The Best Korean Oil Cleanser – Review and Guide

Young woman applying oil cleanser

If you want to upgrade your cleansing routine to a whole new level, a Korean oil cleanser might just do the trick. But before you go ahead and buy one for yourself, there are some major things you need to consider before buying one: the type of oil used, the texture and spreading power, and the form it comes in. If you’re interested in upping your cleansing game, go ahead and read because I review below some of the best Korean oil cleansers!

I have no prior experience with oil cleansers and have never tried it for myself. But because of its popularity, it kept popping in and out of my social media pages, no matter where I was scrolling. This kept my curiosity and I went ahead and did research of my own on the best oil cleansers out in the market.

Oil cleansers have become a popular staple and mainstay in the global skincare game. It has been a game-changer since they were globalized by Korean skincare’s double cleansing method. Oil cleansers help effectively remove makeup, oil, sunscreen, and dirt your skin has accumulated for an entire day.

Cleansers can work more effectively in deep cleaning your skin if you use an oil cleanser prior to your regular cleanser. Adding an oil cleanser to your routine and using it regularly will make the rest of the products in your skincare routine adhere, absorb, and thus work effectively for the sole benefit of your skin.

If you’re still hesitating whether you should add an oil cleanser to your routine and whether you should try your hand at double cleansing, look no further because we’re here to help you jump on the double cleansing train and even help you find the perfect oil cleanser for your needs!

What is an Oil Cleanser? And What are the Benefits of Using an Oil Cleanser?

An oil cleanser is an oil-based makeup remover. They rid your face of makeup, sunscreen, oils, and dirt your skin has collected for the day. It gets your face ready for deep cleansing with your regular cleanser and the rest of the products in your skincare routine.

An oil cleanser is basically the first step of the double cleansing method. If you’re not familiar with it yet, double cleansing is, as you might’ve guessed solely from its name, if cleansing your face twice with two different types of cleansers. The first is an oil cleanser to remove dirt, makeup, and oil. You then follow up with a water-based cleanser. The reason for the two-step cleansing is to allow your second cleanser to work better and more effectively in cleansing your skin after the oil cleanser has removed all the dirt from your face.

What are the Benefits of Oil Cleansing?

Adding an oil cleanser to your routine and using it regularly, even everyday if possible, can yield to many wonderful results for your skin to be much healthier and appear more radiant. So what are the skin benefits of the famous oil cleansing?

First and foremost, it is able to effectively and gently remove makeup, and doesn’t dry out and damage your skin in the process. Even if you don’t wear makeup, you still accumulate oils, dirt, and pollution, so oil cleansing would do you wonders too in ensuring you are able to deeply clean your face.

It balances your skin’s oil production. It removes unhealthy and excess oils from your face, leaving only the healthy and naturally produced oils to keep your skin healthy. Oil cleansing also unclogs and deeply cleans your pores from gunk and impurities. Clogged pores can often cause blackheads, whiteheads, and even acne. If these are some of your concerns, you might want to look into oil cleansing and actually give it a try.

Oil cleansing also helps moisturize and hydrate skin. Often, it leaves users with supple and soft skin. It could also address specific skin concerns such as dryness, sensitivities, acne, and other issues you would want addressed.

Our Top Picks for the Best Korean Oil Cleansers

Product ImageProduct NamePrice
Our PickSkinfood Black Sugar Perfect Cleansing OilSkinfood Black Sugar Perfect Cleansing OilCheck Price
iUNIK Calendula Complete Cleansing OiliUNIK Calendula Complete Cleansing OilCheck Price
Nature Republic Forest Garden Chamomile Cleansing OilNature Republic Forest Garden Chamomile Cleansing OilCheck Price
Manyo Pure Cleansing OilManyo Pure Cleansing OilCheck Price
Etude House Real Art Perfect Cleansing OilEtude House Real Art Perfect Cleansing OilCheck Price

The Best Korean Oil Cleansers

Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect Cleansing Oil – Our Pick!

Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect Cleansing Oil

Our pick for the best Korean oil cleanser is the Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect Cleansing Oil! This gentle cleansing oil is rich in mineral black sugar, refined rice wine, and botanicals to gently remove dirt and impurities and hydrate and nourish your skin in the process. As a makeup remover, it effectively removes even waterproof makeup that can sometimes be difficult to get rid of. It doesn’t leave you with a few makeup smudges in the process, unlike other makeup removers.

