A Cleansaholic Reviews Votary Cleansing Oil (Rose Geranium & Apricot)


Cleansers are top of my list of skincare products I can’t get enough of. Cleansing is the most important step of your skincare routine. If you don’t do that properly, everything else you do is really a waste. Oils are my other love so cleansing oils combining the two. Well we’re talking skingasm. Today I’m taking a look at the much lauded Votary cleansing oil.

Votary is a fairly new British company founded in 2015 by entrepreneur Charlotte Semler and acclaimed makeup artist Arabella Preston (former beauty editor, trained with makeup maestro Kay Montano and clients include K-Mid aka the Duchess of Cambridge). Arabella had been hand blending oils for her clients and decided to make them available to everyone. Dictionary corner time, ‘votary’ means devout advocate or follower. The brand name represents the aim to advocate the transformative power of natural plant oils. As a complete oil obsessive, you could certainly call me a votary!

The line is quite extensive now with some exquisite sounding items but the original product was the Votary Cleansing Oil.

Votary Cleansing Oil (Rose Geranium & Apricot) Review

When every single review you can find of a product is a rave (Caroline Hirons is a big fan), part of you wonders if it’s just hype. Well here’s what I thought…..



Love at first sight. The packaging design is swoon worthy. So clean, chic and elegant from the font to the feel of the embossed cardboard to the green glass and rose gold label. All recyclable natch. Everything is so pleasing to all the senses.  I do think design is important as it shows attention to detail. Afterall nature is bursting with stunning design so there’s nothing more natural.


The oil is housed in a gorgeous green glass bottle which makes me relax just looking at it. Green has been shown to be a very calming, restful colour and on a primal level, because it indicated to our Caveman ancestors that there was fertile land and therefore food around, it is reassuring. Apart from looking good, green glass also has natural preservative properties, though not to the same extent as miron glass. There’s also a pump so there’s less chance of spillage. And a good old fashioned, organic cotton flannel is included.

I don’t judge a book by its cover no matter how beautiful though…..


The Votary cleansing oil is an 100% natural blend of cold-pressed plant oils. I’m not sure if they are organic or not but they are described as traceable, British-made, fresh cold pressed which generally indicates top quality.

  • Sunflower seed oil – soothing, helps skin repair 
  • Apricot kernel oil – helps to balance and moisturise skin 
  • Jojoba seed oil – very similar to skin sebum, anti-inflammatory 
  • Grape seed oil – non greasy, slightly astringent, skin repairing
  • Rose geranium oil essential oil – balances skin sebum, antiseptic and uplifting
  • Chamomile oil – soothing, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial and relaxing

The ingredients list is nothing extraordinary as far as oils go. No rare newly discovered miracle oil derived from Amazonian unicorns. And yet there is something special when you feel the oil blend in your hand. It’s a reminder that all oils are not created equally. The quality and balance of oils makes all the difference. This feels like it’s the highest grade quality, which of course has an impact on the price tag. You obviously don’t *need* to go for the highest quality and there are plenty of cheaper oils that do the job but if you’re in the market for a luxury cleanser the Votary cleansing oil is fairly priced.



I’m not somebody who needs to be convinced of the merits of oil cleansing. I’ve been doing it for years. Really whatever your skin type, oils are a great way to remove makeup and SPF without disrupting your skin’s acid mantle. No pH testing required.

The Votary cleansing oil is very elegantly formulated with a lighter texture than most oil cleansers. You know when you rub a beautiful piece of material between your fingers. That is what this oil reminds me of. There is a silkiness that makes it a sigh-inducing, pleasure to use.  It effortlessly removes all makeup and mascara (except for tube mascara which needs warm water to come off and I haven’t tested it with waterproof mascara as I don’t wear it) without irritating the skin. Even my sensitive eyes don’t sting at all. On the flannel front, I’m usually Team Muslin as my Princess and The Pea tendency skin sometimes finds flannels feel too rough. The enclosed flannel felt fine, and I liked how large it was. I used it in rotation with my other cleansing cloths.

My skin exhales and doesn’t want to be parted from its sweet embrace. Which means I take my time massaging it in. Mucho relaxing and great for overall skin health. The light herbal scent from the rose geranium and chamomile essential oils also help ease tension and anxiety. Nourished feeling, glowing skin is the end result.

How I Used The Votary Cleansing Oil in My Routine

I find using a cloth on my face twice a day too much so I used this in the evenings, for weekly facials and whenever my skin and soul needed soothing. Depending on whether I’d worn makeup it was first and/or second cleanse. Part of me thought it was far too lush to ‘waste’ on makeup removal but I got over that (Treat YoSkin!). During the summer and early autumn when my usually dry skin is more normal, my skincare routine has mostly been just this cleanser, followed by a toner then serum.

Votary cleansing oil nightime routine

The Votary Cleansing Oil is like an oil love letter to your skin. It’s got a luxurious price tag but it’s worth it. It would actually make a fab gift for any cleansaholics in your life.

So I’ve joined the Votary Fan Club. Who won’t like the Votary cleansing oil? If you’re diametrically opposed to spending money on cleansers. If you  prefer emulsifying, rinse-off cleansers then this isn’t for you as it absolutely needs to be wiped off. If you have super dry skin, then the much richer Votary Super Seed Cleansing Oil might be a better option.

Votary Cleansing Oil, 100ml, £45 votary.co.uk

Votary Cleansing Oil ingredients: helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, tocopherol pelargonium graveolens (rose geranium) flower oil, anthemis nobilis (chamomile) flower oil, limonene+, citronellol+, geraniol+, linalool+,+ Naturally occurs in essential oils

    1. Thanks for reading 🙂 I think it’s expensive sure but I don’t think it’s overpriced based on the quality of the ingredients. I use a lot of oils everyday so can now tell better quality ones. Sure you don’t need to go for the highest quality but if you do you should pay the price. It’s like with olive oil!

    1. I came back to read your review on Votary again because Caroline Hirons has a 25% off code for the next few days….I’ll let you know if I give in and jump in 🙂

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