Test test 123: Josie Maran, Shu Uemura and Dior oil cleanser comparison

Most cleansers don’t get makeup off effectively, and most makeup removers needs to be followed with a cleanser. Eitherway, it’s a hassle, but oil cleansers are suppose to be super awesome at removing makeup AND cleanse! A true makeup remover and cleanser in one step that is appropriate for all skin types. I like my cleansers foamy and leaving my face squeaky clean, which is why I’ve never taken much of an interest in oil cleanser……until now. With the wintry weather comes dry, scaly and flaky skin. Oil cleanser are great for combination or dry skin since it leaves the skin moisturized, and the oil base helps breakdown whatever makeup residue you have left. Since oil cleansers have a makeup remover component as well as a cleansing component, I will be judging them from both perspective.OilCleansers

Currently I’ve got Josie Maran Argan Oil Cleansing Oil, Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil, and Dior Cleansing Oil in my possession so those are what I will be comparing today. Beauty magazines always claim that everyone can use cleansing oil, including oily skin type, I didn’t believe in them before but I believe in them now! Shu Uemura is not a famous brand for nothing…..

(reminder: A little giveaway for you, deadline 12/13)

Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil

Claim: “This effective, multitasking cleanser removes makeup and skin impurities while providing essential hydration. Almond, safflower seed, and grape seed oils cleanse the skin’s surface and renew the complexion, leaving it healthy-looking and refreshed. Ideal for all skin types, the non-greasy texture leaves skin feeling moisturized—never tight or dry.”

My take: It is a thick oil with a sweet floral scent, does not irritate around eye area. I applied to dry skin as directed, then added water and it turned slightly white into a milky consistency. It does not lather, was not too difficult to rinse off, and did leave my skin feeling clean and moisturized. It didn’t feel greasy, but because it did leave a bit of residue, I feel like this is only appropriate as a cleanser for dry/combo skin. It is not for oily skin or those planning to apply 2 or 3 more layers of products after this, if this is you, then read on!

Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil (green)

Claim: Ok, so I couldn’t match the label on my sample exactly to what’s on their website but they only have one green oil cleanser so I’m assuming that’s what this is. “Anti-pollution power blows away dull, yellow look. The innovative combination of moringa extract and green tea extract creates a result of glowing clarity and refined smoothness.
shu uemura introduces the innovative anti-pollution power of Moringa extract. Combined with legendary anti-oxidative Green Tea extract, it instantly captures and clears pollutants that accelerate aging stress. It’s our no.1 cleansing oil, reborn.

My take: It feels like a thin, lightweight oil and smell just like normal oil. It feels greasy when applied on dry skin, but emulsifies and become milky white after adding some water. It disappears completely as I rinse it off! It left the skin feeling clean but without that moisturized/residue feeling like Josie Maran, which I like better since I feel like the serum/moisturizer I use afterward can penetrate better. It is thinner in consistency, more oil-like and with less of a scent than the other two. I would say as a cleanser, this is appropriate for all skin types, dry, oily, acne-prone or sensitive.

Dior Instant Gentle Cleansing Oil

Claim: “Suitable for all skin types, this cleansing oil preserves the skin’s natural hydration for outstanding cleansing results. Even though it’s an oil, it leaves no greasy residue. Formulated with Pure Lily Extract, which is present in Dior’s Instant Cleansing Water, it helps inhibit skin inflammation, leaving the skin looking soft and supple.

My take: The consistency is like a liquid gel oil and sinks into the skin as you rub it on. It have a mild fresh floral scent, which did not irritate my eyes or my very sensitive skin (at time of testing) thankfully. It is not as thick as Josie Maran and did not turn milky/white when I added water. This is suitable for dry or oily skin, altho the scent is a bit strong and might be appropriate for those with sensitive eye area or sensitivity to fragrance.

As a cleanser, Josie Maran have a thicker consistency and would be more appropriate for dry skin while the other two can also work for combo/oily skin. But as a makeup remover, how did they do? I tested it out using Kat Von D tattoo liquid liner, Marc Jacob Highliner, Benefit Hello Flawless liquid foundation and Urban Decay lipstick.


I first blotted to set the foundation/lipstick, then rubbed the oil over it 10 times, then 20 more times. Josie Maran (JM) is the thickest so I suspect it needs more time to break down the makeup, but the makeup removing power of Shu Uemura (SU) is immediate! You can see the lipstick getting smudged within 10 wipes and eyeliners start disappearing after 20 more wipes. Dior (DI) works wonderfully at removing the liquid eyeliner but took a bit of time with the other makeup.

OilCleansers3Then I decided to rinse off the oil, then wiped it dry. Shu Uemura took off everything and left no hint of makeup or cleanser residue behind. Dior is fast at breaking down liquid liner but took awhile with other makeup. Josie Maran did end up taking all makeup off, but took awhile for it to work. I rubbed it in and rinsed in less than a minute, when it’s on your face, ideally you would massage the oil in and let it sit for a bit to breakdown the makeup (maybe give yourself a little facial massage while at it). Sure, you can use actual oils instead of oil cleansers, but they don’t remove makeup as well and does leave more residue/moisture behind, so I wouldn’t recommend it (or at least use the oil as a makeup remover, then a real cleanser afterward).

I was doubtful when magazines/companies claim that oil cleansers are for everyone, but I believe it now, as long as you find the right one for you. Shu Uemura definitely caught my attention, it works regardless of whether I have dry skin, oily skin or irritated skin and is on my to-buy list, since I can just tone and moisturize afterward instead of adding in a 2nd cleansing.


6 thoughts on “Test test 123: Josie Maran, Shu Uemura and Dior oil cleanser comparison

  1. This is an amazing comparison. I’ve been using the Dior sample I have and like it quite a bit. I have some of the Josie Maran I think, I may try it. My skin is dry but I do use a few products. I don’t have a sample of the Shu, I might have to look for that one!

    1. I’m not a big fan of JM oil, I feel like the moisturized feel/residue kind of prevents serum you use from sinking in. I did happen to use Dior cleansing oil, peony toner and One Essential serum together one night and it was magic! I like shu cuz it’s scentless, it does it’s job wonderfully then disappears completely, not interfering with anything.

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