This one is different.
Fans of oil cleansing use a variety of items and methods. From food stuff like olive oil and coconut oil, to cult favorite products from Shu Uemura to Tatcha. There's the double cleansing (oil first, then a detergent-type cleanser), and the single step, where washing away the oil with water is sufficient. The latter is typical to formulas that contain a foaming agent.
The new Camellia Cleansing Oil from Aroma M Beauty is inspired by geisha beauty routines and falls technically into the one step category. It washes off fully with water, taking away everything with it. My personal preference is to remove my eye makeup with a different product, even though the Camellia Oil is rather effective in dissolving mascara and eyeliner. But I prefer to do my deep cleansing without the gunky residue of eye makeup being smeared all over my face.
Aroma M Camellia Oil feels and works like a massage oil. You pour a good amount into your palms (I find the recommendation of 5-6 drops to be on the low side. I use at least ten) and slowly massage the oil onto your face, taking your time with it for best results. Like all good oils, Camellia Oil breaks down even the the toughest and thickest foundation or sunblock, draws out the gunk that clogs your pores, and softens the skin in the process. The massage itself is very beneficial for circulation and face muscles (see this Lisa Eldridge video for further discussion and some good techniques). To take it all of you only need water. The Japanese technique calls for washing it all off with warm water and then splashing your face with hen cold water. I don't find it pleasant, so instead I use a warm damp washcloth, but that's really my own issue.
The added bonus of the exquisite scent of the oil (Maria McElroy of Aroma M is an accomplished perfumer), one's old nightly routine becomes more luxurious and restorative. The first few seconds after cleansing you notice just how soft and smooth your skin is, but I'd highly recommend to use a serum and a moisturizer right away, as the cleansing process does remove everything from the surface and you need to add back moisture and nourishment.
Bottom Line: a highly effective treat.
Ingredients: Organic Camellia Seed Oil, Organic Rice Bran Oil, Organic Golden Jojoba Oil, Organic Vitamin E, Organic Essential Oils of Neroli, Yuzu, Rosemary and Frankincense.
Aroma M Beauty- Camellia Cleansing Oil ($40, but you can start by purchasing a $10 generous sample) is available from Aroma M website (link provided for your convenience as it's a bit tricky to navigate). The initial sample was sent tome for free. I have since purchased a full bottle.
Image: Kitagawa Utamaro: Three bijin, 1792