Best Japanese Cleansing Oil: The Ultimate Guide
When it came to introducing double cleansing in my skincare routine, I wanted to know what the best Japanese cleansing oil was. There are so many incredible cleansing oils in Japan, with products suited to every skin type. Though we all have unique skin needs and product experiences, I researched extensively to determine the most-loved products overall!
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
To put together this guide, I took all the bestsellers, award-winners and highest-rated cleansing oils, calculated their ratings (based on averages from multiple Japanese sites, and global ones too) and have ranked the best of the best below. This list includes the first cleansing oil I ever tried, the best Japanese cleansing oil overall and my current cleansing oil, along with plenty of other incredible options too.
Top 10 Best Japanese Cleansing Oils
These are the best Japanese cleansing oils based on their average ratings across multiple online stores both in and outside of Japan. See below for the (much) longer list!
Best Japanese Cleansing Oils
1. Top Rated Japanese Cleansing Oil
Kose Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil
This incredibly popular cleansing oil is also the highest-rated product overall! It has a super affordable price tag, making it a great starting point if you’ve never tried a cleansing oil before. People love that it leaves skin feeling soft and clean without an oily residue. What makes it unique, is that it can be used as a standalone cleanser, without the need for double cleansing. More details on the range here.
2. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin
Cow Brand Additive Free Makeup Remover with Oil
Developed for sensitive skin, this cleansing oil is from the Cow Brand cleansing range. It effectively removes most makeup without the need for scrubbing, and is gentle on delicate skin. It can also be used with wet hands or face, so can be used in the shower or bath.
3. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Hyaluronic Acid
Hada Labo Gokujyun Cleansing Oil
This cleansing oil is part of the Hado Labo cleanser range and contains two kinds of hyaluronic acid for intense hydration that leaves skin feeling soft and smooth. With an olive oil base for deep cleaning, it is a heavier-style cleansing oil that is gentle on the skin and removes waterproof eyeliner, waterproof mascara and sunscreen with ease. People love this stuff, it has no scent and can even be purchased in these handy refill pouches.
4. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Deep Cleansing
Kose Softymo Deep Treatment Oil
This product is the second most-sold and highly-rated in the Softymo Cleansing Oil range. When compared with the Speedy Cleansing Oil it has a slightly thicker consistency, has a light citrus fragrance and more effectively removes waterproof makeup. This means you can use a little less product per cleanse, and a bottle of Deep Treatment Oil might last a little longer.
5. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Makeup Removal
Biore Makeup Remover Perfect Oil
This makeup remover oil is the highest-rated product in the Biore cleansing range. It can be used even if the hands and face are a little wet, making it suitable for use in the shower or bath. It removes waterproof mascara and eyeliner and has a refreshing fruit fragrance.
6. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Dry Skin
DHC Olive Concentrated Cleansing Oil
DHC Olive Concentrated Cleansing Oil has been developed especially for dry skin. Like the other products in the DHC cleansing oil range, this olive oil based formula cleanses skin and unclogs pores. It dissolves sebum and makeup while nourishing and hydrating the skin. This gentle cleansing oil is a little thicker and heavier than the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil and has a rich, luxurious feel making it great for normal and dry skin types.
7. Japanese Cleansing Oil for All Skin Types
DHC Deep Cleansing Oil
This infamous product is known around the world and is a top-rated, award-winning, bestseller with a cult following. Great for all skin types, this signature product effectively removes sebum, dirt, sunscreen and makeup; including waterproof mascara and eyeliner. More on the DHC cleansing oil range here.
8. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Coix Seed
Sekkisei Treatment Cleansing Oil
This cleansing oil by Sekkisei contains coix seed, sesame and safflower oils, which help to soften the skin, reduce dark spots and clear pores. The oil spreads easily with a non-greasy finish and the product has a floral fragrance.
9. Lightweight Japanese Cleansing Oil
Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil
Designed to be suitable for all skin types, this lightweight cleansing oil can be used on wet or dry skin. It removes dirt and makeup (including foundation and waterproof eye makeup) to leave skin with a dewy look and feel.
10. Classic Japanese Cleansing Oil
Shu Uemura Ultime8 Cleansing Oil
One of the more expensive cleansing oils on this list, Shu Uemura is a holy grail product for many! First launched in the sixties, Shu Uemura produced the first cleansing oils in Japan. They offer a range of cleansing oils suited to different skin needs and this variant is legendary, suited for global skin concerns. This oil has a velvety texture, is super moisturizing and won the 2019 Best Cosmetic Award on Cosme.
11. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Makeup Removal
Biore Makeup Remover Moisturzing Cleansing Liquid
This makeup remover from the Biore cleansing range can remove stubborn waterproof eye makeup when left to rest a little longer on the eye area. It has a light texture, a floral fragrance and washes off in a milky emulsion.
12. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Makeup Removal
Bifesta Eye & Lip Makeup Remover
This product is a bestseller from the Bifesta cleansing range and has a staggering number of positive reviews. It’s an affordable eye makeup remover, that effectively removes waterproof mascara without leaving a greasy film. It is suitable for sensitive skin and doesn’t sting the eyes or leave them feeling cloudy.
13. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Combination, Oily or Acne Prone Skin
DHC Pore Cleansing Oil
This cleansing oil has been specially developed for those with combination, oily or acne-prone skin. The olive oil based formula works to thoroughly cleanse, removing sebum and makeup such as waterproof mascara and eyeliner. The cleanser is designed to maintain moisture without clogging pores and is a little lighter than the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. More on the DHC cleansing oil range here.
14. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin
Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil
This oil is the most infamous and beloved product from the Fancl cleansing range. It has topped numerous beauty lists, including best Japanese cleanser in the Cosme awards in 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019. Just take a look at the reviews, people love this stuff! A preservative-free cleansing oil, it removes makeup and leaves skin feeling soft and moisturized. Suitable for sensitive skin and can also be used on the body, such as the chest and back.
15. Luxury Japanese Cleansing Oil
SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil
SK-II is a luxury skincare brand, known for their signature magic ingredient pitera. This two in one cleansing oil contains their signature ingredient and removes makeup, mascara and sunscreen. Like the Shu Uemura range, it is one of the more luxury cleansers this list.
16. Top Japanese Cleansing Oil on Cosme
Attenir Skin Clear Cleanse Oil Aroma Type
Attenir is a brand that tends to be less well-known outside of Japan, but constantly tops beauty lists within the country. This particular cleansing is an award winner and has been ranked as the top cleansing oil on Cosme for quite a while now! It works quickly, has gentle brightening properties, contains an assortment of oils and has a relaxing aroma.
17. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Rose
Attenir Skin Clear Cleanse Oil Ultimate Rose
The above cleansing oil from Attenir is closely followed by this variation in rose. It contains rockrose oil to deeply purify and refresh skin and has a gentle fragrance. This limited edition product is also highly rated (a favourite for many) and may have limited availability.
18. The Original Japanese Cleansing Oil
Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil
The next most-loved product from Shu Uemura is this variation which is suitable for all skin types. It is the successor of their first cleansing oil product that was first released in 1967. It is a medium weight oil with a rosemary aroma.
19. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Oily and Acne Prone Skin
Shu Uemura Porefinist2 Cleansing Oil
Another loved product from Shu Uemura is this one, which is formulated for oily and acne-prone skin. The lightweight oil contains cinnamon bark and cherry extracts, has a floral aroma and is designed to help clear excess sebum and blackheads and regulate sebum secretion.
20. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Rose Hip Oil
Kanebo Mellow Rich Oil Cleansing
This cleansing oil by Kanebo contains rose hip oil and has a gentle floral fragrance. It has been designed to cleanse effectively, while still leaving skin feeling fresh and moisturized.
21. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Brightening
Kose Softymo White Cleansing Oil
This product is from the Softymo Cleansing Oil range and is focused on removing dead skin cells for a brightening (not whitening) effect. While the product is officially listed as fragrance free, many people still detect a slight citrus fragrance. This variant contains almond oil and rice bran oil and it also comes in handy refill packs.
22. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Dull Complexions
Shu Uemura Anti/Oxi+ Cleansing Oil
The next formulation from Shu Uemura is designed for dull complexions. It contains green tea, moringa and papaya extracts, and is designed to remove micro impurities and stubborn makeup. It has a fresh and relaxing fragrance.
23. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Sunflower Oil
Bifesta Pore Clear Cleansing Oil
This cleansing oil from Bifesta contains a blend of natural oils; including sunflower, rice germ, lavender and rosemary to nourish and moisturise the skin. More on the Bifesta cleansing range here.
24. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Jojoba Oil
Dr.Ci:Labo Natural Cleansing Oil
Dr.Ci.Labo describe themselves as Japan’s No 1 Medical Skincare Brand and this product is their highest-rated cleansing oil. It contains oils derived from jojoba, macadamia nut and sunflower seed, along with hyaluronic acid to effectively remove makeup and hydrate the skin.
25. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Apple
Cleansing Research Oil Cleansing Pore Clear
Cleansing Research is another Japanese brand that can be a little harder to find abroad. This product is designed to help remove keratin and clear pores. It contains olive, sunflower, jojoba, macadamia nut and rose hip oils. It also contains apple fruit extract and has an apple fragrance.
26. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Lavender
Ipsa Cleansing Oil Ex
This cleansing oil by Ipsa is designed to remove impurities and makeup from deep within pores and fine lines, leaving skin feeling fresh and smooth. It is a mild formula that is free of fragrance, colouring and alcohol and is suitable for sensitive skin. It contains lavender oil and chamomile flower extract.
27. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Orange and Eucalyptus
Hipitch Deep Cleansing Oil
Hipitch Deep Cleansing oil is a super affordable option designed to remove makeup and stubborn mascara. It contains orange oil and eucalyptus oil, giving it a distinct fragrance.This is another product that can be a little harder to source overseas.
28. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Rice Bran Oil
Senka All Clear Oil
Senka All Clear Oil is a makeup cleansing oil that contains silk cocoon essence and hyaluronic acid to protect skins moisture. Part of the Senka cleansing range, it also contains rice bran oil which gently removes waterproof mascara.
29. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Dull Skin Concerns
Shu Uemura Blanc Chroma Cleansing Oil
This Shu Uemura formula contains Japanese charcoal (binchotan) which has a brightening effect on the skin. It is designed to remove impurities and help even out skin tone.
30. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Safflower and Lavender
D Program Deep Cleansing Oil
The D Program range by Shiseido was born out for 50 years of research and is focused on the skin barrier function. This cleansing oil is hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin. It contains safflower and lavender oils.
31. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Lactic Acid
Dr.Ci:Labo Labo Labo Super Keana Oil Cleansing
Another cleansing oil from Dr.Ci:Labo, this one is focused on pore care (keana is Japanese for pores). It contains a combination of lactic acid and malic acid for gentle exfoliation along with hyaluronic acid and collagen. It has a gentle orange fragrance.
32. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Dry and Sensitive Skin
Curél Makeup Cleansing Oil
The Curél range is the result of years of dermatological studies. This gentle cleansing oil is enriched with ceramides and designed specifically for dry and sensitive skin.
33. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin
Muji Mild Oil Cleansing
It took me years to realise just how beloved Muji’s skincare products are! This cleansing oil is based around olive oil (along with jojoba seed and sunflower seed oils) and is gentle on the skin. Also contains orange flower water, peach leaf extract, apricot juice and hyaluronic acid.
34. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Botanicals
Three Balancing Cleansing Oil
Three is a high-end skincare brand known for their use of botanicals. Their cleansing oil is centred around grape seed oil, along with a whole array of essential oils (something to be wary of if you have sensitive skin). It contains frankincense, geranium, orange peel, petitgrain, camellia, palm fruit, olive, seaberry, pracaxi and jojoba oils.
35. Japanese Cleansing Oil for Delicate Skin
Shu Uemura Nutri Nectar Cleansing Oil
This Shu Uemura cleanser is a nourishing and gentle formula developed for delicate skin. It contains essential oils and has a gentle forest fragrance. Containing açai, magnolia and reishi mushroom, it was released in celebration of the the brands 50 year anniversary.
36. Japanese Cleansing Oil with Bergamot
Kracie Muo Cleansing Oil
The Muo range by Kracie is focused on developing additive-free products that are free from coloring, preservatives, mineral oil, stabilizers, synthetic fragrances, alcohol, silicone and sulphates. This lightweight oil contains bergamot, lavender and orange essential oils.
Bonus: Japanese-Inspired Cleansing Oil
Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil
And finally, this one is a little bonus mention. Tatcha is an American brand, developing products inspired by Japanese beauty traditions. Despite the high price point many people love this cleansing oil which contains camelia oil (tsubaki) and the brands trademark hadasei-3 complex.