Cleansing is the most important step in an effective skincare routine. Daily cleansing removes sweat, dirt, makeup, old skin cells from the surface of the skin and prevents breakouts. Personally, I’m partial to oil cleansers, which is rather funny as I always avoided oil based products in my 20s, thinking that oily skin and oil products don’t mix.
However, oil cleansers work by pulling out impurities in the pores to the surface. This allows them to be rinsed away without stripping the skin’s natural oils. Plus, they maintain the skin’s natural pH balance. Now that you know why I love oil cleansers so much, here are my top Japanese cleansing oils!
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Top Japanese Cleansing Oils
If your makeup collection includes waterproof mascara, smudge-proof eyeliner, and long-lasting lipsticks, you’ll definitely want to have a bottle of Biore Make-up Remover Perfect Oil. Don’t let its sweet, fruity smell deceive you — It’s formulated to remove even the toughest, most stubborn makeup! I like to use a cotton swab to apply the oil, then work the product into my eyelashes by rubbing them gently with my fingers. Available on Amazon & Amazon Japan.
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil has long been an addition to J-beauty articles that I’ve compiled for clients. There’s much to be said about this product. In fact, many Asian beauty aficionados consider it their “holy grail” product. To be perfectly honest, this one is double or even triple the price of other Japanese cleansing oils. On top of that, it’s very “heavy” in texture/consistency. With all said, it’s very soothing on dry, sensitive skin types, too. Available on Amazon & Amazon Japan.
I got my first dose of FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil back in July 2020 with Raxy Beauty Box. Since then I’ve tried this cleanser multiple times, as part of beauty box arrivals and self-purchases. This is an additive-free cleanser with a serum-like texture that glides on the surface of the skin and rinses off with little oil residue. It’s also a very effective makeup remover! (For more on FANCL, check out this post: Top 5 FANCL Skincare Products.) Available on Amazon & Amazon Japan.
Oil cleansers work by removing impurities deep in the pores without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Hadalabo Gokujun Cleansing Oil goes one step further by adding additional nourishment to the skin. It’s formulated with olive oil and 2 types of hyaluronic acid to keep skin supple and is tough on waterproof mascara and stubborn eyeliner. Available on Amazon & Amazon Japan.
If you’re looking for a moderately priced Japanese oil cleanser, Hipitch Deep Cleansing Oil is worth considering. It’s another Japanese cleansing oil that I frequently buy, though I can only seem to find it at Don Quijote, and never at a drugstore! I keep a bottle of this in my showder caddie at all times as it can be used on wet skin. This cleanser uses orange oil and eucalyptus oil to deep clean pores, remove makeup, and sunscreen without stripping away your natural oils. Available on Amazon Japan.
MUJI may be known for its neutral, subdued clothing and minimalist lifestyle goods, but its skincare products mustn’t be overlooked! Its skincare products are equally no-fuss, no-frills and are free of colors and fragrances. MUJI Mild Oil Cleansing Oil is a simple formula with moisturizing ingredients like peach leaf extract and hyaluronic acid to nourish the skin as it removes makeup. Available on Amazon & Amazon Japan.
Best when used as part of a double cleansing routine, Sekkisei Treatment Cleansing Oil is a rich blend of coix seed oil, sesame oil, and safflower oil that deep cleanses pores to remove dirt, makeup, and other impurities. It’s also formulated with herbal extracts to soften, moisturize, and brighten the skin. Available on Amazon & Amazon Japan.
SoftyMo Deep Cleansing Oil is one of 3 oil cleansers from Kose. This is one of my personal favorites, though I prefer the “white” version below. (Before you come at me for promoting “white beauty standards,” please see my post on Japanese whitening cosmetics for more information as there’s a lot to cover on that topic!)
With that said, Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil is comparable to DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. However, it has a lighter texture and is far more affordable. It’s very good at removing most makeup. Plus, it’s formulated with 5 different moisturizing ingredients (shea butter, jojoba oil, sesame oil, safflower oil, and olive oil). Available on Amazon & Amazon Japan.
I’m following up my review of the three Kose SoftyMo oil cleansers with an entry of my personal favorite, Softymo White Cleansing Oil. Like the others in the Kose lineup, Softymo White Cleansing Oil is a nourishing blend of olive oil, jojoba seed oil, sesame oil, safflower oil, and shea butter. What makes this product a personal favorite is that it reduces melanin production to create a clear, spot-free complexion. Available on Amazon & Amazon Japan.
At first glance, SoftyMo Speedy Cleansing Oil looks similar to Biore Make-up Remover Perfect Oil. Both can be used in the bath/shower. But, SoftyMo Speedy Cleansing Oil isn’t as tough on waterproof mascara and eyeliners. However, it does not have a fruity scent, making it a great choice for those with sensitive skin. It’s also safe to use with eyelash extensions. Available on Amazon & Amazon Japan.
Shu Uemura himself once said that “Beautiful makeup begins with beautiful skin.” Therefore, I’m inclined to believe that the man knew what he was talking about when he created his iconic Ultime 8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil!
This is a fragrant “one step” cleanser that doubles as a makeup remover and facial cleanser. It has a fabulously silky smooth texture that glides effortlessly on the skin. The formula contains 8 different botanical oils, including Japanese tsubaki oil. (If “tsubaki oil” sounds familiar to blog readers, you’ll know that I swear by camellia/tsubaki oil products to take care of my natural hair!). Available on Amazon & Amazon Japan.
Top Japanese Cleansing Oils — Final Thoughts
Still not convinced of the wonders of Japanese cleansing oils? Cleansing oils are effective in removing sweat, sunscreen dirt/pollen, makeup, and dead skin cells. You can also use them to deep clean your makeup sponges, brushes, and puffs! Which one of these Japanese cleansing oils would you like to try? Which ones would you add to this list?
For more cleansing products check out this post: My Top 10 J-Beauty Cleansers and Exfoliators
Top Japanese Cleansing Oils