeup wipes for an oil-based cleanser

Makeup wipes just aren't working. For starters, they don't actually clean your skin as well as you think: It's been tested and proven that tiny bits of sunscreen, makeup and products from the day stay on your face even after the irritating process of dragging wipes all over your skin. Makeup wipes also leave a negative footprint on the environment (using one wipe a day is a *lot* of extra waste). So it seems like it's time to turn to something else the next time you shop for skincare.

Enter: oil-based cleansers—which will make your skin happier and healthier. 

@susanyara Reply to @linz_adventures Makeup wipes are also bad for the environment! #skincare #doublecleanse #susanyara ♬ Did I Love You? - BLVKSHP

Why double cleanse?

You may be wondering why you should use that oil-based cleanser first—doesn't your nighttime face wash work fine alone? Well, here's the deal. 

Whether you're wearing makeup or not, you need to ensure your face is clean of dirt, oil and debris before moving on to those nightly serums, face masks or lotions. Unfortunately, a one-time rinse usually isn't going to guarantee that your skin is grime-free. A double-cleansing routine will fight against that.

(And if you're worried about your skin not reacting well to an oil-based cleanser, check out this advice from real dermatologists. Girlies with oily, dry, combination or normal skin can all join in on this system!)

@annaytime 🧼 Incorporating an oil based first cleanser was one of the things that took my skincare routine to another level and something I wish I did sooner - don’t wait to try this out! ⁣⁣ #skincaretips #doublecleansing #cloggedpores #doublecleanse #annaytime #oilcleansingmethod #cleansingbalm ♬ Doja Cat Attention First Verse - Ben Chatonda

Choose your product

So many options...who knew there could be so many different categories? Peep some of our recs below. 

Cleansing balms


When you open up a cleansing balm's packaging, you'll see what appears to be a solid substance. Once you scoop it out and start rubbing it in your hands, the balm will transform into a smooth, oily cleanser.

Here are some of our favorite cleansing balms to consider incorporating in your routine: 

JUNOCO's Clean 10 Cleansing Balm ($14.95): This contains a key ingredient of Japanese pearl barley, a source of Vitamin E.
Physicians Formula's The Perfect Matcha 3-in-1 Melting Cleansing Balm ($14.49): This is formulated with matcha green tea, bamboo shot and lotus extract.
Then I Met You's Living Cleansing Balm ($38): This balm boasts antioxidant-rich properties from persimmons and seaberries.
Farmacy's Green Clean ($36): This product contains papaya extract to gently exfoliate your skin.

@samanthajaneyt I get asked this quite a bit! How to use a cleansing oil 💦 #cleansingoil #howtouse #howto #howtouseacleansingoil #howtouseacleansingbalm #meltawf #fentyskin #fentyskinmeltawf #howtoremovemakeup #toronto #sephoracanada #cleansingoilrecommendation #sephoramakeupremover #jellyskincare ♬ Boy's a Liar Pt. 2 - PinkPantheress & Ice Spice

Literally "oil" cleansers

These products come straight out of the bottle ready to use as oil cleansers—they're liquid in texture.

Some oil cleansers worth checking out include:
dermalogica's precleanse cleansing oil ($49): This is made with apricot kernel, sunflower and lavender oils.
Beauty of Joseon's Ginseng Cleansing Oil ($20): This product gently cleanses with soybean and ginseng seed oils.
innisfree's Green Tea Cleansing Oil ($24): This oil contains green tea water from Jeju Island, South Korea.
PURITO'sFrom Green Cleansing Oil ($19.50): This has a blend of five different oils from olives, sweet almonds and more.

@hullohulun My credibility is that I have extremely sensitive skin with eczema #beautyofjoseon #doublecleanse #doublecleansing #cleansingoil #skincaretips ♬ on the street (with J. Cole) - j-hope & J. Cole

...and more

Don't like the traditional texture oil cleansers provide? No problem.

Some products beat the system. Oil cleansers can come in different forms of jelly or even transform into a milk-like cleanser. Our top recs?

Krave Beauty's Makeup Re-Wined ($25): This is named from the product's upcycling of grapeseed oil from wine. (With an effort to reduce waste, Krave Beauty is selling the pilot versions of their products. The Pilot Makeup Re-Wined is $12.50 for the same size as the regular product, though because it is a pilot version, it is less jelly-like than the new formula!)
cocokind's oil to milk cleanser ($18): This cleanser is made with fermented oats.


A post shared by KraveBeauty (@kravebeauty)

Follow up

As in any double-cleansing skincare routine, make sure to follow up your oil cleanser with the regular cleanser of your choice. (And plenty of water! Sometimes, oil cleansers can fog up your vision for a few minutes—but rinsing with water usually does the trick.)

@milkydew What is double cleansing? A two-step cleansing routine that removes impurities, so your skin has a can rejuvenate better overnight, your pores are less likely to become clogged, and the rest of your skincare products can effectively penetrate the skin #doublecleansing #doublecleanse #oilcleansing #oilcleanser #watercleanse #watercleanser #tatchacleanser #tatchaskincare #tatcha #tatcharicewash #skincaretips #cleansingbalm #cleansingtips ♬ original sound - maad.marc

Want to learn more about building the routine of your dreams? Check out more here:
Here's the simplest skincare routine for the busiest girls
Our fave vitamin C serums to boost your summer glow
Everything you need to know about your skin barrier

Tag us in your nighttime routines on TikTok @girlslifemag for a chance to get featured!

Slider image: @iiroshnii
Top image: @brambleberry
Graphics by Lucy Ke on Procreate


by Lucy Ke | 8/19/2023