What Makes a Botanical Oil Cleanser also an Exceptional Serum in Your Natural Skincare Routine?

What Makes a Botanical Oil Cleanser also an Exceptional Serum in Your Natural Skincare Routine?

Posted by Fernanda da Silva Tatley on

What are the Benefits of a Plant Oil Cleanser?





Some of you are probably muttering “what the heck… how can an oil clean my face?” or “…but the oil will make me break out…” or “I need to remove, rather than adding oils to my face.” Well, quite the contrary! There is a growing body of scientific evidence on the use of plant oils to improve skin hydration, elasticity and moisturizing for a youthful dewy glow.

Oils are superb for skincare routines since they are packed with greatly useful components, that cannot be manufactured in our bodies, but can be sourced from fruits, nuts and seeds, including:

 These are all essential to provide nourishment for optimal cellular function and renewal, maintain skin elasticity, enhance the skin barrier to prevent moisture loss, and help reduce inflammation, all of which will contribute to a natural skin radiance.




How does an Oil Cleanser Work?


The principle behind an oil cleanser is based on the concept that “like dissolves like” to:

  • Pick-up excess sebum (the oily matter produced by the sebum glands in your skin).
  • Clean out clogged pores, such as blackheads and whiteheads.
  • Remove cell debris, dirt, pollutants, and make-up.
  • Soothe the skin.



Oils used as cleansers bind to the oils on your skin, debris and any dirt or particulates, without stripping the skin of its natural microbial flora that is important for good healthy skin function. Oils can also remove oil-free, oil-based and waterproof products on your skin and eye lashes, hence their use as make-up removers.



So, oil cleansers provide a balance between removing excess “grime” on your face, leaving a protective layer that will help to support the natural skin barrier that hosts good bacteria while protecting against pathogenic ones. In fact, the value of the skin microbiome to maintain a healthy body is finally being appreciated.


Bacteria (pink) being surrounded by an immune system cell (green).



In addition, this protective layer moisturizes and softens the skin, while it remains on the surface it is acting as a Serum would, namely as a source of prolonged nourishment and healing, something that would not be achieved with a mainstream foaming cleanser. In fact, one of the reasons foaming cleansers can give the feeling of tightness on the skin is because some of the ingredients draw water molecules from the surface of the skin, due to the specific chemistry of the foaming detergents. No, you won’t experience tightness with an oil cleanser.




Besides, evidence is accumulating about the disadvantage of using a foaming cleanser which show that they result in excessive skin drying, as the oil glands in the skin respond by overproducing more oil on the surface of the skin to compensate that removed. So, on top of tight skin, now you have a chance of getting an even more oil being released, and you are back to square one.



With these properties, oils cleansers are suitable for all skin types, even for oily skin, especially in the more mature age group, yet also useful for oily skin prone to acne. Though, a severe condition such as cystic acne, where there is a tendency to develop “tender-to-touch” pus-filled cysts, needs to be discussed with a medical practitioner, as the treatment of this condition often requires medicated products outside of the natural spectrum.

What are good Cleansing Oils that are also superb as Serum Products?


Although we are firm believers that most oils can be used in all skin types, often the amount used must be adjusted according to the skin needs, with dry skins needing more, while less is needed for oily skins. However, there are some oils that are more appropriate to some skins because of their texture and properties.




In fact, the first product that I formulated was an oil blend comprising oils of macadamia, coconut, jojoba, apricot kernel, and grape seed, as well as shea butter, that is still one of my favourites and can be used by the 3 main skin types, both as a Cleanser and as a Serum.


Macadamia oil - a rich carrier oil that has moisturizing properties.

  • Has a fatty acid composition, with high levels of palmitoleic acid, that is present in human sebum.
  • Since sebum production decreases with age, this is useful in anti-ageing products.
  • Palmitoleic acid also exhibits antimicrobial activity.
  • For any skin type.
  • Ideal for Cleanser and Serum products.


Coconut oil – a great preserver of the skin barrier.

