Review: Muji Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin [or An Ode to the Best Thing since Multi Grain Sliced Bread]

20141106_143036Sometimes the best products are taken for granted and you end not forgetting to review it for your blog. Well not this time! All hail the Muji Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin. It is the best invention since multi-grain sliced bread!

It is a viscous, thick oil that cleans all my makeup however waterproof/resistant/non-budge they are.

There’s no tugging as the thick oil does the work for you, just help if along with a little massaging. I couldn’t even imaging going back to cleanser and cotton square which feels harsh now.

After sufficiently spreading the oil all over your face, and massaging all around, it rinses squeaky clean with water and very minimal effort. This is my main gripe with other cleansing oils – they all seem to leave a thin film of something-something. And believe me, I’ve tried many, many brands, especially those more accessible in Indonesia.

Go to town with eyeliners as this thing don’t ever sting my eyes! Of course you shouldn’t squirt it into your eyes, but I’ve never found it to sting or give blurry visions if I get a little into my eyes while cleaning up remnants of tight-lining.

Priced competitively and gives the expensive products a run for their money, e.g. Shu Uemura’s over-hyped snake oil. I’ve encountered at least 4 people who switched to Muji from Shu. It is about $20 for 200ml; a 200 ml bottle lasts me at least 6 months. I only use it on days I wear makeup. Calculating, if per use is 1ml, then a bottle is 200 uses (or about $0.10 per use), so 6 months is about right.

For those so inclined, find the list of ingredients here. If you read Japanese, obviously you can read it on the bottle; I don’t, so I’ve crossed check that list with what other bloggers/sources say and indeed the list seems accurate. The sensitive skin one is olive oil-based, just in case you’re one with an actual sensitive skin, though no guarantees it will 100% with your sensitivities.

Anything not to like? That it’s not easily available, and not at all available at Muji stores Indonesia. Recently, even the whole island of Singapore don’t stock it, it seems. In Manila, three stores were called up before I located six bottles. If this thing got discontinued? I will swear myself of multi grain sliced bread. 🙁

What about the other variants? For many years I did not even try the other variants because the sensitive skin one works so well already, I couldn’t imagine anything working even better. It’s that good. Then I decided to buy a travel of the mild one. It cleans as well, but the squeaky clean feel after rinsing that I love? Not as satisfying as the sensitive skin one.

Go try and thank me later.

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Edit 14 January 2015

Here are ingredients for two variants:

muji sensitive skin cleansing oil
Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polysorbate, Sorbitan Oleate, Water, Pentylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Glycosyl Trehalose, Butylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Glycerin, Polyquaternium-51, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract

muji mild cleansing oil
C13-16 Isoparaffin, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Ethyl Oleate, Sorbitan Oleate, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Triolein, Dipropylene Glycol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Flower Water, Aqua, Butylene Glycol, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Tocopherol, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Juice, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Glycerin

Review: Kracie Naive and Rohto Hada Labo Cleansing Oils

Naive kracie and rohto hada labo cleansing oils
Kracie Naive (left) and Rohto Hada Labo (right) cleansing oils

Before I tried the Muji Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin, i tried others and found that they require double cleansing (following up the cleansing oil with a mild foaming cleanser), so it is not a superior cleansing method compared to others, e.g. the cleansing milk + foaming cleanser. This all changed when I tried Muji Cleansing Oil for Sensitive Skin, and I’ve been a convert ever since: one step cleansing (as the Muji rinses away squeaky clean) and no need for cotton balls!

But not all cleansing oils are created equal (duh!), and unfortunately Muji is not sold in Indonesia. I always keep stock of some Muji (they are sold elsewhere in Asia, e.g. Manila and Singapore), but I’m always in search for a substitute that is more easily available in Indonesia.

Kracie Naive cleansing oils are sold at the Watson drugstores here, and I’ve heard they’ve been available at least since a year back. I rarely go into malls, and the ones I’ve been too never stocked these, until I briefly went into Artha Gading Mall a few days ago. There was a Watsons, and quickly I scanned the skincare section and voila! There it was.

Like most cleansing oils, the Kracie Naive cleansing oil is clear, and to be used as per usual way with these things: apply on a dry face and rinse off with water. There is a very soft fragrance that is not at all overpowering. The cleansing ability is ok, and I found it removed most makeup, although there was still some eyeliner around my under eye area when I tried this.

The first ingredient in the Kracie Naive cleansing oil is mineral oil, although it does contain olive and sunflower seeds oils. It’s made in Japan, is 250ml and costs about Rp100,000, a very good price as cleansing oils go. A couple of interesting things that I noted. The label outside says it can be applied with wet hands. I did try that, and of course it is not AS GOOD as if you apply with dry hands and dry face, because water will just dilute the cleansing power soon. Also, the instructions said to pump 4 times for one use. I DID NOT try that. What are you kidding? Even one full pump is too much for me. Four is just draining, unless what they mean is four tiny squirts.

The second cleansing oil I tried is from Rohto Hada Labo. The Hada Labo line has just entered the supermarkets in Indonesia, and you can find cleansers, lotions and creams in most supermarkets (I buy mine at Giant). However, the cleansing oils I never could find until that eventful half hour visit to Artha Gading Mall, where I found this at Century, and cost about Rp67,000 for 100ml. The size of the bottle is quite small compared to other cleansing oils, so it’s quite handy for travel, as there is no pump that could break and the bottle is secure (I’ve taken it on one trip). This cleansing oil is made in Indonesia (under license and control by Rohto Japan).

The Rohto Hada Labo cleansing oil does not contain mineral oil, and the first in the ingredient list is Ethylhexyl Palmitate (a derivative of palm oil), and there are olive and jojoba oils in it. Well, at least I think it’s jojoba – Simmondsia chinensis as the list is so small I almost crossed my eyes trying to read it. Haba Labo’s signature ingredient, the hyaluronic acid, is also present.

The cleansing ability of Rohto Hada Labo is quite good, it clears away all makeup and oils off my face. It is slightly thicker in texture than the Kracie Naive one. But one thing they both have in common: they do not rinse off squeaky clean with water. So the verdict: Muji still makes my favorite one and I will keep looking for an alternate. However, if I’m asked to choose between Kracie Naive and Rohto Hada Labo I’d choose the former because of its price.