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Your Oil Cleansing Questions Answered

Q&A with Co-Founder, Tara 

Cleansing Oil is a baffling concept: Clean your face, but do so by rubbing oil all over it. Whaaaaaaat?!

Most of us think of oil as enemy number one when it comes to our faces. This can be especially true if you’ve struggled with combination skin or acne and you’ve spent most of your life trying to rid your face of pore-clogging oil. Adding the right kind of oil to your skincare routine can actually help balance your skin’s oil production and make the skin cells on your face healthier (read: less pimply and frankly less pissed off).

Cleansing oil is especially wonderful for those of us blessed with the maddening paradox of dry AND acne-prone skin (hi, I see you!), but in the winter, so many of us, regardless of skin type or skin woe, can find soothing luxury in its properties and application method.

We talked to Tara to help us understand Cleansing Oil better. Read to the bottom for the detailed application method (and video! with cats!).

Q: Why Did You Decide To Make An Oil Cleanser?

A: I found out that my little sister was using Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil to remove her makeup, because we didn’t have a makeup remover in our line. So initially, I formulated it and launched it as a “makeup remover.” At the time, I didn’t think people would buy it if we called it a Cleansing Oil, but over the years, we recommended it to so many folks with dry and sensitive skin as their daily cleanser that it made sense to rename it. In the spirit of multipurpose products, it’s a makeup remover AND a cleansing oil. You know how much we love multipurpose products.

Q: Who Is It Good For? Skin Types?

A: It’s great for all skin types, but it’s especially helpful for folks with dry, acne-prone skin. Some people love it only for the winter, if they experience dryness then, but I think it’s good for your face year-round.

Q: Can You Explain How This Works?

Like, How Does The Oil Actually Clean?

A: Cleansing oil binds to the pore-clogging oils on your face (your natural sebum, but also any oil that is left over from makeup or other products) and carries it away when you remove it. Our cleansing oil is really effective at clearing skin of oils that might lead to breakouts, without stripping your skin of its natural oils. When skin is stripped of oil and becomes too dry it may overcompensate by producing even more oil. Cleansing oil is all about balancing skin, rejuvenating skin cells, and boosting circulation to make your skin super healthy.

Q: Do You Have Any Tips Re: Application?

A: This is where your experience with cleansing oil can be either good or bad—it’s all about using it properly.

To remove makeup, you can simply apply to a dry face and remove with a dry cloth or our beloved Marley’s Monsters cotton pads.

To cleanse your face, you want to apply and massage into dry skin in a gentle, upward motion. Then take a wet washcloth that is a little warmer than lukewarm but NOT hot and place over your face for a few moments (you’re kind of steaming your face and also getting some sweet aromatherapy in). I think this routine is so soothing at night.

Wipe the oil away with the washcloth. You can then repeat if you want or if you’re wearing a lot of makeup.

Q: What If You Don’t Wipe It All Off—is That Ok?

It’s meant to be wiped completely off.

The point is that the cleansing oil carries away the dirty oils, so to truly get your face clean you should try to wipe it completely off. That being said, there will be a small amount that stays behind and re-conditions the skin (softening and balancing out oil production). But that small amount is left with any product you wipe away, and it won’t hurt your face in the least.

Q: Can You Talk About The Ingredients A Little Bit?

Why Hazelnut Oil?

A: Hazelnut oil is astringent, so it helps with blood circulation in the skin. Ultimately you want blood circulating in your skin, because you want the cells of your skin to be healthy, and your blood feeds and strengthens those cells. The coconut oil adds a really nice slip, so that the product can slide off your face, pulling the dirt-trapped oils that are already on your face.

Q: What Do You Like About This Cleanser?

A: I love the smell. I love that it’s silky smooth. I love that it acts like mineral oil but it’s plant-based.

Q: Can You Talk About the Aromatherapeutic Properties

of Lemon And Rose?

A: There’s actually no rose in this cleanser! We like to use a combination of Palmarosa (a grass with a rose-herbal smell) and Rose Geranium (a flower) to get a rose effect in our products.

These essential oils are just as (if not more) beneficial to skin than rose, and the plant gives it’s essential oil much more abundantly, so it’s more sustainable and a better price, which helps us keep this product affordable without compromising quality.

Rose Geranium and Palmarosa balance skin and are both antioxidants, which helps with skin damage from free radicals. Lemon is pore cleansing and also improves circulation.


Step 1

Pump a nickel-sized amount into the palm of your hand and massage over dry face and eyes using gentle, upward strokes.

Step 2

Wet a washcloth with very warm water, squeeze out a little, then place over face. Allow the washcloth to steam your face for a few moments, then wipe away oil with the cloth. You can do this a couple times if it pleases you!

Step 3

Pat face dry with a towel. Then proceed with your routine. We like to follow this with Toner and Face Oil, and then dab Repair Balm under our eyes. To use as a makeup remover: Apply a nickel-sized amount to a reusable cotton pad and wipe until makeup is gone.


The Meow Meow Tweet blog is a collaborative thought project between the founders of Meow Meow Tweet, Vera Kachouh, and Faye Lesser.


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