Make up and beauty,  My opinion

The battle of the cleansing oils {Splurge vs Save}

In this corner….we have the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing oil! And in this corner, we have the Body Shop’s Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil! Who will prevail as the champ? Man I wish I had a mini boxing glove to put on the dispensers for this picture. lol.

I’ve never been big on caring what I used to clean my makeup off my face with, until I started watching YouTube and reading blogs. I was double cleansing, then I was using a cleansing cloth, then it was Micellar water. Now my thing is cleansing oil. I chatted about them in a post here if you want to check it out.

I was fortunate enough to win the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing oil a few weeks ago and I had all but abandoned my Body Shop Camomile cleansing oil until I realised the Kiehl’s one was going a bit too fast. After using both for a while, I decided to pit them against each other so we could determine if the two are similar products, considering they are at very different price points.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing oil – 175ml (RSP R650)

This cleanser is a really lightweight, oil cleanser that emulsifies with water to a cleansing milk.

It’s oil is enriched with an aromatic blend of pure botanical oils: Squalane, Evening Primrose Oil, rich in Omega-6 Fatty Acids, and Lavender Essential Oil. It is soap-free, sulfate-free and mineral oil free. It is also ophthalmologist tested for sensitivity in the eye area and I must say, this does not irritate my eyes at all.
The claim is also that the essential oil blend helps soothe inflamed or irritated skin while helping reduce skin blotchiness for a more even look. I definitely find that if I am battling with spots, this seems to calm my skin and helps to get rid of my spots sooner.

The Body Shop’s Camomile Silky Cleansing oil – 200mls (RSP R210)

This cleanser is similar to the Kiehl’s one, in that it emulsifies once water is added to the skin. Camomile is also really good for calming the skin and has anti inflammatory properties. This specific camomile extract is from Norfolk, England. I tried to check if there’s any reason this is special, but I didn’t see anything. If anybody knows more about why it’s mentioned, let me know in the comments below.
TBS is R1.05c/ml and the Kiehl’s is R3.71/ml. So this is a big difference. The oils look similar and sound similar, do they perform similarly?
The Kiehl’s oil definitely is less ‘oily’ and is runnier. The Body Shop’s one feels thicker on the skin and more oily. If I was using a cotton round, I could use the Kiehl’s and not feel the need to wash my face immediately. With The Body Shop oil, it would feel a bit oily on my skin, so I’d need to cleanse immediately.
To test these cleansing oils out, I cleaned each half of my face with a different cleansing oil. I used 2 pumps on each side, directly onto the skin, no cotton rounds. Side note: I feel the cotton rounds waste product, so I like to apply directly from my hand. I think both oils worked really well. If I had to nit pick, I think my mascara came off a bit easier on the Kiehl’s side, but that being said, I had no mascara marks on my towel after I cleansed my face on either side. Due to rubbing mascara off my lashes a bit more vigorously on the Body Shop side, I found my eye developed a bit of a reaction. My eye stung just a little bit, but my eyes are extremely sensitive at the moment. I need to stress that I use allergy drops and anti-histamines almost every single day for my eyes.

 I think The Body Shop’s cleansing oil is a good alternative to the Kiehl’s one. Depending on your pocket, I don’t think you can go wrong with either of these cleansing oils. I personally don’t know if I can afford to purchase the Kiehl’s one, but I do think it’s made a difference in my skin so I’d probably say if I really had money to burn (and with 3 kids, that ain’t never going to happen), I would get the Kiehl’s one. With The Body Shop always having fantastic promotions though, I will always have a bottle of this in my bathroom.

Do you use cleansing oils? If yes, what’s your favourite one to use?

I’m Simone, a mom of 3, a wife...obsessed with my family, makeup and books!


  • Melanie

    I am currently using the Camomile cleansing balm and I am loving it. One day I will try the liquid. The Kiehls oil sound so amazing as well. I would love to try their midnight oil as well. Loved your vs post.

    • Simone

      I really want to try the cleansing balm. That also seems to be a big trend now, the cleansing balms. Will definitely check it out next time I’m at the Body shop.

  • Nimmi

    Great post! The only oil I use for make-up removal is organic coconut oil but I pushed the breaks on that after I heard that coconut oil is comedogenic ???? I like miscellar water but I also find myself wasting cotton wool. The Kiehl’s oil really sounds like something worth saving your Rands for, especially since it didn’t irritate your eyes. But I appreciate that you featured a more affordable alternative as well.

    • Simone

      The wasting of cotton wool is really too much for me. I have a full bottle of Micellar water on the shelf so I will have to replenish the cotton rounds soon. lol.

      Thanks for reading <3

      • Emma

        I know what you mean! I am currently trying to find a make-up remover that removes make-up completely, doesn’t make my eyes sting, and is in a big container (value for money). The micellar water is NOT the best option for my sensitive eyes, but it’s the most affordable. I have not found a product that tops it WRT price.

    • Simone

      I see that cleansing balms are the new thing now. I’d love to try the Clinique one as well. The makeup world has gone insane…honestly. lol. Flip…too much to buy, everyday better that yesterday.

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