Friday, June 8, 2012

Review: DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is one of those iconic facial cleansers that I've been hearing about for ages. In fact, I tried a sample of this product many years ago and I remember loving it, but then I guess I just forgot about it and never followed through with buying a full-size bottle. (NOTE: you can receive a free DHC catalog and four free samples here, if you're a first-time customer.)

When I was at my local Mitsuwa Marketplace (a Japanese supermarket chain that also carries an extensive variety of Asian beauty products), I saw this product and figured it was time to revisit it. I purchased it for $12.50 at Mitsuwa, and that's also the retail price on the DHC website (note the 2,000+ reviews with a five star average rating).

 DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
(retail: $12.50, 2.3 oz)


As you can see, this product contains some skin-loving ingredients such as olive oil and Vitamin E. I love that the ingredients list is so small--you don't always need a zillion ingredients in a skincare product for it to be effective, and I also like that this product is paraben-free.


The bottle itself is pretty basic; the oil is about the same color as olive oil, and you know I love pump bottles:


In the time that it took to dispense a little of this cleanser on the back of my hand and take a photo, it had already started to run down the side of my hand. This should give you an indication of the consistency of this product--it's not a thick, goopy oil. It's pretty thin:


So let's get down to business:

I LOVE this stuff, and apparently I'm not alone. Many, many people love this cleanser, and I can completely understand why, now that I've been using it every night for the past month. But that does not mean that it's for EVERYONE, as I'll try my best to explain in this review.

First of all, if you've never used an oil product for cleansing, it takes some getting used to, especially if you have oily skin and/or acne issues. It seems counter-intuitive to apply more oil to oily skin, but this is where you have to abandon your fears and just go with it. As I learned with my beloved Badger Damascus Rose Face Oil, applying oil to already-oily skin can be a GOOD thing. Sometimes, if you rob your skin of all of its natural oils by using a super-sudsy cleanser, your skin will feel the need to overcompensate and produce even MORE oil. Have you ever scrubbed your face with a cleanser that left your skin dry and tight? And if so, did you noticed that, maybe an hour later, your T-zone was SUPER oily? That's your skin basically working overtime to replenish what you removed from it during cleansing.

Alright, so now that I don't have any issues with rubbing oil into my already-oily skin, how does this product work at removing dirty, makeup and impurities? IT'S EXCELLENT. This product removes every last trace of my makeup, even my difficult eye makeup. In fact, I'm currently testing a waterproof liquid eyeliner for a future review, and it even removed that, no problem. BUT, I want to mention something here that I think is important: you can't use this product like a normal facial cleanser and expect it to remove all of your makeup. This is a product that requires a bit of time. With dry hands and a dry face (don't wet your hands or face before you use this--trust me), you need to work this product into your skin. And when I say work, I mean work. Well, gently work this product into your skin, taking time to massage it into every nook and cranny on your face. I actually find this a joy to do--it feels soothing on my skin and I love the entire process. But if you're one of those people who wants to wash and go in a hurry, this one's probably not for you, because it requires a little time and patience.

Once you're done working this cleanser into your skin, then it's time to rinse. I find this product rinses beautifully, which is kind of shocking. You'd think that, being made of oils and all, it would be a @#$% to remove. Well guess what? Not so! It rinses perfectly clean in one pass. I have no need for double-rinsing with this one, and no need to cleanse my skin with a "regular" cleanser after I've used this one.

The results: after I use this product, my face feels wonderfully clean and smooth, with absolutely no oily or greasy residue after rinsing. HOWEVER, I have read that those with dry skin have found this product to be slightly drying. I can TOTALLY understand that, but since my skin is very oily, I don't find this product leaves my skin feeling dry or tight. It feels just right to me, but I can imagine that if your skin was very dry to begin with, this might not be for you.

A few other things:

In addition to having very oily skin, I am also acne-prone during that time of the month. However, this product has not caused me any additional breakouts or irritations.

The fragrance of this product smells like a soft combination of olive oil, rosemary and lavender to my nose. It is not strong or tear-inducing, and it does not sting my eyes.

