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I Tried Oil Cleansing on My Oil-Prone Skin Even Though I Swore I Never Would and Here’s What Happened

If you have acne-prone and/or oily skin, you may be hesitant to try oil cleansing, the first step of the double cleanse method. But using an oil cleanser can actually help prevent breakouts and excess oil. Below, one writer and oil cleanser-skeptic discovers these benefits first hand.

Right when I hit puberty, my skin started to seep oil, resulting in greasiness, insane blackheads, and a new level of insecurity. In an effort to combat this, I did what no one should do – dried the life out of my skin. We’re talking 10% benzoyl peroxide cleansers twice a day, grainy exfoliants, intense RX retinol prescriptions, and the rare dollop of oil free moisturizer. In retrospect, it’s no wonder my skin got worse instead of getting better, but at the time, I thought the best way to combat my oily, acne-prone skin was to dry it out.

I’m now 22, and my skin is not perfect, but it’s come a long way. Now that I have experience in the skin care industry, I’ve learned that oil was never my enemy- it was my friend! Since then, I’ve incorporated oils into my skin care routine by adding them to my moisturizer, and I’ve noticed a difference. Lately this has got me thinking: what would happen if I started doing something I swore I’d never do… oil cleansing?

For this experiment, I decided to use the DHC Deep Cleansing oil (a similar formula is the Missha Super Off Cleansing Oil Dryness Off) that was given to me by a friend for five days. Read on for my results.  

Day 1

Oil cleansing in the morning felt a little extra initially, but about halfway through the day, I realized I was nowhere near as oily and greasy as I typically would be. I also noticed my pores weren’t gaping, which was a huge plus. That night, I was excited to cleanse. My boyfriend took notice that my routine was taking a little longer than usual, but hey – I was enjoying massaging all those glorious oils into my skin!

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Day 2

No lies, I woke up slightly more oily than usual this morning, which was disappointing… but only for a moment so I decided to keep on with oil cleansing anyways. I gave myself another intensive massage with the cleanser, and washed it off. One thing I love is that the oil emulsifies and washes off completely, without leaving a greasy feeling on my skin. I went into the day intensely hydrated to say the least. When I got home that night, I was happy to see no greasy forehead and no new breakouts.

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Day 3

Day three started off on a great note. My skin looked plump and hydrated, and I was in no way producing extra oil. I noticed a glow about myself that I hadn’t seen in a while, so I was very excited about my new regimen. Unfortunately, at about 5pm, I noticed a deep, painful pimple forming. While there were a lot of factors possibly contributing (I was in the middle of packing to move- a.k.a. MASSIVE stress), I freaked out and refrained from oil cleansing that night.

Day 4

Waking up, I realized I made a fatal mistake by skipping my new step last night. My pimple looked far more aggravated and red than it had the previous day. To combat my worsened symptoms, I hopped back on the oil cleansing train that morning. By midday, my pimple had calmed down severely and was no longer painful. I’m convinced the added hydration helped ease my skin and the zit itself. That night, I decided to learn from my mistake, and kept up with my double cleanse.

Day 5

Waking up this morning, my pimple had gone down immensely. Not only was it less aggravated, but it was also smaller, and completely pain-free. I did use a pimple patch to get rid of it once and for all, but I genuinely think the oil cleansing helped. That night, I carried on with my new routine.

Bottom Line

All in all, I’m so glad I introduced my skin to oil cleansing. I used to do anything to keep oil away from my face, so the fact that slathering an oil on twice a day to cleanse genuinely made my skin look better than ever was something I never expected. Having the extra oils delivered to my skin really offset my own oil production and I feel like this may be the secret to achieving the skin I’ve always wanted. It’s safe to say that oil cleansing is now a loving step in my routine! 

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