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Does Oil Cleansing Help With Acne? (Short Answer: Not So Much)

There are countless debates in the beauty world, but one that’s been stirring controversy recently is "Does oil cleansing help with acne?". Many advocates of this method swear by its miraculous effects, while skeptics remain uncertain.

This comprehensive blog post will address this question and delve into the nuanced world of oil cleansing. We will investigate its effectiveness against acne, explore the types of oils involved, and provide a balanced perspective.

Also read: How to choose the best acne treatment

Biggest Take-Aways:

  • Oil cleansing may not be a universal solution for acne, as its efficacy largely depends on the type of oil used and individual skin reactions.
  • While some oils can nourish and hydrate the skin, others may trigger breakouts, so choosing your skin type and needs is crucial.
  • It's important to exercise patience when introducing oil cleansing into your routine, as your skin may need time to adjust to this method.
  • If oil cleansing is not suitable for your skin, oil-free products like those offered by Exposed Skin Care can provide a balanced, targeted solution for managing acne.

Dropper of facial oil

What is Oil Cleansing?

Oil cleansing is a skincare routine that involves using a specific type of oil as a cleanser to remove excess oil, dirt, and makeup from your skin. The premise behind oil cleansing is that "like dissolves like."

So, instead of using soap or detergent cleansers that can strip your skin of its natural oils, an oil cleanser is used to remove impurities without drying out or irritating the skin gently.

The oil cleansing method has been gaining popularity among individuals with various skin types, from oily to dry and sensitive skin. However, the real question is, "Does oil cleansing help with acne?" Let's dissect this.

Unraveling the Acne-Oil Connection

Acne, that dreaded skin condition, results from a combination of factors, including excessive oil production, buildup of dead skin cells, and the proliferation of acne-causing bacteria. So, does it make sense to cleanse acne-prone skin with oil?

The logic behind oil cleansing is that it helps regulate oil production and reduces acne breakouts. But is it that simple? Contrary to what some believe, the answer to our question isn't a straightforward yes. While oil cleansing has benefits, it might not be the magic cure-all for acne-prone skin that many hope for.

Woman using dropper to put oil on face

Not All Oils are Created Equal

One crucial factor to consider is the type of oil used for cleansing. Oils like jojoba oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, grapeseed oil, and marula oil can offer nourishing benefits to the skin. These plant-based oils are known to be non-comedogenic, meaning they do not clog pores, which is crucial for acne-prone skin.

However, oils like coconut or certain mineral oils are comedogenic and can lead to clogged pores and more breakouts. Therefore, using the right oil for your skin type is essential.

The Double Cleanse Method

An essential part of the oil cleansing process that's often overlooked is the double cleanse. Failing to double cleanse might leave a layer of oil behind, leading to potential breakouts.

After using an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and impurities, a second non-oil cleanser is recommended to thoroughly wash off all traces of the old oil and dirt. 

Woman washing her face after oil cleanse

Skin Adjustment Period

When starting a new skincare routine like oil cleansing, it’s common for the skin to go through an adjustment period. During this phase, your skin might initially experience increased acne breakouts. However, these should subside as your skin adjusts to the new routine.

Taking Care of Your Acne-Prone Skin

Given the complexities behind oil cleansing and acne, how should you navigate this terrain if you have acne-prone skin?

Choose the Right Oil

Choosing the right oil for your skin type can be a game-changer. Non-comedogenic oils like jojoba, rosehip, or sweet almond oil are safe bets for most skin types. These oils closely resemble the skin's natural sebum and can help balance oil production.

Understand Your Skin Type

Understanding your skin type is paramount. Some oils might exacerbate the issue if your skin is excessively oily or prone to breakouts. However, if you have dry, dehydrated skin, certain oils might provide the nourishment and hydration your skin craves.

Caucasian woman checking her face on the mirror

Experiment with Blends

You might need to experiment with different oil blends to find what works best for your skin. For instance, you can mix a balancing oil like jojoba or argan oil with oil known for its healing properties like rosehip oil or evening primrose oil.

Always Follow with a Second Cleanse

Remember always to follow your oil cleanse with a second, gentle cleanse. This step is vital to remove all excess oil and impurities from your skin thoroughly.

Harnessing the Benefits of Exposed Skin Care for Acne Management

Exposed Skin Care offers a unique approach to managing acne-prone skin. This skincare line provides oil-free, skin-friendly products that cater to every skin type, from dry to oily and are particularly beneficial for acne-prone skin.

Exposed Skin Care Basic Kit

Here are just a few of its advantages:

  • Balanced Skincare: Exposed Skin Care strikes the perfect balance, providing adequate hydration without adding excessive oil to your face. It's a boon for those with oily skin types who struggle with regular oil-based products.

  • Nourishment: Ingredients like tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and sage extract in certain products nourish the skin, improving skin health and making your skin look vibrant and soft.

  • Skin Barrier Protection: These products are designed to strengthen the skin barrier, reducing skin irritation and maintaining a healthy skin appearance.

  • Acne Management: For those dealing with cystic acne, the line offers targeted solutions that help cleanse and soothe your skin, leaving it clear and radiant.

  • Gentle Cleansing: Using Exposed Skin Care skin care kits might be the change your cleansing routine needs. The products are designed to be gently massaged into the skin, removing impurities without stripping the skin's natural oils.

Whether you've tried oil cleansing and found it doesn't work for you, or you're looking for a new kind of cleansing product, Exposed Skin Care offers a promising route to better skin.


When navigating the complex realm of skincare, knowing that oil cleansing might not be the miracle cure for acne is crucial. It's a unique method that could potentially help or hinder your journey to clear skin, depending on the oil you choose.

While certain types of oil, like jojoba or rosehip oil, can provide benefits, others, like castor or sesame oil, may irritate. Remember, oil cleansing might involve a skin adjustment period, especially for acne-prone skin.

Be patient and allow the oil to stay on your skin, gently massaging it before washing your face. This process may make your skin feel softer and look healthier.

For those who find that oil cleansing doesn't work or prefer oil-free products, there are alternative skin care products like those offered by Exposed Skin Care. They provide a balanced solution for different skin types, from dry to oily, and especially target acne-prone skin.

The journey to achieving healthy, radiant skin can be long and challenging, but understanding your skin's needs and finding the right balance is key. Whether embracing oil cleansing to remove impurities or opting for a specially formulated skin care product, it's all about what makes your skin feel its best.


Is oil cleansing suitable for oily or acne-prone skin?

Yes, but using non-comedogenic oils that won't clog pores and lead to more breakouts is crucial.

How often should I use oil cleansing?

This varies depending on your skin type. Some people prefer to do it daily, while others reserve it for evening routines to remove makeup and sunscreen.

Can oil cleansing cause more acne?

It can initially cause more breakouts during the adjustment period or if you're using a type of oil unsuited to your skin type.

How should I choose the best oil for oil cleansing?

Choose based on your skin type. Non-comedogenic oils like jojoba, argan, or almond oil are generally safe bets for most skin types.

Can I use olive oil for oil cleansing?

While possible, olive oil isn't generally recommended as it can be comedogenic and cause breakouts for those with acne-prone skin.