The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil Review

The YS Beauty Lab

If there was any takeaway for me in 2015 when it comes to skincare, it’s the truth about “YMMV.” The letters stand for “Your Mileage May Vary” and it’s a very good thing to keep in mind whenever you’re trying out anything new – a new hobby, new product or even a new job. My experience with The Face Shop’s Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil drove that lesson home for me.

The Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil enjoys a 100% average customer satisfaction rating and 28 reviews so far. For about US$16, you get 150ml of product in a very handsomely designed pump bottle. Instead of the usual cuteness that characterizes Korean product design, this one spells feminine elegance very clearly with its hint of pink against the matte, semi-transparent pump bottle.

Image from TheFaceShop.com

The Opposite
The name itself says “Bright Light Cleansing Oil” but for me, I found it rather thick. But then, other people may just find its texture acceptably light. Like the name implies, the oil counts rice bran oil or oryza sativa among the list of ingredients as well as jojoba seed oil. The oil itself is colorless but has a strong floral scent which actually disappointed me a bit as I was expecting it to be fragrance-free in keeping with its elegant design.

While I appreciate lovely scents on occasion, I’d rather do without them when it comes to products that go directly on my skin because more often than not, they can cause adverse reactions. I’m quite happy with how my skin looks now as opposed to my vicious battle with adult acne some years ago, and I don’t want to undo all that hard work, time and money.

Unfortunately, even after a small and uneventful patch test on my inner arm for 24 hours, the cleansing oil made my skin break out. I used it several times, and only by eliminating product after product in my daily skincare routine did I realize that the culprit was the oil.

Knowledge is Power
The oil’s first ingredient is Isopropyl Myristate and it scored a high of 5 for acne on COSDNA, a website where you can check a beauty product’s ingredients and any potential skin trouble triggers. However, I really have no accurate way of knowing if this particular ingredient was the cause of the adverse skin reaction. I can only say that I have learned that my skin isn’t only oily-combination but occasionally sensitive, too.


Screenshot of COSDNA ingredient analysis

That said, it’s better to always do a patch test first before trying any product. That and checking the ingredients for any possible irritants are a must. Google is your friend for that task.

Different Strokes For Different Folks
There are people who mentioned in their reviews that they have sensitive or acne-prone skin but this product didn’t cause any breakouts. Yay for them! I don’t begrudge them their good experience with this cleansing oil. Just like shopping for shoes or clothes with your friends, what looks good on them may not look good on you, thus YMMV.

(Left) Waterproof mascara, oil-free liquid foundation and burgundy lip color swiped on the skin and rubbed with the cleansing oil. (Middle) After 15 seconds of gentle rubbing. (Right) Wiped clean with a tissue. All gone!

However, the Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil does do its job well in removing makeup to make a second cleanse with a foaming facial wash more effective. The pump design dispenses just the right amount so you don’t waste any of the precious oil and it really is an elegant addition to your bathroom counter. However, if you have oily, acne-prone or combination skin like I do, use with caution.