Top benefits of oil-based makeup removers, and how to use them

Jul 01, 2021
Oil-based makeup removers can help you skin glow. Source: Getty

For a long time oil has been a dirty word when it comes to skincare, particularly because the aim of most regimes is to rid your skin of excess oil, not add more. While it may seem counterproductive, skincare companies worldwide have now realised just how beneficial it can be to use oil on your skin, especially when it comes to cleansing mature skin.

As you age, you skin needs change, and often this means adding a little more love and attention to your daily skincare routine. It doesn’t mean you have to start spending up big on luxury skincare products though, rather, you need to find the right products to nourish and protect your skin as you age.

Where’s the best place to start? With make-up remover, and preferable one that is oil based.

Double cleansing your skin

Ensuring you remove your make-up is the critical first step in any make-up regime. Make-up creates an oily layer that actually absorbs pollutants into the skin, which can result in an increase in blemishes and over time leads to the degradation of natural collagen and ultimately premature ageing.

No matter your skin type, or how much make-up you wear, double cleansing is a hugely beneficial step to ensuring your skin is completely clean. It’s recommended that you kick-start your regime with an oil-based make-up remover because of just how effective it is at removing make-up without stripping your skin of its natural oils (you’ve probably noticed that some make-up removers and cleansers leave you skin feeling tight and dry, which is not what you want).

Oil-based make-up removers dissolve the product on your face and remove excess dirt from your skin, leaving it feeling soft and moisturised. Following this step, it’s recommended that you cleanse again, this time with a cream or foam cleanser, or even micellar water or make-up wipes, to help remove any residual grime.

Why choose an oil-based make-up remover?

The success of oil-based make-up removers is backed by the scientific law of attraction: like attracts like. With many make-ups and SPF being oil-based, the science says that an oil-based make-up remover is more effective when it comes to removing them.

As we age, it’s common for our skin to lose some of its natural moisture and when we remove make-up with normal make-up removers it can be drying and harsh. Unlike traditional soap cleansers, which contain stripping ingredients that can dry the skin, oil-based removers use essential oils to help to melt away the make-up, eliminating the need for vigorous scrubbing, which also helps to protect the natural lipid layer of the skin and the good bacteria that live there.

Many popular products on the market are packed with good-for-you ingredients which hydrate and nourish the skin to help minimise fine lines and wrinkles, reduce the visibility of sun damage and improve skin elasticity. They also smell great and glide onto the skin providing a soothing, relaxing face massage during the process.

How to use an oil-based make-up remover

Oil-based make-up removers are perfect for all skin types. A small 2010 study found they are particularly good for dry, mature skin, but they also work wonders on oily to combination skin types. While many people often think an oil-free remover is better, it can actually strip the skin of its natural balance of oils which results in the overproduction of oil.

Oil-based removers should be used on dry skin as opposed to wet, which will help break down the make-up and bind any dirt and residue to remove it. Once you’ve massaged the oil-based remover into the skin, it should be taken off with lukewarm water or by gently wiping it away with a warm, wet cloth.

So, what should I look for?

There are a range of oils that can be used as make-up removers, or you can opt to choose one of the many products on the market that blend a selection of essential oils, all designed to increase the benefits for your skin. When choosing a product it’s important to focus on high-quality oils that don’t have additional scents or dyes added. We suggest looking for cold-pressed, unrefined or virgin oils, which are meant to be used on the skin rather than cooking oils.

Some types that are commonly used and offer an array of benefits include; olive oil, castor oil, evening primrose oil, cherry kernel oil, lavender oil, lemon oil, geranium oil, frankincense oil, sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil, apricot kernel oil, macadamia oil, rosehip oil, argan oil and jojoba oil.

While you can opt to buy one single oil, finding a product that utilises several of the above is only going to increase the nourishing benefits. One of our top picks is specifically crafted for mature skin, using ingredients that nourish your skin while removing make-up and impurities and leaving your skin clean and fresh. Better yet, it’s suitable for all skin types and has a beautiful natural scent.


Q: What’s the difference between cleansers and make-up removers?
A: Make-up removers are a more heavy-duty approach to getting rid of everything and will dissolve waterproof make-up, while a cleanser is more generalised and designed to cleanse the skin of excess oil, dirt, residue and light make-up from your face. Using the two in conjunction with each other is a great way to ensure your skin is as squeaky clean as it can be.

Q: How do you use an oil-based make-up remover?
A: An oil-based remover is usually suggested as a first step to dissolve dirt, grime, make-up and sunscreen. Try applying it onto a dry face and really massaging it in. Once you’re satisfied, you can rinse with warm water or remove with a face washer. You can then choose to follow with a second cleanse directly afterwards for a soft, clean complexion that’s primed for skincare.

Q: How often should you oil-cleanse?
A: Use your oil-based make-up remover once a day, generally at night to get rid of everything that’s accumulated on your face during the day.

Do you use oil-based make-up remover in your skincare regime?

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