Recommended: The Sanctuary Therapists Secret Facial Oil

Last week I was flicking through the online pages of and read about a new facial cleansing oil by The Sanctuary, hotly tipped to be one of THE beauty products to watch for in 2012. The morning it was announced on Stylist, the Sanctuary had so many calls relating to its launch that the set up a waiting list and then proceeded to bring the launch forwards. I was intrigued and as I’m reaching the end of my favourite Eve Lom cleanser, in a fit of spontaneity I purchased the Nourishing Oil Duo to test for Florence Finds.

Now, it should be said that cleansing oils are not new to the market – most notably Shu Uemura’s cult facial cleansing oils. Several other companies have branched out into similar products as a result. I know there may be many of you out there thinking that they can’t imagine anything worse than using an oil to cleanse with, but I have been a convert ever since starting to use Eve Lom over 3 years ago. My skin tends towards breakouts but is really quite dry and it took me a long time to realise that by not feeding my skin properly, I was stressing it out more and making the breakouts worse. Don’t get me wrong here, acne needs to be correctly treated by your doctor as it is caused by bacteria and hormonal imbalances, but the correct skin care for your skin type can help contribute to happier skin all round. Eve Lom is also a blend of oils which melt into the skin and as a result, I wasn’t averse to trying this out as an alternative.

Now, I don’t need a moisturiser, but I thought I’d buy the combination as recently I’ve been feeling that my skin isn’t truly hydrated. Winter has taken its toll, plus the ravages of ski-ing and it’s just that time of year when I start to think about what I can do to perk things up a bit. As facial oils are often recommended, I thought I would give that a go too, why not?

First up, Sanctuary ultimate facial cleansing oil. The instructions suggest you use 2-3 pumps of oil (what looks like a small amount on your hand, but actually goes a long way once on your face,) and massage it in to the face thoroughly. You then add a few drops of water and repeat, emulsifying the oil and rinse off with warm water. Believe it or not, you are left with very soft clean skin and none of the taught feeling or dryness you may suffer from with most cleansing or foaming washes. You can also cleanse twice for an extra deep clean.

I have to say, I really missed the exfoliating action of the muslin cloth I normally use so added it in to help remove the oil. my only other complaint was that it didn’t remove my eye make up like Eve Lom does, BUT that’s because I’m lazy and don’t like using a separate remover. It does smell lovely though – quite herbal and relaxing.

Next, I tried the Therapists facial cleansing oil as a moisturiser afterwards. Again, 1-2 drops of oil are recommended to sweep across the skin after cleansing. I really liked it – there was no oily residue on the skin afterwards and my skin looked quite hydrated, smooth and fresh. I had a good close up look at any fine lines I’ve seen as a result of dryness and think they are better after using the oil. I also find that after using it at night, the next morning my skin is no more oily – adequately hydrating the skin seems to prevent it then overcompensating for dryness by producing extra oil and I don’t clease at all in the morning – a hang over from using Eve Lom but I didn’t feel any need to even freshen my skin with water the morning after.

The Florence Finds verdict? If you fancy trying a cleansing oil, the Sanctuary one is reasonably priced and does its job quite well, especially for drier skins or those needing a post-winter moisture boost. However, my find of the week definitely goes to the Therapists oil – a new favourite product of mine and one I’d definitely recommend for normal and dry skins, for soothing and softening moisture. I love it!

I’d love to hear if any of you have used a cleansing oil or facial oil or have tried or heard of this particular one – please share your comments in the box below!


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21 thoughts on “Recommended: The Sanctuary Therapists Secret Facial Oil

  1. Brilliant. I’ve been a. Sitting on my Boots points for 3 years and b. Meaning to try an oil cleanser for ages. I always thought my skin was combination but actually it’s just dry and a little bit delicate. This is on the list!


  2. I’m a recent cleansing oil convert. Another Eve Lom fan, it was getting a bit expensive so I decided to switch. I was browsing through duty free over Christmas and I purchased this: My skin seems to really like it. I either massage a little bit in and then wash it off or I use a muslin. Either way I find that my skin feels really smooth and not at all tight or dry after washing, just properly hydrated. It’s really helped even out my combination skin and I love the herbal citrus smell. I’d definitely recommend this one. x

  3. I use Nude Skincare cleansing oil and either their night oil or Karin Herzog night oil under my moisturiser. It literally changed my life. No over-dramatics!

    My skin was so much less stressed and it saved so much time in the evenings before bed, and like you say, less drama about moisturising I’ve the course of the day. I was having so much trouble with my skin and this helped solve so many of the problems.

    For such a wonder product it’s also not a bad price. However my usual place of purchase is out of stock and I need to replenish ASAP so I might try the Sanctuary one! Thanks for the tip! 🙂

  4. I use Dermalogica pre-cleanse oil combined with a gel cleanser. It is amazing, even takes off waterproof mascara! It leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and I haven’t had a breakout in months.

