Friday, December 18, 2009

Review: Shu Uemura vs Fancl Cleansing Oil

Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil has been my favourite cleansing oil for many years. I have tried other brands' cleansing oil but none worked as well as the Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil, so I have been sticking to it for many years.

Recently, I noticed that my face has more oil clogs than usual. These look like bumps on the skin and I can feel it when cleansing my face. When I try to extract it (which is a bad thing to do), some substance will get squeezed out. My facialist at Fancl terms this the 'toothpaste' because it gets squeezed out similar to a toothpaste. After a round of questions, she said that the Mild Cleansing Oil might be causing the oil clogs but it is just a preliminary guess. So I thought I might just take the chance to try out the Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula. The Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil also recently upgraded to a new version so I thought maybe the new version didn't suit my skin. I will compare the two cleansing oils in this review.

I bought my Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula in Korea as it was cheaper there (also due to some sales at the duty free).

Back to my review, texture wise, the Fancl MCO is more thick/viscous and less oil-like, doesn't drip and flow down my hand while massaging away the makeup. The Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil however, is more similar in texture to cooking oil, so it is more runny. I personally prefer the thicker Fancl MCO texture as it feels less like oil on my face and has a cushiony feel while massaging. The Shu Uemura is more runny and oil-like in texture so I prefer the Fancl one more.

In terms of how well the cleansing oil emulsifies on contact with water, Fancl also does better as it melts away into a milky solution on contact with water and face feels clean, whereas for Shu Uemura, it feels like I still have something on my face after washing off and I feel like I must quickly use a cleanser to wash it off more thoroughly.

I also think that Fancl has more cleansing power than Shu Uemura, so my face feels cleaner after washing off. Upon testing with Clinique Clarifying Lotion, I sometimes find some yellowish stuff on the cotton pad, which is leftover dirt on my skin when using Shu Uemura but this doesn't occur with Fancl MCO (I use the same cleanser both times - Fancl Washing Powder).

I bought the 450ml Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil and it works out to be cheaper than Fancl MCO when per ml cost was calculated (surprisingly!).

All in all, I prefer Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil to the Shu Uemura High Performance Balancing Cleansing Oil Advanced Formula, however as I am afraid that it might not suit me, I will be monitoring to see if there is any improvement with Shu Uemura and if anything happens when I switch back to Fancl.

4.5/5 Fancl;
4/5 Shu Uemura


  1. Unfortunately there are no Fancl available in Malaysia...

    I'm using Bobbi Brown Cleansing Oil at the moment. I would say Shu Uemura so far is still the best cleansing oil for me and my family(mum+sis). Bobbi Brown will leave a sense of oiliness even after double-cleansing with cleanser. My eyes sometimes feel irritated after using that too.

    Besides, GreenTea is known to be the best among the Shu Uemura Cleansing oil series. =)

  2. Hi,

    I really like the way you review products, very clear and to the point. I have been using Fancl cleansing for 6 years and still love it but I had the same problem with you, I started having those small little bumps on my skin! So I am thinking if I should change to Shu Uemura too since some of my friends say is good.Tell us more when you monitor your face condition of using the different products yeah.. looking forward to your review!

  3. Hi,

    Thanks! I suspect that the new Fancl cleansing oil formula might not suit our skin that well. I didn't have any problems with Shu Uemura. I also tried Muji Cleansing Oil and didn't get any bumps! =)

  4. hi can i check when you, i am using the fancl cleansing oil to remove makeup. after removing do i need to cleanse again with facial foam? i realised my skin is getting dry because after i remove my makeup using fancl cleansing oil i use biotherm facial foam. please advise. thanks.

  5. Hi, yes you must use a facial cleanser after using Fancl cleansing oil, that's what the Fancl staff emphasise as well.

    From experience with Fancl mild cleansing oil, it does not dry out the skin, so it might be your facial cleanser that is too drying for you. Try another cleanser that is not so drying, for example Fancl washing powder and Avene.

  6. thanks! i also suspect is my biotherm facial foam doesn't match well with fancl mild cleansing oil. for Avene, is it in green color the facial foam

  7. The Avene green coloured facial foam is for acne-prone skin. If your skin type is normal to combination, you should get the soapless foaming gel or gentle gel cleanser (this one doesn't foam much i think, havent tried it).

  8. Good that I bump into your review cos I'm debating now whether to try the fancl or stick to my Shu eumura.. I've been using Shu for years and I'm just thinking if it's worth to try fancl


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