The Ultimate Cleanser for Freaked-Out Skin

I am about as boring as it comes when it comes to washing my face. I’ve been using the same soap-free cleanser for years—I stockpile it religiously and I could do my choreographed system for removing my eye makeup and taking out my contacts in my sleep. Sure, I’ve dabbled with others, but I can almost guarantee that when I do, I will have a gigantic pimple on my face (skin science withstanding) before my head even hits the pillow that night.

Chalk it up to a moment of mass organizational breakdown, but I recently ran out of my much-relied-on favorite facial wash. There were no reserves in my linen closet and no delivery on the way. My only hope in sight was Aroma M’s Camellia Cleansing Oil ($40)—an amazingly scented gorgeous bottle of just about every kind of essential oil you can imagine that I had brought home with me to use as a body oil (which is totally not it’s recommended purpose, but I loved the scent so much that I wanted to use it on my legs).

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Full disclosure: I was afraid to use it on my face because it was so massively unlike anything I am used to. It’s made up only of oils (the star is, like the name suggests, the super antioxidant of camellia oil) and has a really rich and emollient formulation that softens skin the second you apply it. Creator Maria McElroy suggests leaving it on your face/neck for three to four minutes, then washing with warm water for two minutes, followed by cold water for another two. It’s honestly more of a ritual than a wash-and-go routine, but it gives you a really nice way to end the day and it literally takes off every trace of makeup, minus the need a separate eye makeup remover step. The result: Really, really soft skin that has had zero indication of a breakout brewing in the two weeks I’ve used it. 

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