DHC Cleansing Oil: Japanese Cleanser Guide


DHC cleansing oils have achieved cult status around the world. Their signature product is so popular that one bottle of DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is sold every 10 seconds worldwide. While this product is a classic, there are a few different DHC cleansing oils which are each suited to different skin types. Though they are produced in Japan, the product range differs in regions around the world. This guide is focused on the cleansing oils available in Japan, along with links on how to find them online (where possible!)

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

What is DHC Cleansing Oil?

DHC is a Japanese manufacturer, most well known for their skincare range. Since 1980 they have been producing cleansers that contain organic olive oil as a key ingredient. Olive oil is used for its nourishing properties that helps to hydrate skin without clogging pores.

DHC cleansing oils are designed to be used as the first step in a double cleansing skincare routine, an essential part of Asian skincare. The first cleansing step removes oil-based impurities such as sebum, makeup and sunscreen. This is followed by a second cleansing step which removes water-based impurities such as dirt and sweat, using another product (usually a foam, cream or powder face wash like this one).

The organic olives used in DHC products are grown in Spain; the largest producer of olive oil in the world. The olives are carefully handpicked and then crushed through a stone mill. The oil that flows during this process (before being pressed) is called Flor de Aceite (or Flower of the Oil) and is the magic ingredient in DHC cleansing oils.

Do I have to double cleanse with DHC Cleansing Oil?

Most cleansing oils should be followed up with a secondary water-based cleanser like this one. Double cleansing ensures the skin is deeply cleansed of impurities and helps to brighten dullness over time.

How do you use DHC cleansing oil?
  1. Cleansing oil should be the first step in your skincare routine. Wash your hands and let them properly dry. You’ll need a dry face and clean, dry hands to start.
  2. Place 1-2 pumps of the product into your hand and rub your palms together to distribute.
  3. Gently apply the oil all over your face and massage it in, using circular motions. Spend extra time on any areas with heavier makeup, such as the eyes and mouth. Be sure to keep your eyes closed. The oil will dissolve any sebum and makeup on your face.
  4. Rinse your hands, leaving a little water on them and then massage your face for about 1 minute. The water will cause the oil to emulsify on your skin, making it turn slightly milky.
  5. Rinse your face thoroughly with lukewarm water. Don’t use hot water as it will cause the skin to dry out, while cold water will not effectively remove the product. Rinse multiple times to ensure all product is removed from your skin.
  6. Pat your face dry with a clean towel.
  7. Follow with the next step in your skincare routine. These cleansing oils are ideally followed with a second cleanser, like this one!
DHC Cleansing Oil Comparison
DHC Deep Cleansing OilDHC Pore Cleansing OilDHC Olive Concentrated Cleansing OilDHC Deep Cleansing Oil Renewed and Brightened
Deep Cleansing OilPore Cleansing OilOlive Concentrated
Cleansing Oil
Deep Cleansing Oil
Renewed &
For all skin typesFor combination,
oily, acne prone skin
For normal and
dry skin
For normal and
combination skin
Lightweight oilLightweight oilHeavier oilLightweight oil
Olive fruit oil
Rosemary leaf oil
Vitamin E
Olive fruit oil
Evening primrose oil
Rice bran oil
Fruit extracts
Olive fruit oil
Oleic acid
Vitamin E
Olive fruit oil
Sohakuhi extract
Vitamin C
See priceSee priceSee priceOnly in Japan
What is the best DHC Cleansing Oil?

The following ratings are based upon the average product ratings across a range of Japanese (and global) beauty and shopping sites.

1DHC Olive Concentrate Cleansing Oil 4.4See price
2DHC Deep Cleansing Oil4.3See price
3DHC Pore Cleansing Oil4.1See price
4DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Renewed BrightN/AOnly in Japan

DHC Cleansing Oil Range

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

1. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

This infamous product is known around the world and is a top-rated, award-winning, bestseller with a cult following. This signature product is both a makeup remover and cleanser, making it suitable for the first step in a double cleansing routine.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil effectively removes sebum, dirt, sunscreen and makeup; including waterproof mascara and eyeliner. After the initial application, water is added to emulsify the oil. The product is then rinsed away with water; leaving skin feeling clean, smooth and silky.

