Reviewed: The Only Cleansing Oil That Keeps My White Towels White

Updated 06/17/19
Product Disclosure

 Dacy Knight

Washing your face without marking up towels with traces of mascara, foundation, and the like is a conundrum faced by anyone who has ever worn makeup. Sure, all the above comes out in the laundry (sometimes requiring the help of bleach), but finding your beauty look of the day stamped onto your freshly-washed Turkish cotton towels is a part of our skincare routine we could do without.

Until recently, my approach to taking off the day has required multiple steps and constant tailoring if I wanted to make sure I removed every last ounce of makeup. But even then, a hint of raccoon eye (or dark smudges on my pillow) come morning would reveal that I hadn't actually done as thorough of a job as I'd thought—despite my best efforts. I'd rely on a cocktail of products that each boasted different strengths, then use them in a sometimes repeating lineup, like the K-beauty double cleanse technique on steroids. Not only was this approach evidently inefficient, but it would be a major time suck keeping me from where I really wanted to be—in bed.

A few months ago, I connected with Romain Gaillard, founder of The Detox Market, to learn more about misconceptions about natural beauty. Exploring some of his store's superstar lineup of products (that are all green and cruelty-free), I ended up trying Pai Skincare's new Light Work Cleansing Oil (which also happens to be one of the winners of the Byrdie Eco Awards) to test out a makeup remover sans preservatives. The first time I used it, I immediately loved the smell (a subtle blend of basil, orange, geranium, lime, and jasmine) and texture (organic castor, sunflower, and olive oils) and how it effortlessly melted away my makeup without feeling too thick or greasy. When I rinsed my face, the oil completely washed away and my makeup was gone—no need for additional follow-ups with makeup wipes or cotton pads doused in micellar water. But I really became a believer when I pat my skin dry with my towel and noticed, in disbelief, that it was still pure white when I was done—not a single trace of makeup was transferred.

Pai Skincare Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil $56
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While I keep coming back to it as the most glaring piece of evidence that this cleanser works, makeup on towels isn't really the thing to get excited about here. What's worth celebrating is finding a cleanser that actually fully removes makeup without extra steps or effort. Not only does this save you from the headache of alternating between a series of makeup removers or cutting into your skincare routine time, but it's also good news for anyone with sensitive skin.

When I use too many products, my skin feels stripped in the aftermath and has a tendency to dry out and flare up, leading to redness, irritation, and possible breakouts. Furthermore, since I said goodbye to my twenties last year, I've tried to steer clear bad habits (read: too much wiping, rubbing, and tugging) that could lead to wrinkles and saggy skin down the road.

A cleanser that gently lifts every last bit of makeup and takes it away with an easy rinse—and is certified organic, vegan, cruelty-free and palm oil free? Everything my skincare routine has been begging for.

Now check out the other skincare winners of Byrdie's 2019 Eco Beauty Awards.

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