FINAL VERDICT: Is this product for you? Well, if you don't mind taking your time with your facial cleanser, and you have normal-to-oily or oily-to-very-oily skin, I think this might be a good fit. It works absolutely beautifully for me; so much so that I plan to buy the larger bottle the next time I'm at Mitsuwa. I just adore the way it feels when I'm working it into my skin, I love that it removes all of my makeup, I love how easily it rinses clean, and I love how my skin feels after I use it. If you've never tried a cleansing oil before, then I think this would be a good place to start. Not all oil cleansers are created equally, but I think this is a solid, affordable option if you'd like to try one before taking it to the next level with Shu Uemura, NARS, etc. Those products will set you back $30-$40 per bottle (and they don't come in smaller, more affordably-sized bottles) so I think that if you'd like to dip your toe into the cleansing oil pool, this is a more affordable way to do so at $12.50 for 2.3 oz (you can even buy a 1-oz mini for $4.95 on the DHC site). After using this product every night for a month, I still have about half of my bottle left, so I'd say the small bottle will be enough to last the average user about two months. I honestly have no desire to try the higher-end brands now because I'm perfectly content with this one--it's a keeper!

Are you a DHC Cleansing Oil fan? If so, when did you start using it? If not, what did you NOT like about it? If you've never used it before, do you think it might be a good fit for your needs?

36 comments:

  1. Years back, because of the rave reviews, I purchased DHC Oil Cleanser. I had tried a little sample of it and loved it. But when I started using it on a regular basis, this ol' dry face broke out. I kept using it thinking I was getting the impurities out but no. I ended up giving it to a friend who had oily skin and she said it was OK.

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear that, Kimberly! Boo! But based on what you said, it sounds like it's really a better fit for those with oily skin. :( I haven't broken out at all after using this, but my skin is an oil slick. Lol

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  2. I have this and I love it!!! I agree with everything you've said about it - it's the best makeup remover/cleanser that I've tried :D But it's hard for me to get my hands on it, so I'm savoring it for the nights where I'm out late and have have full face of makeup on so I feel like I'm making the best use out of it. If I could get my hands on this easily then I'd just have this. :P

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    1. So glad to hear it works for you too! And I totally get what you mean about savoring it! If I don't get the chance to repurchase it before I run out, i'm doing the exact same thing, and saving it for heavy makeup days. :)

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  3. this sounds interesting, do you (or does anyone) know if it would work with the clarisonic?

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    1. Pau with your clarisonic you should use only a foamy cleanser. This oil would only be absorbed by the brush bristles and will be pain to clean afterwards. Use the with ur hands or cotton pad and then wash your face as you normally would do.

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    2. I agree with Ana. NOT a good fit for clarisonics because you HAVE to apply this dry (if you add even the tiniest bit of water, it breaks down and rinses right off).

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    3. Thanks Ana and G. definitely won't try it with the brush then.

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  4. I use it to remove my eye makeup :) Thanks for the review.

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    1. You're welcome! And that's a greet way to use it as well! :)

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  5. This cleansing oil is such a classic in the Japanese beauty industry. Def fail proof n cheap...there are other cleansing oils in the Japanese drugstore but they may have nasty ingredients in them so DHC is def tops as a drugstore cleansing oil.

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    1. Thanks for pointing that out! I noticed a few others at Mitsuwa and they were all soooo much more expensive plus, like you said, the ingredients weren't as impressive.

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  6. I actually love this more than Shu Uemura's! The only thing better than DHC in my opinion is Fancl. Mind-blowing stuff that.

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    1. Wow! That's great to know! Thanks so much for sharing. :)

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  7. I use jojoba oil instead of DHC oil (I've tried both!) and it's more affordable ($5 for a bottle that lasts MONTHS at Trader Joe's).

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    1. Wow, thanks for the tip! May I ask how easy it is to remove the jojoba oil? Does it leave any stubborn residue behind? Thanks!

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  8. Interesting post. I got a few samples of this when I ordered some makeup online but haven't tried it yet. Might try it out tonight :)

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    1. I'd love to know what you think if you try it!

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    1. OMG, please review if you do! I'd love to see your take on it, and I hope it works just as well for you, sweetie!

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  10. I've been using DHC deep cleansing oil for over a decade! That's right, started while a freshman in college and now I'm in my 30's. I have oily skin and acne prone, and it's wonderful. I find it's the best makeup remover I've ever tried. To Pau, I wouldn't use it with your clarisonic, you apply the oil with dry hands...and I think dry bristles of the clarisonic would be too rough. The moment you get the oil wet, it rinses off.

