New to Cleansers? Choosing the Best Cleansing Oil Korean Skincare Brand

Is it just me, or does that sound a little strange? Oils to cleanse your face? How can that be? 🤔 I’m here to tell you that it really works, and you really don’t have to worry about a thing.

If you’ve recently started your first bottle of cleansing oil, you know just how effective it is at taking your makeup off. But there are a lot of different cleansing oils on the market that use different types of ingredients. If you’ve never used them before, it can get pretty overwhelming trying to figure out which one is best for your skin type and needs!

Oil Cleansing is a Must

If you’re new to Korean skincare and have never tried a cleansing oil, I highly recommend you try one out. Cleansing oils are a staple in every K-beauty skincare routine and they’re incredibly effective at removing makeup, dirt, and grime.

They also have the AMAZING added benefit of being able to nourish your skin with ingredients like Vitamin E, Shea Butter, and Argan Oil!

Our Favorite Cleansing Oils

It’s no secret that we are OBSESSED with Korean beauty products. Cute packaging, amazing formulas, and affordable prices? We’re sold! Looking for the best cleansing oil Korean brands can be intimidating, there are just so many of them! Good for you because we helped narrow down your search.

Surprisingly, in the world of Korean beauty, there are only TWO cleansing oils that stand out above the rest for us:

The #1 Oil Cleanser

Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity
(5 / 5 Stars | 3,787 Reviews)

I prefer the Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity for oil cleansing. It has a balm-like texture that melts away any makeup and grime from the day. It also has a sweet scent that helps to relax.

See Product →

Banila Co. Clean It Zero Purity is a makeup remover that doesn’t require water. It’s enriched with natural oils and Vitamin E so it deeply removes your makeup, even stubborn waterproof mascaras and eyeliners. It’s formulated without Parabens, Sulfates, and Phthalates so it’s very gentle on skin. This makeup remover has exceptional oil control properties so it won’t leave any oily residue behind.

Light and Hydrating

Best Cleansing Oil Korean

Innisfree Green Tea Pure Cleansing Oil
(4.5 / 5 Stars | 113 Reviews)

This product is made from green tea extracts, and it smells like green tea (for us it smells fresh!), so if you don’t like green tea you may not be fond of the scent.

See Product →

Innisfree Green Tea Pure Cleansing Oil is a great natural cleanser with organic and herbal ingredients, green tea extract, dandelion extract and orchid extract. It’s more like cleansing water than a true oil. It has a very runny consistency and will not leave an oily residue.

It’s All About The Base Oil! (And Other Ingredients)

Cleansing oils are basically just like they sound — a mixture of oil and water. The oil component of cleansing oils is usually palm oil, olive or argan oil.

Most Common Base Oils:

  • Argan Cleansing Oil is definitely one of the best cleansing oils for your skin. It’s rich in antioxidants and has vitamin E, which helps to keep your skin supple and soft. Some Argan-based oils also got jojoba oil to balance your skin’s natural sebum production so that you don’t get oil, while others contain sunflower seed oils to keep your complexion radiant!
  • Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, antimicrobial properties and essential fatty acids. This cleansing oil is great for all skin types. It helps to remove dirt and makeup and at the same time softens and nourishes dry skin.
  • Perhaps the cheapest and most accessible, Palm Oil versatile, acts as an anti-oxidant, and even has natural SPF properties!

    Palm oil is widely used in the cosmetic industry because it is a cheap alternative to more expensive ingredients such as coconut oil. Because it has a high melting point, it is an ideal ingredient for soaps and body butters. This oil is safe for all skintype, so if you’re having a hard time finding a moisturizer that works for you, try an organic palm oil-based cleanser.

Why Cleansing Oils?

The Korean cleansing oil is an essential part of the double cleansing method. It dissolves makeup and dirt that regular cleansers cannot remove. In order to do this, a cleansing oil must act as an emulsifier by breaking up the fat molecules in dirt and makeup so that it is easier to remove with water. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect, making it a great choice for people with acne.

