The Oil That Broke My Addiction to Face Wipes

For as long as I can remember, when it comes to easy and foolproof ways to remove makeup and infuse my skin with good-for-it ingredients, beauty wipes have pretty much ruled my world. Be it makeup wipes, retinol wipes, serum wipes, peel wipes—you name it, I had it stocked. To me, there was pretty much no reason not to use them, especially in the makeup-removing department. They’re quick to use, water isn’t necessary and the swipe-and-go bandwagon was so easy to jump on to—so easy that I didn’t think I’d ever come off (or want to!)—until I tried a cleansing oil that completely changed my mindset and my skin.

In the beauty arena, there are always a handful of “you have to try this” products floating around at all times and Shu Uemura’s Cleansing Oils ($31–$90) have long been one of the chosen few. Since the line’s inception (the original oil was created in 1967), each bottle in the lineup has been praised for its ability to remove every speck of makeup without skimping on the personalized skin care benefits. Willing to try any product out there (I am a beauty editor, after all), I finally decided to take the oils for a spin to see if they were everything they were cracked up to be—and to see if they stood a chance against my never-fail wipes. Naturally, I waited for a smoky eye, full-coverage foundation type of day to really test its power.

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It sounds cliché, I know, but I was absolutely hooked after my first try. One wash took off every drop of my heavy makeup like magic (including waterproof eyeliner and mascara) and did the job of multiple wipes in less time. The formula switches from a rich oil to a creamy, milky lather when a drop of water is added (it’s applied dry) for a seriously nourishing—and addictive—experience that somehow calms me down (the fragrance is heavenly). Not only was my day’s makeup completely removed with one pump of the oil, but my skin was also left soft to the touch and seriously hydrated minus any moisturizer. Though my personal go-to for my tricky combination skin has been the POREfinist Anti-Shine Cleansing Oil ($31 for 150 ml), there’s a formula for every skin concern and type from uneven texture and dullness to sensitive skin that needs some extra TLC.

Don’t get me wrong, no one knows better than I do that wipes are the first thing we all reach for when we’re too tired to get through our nighttime skin routine, but one crack at these oils will leave you excited to cleanse your face before bed, even on low-energy nights. And while I’m not waving good-bye to my beauty towelettes and wipes just yet (they’re so good for traveling and everyone has a safety blanket, right?), they did just get some serious competition on my vanity