DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Review

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

“Try this amazing cleanser and you’ll see why it’s our most popular product worldwide. Dirt, excess oil, makeup—even waterproof mascara—and other pore-cloggers dissolve easily, leaving your face a grime-free zone that is soft to the touch. Its unique water-soluble formula rinses completely, so you’ll never see a greasy residue. Olive oil and vitamin E help ensure you won’t see dryness either.”

If there has been one product that has stood the test of time in my skin care arsenal, it is DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. I have been using this cleanser/makeup remover for so long now that I can’t even remember when I first tried it! Let’s see… I discovered it back before my days at Bare Escentuals at least, as I remember just how great it was for removing mineral-based products from the skin and I swore by it even then… That was around 2006, at the latest.

So, I’ve been using this cleanser, on and off but always more on than off, for at least 8 years. Wow. I’ve had a relationship with this cleanser longer than I’ve had relationship with most of the people currently in my life! (Husband, family, and bestie notwithstanding, of course.)

I don’t know why it never occurred to me to review this product before now. I recently purchased a new bottle, as mine was at the dregs and there was a lovely sale going on for the super-sized 6.7 oz bottle, and as I set it down on my sink it suddenly struck me that I had not yet shared this lovely product with you–and I truly believe it is a product more people need to know about!

So let’s take a look at my much beloved cleansing oil…

DHC Skincare is a Japanese skincare brand, and I believe that this Cleansing Oil is one of the products that they are best known for. I have tried other products from them over the years, some good and some meh, but this is the one product I order regularly, and have never been able to find a suitable American-made dupe of.

This oil comes in three sizes (a travel-sized 1 oz, 2.3 oz, and the big 6.7 oz I purchased), and it is pretty reasonably priced across the board (with the largest size normally being $28.00). Each plastic bottle comes with a pump-style dispenser beneath its cap. It is an extremely concentrated product and I find that one pump is more than enough to clean my whole face, removing even the most stubborn eyeliner, mascara, and foundation.

The ingredients in this cleanser are pretty straightforward: “olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sorbeth-30 tetraoleate, pentylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol, stearyl glycyrrhetinate, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil.”

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil SwatchPretty simple, right? As you can see, there are no foaming agents in this cleanser–not a single one. It looks like pure oil in the bottle, and it pretty much is–when dispensed, it has a very slick, liquid-y texture that rapidly slips across the skin. (As you can see in the swatch to the left, I could hardly keep it on the back of my hand long enough to take a picture of it!)

Now, I know a whole lot of people out there are freaked out by the thought of applying oil to their face, especially as a cleanser. I was too, once upon a time, and back then I too could not understand how putting oil on my face wasn’t going to result in more blemishes and breakouts! I had heard the theory that like attracted like, when it came to cleansing the skin with oils, but that just seemed so counter intuitive. After all, I was raised in the generation where everything was oil free and teenage girls were warned not to apply oily things to their faces, lest they wake up with the dreaded pizza face!

Still, something made me try it. I remember being incredibly confused by the seemingly baffling instructions–dispensing it into dry hands and rubbing it all over a dry face!–but I bravely soldiered on and smeared the oil all over my face. Imagine my surprise when I saw it immediately beginning to break down my copious amounts of black eye liner and mascara! (I was pretty in love with a deep, dark black liner look in those days.)

When I rinsed my hands, I saw that the oil on them did indeed turn milky, and washed off my hands with ease. That same phenomenon happened with I rubbed water over my now oily skin. It did not foam, as traditional cleansers to, but it sort of mixed together with that all-over oily sheen to create a milky liquid, sort of reminiscent of a cream cleanser. I kept rinsing with water until it ran clear, and then wiped my face clean with a big ol’ fluffy washcloth, only to find that my skin was clean and soft, with no trace of greasy residue. Still, I expected to wake up in the morning with a big, angry zit for having dared rub oil all over my face… But that never happened.

As I said, I have been using this product damn near religiously for years now, and not once has it ever broken me out. I normally used my regular cleanser after using this oil to remove all my makeup, but there have been times where I have just used this product and went straight to a moisturizer afterwards. In either case, it seems to be fine–my sensitive skin has given this product two thumbs up and it has never caused a reaction of any type on it.

I find the oil base of it to be rather hydrating as well, and I think it really helps keep my skin clean and soft during the winter months. This is the product I reach for when I have a full face of makeup that I want to remove quickly and completely–I even use it to remove silicone-based airbrush foundation and to loosen up the glue when I apply false lashes.

Oh, and did I mention that it doesn’t sting my eyes either? Bonus.


I can’t say enough good things about this cleansing oil. I have tried a couple American brand cleansing oils here and there and none of them every compare to this one. It is a real “Holy Grail” product for me. DHC says this product is suitable for all skin types, and I stand by that: although oilier skinned people might balk at the thought of trying something like this, it really can deep cleanse all skin types!

You really need to follow the instructions to the letter with this product and make sure you are applying it on a completely dry face, so it can work its magic, breaking down your makeup and pulling all that gunky stuff up out of your pores. If your face is wet, or even just damp, it will not work as well. On wet skin, this just feels like a greasy mess and it doesn’t seem to wash away as cleanly. But if you stick to the dry application and a moderation application (one pump it enough)? It really does work wonders!

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