Review | Fancl Mild Cleansing Oil

When Fancl first arrived in Singapore, its novelty selling point was its preservative-free skincare and makeup products. Years on, it’s still known for this, as well as its best-selling Mild Cleansing Oil. Often abbreviated by fans to ‘MCO’, this product has impressed the Singapore beauty market since its début.

MCO contains:

  • Meadow foam oil, which absorbs dirt and dissolves keratin plugs, keeping pore clear
  • Green tea catechin oil, an antioxidant that combats free radicals
  • Rosehip oil, which soothes skin during cleansing, thanks to its anti-inflammatory property

Like the entire Fancl range, Mild Cleansing Oil is based on the brand’s unique philosophy of mutenka (無添加). The kanji in Chinese means ‘without addition’ – the brand not only keeps its products free of preservatives, it also ensures that its products are pared down to the essentials, eliminating extraneous ingredients that can cause the skin unnecessary stress. Unsurprisingly, it is colourless and fragrance-free.

Why do I like this so much?

1. It cleans with very little resistance. Some cleansing oils are thicker in consistency and can drag a little despite being emollient. MCO, on the other hand, glides with ease on the skin.

2. It effortlessly dissolves and removes all traces of makeup…and there are days when I have a lot on! ;) I especially like that it easily takes off waterproof makeup.

3. It emulsifies well and washes cleanly away with several splashes of water at the sink or with running water in the shower. I do use a cleansing foam thereafter though.

4. It doesn’t sting the eyes.

5. It is fragrance-free.

A caveat: As the oil doesn’t contain preservatives, you must use it within the stipulated 120 days of opening – if you don’t, the oil will turn rancid and will smell bad. Do note that each unopened bottle will last for up to a year from its manufacturing date.

While the regular MCO bottle is a simple blue, the brand periodically comes out with limited edition bottles that are  adorned with whimsical illustrations. Like the original, these 120 ml bottles are priced at S$33 each. Often, mini MCO bottles freebies are bundled with the full-sized ones, plus they are usually cheaper when you buy more than one.

Ballet Dance, the latest limited edition bottle of Fancl MCO, is illustrated by Licaco, a Japanese fashion illustrator whose artwork also graces the packaging of other Fancl products. Featuring a ballet dancer doing a pirouette in the foreground and the silhouette of another doing the same in the background, this design seeks to capture the feminine allure and elegance of a ballerina. The soft iridescent pale peach-pink of the bottle will look lovely in the bathroom!

When Fancl Singapore sent me this cleansing oil, I was quite pleased – I’d been using this oil over the years and like it very much; it’s always good to have a back-up of an oft-used skincare product. :)

Image source: Fancl Singapore


  • lisa says:

    hi Mag,
    how is fancl cleansing oil compared to dhc’s and shu uemura’s?

    • makeupmag says:

      Hi Lisa,

      The Fancl has more glide than the DHC – the DHC is thicker and isn’t as emollient; it takes more effort to remove makeup with the latter. The DHC is a good everyday cleansing oil though.

      The Fancl is as good as the classic Shu version but I can’t compare it to the others in the Shu cleansing oil range.

  • tee says:

    Hi Mag,

    does it remove stubborn waterproof japanese mascaras well?

    Or do you prefer mascara-wand type mascara remover?

    thanks ;)

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *