Cleansing Oils

As promised, here is the long-awaited cleansing oils post!

The first cleansing oil I ever tried was more than ten years ago (*gasp*) from shu uemura. Back in thooose days they only made one and it was the original and I liked it. However while I was interested in makeup back then I more perhaps more a collector as I was still in my shell and not that comfortable in expressing myself makeup wise especially when people around me are usually makeup free or went for the really subtle look. Most of what I bought all looked untouched and were very pristine. Ahhh if only I held onto those products … [help I’m being sucked down the memory lane via the road called ‘Regret’!] All those ME shadows, blushes, my Feu d’Issey perfume, my McQueen Kingdom fragrance …

What I want to say is I liked the oil but I never had a full face of makeup to really test its performance. Then I remember trying the new release pink sakura cleansing oil and it broke me out. And since then I’ve moved on and stayed away from cleansing oils.

Come to think of it I actually used a lot of shu uemura skincare at the time. Like the whole set from cleansing to serums and creams and sheet masks. It’s been a long time since I looked at their skincare and it seems they have completely changed their range. I remember when they first launched all those depsea water sprays too …

I found this on the shu uemura website:

shu oils

I remember using bottles of the 1996 packaging for my cleanser and toner. That just means pre 2002 you know.

I gave oils another chance when I got a gift with purchase oil from Sofina. And then I came across the DHC oil at a Monoprix (too bad it wasn’t my local one). Then I got the L’Oreal oil. And then I bought the foam oil from Softymo. I actually wanted the regular one but only found the foam version at the shops I went to in HK. And when that is gone I’ll use the Fancl – I’m really looking forward to using that! [ETA: the review for Fancl is here]


Here’s a quick summary:

The contenders:
1. Sofina jenne
2. DHC
3. L’Oreal Eclat Sublime
4. Kose Softymo Speedy Bubble Cleansing Oil

My favourite: DHC.
The strongest cleanser: Tie between the L’Oreal and Softymo.
Stings like a mofo: Sofina and Softymo, with the latter taking the crown cos it will make you weep like there’s no tomorrow.
Blurry vision: DHC and L’Oreal, the latter is noticeably worse and takes a much longer time to rinse it out and return to normal eye sight.
Easiest to rinse off: Softymo

Texture-wise the DHC is the most viscous and the L’Oreal is the most thin/runny. DHC is also the only one that’s unscented – it smells mildly of what you’d expect an olive oil would smell but that’s it. The Sofina is the only one without a pump.

DHC is the most expensive but also the mildest. I enjoyed using it a lot. The Sofina is a stronger cleanser with a floral scent but it can sting your eyes. When I only had these two oils I would reach for the Sofina when I had a long wearing mascara/eyeliner on.
The L’Oreal and Softymo are the cheapest ones but I really recommend using an eye makeup remover first with the Softymo bubble because the pain is really not worth it. You wouldn’t be able to keep your eyes open if you get the product in your eyes. I can’t read Japanese so who knows maybe they have a warning printed on the back of the bottle. It’s an oil that pumps out as a foam, but the foam is quite fine but there’s not a lot of volume, and you’ll need at least 2-3 pumps to have enough product to clean your face (IMHO). One other thing about the Softymo is that it doesn’t really emulsify. It’s more like an oil-based light cleanser. The foam stays a foam for quite some time as you’re massaging it into the skin and then eventually it dissipates. I take this as my cue to rinse it off, and it does so easily and nicely.

I still double cleanse with La Roche-Posay Toleriane after using cleansing oils but find that with the Softymo I don’t feel like I need to.

The good thing about cleansing oils is I’ve greatly reduced the usage of cotton pads (I used Bioderma). Also I think it’s a great way to incorporate some kind of face massage action into my skincare routine. I have read about the benefits of facial massage but am just too lazy to do so.

I’ll do an update when I finally crack open the Fancl, which I just remembered is a product I have tried in the past. But I have no memory of how I found it.  I hope to get my hands on the regular Softymo that I originally aimed for when that’s gone.


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