The product is gentle and doesn’t really have a fragrance. It is formulated with organic Spanish olive oil, rosemary oil, liquorice derivatives and Vitamin E. The cleansing oil is suitable for all skin types and ages, including those with sensitive skin. This formula contains no coloring, no fragrance, no parabens, no alcohol and no mineral oil.

The cleansing oil is affordably priced and comes in both medium and large sizes. If you want to test it out, it also comes in these mini travel sizes which can be a handy place to start!

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DHC Pore Cleansing Oil

2. DHC Pore Cleansing Oil

DHC Pore 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.

This cleansing oil contains jojoba, coconut and argan oils to hydrate the skin and help with oil control, while calendula flower extract and sesame seed oil help soothe and calm the skin. Citrus extracts such as orange peel help to tone and brighten and give the product a gentle citrus aroma. This formula contains no coloring, no fragrance, no parabens and no alcohol. There are many adoring reviews for this oil, like this one which describes a reduction in the appearance of pores.

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DHC Olive Concentrated Cleansing Oil

3. DHC Olive Concentrated Cleansing Oil

DHC Olive Concentrated Cleansing Oil has been developed especially for dry skin. Like the other products in the 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.

This cleansing oil contains oleic acid which helps to lock in moisture and prevent discoloration, while Vitamin E is a natural skin conditioner. This formula contains no coloring, no fragrance, no parabens and no alcohol. It has pretty outstanding reviews, especially for those with dry skin and also for use during winter.

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DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Renewed and Brightened

4. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Renewed & Brightened

And finally, this product was released in April 2020 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. This renewed formulation is based on the original, with a focus on brightening to help achieve clear, transparent looking skin. It contains jojoba, rice bran, coix seed (jobs tears) and grapeseed oils, along with sohakuhi (mulberry) extract and Vitamin C. It has a refreshing green fragrance.

Currently only available for purchase in Japan.

Is DHC cleansing oil good for sensitive skin?

All of the oils are labelled as suitable for sensitive skin. The only ingredient to note is the rosemary leaf oil used in Deep Cleansing Oil which is a potential irritant for some people. The oils are holy-grail products for many people with sensitive skin.

Is DHC cleansing oil good for oily or acne-prone skin?

If you have oily or acne-prone skin you can use Pore Cleansing Oil which is formulated for these skin types or the regular Deep Cleansing Oil. If you’re prone to oiliness it’s especially important to follow either of these products with a secondary cleansing step. This ensures the skin is totally clean and any product residue is removed.

While there are many glowing reviews for improvements with acne, it’s worth noting that the Pore Cleansing Oil does contain sesame seed oil, coconut oil, evening primrose oil and ethylhexyl palmitate which can all potentially block pores.

Is DHC cleansing oil good for dry skin?

If you have dry skin you can either use the regular Deep Cleansing Oil or the Olive Concentrated Cleansing Oil which is specially formulated for dry skin. Many people with dry skin have great results with both products.

Can I use DHC cleansing oil even if I don’t wear makeup?

You can still use cleansing oils, even if you don’t wear makeup! Cleansing oils are still an effective skincare step as they remove sebum and sunscreen from the skin.

How do I find authentic DHC products?

Many reviews on Amazon report receiving fake products that unfortunately don’t appear to be legitimate DHC formulations. There are many sellers on Amazon selling these cleansers, and they often share product detail pages. DHC are an official seller on Amazon, so you just need to check the seller to ensure you receive an authentic product. To check, go to a product page like this one and look on the right hand side beneath the price. It will show who the product is sold by and who it ships from. Ideally your products should be sold by DHC USA and fulfilled by Amazon. Alternatively, this link will take you to their product listing on Amazon.

How long does DHC cleansing oil last?

A large bottle can last around 2-6 months depending on the amount of product you use and your cleansing frequency. Based on various user reviews, if using one pump of product, once per day, a large bottle can last up to 6 months.

More from our series on Japanese Cleansers:

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