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A Good Oil Slick: Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel (plus Dermalogica PreCleanse and Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil)

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I like to rub oil all over, really massage it around and around and around. Then I like to wet my hands and rub them over the oil. After that, I rinse thoroughly, follow with my Dermalogica Age Smart Skin Resurfacing Cleanser, rinse and briefly admire my super-clean face in the mirror. (Yes, briefly. Mostly.)

I first fell for cleansing oil when I tried Dermalogica PreCleanse (150 mL, $48 CAN/$33 US), a blend of botanical oils including olive and kukui, plus Vitamin E oil. Aces at dissolving long-wearing and waterproof makeup, water-resistant sunscreen and the day's sebum and debris, the oil goes on dry skin, becomes milky when water touches it, and rinses cleanly away to leave skin soft and bright. (I use my regular cleanser afterward because I have oily skin, but folks with dry skin don't need that extra step.)

After my affair with Precleanse, I hooked up with Shu Uemura Skin Purifier High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil (450 mL, $75 CAN/$62 US) and realized my passion for cleansing oil was more than a flash in the frypan: it was love.

And now I can't keep my hands off Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel. Made with Marula oil, at first Pure Melt ($36 at and $35 at has a texture between honey and silky smooth gel, then liquefies some into a light oil as it's massaged over the skin. Like the other oil cleansers, it emulsifies easily with water and rinses off without leaving residue. What I like best about this gel formula is that it makes the trip from fingertips to face without a single drip. Genius.

Next on my agenda is getting Clive-O into this oil-me-up game.

Dermalogica is available via select retailers and salons; Shu Uemura is available in Canada at Holt Renfrew and in the US via Clarins is available at select department stores, drugstores and Sephora. Image courtesy of Clarins.