The best cleansing oils for dry skin

Ayesha Muttucumaru 4 August 2020
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

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The best cleansing oils for dry skin

If foam cleansers  can leave your face feeling tight, using a cleansing oil instead could provide the perfect skincare swap. Effective in melting stubborn makeup and hydrating your face too, oil cleansers form part of an effective double cleanse  routine when used before a cleansing cream or gel. Plus, massaging it into your face feels like a self-care addition to your nighttime routine.

Cleansing oils use water-soluble oils to dissolve your makeup and wash it away; simply rub a few drops of the oil onto your face when dry, massage it in (we'd say for 30 seconds) then add water to rinse off.

Here are the best cleansing oils we've tried, for every budget

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Typology 7-Ingredient Makeup Removing Oil, £14.80

Minimalist French brand Typology landed in the UK earlier this year, charming us with the low key packaging and ingredient-driven formulas. This oil includes vitamin E, sweet almond oil and sunflower seed oil to soothe and nourish. They recommend applying this to a cotton pad and using as you would an eye makeup remover, but you can also choose to drop a small on your hands and massage it onto your face with your fingers. then rinsing thoroughly with water for a more traditional oil cleanse.

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Kiehl's Since 1851 Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil, £32 for 175ml

Botanically scented with a silky, non-sticky texture, Kiehl’s has managed to bottle a bit of bedtime bliss with this product. Containing evening primrose, lavender essential oil and hydrating squalane , it’s an end of day stress-reliever for both skin and senses.

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Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Cleansing Face Oil, £25 for 195ml

This luxurious cleanser combines apricot oil for hydration, vitamin-rich safflower oil and olive oil which provides omegas 3, 6 and 9 to condition skin. Just a few drops dissolve makeup, so a little bit goes a long way.

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Laura Mercier Conditioning Cleansing Oil, £33 for 150ml

This hydrating hero includes  squalane , kukui oil, moringa oil and safflower oil for a smooth complexion without a trace of makeup. Our tester used this on its own with no second cleanse and said her skin felt perfectly clear with no need for a follow-up cleanser.

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Beauty Pie Japanfusion Pure Transforming Cleanser, from £25 for 100ml

If you're wary of diving into the world of oils, start by trying a cleanser that transforms from gel or cream to oil. This transforms from gel-to-oil-to-milk, washing away pollution and makeup in one gentle sweep. It's fragrance-free and leaves zero residue behind. Not a member of Beauty Pie? Join using code GTGSENTME and get an extra £50 to spend.

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Simple Hydrating Cleansing Oil, £3.49 for 125ml

Formulated with grapeseed oil, this artificial perfume and colour-free pick is as friendly to skin as it is to wallets. Great at gently lifting makeup and daily dirt away, skin’s left feeling soft without being stripped.

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Vanderohe Purifying Cleansing Oil, £72 for 100ml

This luxe oil cleanser includes anti-bacterial, detoxifying essential oils to balance and soothe very oily skin, without risking clogged pores and breakouts. Some fans of this even use it as a blemish treatment, dabbing it onto the inflamed area and leaving it to sink in and treat it.

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Nini Organics Halo Cleansing Elixir, £50 for 100ml

A few pipettes massaged onto the face removes every trace of makeup and leaves skin feeling nourished and soothed, plus it smells heavenly thanks to a combination of blue tansy, lavender and passionfruit. The ingredients (also including jojoba oil and vitamin E) help regulate oil production, soothe inflamed skin and brighten the complexion for a fresh dewy finish.

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Sunday Riley C.E.O Micro-Dissolve Cleansing Oil, £35 for 100ml

Containing brightening vitamin C , exfoliating alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids, and re-balancing turmeric and evening primrose, this particular oil provides a bevy of radiance-boosting benefits. Designed to be used on a dry or wet face (best to avoid eyes with this one), think of it as an energising smoothie for skin.

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Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil, £43 for 200ml

Transforming into a milky emulsion when rubbed between damp palms, this soothingly-scented pick calms and cleanses in equal measure. Its combination of avocado, sweet almond and macadamia oils works as a re-hydrating treat to bring lacklustre complexions back to life.

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Dior Life Oil To Milk Makeup Removing Cleanser, £29 for 200ml

Formulated for use on both dry and damp skin and turning into a moisturising milk when in contact with water, this designer pick’s as lovely to use as it is to look at. Enriched with sweet almond oil, it leaves skin soft and smooth as well as grime and makeup-free.

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Votary Super Seed Cleansing Oil, £55 for 100ml

With a blend of 21(!) plant oils, this is one of the most hydrating products in our edit. Fragranced with parsley seed essential oil, it’s best used with a face cloth (which comes included) for comprehensive cleansing and to pop onto your skin after submerging in hot water for a relaxing steam treatment to clear out pores.

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Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleansing Oil, £35 for 200ml

You can always count on Bobbi Brown to provide high-performing staple products and this cleansing oil is no different. It's very light and the ingredients include white jasmine flower and extracts of kukui nut, white water lily and goji berry to instantly soothe and nourish while tackling even the most long-wearing of mascaras.

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Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil, £36 for 145ml

Rosehip oil does the majority of the heavy lifting in this cruelty-free amber-coloured oil cleanser; three plumps massaged into the face plus a few drops of water create a light milk that makes light work of removing every scrap of makeup for clean skin.

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