Have you ever stood for ages in front of the cleanser aisle at the drugstore, wondering what the heck you should buy?
I have. Many times. There’s just too much choice these days, isn’t there? Foaming cleansers. Cream cleansers. Cleansers that also exfoliate.
How can you tell which one will cleanse your skin without irritating it? Here’s a quick guide to help you out:
P.S. For a complete guide on how to choose the best cleanser for your skin type, check out this quick guide instead.
1. Cream cleansers
What they are: these moisturizing cleansers contain emollients to keep skin soft during cleansing.
Pros: gentle on the skin, they don’t dry it out.
Cons: they don’t always remove makeup well
Best for: dry skin that needs the extra moisture
- CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser ($14.99): available at Dermstore, Feel Unique, Ulta and Walmart
- La Roche Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser ($23.99): available at Dermstore, Feel Unique and Look Fantastic
- Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser ($18.00): available at Dermstore, Look Fantastic and Paula’s Choice
Shop Cream Cleansers
2. Foaming cleansers
What they are: they use surfactants, such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine, that cleanse skin and produce quite a bit of lather too.
Pros: cleanse skin well.
Cons: can be drying.
Best for: oily skin.
- Corsx low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser ($11.00): ph 5.5. Available at Sokoglam and YesStyle.
- Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser ($6.99): ph 6.2. Available at Ulta.
- Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser ($18.00): ph 5.5. Available at Nordstrom and Paula’s Choice.
Shop Foaming Cleansers
Related: Are Foaming Cleansers Bad For Skin?
3. Oil-based cleansers
What they are: these cleansers use oils to attract and dissolve the oils on your skin and makeup.
Pros: they cleanse well (they easily remove waterproof makeup too).
Cons: can leave a greasy residue behind.
Best for: dry skin, but everyone can use them.
- Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Oil ($15.99): available at Feel Unique and Ulta
- Paula’s Choice Perfect Cleansing Oil ($25.00): available at Look Fantastic and Paula’s Choice
- The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil (£12.00): available at The Body Shop
Shop Oil-Based Cleansers
4. Exfoliating cleansers
What they are: they contain ingredients, such as glycolic acid and apricot kernels, that can remove dead cells from the skin while cleansing it.
Pros: cleanse skin and make it brighter.
Cons: don’t work well. Glycolic acid and salicylic acid must be left on the skin to work as they should, while apricot kernels and other small exfoliating particles can easily irritate skin.
Best for: no one.
Best picks: I don’t recommend them. More often than not, they are a waste of money.
What is your favourite type of cleanser? Share your fave picks in the comments below.
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