  5. I have used the Dermalogica pre-cleanse oil before and not only is it good, it smells amazing! I’m also an Eve Lom fan and when I’m not using it, the muslin cloth is a must have as I miss it’s gentle exfoliation. At the minute I’m moisturising with Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil – nice and soothing, hydrating and definitely doesn’t cause excess oil production. I think that means I’m a fan of oil based products! 🙂

    Haven’t tried a proper cleansing oil yet but might give it a go soon…

  6. Another Nude fan here, their Replenishing Night Oil is brilliant it really is. I have also used their oil based cleanser too which was lovely but there are so many other products I wanted to try so I haven’t stuck with it, plus it’s not cheap!

    Rebecca, I too am prone to breakout and agree that whilst a good skincare routine wont solve a problem it can help it along. I never used to use a moisturiser thinking my skin didn’t need it but have recently gone back to using a light moisturiser (for sensitive skin) morning and evening and using the nude night oil and few times a week and it has transformed my skin. I think moisturising is so important no matter what your skin type.


  7. Last time I went to the Sanctuary Spa in London (I make an annual pilgrimage there 🙂 ) I was recommended a prickly pear rose scented facial oil by La Sultane de Saba. Not cheap, but a few small squirts is all that needed and I use it instead of a night cream. It leaves my skin very soft in the morning, smells fabulous and is not at all greasy.

  8. I’ve been using the Darphin Hydraskin oil since Christmas ( and I I hadnt used an oil before but have to say i’m a convert. They seem to penetrate much more deeply than a cream and I havent had any normal winter skin issues either such as flaky dry skin (even in that cold snap we were having!)

    Might have to try the sanctuary one when this runs out!

    Rachie xo

  9. Wow – I don’t know why but I’m really surprised to see so many of you already using an oil – thats great! I thought everyone would be ‘urgh, oil?’

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed it doesn’t upset my breakout prone skin, but doesn’t sound like many of you have had that problem – I’ll keep you posted.

  10. I have a really oily t-zone that drives me mad, and I also suffer from breakouts yet these are always on the bottom of my cheeks and chin which I understand is hormonal as It is very rare I get a spot on my t-zone despite the oil?? I use Clinique’s oily skin 3 step, and their anti blemish mask (and sudocrem on any big spots!) which seems to keep the worst at bay, but wonder whether its time to try something new? Might give this ago or the Dermologica that other commenters have suggested but must admit the thought of putting oil on my super shiny forehead is pretty scary stuff!

  11. I already use this oil and LOVE it! I always thought an oil would make me look greasy (it’s the word OIL I think!!) but I’m so suprised at how amazing it makes my skin look! Must try the cleanser next!!

  12. Holly- you might find it’s the Clinique that’s making it worse. It’s notorious in the beauty industry for stripping your skin (we used to use the toner to get chewing gum off counters..sshh!). My friend who has super oily skin also uses Dermalogica pre-cleanse and she loves it. Maybe try and get a sample first though.

    • Thanks Alex, will give the dermolgica a go. Must admit I’ve never been overly impressed with clinique. And the toner is so harsh I use it to remove any hair dye leaks after a home dye off my neck etc! Guess I thought harsh would be better on my oily skin, but time to move to something a bit more gentle I think!

      • You’re welcome. I order all mine from Pure Beauty online. It’s cheaper than a salon and the service is brilliant. Free first class delivery. They also give you tonnes of free samples!
        Hope you find something that helps.

  13. “ve not tried an oil-based cleanser, but I have been using various Neal’s Yard facial oils for the last year now, and have noticed a vast improvement in my dry skin. As soon as I get out the shower I massage a few drops into my face and neck, then use my normal heavy duty moisturiser on top. I love it!

  14. I used to swear by clinique until one day it just messed up my skin BIG time! I still to this day don’t understand what happened but my oily skin that was usually quite balanced became red, dry chapped and disgusting one day to seriously greasy and oily the next – not a good look at all.

    So I threw it all out and started again with the basics, this seemed to be good to regulate my skin back to normal. I was recommended to try using oils to balance my oily skin I was totally against it and especially since the clinique drama didn’t particularly want to go near a skincare counter again, but figured I had to try and do something so I did and love it. I use clarins lotus oil for oily skin and its amazing, I apply it at night mixed with a moisturiser and wake up with brilliantly balanced skin that lasts all day and blemishes are seriously reduced. I was amazed and think anyone should try oils that is thinking about it, I wouldn’t look back now!

    P.s. sorry its a bit long, but I love these sorts of post on Florence! 😀

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  16. Holly – I used Clinique anti-blemish for years too, thinking stripping the oil off my blemish-prone skin was what I needed. I used the soap, the toner and then the heavy moisturiser because my skin felt so tight and dry after cleansing and toning. I then went to Bobbi Brown for makeup last year and got talked into trying their oil cleanser and it is *so* much better! My skin doesn’t felt tight after cleansing, the toner doesn’t sting (!) and it means I need less moisturiser, which is a much better approach to oily/combination skin. I don’t like the Bobbi Brown moisturiser though – too thick and heavy, great for dry skin, but not for me – so now I’m thinking of switching to oil to moisturise as well…

  17. So one week on having bought & used following this post I really like it. May have tempted me to switch my loyalty from Liz Earle. I so use the muslin face cloth with it.

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