What’s the best oil cleanser for acne? It depends on what kind of acne you have. Let’s break it down.
We know that oil cleansers sound intimidating when you have acne because oil equals acne, right? It’s true that an overproduction of oil can lead to clogged pores and eventually acne. But the best answer to this is by fighting oil with oil. Adding an oil cleanser into your routine will actually balance that oil production. Plus, it will help prevent acne, ensuring your skin is 100 percent free of dirt, sebum, and any other debris.
Here, we’ve broken down the three most common types of acne and the best oil cleanser for each. Happy shopping!
Comedonal acne originates from hair follicles that get clogged with dirt, sebum, and debris, causing the pore to become infected. They’re typically divided into two categories: whiteheads and blackheads. Whiteheads are pores that are completely clogged and closed at the surface. The closed-over surface results in their “white” or skin-colored appearance. This is different from blackheads, which are pores that remain open at the surface. Once the sebum in the open pore oxidizes, it turns a “black” or gray color, which is why they’re called blackheads.
For this type of acne, you’ll want to stick with oil cleansers that deep clean pores. They should also contain ingredients that regulate oil production. The Erborian Black Cleansing Oil is a great choice. This oil cleanser is formulated with detoxifying charcoal which purifies the skin. You can think of charcoal as a magnet that draws out the dirt and oil stuck inside your pores. The charcoal and centella asiatica work together to fight acne without irritation. Plus, they also minimize the appearance of your pores.
Another excellent choice is the Hanskin Cleansing Oil and Blackhead PHA. I know, the name sounds confusing! But this unique oil cleanser gets its name thanks to the addition of polyhydroxy acids, aka PHAs. These acids are similar to AHAs and BHAs but they’re gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin types.
The PHAs exfoliate the skin, helping to prevent the formation of clogged pores. This acne-fighting formula also contains tea tree, jojoba, olive, and grapeseed oil, as well as soothing aloe vera. These ingredients work in tandem to deep clean without stripping the skin of its natural oils.
Inflammatory acne is categorized as pimples that have an inflamed appearance. They result in red and/or tender bumps that can be filled with pus and bacteria. The most common forms are papules and pustules, which start off as comedonal acne. This form of acne is usually the kind of acne you’re referring to when you have a pimple. These spots are surrounded by a red rim of inflammation and filled with either white or yellow pus.
For inflammatory acne, you’ll want to stick with oil cleansers that calm inflammation. The Etude House Real Art Cleansing Oil Mild has a gentle formula that is meant to softly cleanse the skin. It’s infused with green tea and chamomile extracts to calm redness and irritation. This formula may be gentle but it’s also hard-working and gets rid of everything (even waterproof mascara!).
The Erborian Solid Cleansing Oil is also another solid (get it?) option. This oil cleanser contains centella asiatica extract, a powerful medicinal herb that soothes irritation and repairs skin damage. Whichever oil cleanser you choose, both will clean the skin gently and effectively.
Cystic and Nodular Acne
Nodules are larger bumps that are painful to the touch and develop deep within the skin. They feel firm when touched and they occur when the the bacteria within the pore spreads and infects the other follicles nearby.
Cystic acne is actually quite similar to nodules as they are both lodged deep within the skin, although cystic acne tends to look like boils. Cystic acne is also extremely painful and can measure up to an inch or more in diameter. Unfortunately, this type of acne is the most severe and can take anywhere from weeks to months to go away.
Since cystic and nodular acne are particularly sensitive, you’ll want to stick with oil cleansers that deep clean without much effort. You’ll also want to choose soothing formulas that calm any redness and irritation, which is typical with this form of acne.
The Banila Co Clean It Zero cleanser is a classic for a reason. It quickly and effectively dissolves tough, waterproof makeup without much effort. The Banila Co Clean It Zero Purifying puts in the same amount of work but without any sensitizing ingredients. This particular version is made without artificial coloring, synthetic fragrance, alcohol, parabens, and mineral oil. This makes it perfect for sensitive and reactive skin.
No matter what type of acne you have, there’s an oil cleanser that will work for you. If you’re hesitant, just give oil cleansing a chance at least once to see what kind of difference it can make!