This Luxe Cleansing Oil Is Like a Cashmere Sweater for Your Face

Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil

Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil review: I was way older than I should have been when one of my friends finally took pity on me and recommended an oil cleanser. I was working at NYLON, editing a beauty section, and basically washing my face with Zest soap and not understanding why my skin was periodically dry. Zest! It’s the body-soap equivalent of Pert shampoo-and-conditioner-in-one.

Somehow a bottle of Shu Uemura’s oil cleanser fell into my lap. TBH, I loved it, until I showed it off to a makeup artist and she basically swatted it out of my hands, sort of like how this salmon bounces off this bear’s head.


Too many chemicals, she said. She made two recommendations in its stead: a cleansing oil from a boutique Austrian brand (“They pray over the plants before creating the oils,” she literally said, not mentioning it’s like $150 an ounce) and Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil. I went with the one that cost less than $100 a bottle.

Let me say: This was an excellent decision. Tatcha’s oil feels rich, like summer on Nantucket rich, clam bakes on Block Island rich, buying an island and trying to declare it an independent country rich. (This is a real thing btw.) The oil itself is absolutely silky. It leaves my skin with a subtle sheen (a sheen, not a glow, but fair enough). And it washes off with water without leaving a residue.

Some questions I am prepared to answer:

How well does Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil remove makeup?
Very well, though note that I’m not wearing anything that would require a labor-intensive removal effort (or indeed, a double cleanse). Truth, sometimes I’m skeptical that it picked up every last chemical remnant of my sunscreen, but I haven’t broken out since I started using them together, so … so far, so good.

Does it improve skin texture?
Minimally, and not as well as Tatcha’s Water Cream, which does it extremely well.

Is Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil gentle?
I don’t have particularly sensitive skin, so it’s kind of like asking if I’m annoyed when I come home to visit my mom and she makes pierogies: This question does not compute! I am delighted! I actually have to screw up to irritate my skin, like recently, when I applied Sunday Riley’s Good Genes twice within a few hours of each other, and frankly, that f-ing hurt. That said, it did not make my face twinge in the slightest, so if nothing else I can attest that it won’t irritate anyone with exactly my skin (not particularly sensitive, combination, etc. etc.).

Does it leave skin feeling refreshed?
Yes, but not as much as, like, a bowl of watermelon refreshes my heart. On the refreshing/energizing versus relaxing scale, I would put it at the relaxing end of the spectrum, not least because it smells incredible, like a wedding held on a beach overlooking the ocean and a rose farm.

Does it absorb well without leaving residue?
I am very sensitive to residue, and will clarify if I need to (face/hair/body/etc.). I don’t notice any particular residue.

Get it here.