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    1. Wow!! I'm thrilled to hear from a long-time user! Thanks so much for that, and i'm so happy it's been working well for you for so long! :)

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  11. I'm one of those dry skinned people who found it drying... Loved the way it cleaned so thoroughly, but it was just too much for me. Sad!

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    1. Omg, that IS sad! :( I'm so sorry this didn't work for your skin!

      But out of curiosity, what cleansers do you enjoy for dry skin? I get asked about that sometimes and I'd LOVE to hear about some effective, gentle cleansers for your skin type. Thanks! :)

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    2. I alternate between Cerave's hydrating cleanser and Earth Science A-D-E creamy cleanser. I always have both around-- the earth science is a tiny bit drying but I have my doubts that the cerave gets sunscreen all the way off. Often if I use the e.s. I'll still follow up with cerave. The Earth Science cleanser is interesting: like DHC, it's oil based, so you have to apply dry and rinse off, but I find it much less drying. I'm on my 4th or 5th bottle. And it's quite cheap!

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  12. I am 42 and have extremely oil/acne prone skin and I have been using this for about 7 years now and I LOOOOVE it! I use the most waterproof mascaras possible and longwearing foundations and this stuff literally melts it all away in a minute or so. There is none of the usual repeated tugging associated with any other eye makeup remover I have ever tried. All you do is massage it gently into the skin, it requires no elbow grease, just a light and thorough massage. I can open my eyes with the oil on them and it does not sting or make them blurry. The fact that a little warm water can rinse the oil effortlessly away is amazing to me. Since I am acne prone, I do always follow with a regular foaming cleanser and my clarisonic just to be sure I am super clean. DHC Cleansing Oil is my absolute, hands down, holy grail makeup remover!

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  13. I got a sample of this once with an online order. My skin is very much like yours (oily, acne prone at tat time of the month) and yet my experience with it was very different than yours.

    First of all, to me it smelled exactly like cheap cooking oil, so much so that I had to try not to breath through my nose while using it on my face. I used it just like you did, but I found that I could not rinse it completely off my face. I felt this thin oily film even after rinsing twice. I wiped my face with a damp washcloth and that seemed to do the trick, although my skin still felt extremely moisturized. I'm not afraid of moisturizing, despite having oily skin, but this just felt like too much.

    After my face dried it still looked a bit oily and shiny to me, but I figured that it would soak into my skin and would look better in the morning. Well I didn't even make it that long because after getting into bed my husband complained that my face smelled like a deep fryer. I got up out of bed and washed it off with my regular cleanser and have not tried it again since then!

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  14. I've been using this for years! it removes even the most stubborn glitter or dark eye makeup and moisturizes the skin! one bottle lasts forever, and once you order from DHC, they send you catalogues with free samples inside! love!! love!!!

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  15. I love DHC! Especially this stuff. I have skin that was oily until I really started caring for it and is now dry as a bone. This stuff works really well for me, and, like others have said, works great at taking off eye makeup.

    I may end up with an all-DHC skincare regime, sooner or later.

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  16. Interesting, does this product works on oily and sensitive skin?

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  17. I wonder if it's any different (and better) than what I use right now-- a home made cleansing oil of olive oil with a little tea tree or jojoba oil mixed in?

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  18. This is one of my favorite cleaners! I also love it for a brush cleaner. If you haven't tried to clean your Sigma F80 with this, it's the best! Gets all the foundation off!

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  19. Where can I find this cleanser (which stores sell it)??

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  20. My experience is similar to yours in that DHC takes off makeup and impurities and its easy to use. I have really dry skin, however, and this leaves my face feeling tight and dry. But I've NEVER used a cleanser (even Cetaphil) that didn't leave me feeling at least a little dry (I don't think one exists!). So I think this stuff is good, but maybe not for gals with dry skin.

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  21. I have super oily skin and i love this product! Will always use. Love many of thier products.

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  22. I use plain Grapeseed oil on my oily, dehydrated skin with occasional breakouts. It has totally transformed my skin from a mess to NORMAL skin! If I have a breakout I dab some oil on it,.which seems like it would make it worse but it actually heals the breakout and leaves no red mark behind. My skin is glowy and it has softened my fine lines (I'm 39) and I no longer have to put powder over my foundation or blot anymore. Anyone with oily, dehydrated skin knows that's almost impossible to do. I love it!

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