How can oil clean the face?

Cleansing oils are making a comeback, says Dr. Zoe Diana Draelos in her monthly Dermatology Times column, "Cosmetic Conundrums."

Amazingly, cleansing oils are making a comeback and are actually quite effective at removing waterproof cosmetics and sunscreens. Cleansing oils are a water-in-oil emulsion spread over the face with a cotton pad, rubbed, and rinsed away with water. The clear oil turns milky when water rinsed or mixed with water. Mineral oil, castor oil, and/or jojoba oil are commonly used. These products are excellent for removing waterproof mascara in patients with sensitive and/or dry skin. A cotton pad can be soaked with the oil and laid over the eye for a few minutes followed by water rinsing. Since waterproof mascara is devoid of water, only oil can solubilize the ingredients. Once the ingredients are solubilized, they can be easily water rinsed. This same technique can be used to remove waterproof sunscreens worn by swimmers without excessive scrubbing.