Korean Cleansers Vs. Makeup Removers

Which is better: A Korean cleanser or makeup remover? The answer is simple: it depends. It all depends on your skin type, your budget, and how much time you have in the evening before bed.

With so many options out there, it’s hard to know where to start. I’ve been a curious customer like you, and I can help you work through the confusion. The first thing to decide is whether you want a cleanser or a makeup remover.

Korean makeup removers are some of the most popular products in the K-beauty trend, mostly for their affordability. Cleansers and makeup removers are often both used interchangeably, so it can be hard to tell the difference between them. While cleansers are good for removing dirt and oil that clogs pores, makeup removers are better for getting rid of cosmetics such as eyeliners, mascara, and foundation that have been worn during the day.

Benefits of Cleansing Oil

Cleansing oils are considered to be among the best makeup removers available as they are able to remove even waterproof makeup, such as mascara. This is mainly due to their high oil content, which differentiates them from other types of facial cleansers.

It dissolves all the dirt and makeup that has accumulated on your face throughout the day. First, the oil softens your skin and dissolves all of the makeup on your face. Then, you just wash it off with water. There is no need to use soap or a washcloth because the oil itself cleanses your face!

Ideal for Sensitive Skin Types

If you have sensitive skin that breaks out easily, then the Korean cleansing oil will be your best friend. While many cleansing products contain alcohol and are irritating to the skin, Korean cleansing oils are non-comedogenic and gentle on the skin. This makes them ideal for sensitive skin types.

Smoothens and Moisturizes the Skin

Korean cleansing oil is unlike any other skincare product out on the market. It is neither a traditional cleanser nor a moisturizer, but a hybrid of the two that is perfect for all skin types and leaves your face feeling hydrated and rejuvenated. Depending on the base oil and the ingredients that your bottle contains, oil cleansers range from moisturizers to anti-wrinkle solutions.

Korean Cleansing Oil Controls Oily Skin

Oily skin? Then you know how difficult it can be to keep shine at bay. Even with your most expensive creams and toners, you often do not get long-lasting results. The culprit? Sebum, the natural oil that your skin produces to regulate itself.

If you have oily skin, then you know that it can be hard to find the right facial cleanser. Korean cleansing oil is great for oily skin, and definitely worth a try. This type of facial cleanser helps remove excess oil without stripping your face of moisture, making it easy to maintain a healthy balance. Korean cleansing oils lift excess sebum from your skin without disturbing the natural lipid barrier, which keeps your skin from feeling dry and flaky after use.

Time to add it to your routine

Oil cleansing is the first step in the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine followed by water cleansing. Now that you know the types of oils and the best ones we can recommend, it’s time you start your routine with the best oil cleanser for your skin type!

Image credit: Pibuu

Sandra Ng

Beauty Care Editor @ Beautiff HQ

Researcher and Writer from the Lion City, Singapore. I write articles for Beautiff on Asian skincare and travel! I travel a lot and have found the best combination of skincare products for travelers that have worked for me through the years.


Should I do oils first before water cleansing?

Mely Pedrozo

@Mely Pedrozo yes, it’s best to start with oil cleansing first on a dry skin. This will help lift up dirt and makeup before you do any water cleansing with your favorite facial wash or cleanser. We recommend Good Morning Low PH Morning Gel Cleanser for this!

Sandra Ng


I’m vegan for health reasons and I highly recommend products by Innisfree! They claim to produce high quality eco-friendly products made in Korea, and for this reason I stick with them.


One Reply to “New to Cleansers? Choosing the Best Cleansing Oil Korean Skincare Brand”

  1. […] Cleansing Oil plays a very important role in the Korean routine as it helps to cleanse the skin and remove any residue that your makeup has left behind. The oil is usually applied onto dry skin and massaged in circular motions for about 1-2 minutes before wiping off with a tissue or cotton pad. […]

Comments are closed.