When thinking about dry winter skin, I used to primarily concern myself with serum and moisturizer. It just never occurred to me that what I used to clean it would make a difference--the difference-makers came later in the routine, right? Well, wrong.
Since I've started experimenting with oil-based cleansers, my entire skincare game has been elevated. If you've never tried an oil cleanse, it probably sounds counter-intuitive, but oils do a bang-up job emulsifying tough makeup so it can be easily wiped away. Not only that, but they do it without sucking precious moisture out of your skin.
Below, I've enumerated my favorites at the moment. Also, a tip: unlike traditional cleanser, most oil cleansers should be applied with dry hands, on dry skin. If you've been unsatisfied with their performance in the past, that may have been what went wrong.
Algenist Genius Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser
$38 via Sephora
This is what I'm using right now (at the suggestion of my mother, a certified skincare queen), and I love it. It comes out as a thick cream-gel, which then transforms to an oil when massaged on dry skin. Add a little water to your hands and it then changes to a milk. If you're scent-averse, it might not be for you, but it feels so luxurious and does a great job emulsifying all my makeup, even around my eyes.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Body Wash
$25 via Sephora
This is a great product for those who battle all-over dry and sensitive skin, and like most of FAB's body products, it's gentle enough that it can be used on your face (or even on infants).
Fresh Soy Face Cleanser
$38 via Sephora
I tend to use this one more in the summer than in the winter because it's oil-free and my skin needs all the moisture it can get when it's cold out, but it's a gentle, all-purpose facial cleanser that will please those with a variety of skin types.
Nude Skincare Perfect Cleanse Clarifying Cleansing Oil
$36 via Sephora
If you're big on natural ingredients, this is the cleansing oil for you. The ingredient list is long on seed oils and extracts, and it does a beautiful job emulsifying makeup with a wonderful-but-not-overpowering scent.
Tatcha Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
$48 via Sephora
Not only is this cleansing oil luxe (and beautifully packaged), but it's super powerful: even waterproof sunscreen is no match.
P.S. Please consider supporting our small, bag-loving team by clicking our links before shopping or checking out at your favorite online retailers like Amazon, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, or any of the listed partners on our shop page. We truly appreciate your support!