It is deeply moisturizing and promises to leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated. It smells great and doesn’t cause irritation on sensitive skin. It emulsifies nicely as you massage the product into your face to remove makeup and dirt. It also doesn’t leave your face feeling too oily after cleansing with this oil-based cleanser.

The texture on this oil cleanser is a bit watery than what other people hope for, so you might have a hard time keeping it on your hand the first few times you cleanse with this.


  • Hydrating and nourishing
  • Effortlessly movies makeup
  • Doesn’t leave makeup smudges
  • Moisturizing
  • Smells great
  • Doesn’t cause irritation
  • Emulsifies nicely


  • Watery texture

iUNIK Calendula Complete Cleansing Oil

iUNIK Calendula Complete Cleansing Oil

The Calendula Complete Cleansing Oil from K-beauty brand iUNIK is a calendula extract infused cleansing oil that effectively removes makeup, even those categorized as waterproof. It’s also very easy to wash and clean off with water, despite it being oil-based. You won’t feel the need to use a cloth to completely get rid of the oily feeling. It also doesn’t cause irritation on some users who have sensitive skin.

It calms down flared up skin and leaves the skin feeling soft. This cleanser also doesn’t clog up pores, which is mostly a cause of many skin concerns. Just a little of this oil cleanser goes a long way so you’re surely to get your money’s worth. It does, however, contain fragrance that might not be up for everyone’s taste.


  • Easy to wash off with water
  • Doesn’t leave your face feeling too oily
  • Doesn’t cause irritation
  • Clams down skin
  • Leaves skin feeling soft
  • Doesn’t clog up pores


  • Fragrance may not be for everyone

Nature Republic Forest Garden Chamomile Cleansing Oil

Nature Republic Forest Garden Chamomile Cleansing Oil

Nature Republic’s Forest Garden Chamomile Cleansing Oil is a gentle oil cleanser that easily removes makeup along with the day’s accumulated dirt, oil, and pollution on your face. One of its main ingredients is chamomile extract, which has anti-inflammatory properties and can effectively soothe and calm the skin. It’s also easy and smooth to apply, helping you avoid and stop altogether tugging on your skin, which may further cause even more damage.

It washes off easily with water and doesn’t leave too greasy of a feeling. It cleans effectively anything you’d want removed from your face but doesn’t leave your face feeling uncomfortably dry. It doesn’t clog your pores that could lead to acne breakouts.

Its scent is a pleasant and light chamomile smell from the flower extracts contained in this. Some might find this fragrance extra soothing and calming but it’s definitely not for everyone. If you prefer something fragrance-free, you may want to opt for something else on our list.


  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Soothes and calms skin
  • Washes off easily with water
  • Doesn’t clog pores
  • Emulsifies quickly
  • Pleasant chamomile scent


  • Fragrance is not for everyone

Manyo Pure Cleansing Oil

Manyo Pure Cleansing Oil

The Manyo Pure Cleansing Oil is an oil-based cleanser that hydrates and balances your skin with every wash. It works great at gently and efficiently removing makeup and other impurities while leaving your skin feeling soft and moisturized. It has a thicker texture than other oil cleansers but doesn’t leave a heavy and oily residue on your skin. It rinses off easily with water to keep you comfortable.

As it balances the oils on your skin, it helps in calming and soothing acne. It doesn’t clog up your pores and doesn’t leave you with a tight and drying finish. It also has a subtle smell that some might find pleasant but may not be the best for some. Fragrance is always up to personal taste so keep this in mind.


  • Thick texture
  • Moisturizing
  • Doesn’t leave oily residue
  • Rinses easily with water
  • Calms and soothes acne
  • Doesn’t clog up pores
  • Non-drying


  • Fragrance is not for everyone

Etude House Real Art Perfect Cleansing Oil

Etude House Real Art Perfect Cleansing Oil

The Real Art Perfect Cleansing Oil from K-beauty power brand Etude House is a powerful cleansing oil that gently yet effectively removes makeup and dirt. Unlike other cleansing oils out in the market, it doesn’t sting even around the eye area. It makes skin softer and doesn’t leave any oily residue that could make you feel uncomfortable.

It could also assist in clearing up acne and keeping them under control. Its scent is generally pleasant and not too overpowering.


  • Doesn’t sting, even in the eye area
  • Makes skin softer
  • No oily residue
  • Helps with acne
  • Pleasant scent


  • None

Should You Use a Cleansing Oil Everyday?

Double-cleansing, especially oil-based cleansers, can be intimidating to those new to the world of K-beauty. Sure, it can be scary to slather oil all over your face but oh, the wonders oil cleansing can bring to your face!

