An effective facial cleanser is the foundation of every good skincare routine. After all, it’s responsible for gently cleansing your skin, removing impurities and dead skin cells, preventing dryness, allowing for better penetrations of serums and moisturizers. That’s a large task for one product, and unless you find the right one for your skin type, it could be doing more harm then good. To help you find your perfect match, we’ve rounded up the best of the best cleansers to reach for right now.
Reach For: John Masters Organics Jojoba & Ginseng Exfoliating Cleanser, Image Skincare Ormedic Facial Cleanser, Burt’s Bees Orange Essence Facial Cleanser, Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser
Why We Love Them: all of these all-natural cleansers contain ingredients derived from renewable raw materials like coconut oil and fruit sugars.
Reach For: Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk, John Masters Organics Linden Blossom Creme Cleanser, Suki Moisture-Rich Cleansing Lotion, Environ C-Quence Cleanser
Why We Love Them: All of these creamy, soothing cleansing lotions and milks contain higher concentrations of oils, water, and emollients like rosewater and glycerin and are specially formulated to keep mature, dry skin perfectly hydrated.
Reach For: Green Beaver Daily Facial Cleanser, Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, Pangea Organics Egyptian Calendula & Blood Orange Cleanser
Why We Love Them: These all-natural cleansers are designed to soothe sensitive skin and contain ingredients like glycerin, which has been shown to encourage normal cell maturation, and aloe vera, which is excellent for combating swelling, inflammation, and redness. Steer clear of exfoliating cleansers and scrubs if you are prone to irritation or rosacea, and avoid products with alcohol at all costs.
Reach For: Environ Sebuwash Cleanser, Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Cleanser, Pangea Organics Egyptian Calendula & Blood Orange Cleanser
Why We Love Them: Foaming cleansers may be too drying for acneic skin, and can actually make the condition worse. These products are filled with an assortment of soothing ingredients—thyme, tea tree oil, aloe vera, kaolin clay, and witch hazel—that are proven effective for calming acne. If you have combination skin, it may take a bit of trial and error to find a cleanser that doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils and leave your face feeling tight.
Washing Your Face 101
The five rules to remember before you soap up, regardless of your skin type:
- Wash your face no more than twice a day: once in the morning (to remove oil, bacteria, and pillow-grime build up from the night before) and once in the evening (to remove makeup, sunscreen, and pollution).
- If you hit the gym, remove sunscreen and makeup before sweating it up and splash your face with water afterwards.
- A little dab will do: using a harsh cleanser can cause acne and all sorts of unwanted skin irritation.
- Steer clear of product with the words “foaming” and “gel” in their name— they’re likely to contain sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, which strip skin of its natural moisture and can dry out your skin.
- Wash with lukewarm or room temperature water. Using very hot or very cold water can cause broken capillaries on your skin or lead to redness and overdrying.