If you're a regular reader of this site (thanks!), you've heard me mention several times that I have an extensive nightly skin-care routine. First, I use a makeup wipe (normally these or these) to remove any mascara. Then I reach for this oil-based cleanser from Shu Uemura. Honestly, the wipe is pretty unnecessary, because this oil could certainly tackle dissolving any and all makeup — even of the waterproof variety — but I'm a maximalist, so I do both.
The thin, almost-watery formula drips out from the dispenser — and will definitely dribble down between your fingers if you try to dispense it onto your palms — so I typically hold it right up to my face, dispensing one pump on my forehead, each cheek and nose. It's intended, like most oil cleansers or cleansing balms, to be applied to dry skin and massaged in before emulsifying it with water and rinsing it off. This is one of the most ritualistic and chill moments of my nighttime routine, because I really take the opportunity to give myself a quickie facial massage, letting the cinnamon bark extract-spiked formula get all up in my pores to dissolve and whisk away oil (yes, oil attracts other oil!), makeup residue and any other gunk.
The oil turns milky the second you add water into the mix, and then it rinses away without leaving even a hint of slickness behind. I follow it up with a water-based cleanser (right now I'm loving this one from Honest Beauty), and my face feels crazy-clean — but still not stripped or tight.
With continued use, the oil cleanser can help to regulate and balance out skin's own sebum production, so if you're prone to unwanted shine and breakouts, it's a game-changer. Shu Uemura was one of the first brands to start selling oil cleansers in the U.S., and even though it's become a widespread trend at this point, I keep coming back to Shu's version because it's just that good.
Shu Uemura Porefinist Anti-Shine Fresh Cleansing Oil, $34, available at Shu Uemura.
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