I am, I confess, a cleanser fiend. I have many of them hiding in my bathroom cupboard and whenever I come across a new skincare brand I most often gravitate towards the cleansers first. Perhaps it was years of severe adolescent acne that made me preternaturally attracted to keeping my face clean. Perhaps it is the soothing sensation of ‘taking the day off’ – winding down, relaxing, preparing for my own little slice of time before bed. Here are a few of my favourites. Keep in mind they are my favourites because they work well with my skin type – an at times monstrous combination of oily, dehydrated and mild rosacea. I have heard over the years so-called experts say that a cleanser is one of the beauty products you can scrimp on: buy the expensive moisturiser but the cheap cleanser because it spends more time in the drain than on your face. However I disagree. A good quality cleanser is a must because it not only cleans but helps to prep and protect your skin. A harsh cleanser will dry out the skin, stripping away its natural oils, which in turn can lead to more problems because the skin panics and goes defensive- more acne if you have it, more oiliness, dermatitis, dry skin et cetera. Think of it as a gentle bath for your face – nurturing, cleansing, comforting. For more information on the role of cleansers in a good skincare routine I recommend you have a look at Laura’s notes in Life.Beauty.Laughter. She is an expert in the field so she knows what she’s talking about.
Murad Soothing Gel Cleanser. It’s not easy being green. Lucky for me, my green friend in the form of this cleanser knows how to set things right. Sensitive or red skin? Covered. Oil and makeup that won’t budge easily? Covered. Allergic to sulphates? Covered. From Activeskin.
Invisible Zinc Cleanser with 12% Glycolic. Yes, I have written about this one before. Having sensitive skin does not always mean you have to hide from actives; particularly if you have very oily skin and Blackheads that are NOT my friends, although they sure keep on trying to be. It is a milky, non-foaming cleanser so it does not dry out my skin or make my cheeks itch, which some foaming cleansers can. It really keeps my skin clear and, if used sparingly, does not irritate. From Adore Beauty and Invisible Zinc.
Biotherm Biosource Cleansing Mousse – Normal/Combination version. If you buy this product, before you open remember that the French love their perfumed beauty products. This one smells sweetly old-fashioned – all powdery flowers. Once you get used to this (perhaps patch test first if you are sensitive to fragrances) you should find it is a really beautiful cleanser. Cleans well, is sulphate free, applies like an airy cream and froths gently like whipped egg whites. From Adore Beauty.
Simplicite Plant Gel Cleanser – Oily/Combo. I used Simplicite many years ago, when I was looking for something to calm my post-acne (ie post too many harsh, zealously used so-called acne products). My skin was a mess – red, raw, scarred and shiny. This cleanser, along with Simplicite’s Revitalising Night Creme, helped to bring things back into balance. From Simplicite and The Facial Company.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple Facial Cleanser. I have not used this lovely thing in ages but it is a really beautiful product. It was gentle on my skin and, surprisingly for a non-foaming slippery milk type cleanser, really removed oil and makeup to make my skin silky smooth afterwards. From Mecca Cosmetica.
Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream. This classic product is so lovely and there are no other cleansers on the market quite like it. It is a thick, finely textured non-foaming cream that smells like bread and almonds. On first using it I did not feel like my oilies were being dealt with yet lo and behold my skin was clean and blackhead free after regular use. From Adore Beauty.
Dermaveen Soap Free Wash. This is the one exception to my no cheap cleansers rule. If my face is not treated nicely it gets itchy. And red. And so on. This is a low-foaming, inexpensive cleanser which matches the skin’s natural PH balance and really does leave it feeling like silk. It is fortified with colloidal oatmeal which is a calming and moisturising agent. From most pharmacies. See Dermaveen for more information. Image via The Confusion of HogSandwich.
Ultraceuticals Ultra Milk Cleanser. This is perfect for highly sensitised skins and it also cleans beautifully – although oily skins may need a double cleanse at night or an oil cleanse followed by cleansing with this one. The Gentle Gel Cleanser from the same range is also beautiful. Both from Adore Beauty.
Beauties, please note this list does not contain my other beloved genre of cleanser – cleansing oils. For a bunch of cleansing oil reviews check in here.