How to Cleanse, Exfoliate and Moisturize Your Face with Oil


Less is more. Do you believe this saying is true? Well I do, especially when it comes to my skin. I understand certain essences, masks, serums and elixirs are all super beneficial to the skin. Whenever my face is need of a little extra attention, I like to use special serums and masks to get my acne under control but wouldn’t it be convenient to have one product with a multi-use?

After trial an error, oil cleansing not only balances my acne but it saves me money. Using one oil as the main ingredient in my skincare routine allows me to replace at least three products. We all know it’s difficult to find an effective but affordable skincare line that brings the same results as a luxury skincare brand. Once you find the best oil for your skin type, I believe you can solve several skincare problems that most brands claim to do using just one oil. Interested in how? Keep reading.

The Benefits of Oil Cleansing -JustNatonya

Don’t get me wrong, their are brands that do an excellent job in developing products that tailor to our skin needs. With sensitive skin, it’s important I use gentle cleansers to avoid disturbing my acne and causing irritation. But not all skincare products are created equal. I like to have products in rotation to avoid my skin getting too adjusted to one product. Sometimes it’s difficult finding a solid face wash for sensitive skin.

After a month or two of research and trial/error, I discovered replacing my cleanser and exfoliating scrub with oil has given me healthy benefits such as the gentle removal of dead skin, calmed acne, reduced redness and a youthful glow.

How to Cleanse, Exfoliate and Moisturize your Face with Oil
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Curious to know how I cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize with one face oil? Keep reading, I’ll thoroughly but briefly explain.

Do I Use Carrier or Essential Oils for My Face?

Avoid using essential oils in an abundance because they’re very strong. For example, you wouldn’t want to wash your face with peppermint oil by itself because you could easily burn your skin. Essential oils work best in smaller amounts. Focus on adding one drop to your regular face cleanser or moisturizer to reap the benefits. Some essential oils can be applied directly to pimples to shrink such as lemon, tea tree or lavender oils. I’ll write a more detailed post on how to use essential oils on the face too.

The Great Benefits of Oil Cleansing for Your FAce -JustNatonya

When choosing a face oil to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize, you want to focus on carrier oils. Carrier oils are a base for helping essential oils work more gently into the skin. But you can use carrier oils by themselves in your skincare routine too because they’re softer and less harsh on the skin.

Carrier Oils for the Face

  • Grapeseed Oil– lightweight; contains Vitamin E to reduce dark circles and brighten skin
  • Jojoba Oil– antibacterial and controls sebum production, great for people with acne
  • Avocado Oil– rich in fatty acids, which perfect for moisturizing and acts as a natural sunblock
  • Hemp Oil– regulates and balances oil production without clogging pores
  • Argan Oil– softens dry patches, reduces wrinkles, protection from sun damage and helps clear acne
  • Olive Oil– full of antioxidants to fight environmental skin damage; mimics skin’s natural sebum to help control oil production
  • Sweet Almond Oil– protects skin from UV radiation damage and smooths fine lines
  • Apricot Kernal Oil– soothes inflammation and puffiness; contains Vitamin A to rejuvenates the skin and slow down aging process
  • Rosehip Oil– lightweight; calming properties to soothe acne and gentle enough for sensitive skin

Side note: I have super sensitive combination acne prone skin and all the oils listed have worked for me.

Tip: Make sure oils are organic, unrefined, raw and cold-pressed for the best results. 

Is Oil Cleansing Safe for ALL Skin Types?

Yes, everyone can oil cleanse, even people with oily skin. Finding the best oil for your skin will actually balance out your skin and make it less oily. Here are some common used oils for certain skin types. Just play around with different oils to see which best suits your skin but if you’re not sure, here is a list to help you get started

Popular Oils to Use for Different Skin Types

  • Sensitive: Rosehip Oil, Grapeseed, Avocado, Apricot
  • Dry: Argan, Sweet Almond, Avocado, Olive, Apricot
  • Oily: Jojoba, Argan, Rosehip, Hemp
  • Combo: Grapeseed, Rosehip, Hemp, Jojoba
  • Acne-Prone: Jojoba Oil, Rosehip, Olive

What are the Benefits of Oil Cleansing? -JustNatonya

How to Wash Face with Oil

Cleansing your face with oil may sound counter-intuitive to oily skin beauties but its more effective than harmful. Certain oils provide balance of the sebum, which decreases oil production and reduces acne.

