The Face-Washing Myth You Can Stop Believing Once And For All

If you grew up any time before, well, 2015, you likely believed that adding oil to your face was the same as begging for a breakout. But, it turns out that cleansing oils may be the products you’ve been looking for when it comes to the best option for your face.

While most people are slightly nervous when they use cleansing oil for the first time, many come away with glowing reviews. A gentler, more hydrating option that many traditional face washes, oil-based cleansers offer a deeper level of moisture due to their lower level of surfactants, SELF notes. These are usually foaming or lathering agents that can be rather tough on delicate skin.

Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a New York City–based board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, explains this phenomenon to the outlet, saying, “Cleansing oils contain hydrating and soothing ingredients that may actually be more effective and less irritating than some traditional cleansers.”

Since irritation can lead to red marks and breakouts, it makes sense that a gentle, oil-based option may be best. Plus, putting oil on your face doesn’t have to mean it will break you out. “Oil absorbs oil,” Zeichner says, “which means that these products can effectively remove dirt from and leave the skin clean.”

Oil-based cleansers may give you a deeper clean

Rather than just sitting on your skin and “clogging pores,” oil cleansing likely provides a deeper layer of clean. According to Cosmopolitan, oil and water don’t mix, meaning that when you cleanse with oil, it can help carry away makeup and build up on your face, since many of these products are made with water. Essentially, oil works like a magnet to any water-based substances that may be laying on your skin.

Furthermore, since sweat can cause breakouts, using oil to remove impurities may be your latest skincare hack if you workout often. Plus, it won’t leave your skin feeling dry or lacking hydration, but you’ll still get a deep cleanse and removal of dirt.

But, while there’s obvious benefit to the new cleansing craze, it’s best to do your research. “There’s a big difference between applying a cosmetically formulated cleansing oil versus rubbing canola from your kitchen onto your skin,” Dr. Zeichner tells SELF. It’s important to find the right oil for your skin since, for instance, heavier oils like avocado oils are likely too dense for acne-prone cells. Coconut, argan, lavender and grapeseed can offer a lighter alternative if your skin is sensitive to oil, according to the outlet.

Ditch the outdated advice and check out a few facial oils that may work with your skin type. You’ll likely notice glowing skin as the main result.

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