FANCL vs DHC cleansing oils

FANCL and DHC are both popular Japanese cosmetic brands with very skin health focused vision, minimal packaging and the best selling cleansing oils in Japan. Both FANCL and DHC also produce Vitamins and supplements for various health concerns, diet, detox etc. Today I'm doing a comparison post of these two cleansing oils, in the same manner I did my Heimish vs Banila co. cleansing balm review. Without testing yourself it's difficult to choose one over the other, especially if you're shopping online, and I hope this post will aid you in deciding which one you'd like to pick up. 

FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil

FANCL is advertises its skincare being preservative free and suitable sensitive skin types. These are marketing claims to me (usually all skincare is somehow preserved), but it gives you and idea of the brand philosophy. The packaging is very clean, minimal and fuss free. The usual packaging is plain blue, but in the 1st picture you can see a limited edition(?) artwork version. FANCL does no test on animals, but is sold in China where animal testing is required by law. FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil retails for 120ml/¥1,836

FANCL Mild Cleansing Oil Ingredients

Cetearyloctanoate, Butylene Glycol Diisononanoate, Polyglyceryl-10 diisostearate, Octanoic acid, Polyglyceryl-20 Octaisononanoate, Diphenylsiloxy Phenyl Trimethicone, Polyglyceryl-20 Hexacaprylate, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Dimethicone, Behenic acid, Phytosteryl / isostearyl / cetyl / stearyl / behenyl, Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Stearoyl Inulin, Dextrin palmitate

Most of these ingredients were unfamiliar to me and I couldn't find an official English translation, so here's what's listed on FANCL website and I translated with the help of COSDNA. Fortunately, FANCL decodes the ingredient list on their own website: The Mild Cleansing Oil consists mostly of emollients and emulsifiers with only two mildly potential irritants according to COSDNA. I very much liked FANCL, the only thing that annoyed me was it ran out quickly (120ml) and I wish they sold this in a larger bottle instead of double pack.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil

DHC (Daigaku Honyaku Center) bases its philosophy around the health benefits of virgin olive oil. Their cleansing and facial oil both are olive oil based. If you know you're sensitive to certain oil, such as olive, choose according to your needs. In the pictures I have their limited edition Alice in Wonderland packaging, otherwise the packaging is clear, plain plastic bottle. DHC also does not test on animals, but they do sell their products in China. Their cleansing oil retails for ¥1,486/120ml or ¥3,000/300ml (various sizes available).


Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sorbeth-30 tetraoleate, pentylene glycol, phenoxyethanol, tocopherol, stearyl glycyrrhetinate, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf oil

Although there's no 'fragrance' listed, but caprylic/capric triglyceride is a perfuming (and skin conditioning) ingredient quite high up in the INCI. Compared to the FANCL, DHC has a slight clean scent to it, but nothing overpowering. DHC also uses a preservative, phenoxyethanol, if using a preservative is a concern to you. Otherwise the ingredients are a couple of plant extracts, emulsifier and moisturiser. On COSDNA, DHC has a low amount of irritants or potenttial acne causing ingredients: the same vitamin E FANCL uses and DHC signature olive oil. Personally I don't find any of the ingredients irritating me and I can well use it around my eyes to remove any mascara and other make up.

User experience

Although oils remove make up, alone they aren't cleansing enough. That's why in most cleansing oils there's an emulsifying agent and both FANCL and DHC perform it nicely. First, massage the oil into your face with dry hands, then wet the hands lightly and massage again, letting the emulsified cleanser do it's job. There's no foaming, just a slight milky texture. Both FANCL and DHC remove any dirt, hard to remove make up and sunscreen from my face. I don't use waterproof mascara, but I believe you could use these cleansing oils to gently remove any waterproof make up as well. They rinse clean without leaving any residue or film on my skin. Best of all, my dry skin doesn't feel tight when I go to my second cleanse.


I've tried many cleansing oils from Korean drugstore brands to Japanese high-end THREE or Shu Uemura, but nothing so far has beaten FANCL and DHC. Oddly, I was sure I'd find a winner taking a look at the ingredient lists, but as I'm no chemist I couldn't find a faulty or advantage in favour of one over the other. I think they're both excellent and inexpensive cleansers and you'd be happy with either of them. Choose FANCL over DHC if you're very very sensitive or can't tolerate/enjoy olive oil, otherwise I'd go for which ever is easiest to access with a decent price. Next time in Japan I'll be buying both.

What's your current favorite cleansing oil?

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