Steps for General Oil Cleansing:

  1. Wash and dry hands thoroughly.
  2. Take about 2-3 drops of oil and apply to dry skin. It’s not necessary to wash your face before, the oil will act as a cleanser.
  3. Gently massage the oil all over your face like a face wash for 30 seconds to one minute.
  4. After massaging oil into skin, take a warm towel and rest it on your face for a minute. The heat allows the oil to seep into your open pores.
  5. Wipe the oil away with a warm/hot towel. Rinse the towel out. Continue to wipe and rinse out towel until the oil is gone. I usually do this about two-three times.
  6. If skin feels dry, apply 1-3 drops to moisturize. See directions below.

Friendly Tip:

  • Makeup Remover– use oil to remove makeup, great for the eyes too
  • Double Cleansing– wash your face with oil first, then follow up with your regular (gentle) store bought cleanser

How To Exfoliate Face With Oil

Exfoliating the skin with oil is great for those with acne-prone or sensitive skin to help avoid irritation.

Steps to Exfoliating Face with Oil:

  1. Wash and dry hands thoroughly.
  2. Take about 5-8 drops of oil and apply to dry skin. It’s not necessary to wash your face before application.
  3. Gently apply the oil all over your face.
  4. Allow oil to sit on your face for 10-15 minutes like a face mask.
  5. After 10-15 minutes, massage the face with your fingertips like you typically do with a regular exfoliating scrub to gently remove the dead skin.
    • I recommend NOT using an exfoliating brush, it may be too much with the oil
  6. Gently wipe away oil with a warm towel. Continue to wipe and rinse out towel until the oil is gone.

How To Moisturize Face With Oil

Oil on the face acts as a sealant to lock in the moisture by keeping your skin hydrated.

Steps to Moisturizing Face with Oil:

  1. After skin is cleansed, apply 1-3 drops of oil into the palm of your hands.
  2. Rub hands together to warm the oil and gentle press the oil into your slightly damp skin.
  3. After a minute or two the oil will absorb leaving the skin feeling soft and smooth.
How to Cleanse, Exfoliate and Moisturize your Face with Oil
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Benefits from Oil Cleansing

Whether you’re moisturizing, exfoliating or cleansing your skin with oil, adding oil part of your skincare regimen leaves you with tons of benefits.

  • Take break from facial products & allows skin to heal naturally
  • Oil balances oil production, which reduces sebum and overall calms acne
  • Multi-use, so saves you money
  • Shrinks stubborn pimples
  • Heals the skin from impurities such as acne or hyper-pigmentation

Nevertheless, an effective skincare regimen can be achieved using one product. Yes, I’m saying you only need one product to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize your face. Try adding oil to your skincare routine, even if it’s to replace one step. Be sure to check out my quick recipe for a DIY lemon and hemp oil face scrub.

Pre-Made Oil Cleansers for Face

If you’re still not quite convinced about using oil alone on the face for cleansing, then check out these oil cleansers formulated for face washing:

  1. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
  2. Fresh Seaberry Skin Nutrition Cleansing Oil
  3. Innisfree Hydrating Cleansing Oil with Green Tea
  4. Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil
  5. Hanskin Pore Cleansing Oil (PHA)
  6. Dermalogica Precleanse
  7. Laneige Cream Skin Milk Oil Cleanser

What do you think of oil in your skincare routine? Do you oil cleanse or moisturize with oil?

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Geraldine says:

    This was super informative! I didn’t know how to cleanse your face with oils. … and as a person with oily – combo skin, I was always scared of trying it because of the fear that it’d make my face much oilier. I know essential oils can have benefits to your skin but it helps seeing them laid out in a list like this. I’ll have to see what oils I have in my house so I can try this now that I know how!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. justnatonya says:

      How exciting Geraldine!! I just know it’ll work out for you. At one point my skin was super oily due to hormones and as soon as I took a break from face washes and used oil, my skin became less oily. Oil balances oil. Let me know if you need any tips 🙂


  2. I love cleansing with oil but I had no idea you could exfoliate with oil as well! I am so intrigued!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. justnatonya says:

      Yes exfoliating with oil is so helpful to sensitive and acne-prone skin. It’s a gentle method. Thanks for stopping by Sarah!💕👏🏾

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I never dared use oil on my skin because it is a bit oily. But it is great to know that i can use it and that it can be adapted to my skin! great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. justnatonya says:

      Yes oily skin can use oil, in fact, it balances the oil levels. I’m so happy I introduced a new concept to you Corinne! Thanks for reading 👏🏾


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