Written by Grove Collaborative

We tried it: Switching from face wash to face cleansing oil.

Last Updated: May 17, 2021

What happens when you switch from your favorite conventional face wash to a face cleansing oil? Grove writer, Leslie Jeffries, tried it, and she's here to spill the details on cleansing oils.

As someone who worships pure coconut oil and is loyal to face wash, I’d need a lot of convincing before I'd ever switch to a beauty cleansing oil.


"Convince away," I said aloud to the bottle of Superbloom Daily Dew Cleansing Oil sitting on my sink. It ignored me. Nonetheless, challenge accepted!

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The claim: What is cleansing oil good for?

Face oil seems counterintuitive when you think of cleansing your skin. Usually, when washing your face, you’re trying to get rid of some of the oil that inevitably clogs pores and sometimes causes breakouts, right?


Well, according to SELF magazine and dermatologist Doris Day, MD, that’s not necessarily the case. They state, “Cleansing oils can be more hydrating than traditional face washes because they don’t contain many surfactants (or any, depending on the product). Surfactants are typically used as detergents or foaming agents, and they can be a little harsh on your skin.”


To further find out how facial cleansing oil works, we turned to Ellinor Quay Coyne, a dermatologist based in Washington, DC, who spoke to Vox and “believes there is a benefit to using two different cleansers because of the scientific principle that “like dissolves like” — meaning that oil-based cleansers can better remove oil-based dirt, cosmetics, and residue, and water-based cleansers can better remove non-oil-based dirt, cosmetics, and residue.” This method is called the “double cleanse” and is used by many people, including those who do have overly oily skin: first you clean with a cleansing oil and then you wash again with a water-based cleanser to remove any clogging residue from the oil.


Whatever your skin type, face cleansing oil can work for you! Before I ventured into my own journey with cleansing oil, I read the Superbloom's Daily Dew Cleansing Oil ingredients and facts.


It states the following purported benefits:


  • It gently cleanses, including lifting dirt and makeup without stripping skin, thanks to oils like jojoba, sunflower, argan, and apricot kernel
  • Cactus flower, which is infused in this oil, is said to both firm and hydrate skin — even after washing off the cleansing oil
  • Cactus flower also helps regenerate cells, brighten skin, and has antioxidant properties that help protect the skin against environmental pollutants

Superbloom is Grove’s own line of beauty products, which includes everything you need for a complete skincare routine. Superbloom is vegan, cruelty-free, naturally fragranced, and contains no concerning chemicals, according to the Environmental Working Group.

The experience: How to use facial cleansing oil

The Daily Dew Cleansing Oil arrived in a pretty, etched-glass bottle — and who doesn’t adore a pretty glass bottle? So far, so good!

Holding my expectations in check, and with an open mind, I lifted the lid, and pumped a couple of splots into my hand.

Heaven scent

The first thing I noticed was the light, lovely fragrance. The very subtle scent of geranium oil is just so fresh and uplifting! I really appreciated that Superbloom doesn't hide behind the vague, totally unregulated term "fragrance" on its list of ingredients, as other companies often do — it actually lists every single component of its pure, natural scent, which smells just like fresh flowers — like springtime in a bottle — and that makes me happy.


Weightless

This cleansing oil's texture was surprisingly light. As a coconut oil enthusiast in just about every way possible, I found Superbloom's oil to be almost as light as melted coconut oil, which is what I generally use to remove makeup — followed by random face wash applied to a damp washcloth for good measure.

Break it down, now

I immediately noticed how light this cleansing oil continued to feel through the entire cleansing routine. Superbloom Cleansing Oil is far less greasy than coconut oil, but it has more body — its combination of oils feels smooth and barely-there.


Best of all, it’s absolutely effective at breaking down my almost-TV-talk-show-thick makeup: Superbloom removed ALL traces of makeup and grime from my face, as you can see from the clean side of my face in my photo.

Do you wash your face after using cleansing oil?

That’s the beauty of this stuff — it does the job of both makeup remover and cleanser. The directions say to rinse with water or a damp washcloth, and I used both. Every bit of the cleansing oil easily came off — and all of my dirt and makeup with it — on my nice, white washcloth, which rinsed completely clean with a little soap and water.


I didn’t do the “double cleanse” (washing my face with a water-based cleanser after the cleansing oil) because I felt my face was clean enough with the oil cleanser alone. Per the directions, I did follow up my Superbloom oil-cleansing with natural toner and, of course, a quality, natural moisturizer.

The verdict: Did I switch from face wash to cleansing oil?

You bet your booty I did!


After using Superbloom Daily Dew Cleansing Oil for a month, I've officially swapped out my former, product-heavy makeup-removing and cleansing routine for Superbloom’s single-step cleansing oil, which delights my senses — I love the fresh fragrance and the smooth feel — and it effectively removes dirt and makeup from my face.


My skin might be a tad brighter, rosier, and glowier after using the product for four weeks, but mostly I just love how soft and supple my skin feels after I use this cleansing oil, which seems to stay on my skin in an ultra-light, hydrating way — even after using a damp cloth to remove it. It leaves my skin feeling very smooth and clean — not tight and dry like it feels with so many face washes I’ve tried.

Looking for more tips to get glowy skin? We’ve covered that too!

I feel like I'm being gentler with my mid-life-crisis-y skin by using a high quality, natural product to remove my makeup, so I'm grateful for Superbloom Daily Dew’s gentle, capable, and reassuring presence in my skincare routine lineup. And, even if you can’t make the full switch to cleaning oil, consider the double cleanse and at least add a cleansing oil into part of your routine. You’ll thank me later.



About the author: Leslie Jeffries is a writer and former face-wash fan in Omaha. She's been writing for Grove since 2020.

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