Thinking back, DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil and I were doomed from the start. I ordered a bottle online which cracked during transit and leaked everywhere. Excellent. (I was sent a replacement pronto though) Little hiccup aside, I was quite looking forward to trying a Japanese oil cleanser. (Japanese!!) Shu Uemura’s cleansing oils have held the number one spot in Asia for fifty years, with one sold every seven seconds, and the Deep Cleansing Oil isn’t far behind with one bottle sold every 10 seconds worldwide. Pretty impressive eh? And whereas Shu Uemura cleansers are mineral oil based, DHC uses olive oil. And DHC is so much more affordable.
The ingredients are short and simple:Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil - hydrating, rich in anti-oxidants (and non-fragrant)
Caprylic/capric triglyceride - moisturises and repairs the skin
Sorbeth-30 tetraoleate - a surfactant
Pentylene glycol - a solvent (removes excess sebum)
Phenoxyethanol - a preservative
Tocopherol - Vitamin E
Stearyl glycyrrhetinate - an anti-irritant
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil - fragrant plant extract
I’ve only used one oil cleanser before and that’s Origins Clean Energy (reviewed here) and I thought it’d be handy to compare the two:
- Ingredients: The top ingredient in both is olive oil. Clean Energy is a blend of oils, whereas Deep Cleaning Oil (DCO) is mainly olive oil and a surfactant for cleansing power.
- Fragrance: DCO is almost fragrant free (rosemary is at the bottom of the list so it'd be a small amount), whereas Clean Energy has loads of it in the form of fragrant essential oils - sweet orange, lemon, bergamot …
- Smell: I don’t recall Origins having any particular smell, but DCO has a distinctive plasticy smell… It’s a bit strange but not vomit inducing.
- Packaging: DCO comes in a pump bottle. Thumps up for being hygienic and easy to use. Clean Energy also comes in a bottle but with the pump sold separately. On the plus side, that means you could change the cap and pack it in a suitcase (assuming you were willing to risk an oil spillage). DHC’s bottle isn’t sealable, and it didn’t survive transit in a courier service so I don’t even wanna imagine how it’d fare in a luggage hold.
- Price: DCO is £21.50/200ml, Clean Energy is £21/200ml plus £2 for the pump.
- How long does it last? A 200ml bottle of Clean Energy lasts about four months so I'd assume DCO goes for the same.
You use the Deep Cleansing Oil as you would any other oil cleanser: a couple of pumps into dry hands, massage, add water to emulsify and rinse off with a flannel. As part of the ‘cleansing process’, follow up with a second cleanser. It removes make-up etc. thoroughly and leaves the skin feeling nice and soft - no problems here. The reason I stopped using it is because it might have caused/exacerbated a Vesuvius of a breakout. (Read that lovely post here) The spots calmed down after I stopped using it so I thought ‘hey, must be the olive oil’. I recently tried a new cleansing butter and just a few days later I felt little nasties brewing under the surface of my skin. After the waxes and synthetics, there is was again: olive fruit oil. I thought it MUST be the olive oil … ‘Cept that little theory is defeated by Clean Energy - which contains olive oil :/ Very strange indeed.
So now I’m on the lookout for a reasonably priced cleanser free of olive oil and synthetics ... any suggestions?