Oil Cleansers Are Actually Great for Acne—Try These Formulas

It seems counterintuitive, we know, but oil cleansers can help clear up your acne. Athena Ellen, who has over 14 years experience in esthetics and is the founder of natural skincare line Monastery, explains: "Most of the acne I've seen is a result of the acid mantle being off its pH balance."

See, your skin is at its most susceptible to this during your daily cleanse. "Cleansers that leave your skin feeling 'squeaky clean' are actually creating an acid mantle that is too acidic," Ellen tells us. When the acid mantle is unbalanced, your skin will up its production of sebum so it can rebalance to its happy pH level. "When the oil arrives to the surface of the skin if the surface is too acidic, it might not be able to get out and this is when you can get congestion or acne."

But this is avoidable. "Oil cleansers don't change the acid mantle at all," notes Ellen. "Cleansing oil suspends dirt and makeup, so that it can be easily wiped away while leaving a hydrating layer of oil behind. Oil cleansers are so gentle that they usually don't need to be followed by a moisturizer. Many people see an improvement in their skin texture after a couple of weeks of oil cleansing." However, Ellen warns, "If you are a double-cleanser, be careful that your second cleanse isn't stripping the skin. It would be a shame to undo the good of the oil cleanser by following up with an acidic one."

Her best advice? Look for cleansing oils with botanical ingredients like sweet almond oil, hazelnut oil, and castor oil. Steer clear of anything with detergents, alcohols, and salts which can all dry and irritate the skin. Below, find 15 expert-approved oil cleansers to help treat and prevent acne.

Ready to clean up your morning routine yet?