olive oil
Ha Ly sent me this video of someone trying out plain old store cupboard olive oil as a makeup remover. The video is cute and the demonstration on an amount of eye makeup that would only be worn by someone taking part in a carnival suggests olive oil is extremely efficient.

Having rummaged around on various message boards and websites, it seems that olive oil is an effective cleanser, great for dry skin and a good alternative for acne sufferers. It is non-comedogenic, which means it won't clog pores or cause breakouts. Olive oil is almost unique among oils in that it can be consumed in the crude form without refining. This has the effect of conserving all its vitamins, essential fatty acids, and other nutrients. Because it contains all these nutrients, including powerful antioxidants, real extra virgin olive oil is beneficial to health and protects us from damage by free radical oxidation. Cell membranes contain fatty acids that are highly susceptible to free radical damage. This damage produces lipid peroxides that can kill the cell. Real olive oil contains polyphenols, vitamin E, and other natural antioxidants that prevent this damage.

I did see a couple of comments by people claiming that they had used low grade, cheap olive oil and suffered skin breakouts. This is possibly true. Cheap olive oils have been refined and even diluted with other oils (a scandal erupted when someone calculated that more olive oil was produced in California than there were olives available. Just because the bottle says extra virgin, you must still take care. Lower quality oils can be refined to bring the acidity down so they can be labeled as extra virgin. In fact, he term "extra virgin" has no official meaning in the United States. The US is not a member of the International Olive Oil Council and olive oil sold here can be labeled extra virgin without meeting the accepted standards.

So if you want to use olive oil as a cleanser or makeup remover, find extra virgin olive oil that is cold pressed, unfiltered, and looks cloudy.