Battle of the Cleansing Oils

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ok, Shu Uemura is, for most people, the QUEEN of all cleansing oils (this, of course is based on my own personal experience and hearsay). But for me, there are TWO cleansing oils that have rocked my world. That is Shu Uemura's cleansing oils, and Lancome's Huile Eclat. Oh gosh, these cleansing oils are just aahh-mazing. They both have perfect consistencies, amazing cleansing abilities and fresh scents, and A-grade cleansing capabilities.

Now, I have been getting emails from my readers asking me what's a good alternative for Shu Uemura. A good product that is more budget friendly. So it was the perfect time for me to start canvasing. It took me nearly a year to compile the information from different brands (some bottles I finished, some I just gave away).

So, after months and months of testing, these are the products I came up with. I have ranked them from 1 to 6, 1 being the top of my list.

*Before you buy, always, always, ALWAYS test the product first! Apply a tiny amount on your neck or a little on your jawline and leave on for about 5 minutes and see if you have any reaction to the product.*


This product is not available here, unfortunately. I bought a bottle while vacationing in Hong Kong. I was delighted to see it actually because it was the first time I ever saw Neutrogena with a cleansing oil! As it turned out, only asian countries has it (well, except us -maybe one day?)

TEXTURE / CONSISTENCY: Oily (duh!) but the oiliness is comparable to that of Human Heart Nature's. When you pump it on your hand it doesn't seem too thick.

FEEL: This product stings. It's tolerable, but it has a stinging feeling on the cheeks like you were putting alcohol on your face. It claims to remove waterproof mascara, but when I rub the product on my eyes, I make sure that my eyes are really shut because it stings like a bee!

RINSE-ABILITY: It can be removed easily with luke warm water but definitely have to wash off with a facial wash.

FRAGRANCE: I am not a fan of it's strong fruity artificial scent. I actually get dizzy every time I used it! But didn't have a choice, I had to finish the bottle before I move to the next one. Ha!

RECOMMENDATION: I wouldn't recommend this product at all. But maybe you will like it? It's quite expensive for a drugstore brand though. Try the product maybe you will have a liking to it? Stores in HK sell them in trial sizes!


Among all the cleansing oils I have tried, this has probably got to be my 5th choice. They didn't have testers in their kiosks so I had to buy one to be able to try it on. As you may already know, I am a sucker for cute packaging and SMELL. Smell of a product is very important to me.

TEXTURE/CONSISTENCY: Quite thick. It takes a bit of effort to massage on your face to remove makeup.

FEEL: The product is thick (maybe because it's au naturel) but I didn't really feel comfortable using it.

RINSE-ABILITY: The moment the water hits your face to rinse it off, the thicker it seemed to get. It was like the oil stuck more while rinsing. Even rinsing under running water in the shower for a full 3 minutes, the product doesn't completely wash away. You will definitely have to rinse this product off with soap or facial wash.

FRAGRANCE: I love the smell. It smells really fresh and sweet.

RECOMMENDATION: If you are the all-natural kind of girl, this product is good. Human Heart Nature sells facial washes too so it'll be a good pair.


I don't know why some people downplay Kanebo. It's a good Japanese brand! And before there was even Shu Uemura in Manila, Kanebo was the Japanese brand to choose!

When it was yet another time to purchase another brand of cleansing oil to review, I was choosing between Kanebo and Revlon's new cleansing oil. Since I was leaning toward Japanese or Korean brands more for cleansing oils, I went for Kanebo.

TEXTURE/CONSISTENCY: It's quite thick. Just like Human Heart Nature and Neutogena. I don't really like very thick cleansing oils.

FEEL: When you apply it dry on your skin to remove the makeup, it's quite thick to be massaging it all over your face. Rinsing is not that easy so you will have to follow with a facial wash. But right after rinsing, it doesn't make your facial skin tight.

RINSE-ABILITY: Difficult. You will have to rinse several times just to get about half of it off your face before you can follow with a wash.

FRAGRANCE: No smell... Yay! I always go for products with either no smell, or a fresh kind of scent (that wouldn't make me woozy).

RECOMMENDATION: Sorry folks, I wouldn't recommend this product (but to each his own, try it yourself. Who knows, you might like it!).


I was attracted to it's simple, clean looking packaging. I had just run out of any form of makeup remover in my bathroom, and no more Shu Uemura. So it was time for the cleansing oil search.

This product is made in Korea. As soon as I heard the word Korea, it was considered sold.

So, upon going home, I used this product to clean my face. Here are my findings:

TEXTURE/CONSISTENCY: Smooth and can be easily massaged on the face to loosen the makeup.

FEEL: I wasn't allergic to the product so that was a plus (still, you have to test this product before buying). While I was massaging my eye area to remove my mascara though, it kind of stung my eye but just for a little while. It goes away after you wash your face with water.

RINSE-ABILITY: It's easily removed with water with most of your makeup a long with it. I still recommend using a foaming cleanser after.

FRAGRANCE: This is the only problem with this product. It's supposedly unscented but it has a weird smell that I really want to get rid off with a facial wash after removing my makeup.

RECOMMENDATION: If you don't mind the smell, this is actually not bad!

(Mild Cleansing Oil - P425.00 / For Sensitive Skin - P625.00)

MUJI has good skin care products. The fact that it is from Japan, of course I immediately trusted the products. Never mind that I can't read what the back of the bottle said. I had to get one.

One of their skincare products that I love using is their Light Moisturizing Milk. It's just divine! So when I came across their cleansing oil, I had to get one to try.

Since I don't have sensitive skin, I was OK with trying the Mild Cleansing Oil.

TEXTURE / CONSISTENCY: The texture is comparable to Shu's. It's light weight and it's easy to massage on the face. You need about 2 pump-fulls to completely dissolve your makeup.

FEEL: I love that it doesn't feel like you're lathering on cooking oil on your face. It feels very light on the face and it doesn't have any tingly or stinging sensations while the product sits on your skin.

RINSE-ABILITY: It can easily be washed with water but it doesn't feel like your skin is completely clean. You will have to follow this with a foaming cleanser.

FRAGRANCE: The smell is very pleasant. It smells clean and fresh. No artificial fragrances added.

RECOMMENDATION: If you're looking for a good Japanese branded cleansing oil, then MUJI is a good alternative. If anyone asks me about it, I would say it was a good product, but I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it.


Ok. Some of you may have violent reactions regarding this. I have read really bad reviews on the net about Revlon's cleansing oil but for me, it's actually the one I keep buying for myself and would recommend.

I love that Lancome's former International Artistic Director, Gucci Westman was hired by Revlon and has been creating comparable products with Lancome. Their line of colors have improved and formulations have also changed dramatically ever since Westman joined their company.

TEXTURE/CONSISTENCY: Just right. It's not too watery and not to thick. You can easily massage it to remove your makeup without it feeling too thick.

FEEL: While massaging it to your face, it doesn't feel icky and sticky. I love that when you pump product into your hand it doesn't just run through in between your fingers.

RINSE-ABILITY: You can easily rinse it off with water. It emulsifies with water into a milky substance. After washing the product off, your face feels fresh and clean and the skin is not taught and dry.

FRAGRANCE: It has a strong citrus smell. Like those of lots of oranges. Some people don't like the smell but I personally like it because it smells really clean and revitalizing.

RECOMMENDATION: Lancome and Shu Uemura are still my number 1 recommendations for cleansing oils, but this would definitely my second choice.

So, how about you? What is your favorite Cleansing Oil? I'd love to hear from you! Just post a comment below.

*Special thanks to Google Images for the product stills, and for the photo of Revlon's Cleansing Oil.*

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  1. So far, I'm loving the Pure Beauty Cleansing Oil, its the easiest to buy for my pretty tight budget but I'm eyeing on the Muji Mild Cleansing Oil. If only Muji branches weren't so far from my place. :(



    1. That's good that the smell of Pure Beauty cleansing oil doesn't bother you... I would keep buying this product too but I'm not a big fan of its smell :) But otherwise, a good product!

  2. where can I buy the pure beauty cleansing oil?:)


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