  • Has antimicrobial activity due to its fatty acid composition, 50% lauric acid which can destroy harmful microorganisms.
  • It also has anti-inflammatory antioxidant support and wound healing properties.
  • For any skin type. 
  • Ideal for Cleanser Products.                    


Jojoba oil – an excellent oil to repair the skin lipid barrier. 

  • Has a fatty acid composition very similar to human sebum.
  • It has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties.
  • Unclogs pores and removes grime.
  • Does not leave a greasy feel, being useful for dry, oily skin and acne-prone skin.
  • Ideal for Cleanser Products.


Apricot kernel oil – a light, yet nourishing oil with excellent moisturizing properties.

  • Rich in vitamins (A, E, C, K), phytosterols, and polyphenols as antioxidants.
  • Helps improving skin elasticity and tone while decreasing the signs of ageing.
  • For Dry and Sensitive skins.
  • Ideal for Serum Products.



Grape seed oil – a light moisturizing oil, rich in antioxidants.

  • Contains antioxidants – vitamin E, resveratrol, and phenolic compounds such as proanthocyanidins.
  • Has wound healing properties.
  • For Oily and Acne-prone skins.
  • Ideal for Cleanser and Serum Products.


Shea butter – a very softening and easily absorbed butter, that melts into the skin.

  • Has moisturising, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Useful to improve scars and blemishes due to its cell regenerating properties, from the nourishing fatty acids and antioxidants.
  • A great companion for thirsty, irritated, and mature skin.
  • Ideal for Cleanser Products.


Actually, these oils have been used by the ancient Mesopotamian, Indian, Chinese and Egyptian healers dating back to 5,000 BC, and now we understand why.



How to use an Oil Cleanser as a Cleanser and a Serum as part of your Skincare Routine? 

From my favourite oil blend, one of our star products was born, as an excellent example of an Oil Cleanser that doubles as a serum - our 2-in-1 - Jojoba and Aloe Facial Cleanser - https://azurlis.co.nz/products/jojoba-aloe-facial-cleanser, and below is a guide of how to use it, but these directions apply to the use of any oil cleanser.

To use as a Cleanser:

  • Use the Jojoba & Aloe Facial Cleanser in the evening, as a cleanser and make-up remover. But, you can also use this product if you a have a morning cleansing routine. 
  • Before applying, moisten your face with warm water. 
  • Pump 1 - 2 drops of the Cleanser onto the palm of your hand and massage the cleansing oil evenly over your face and neck using small circular movements from the centre of your face moving outwards.
  • Using a face cloth with warm or tepid water (not hot) wipe oil and debris away.
  • Rinse and repeat until the skin looks and feels clean, or the runoff looks clear.
  • Gently pat your face dry with a face cloth (never use tissue paper).

To use as a Make-up Remover:

  • Pump 1 - 2 drops of the Cleanser  onto a ball or pad of cotton wool pad or a face cloth.
  • Do not rub, but rather massage gently, over the cheeks, forehead, eyes, and chin, as if you were making love to your skin.
  • Splash your face with warm water and continue wiping with the cotton ball or pad until all make-up is removed.
  • Using a face cloth with warm or tepid water (not hot) remove  any residual oil/debris off.
  • If necessary, with a moist face cloth wipe again, or pat the skin until dry.

To use as a Serum:

  • Add 1 - 2 drops of the product to the clean skin (if the final layer after cleansing feels too thin), and the very same ingredients that cleansed your skin, will provide a source of oils, with repair properties - An ideal 2-in-1 Cleansing and Serum product.


The Long and the Short on a Cleansing Skincare Routine


  • Try a different way to cleanse and provide a special treat for your face. 
  • Set a Cleansing Skincare Routine, at least once a day, for instance in the evening. This ensures that your skin in clean and refreshed in preparation for a good night’s rest. 
  • Understand how your skin responds to the cleansing and treating routine. Do you need less oil? Longer time massaging? More gentle wiping with the tepid damp face cloth? Wiped too much of the cleanser, so there isn’t enough to remain on the skin as a serum?
  • Make the Cleansing Skincare Routine your own. This is your time to enjoy the special care you and your skin deserve. Have fun!


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