{Cleansing Oils} Josie Maran vs. Shu Uemura

Hello Lovelies,

With the weather getting colder, I thought it would be the perfect time to swap out my normal cleanser for a cleansing oil. 🙂

When I think of cleansing oils, I automatically think of the cult favorite: Shu Uemura. I went to purchase a bottle and was reminded of why I’d never picked up a bottle before… They’re so expensive! A bottle starts at $77 and can go up to $118 depending on the formula!

Argan oil has been getting a lot of buzz lately so I decided to pick up a bottle of Josie Maran’s Argan Cleansing Oil too. I’m a fan of Josie Maran and thought it would be fun to do a comparison between these two very popular products!

Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil vs. Shu Uemura Premium A/O


jm: $32 for 6 oz ($5.30 per oz)
su: $77 for 150 mL or 15.22 oz ($5.06 per oz).
Surprisingly, Shu Uemura is a better value in the green formula which is for anti-aging.


jm: Much richer/thicker than Shu Uemura. Almost too thick. Difficult to rub onto dry face.
su: Nice. Wasn’t as thick as I thought it would be.


jm: I like the light fragrance a lot. Very pleasant. A bit citrus-y.
su: Has a very faint fragrance that I’m not crazy about… but not bad.

How to use / Ease of use

Both are used the same way. A couple of pumps onto dry hands and work onto dry skin. Once evenly applied to face, add a little bit of water to your face to emulsify (will turn white and milky). Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. It takes a little more effort that a traditional cleanser, but I think it’s worth it.

The Josie Maran Cleansing Oil was very difficult to apply to dry skin. At times, the oil was so thick that my skin was irritated and red from all the rubbing.

Cleansing power

Cleansing oils can be a little messy to use because the oil dissolves the makeup and you end up moving it all around… but after you rinse with water, your skin feels super clean and soft. I likey!

To test the cleansing power of the cleansing oils, a beauty experiment was in order.
Here’s the 3 waterproof products I used in my experiment.
1. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero
2. Stila Stay all Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner
3. Maybelline Colossal Volume Express Waterproof Mascara

A side by side comparison of Josie Maran’s Argan Cleansing Oil and Shu Uemura’s Cleansing Oil.

The last row is after I rinsed and patted dry. Looks like Shu Uemura performed better! I’m impressed especially since my other cleansers were not able to remove the waterproof mascara at all. And~ that Stila liquid liner has amazing staying power… Click HERE for more cleansing experiments.

Overall thoughts:

I highly recommend the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil. It performed well and although I still think it’s quite expensive… at least it’s a better value than Josie Maran! If you’re still hesitant about trying cleansing oil, start by swapping out your regular cleanser a few times a week. I personally like to use the cleansing oil every other night.

If you have dry skin:

Give it a try especially during the dry, cold months. Your skin will thank you.

If you have oily/acne prone skin:

I know it seems counter intuitive to put oil on your oily skin… but it can actually help your skin produce less oil. Using sudsy cleansers can strip your skin of moisture which can cause your skin to compensate for the loss by producing more oil! So by gently cleansing without stripping your face of essential oils, your skin will actually produce less oil. Hey, it’s worth a shot especially during the winter. You know there’s no way in hell you’d try this in the summer. 😉

Ready to try? Here are the various Shu Uemura formulas (click for full descriptions)!

White: For dry and sensitive skin.
Green: Anti-aging formula.
Blue: For dull, tired skin. Promises to brighten.
Pink: Tightens pores and refines skin.
Orange: Ultimate oil for your best skin.

Have you tried cleansing oils?! What’s been your experience?
Hope this review and comparison has been helpful!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bloglovin



  1. leigh
    March 15, 2013 / 7:14 pm

    Dermalogica’s precleanse is amazing!!

    • May 27, 2016 / 2:46 am

      Never tried that one! Thanks for visiting and for the comment. 🙂

  2. December 18, 2012 / 3:04 pm

    I’m a HUGE fan of Shu’s cleansing oils. When I’m in the US I often neglect to buy them because it’s rather hard to get ahold of Shu products now in the US but when I’m back in Asia, I use the Shu cleansing oils almost exclusively. I find if you really give them time to sink in and massage them around, you don’t even need a makeup remover. And I love that they leave your skin hydrated afterwards.

  3. December 7, 2012 / 10:03 am

    I’ve just been testing the DHC’s deep cleansing oil – a (I think) cheaper alternative. It’s doing a pretty good job (removing almost all makeup and leaves skin feeling very soft). I too use it every other night or so. Perfect for winter!

    • December 7, 2012 / 12:55 pm

      Thanks for the tip! Next on the list to try! Xo ❤

  4. December 7, 2012 / 9:13 am

    Such a fantastic comparison. I have a sample version of JM’s Cleansing Oi and haven’t used it yet but I’ll give it a whirl. I know Shu has always ruled in the cleansing oil world so I was definitely skeptical over JM’s. Although I adore JM’s skincare products. Her sunscreen is amaziiiing!

    • December 7, 2012 / 9:35 am

      Seriously love Josie Maran’s sunscreen too… Cleansing oils are a first for me so it was a fun comparison. Thanks for reading and commenting! Hope you’re doing well during the last stretch! Xoxo