Oil cleansing is a very effective way to melt away makeup, oils, dirt, and other pollutants. And yes, you can definitely do it everyday! But if you’re scared of fully committing to oil cleansing everyday, you can definitely feel out your skin first by doing it on some days and see how your skin reacts. If you ever decide on doing it everyday, still listen to what your skin says. If you feel like it’s overstripping your face to the point that you feel extremely dry, you might want to cut back a bit on the cleansing.

To summarize, you can definitely oil cleanse everyday. But since everyone’s skin is different, always listen to what your skin says.

Types of Cleansing Oils and Their Skin Benefits

Olive Oil

Olive oil is packed with so many skin benefits. It contains antioxidants and vitamins. It’s also a great moisturizing agent.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. It’s antioxidant and is a great moisturizer. It also helps speed up wound healing.

Castor Oil

Castor oil helps in preventing fine lines and wrinkles. It’s also anti-bacterial, which helps in fighting off acne. It also helps reduce swelling and puffiness as it has anti-inflammatory properties.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is extremely moisturizing thus is great for soothing dry skin. It also helps accelerate the healing process of wounds.

Rice Bran Oil

Rice bran oil is a great go-to to achieve younger looking skin as it’s proven to effectively brighten dark spots and promote an overall youthful appearance.

Camellia Oil

Camellia oil is very moisturizing and can aid in restoring damaged dry skin. It also has anti-aging properties and helps improve skin elasticity.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has great antibacterial properties which makes them great for fighting acne. It can also be a great remedy for dry skin as it is moisturizing and hydrating.

How to Choose the Best Korean Oil Cleanser for You

Before committing to a specific brand of oil cleanser, we have a list of guide for you to consider in order to get the best benefits for your skin type and concerns:

Oil Type

Look into the types of oils contained in the oil cleanser you have your eyes on. Each type of oil is meant to target specific skin types or skin concerns. Make sure that the oils in your oil cleanser align with what your skin needs.

Texture and Spreading Power

Oil cleansers come in different textures – light, medium, and thick. Consider how you want it to feel on your face.They can also have different spreading powers. Some easily glide on your face without you putting in too much effort, some you have to exert a bit more power. Think about how you want to be applying your cleansing oil on your face and how much effort you can make to oil cleanse. 


Oil cleansers can also come in different forms – in liquid and in balm. Liquid cleansing oils are generally more common and easier to apply. Balm oil cleansers take more effort and experience in application but both are equally effective.

How to Use a Cleansing Oil

Oil cleansing, as we’ve already talked about, is usually the first step in double cleansing. So how do we double cleanse and how do we incorporate oil cleansers in this K-beauty skincare routine?

First Cleanse: Oil Cleanser

The first step to double cleansing is with an oil-based cleanser. You should start with a dry face and dry hands. Take about 3-4 pumps to your dry hands, depending on how much you need. Gently massage it to your face, making sure to remove makeup, dirt, and gunk. After a while, wet your hands with a little water and bring your hands back to your face. Gently massage your face again until the oil cleanser emulsifies and turns milky. Do this for a good few seconds before rinsing off with water.

Second Cleanse: Water-based Cleanser

After removing all the dirt, oil, and gunk on your face with an oil cleanser, it is now time for your water-based cleanser. You just have to cleanse your face as you would regularly do so. Oil cleansing before this step allows your cleanser to clean deeply and penetrate into your skin better. It also helps the other products in your skincare routine to work better.


Oil cleansing and double cleansing can yield amazing results for your skin. Having an oil cleanser in addition to your regular cleanser can help remove makeup, oils, dirt, and pollution that have accumulated on your face.

The Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect Cleansing Oil is our pick for the best Korean oil cleanser! It’s effective in removing makeup and dirt while nourishing and hydrating your skin in the process. The iUNIK Calendula Complete Cleansing Oil soothes and calms sensitive skin while being an effective first step in double cleansing. The Nature Republic Forest Garden Chamomile Cleansing Oil has chamomile extract that’s known for its anti-inflammatory properties. The Manyo Pure Cleansing Oil is great for its hydrating and balancing properties, effectively keeping acne under control. The Etude House Real Art Perfect Cleansing Oil is an effective oil cleanser that doesn’t leave you with a stinging sensation, even around the eye area.

Oil cleansing can be a game-changer in your skincare routine as it has been for many others. Looking for the perfect oil cleanser can be tough with so many choices available out there. We could only hope we’ve helped you get on the oil cleanser train with our guide. Until next time and happy cleansing!

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