Oils, balms, foams, creams… trying to pin down the right cleanser is a tricky business. But whatever your skin type, cleansing am and pm each day is one of the most important steps in your skincare routine.
As a rule, oils and balms work best as the first step in your evening regime, when melting away makeup and removing any dirt, grime and pollution is the priority. Your second cleanse (yes, double cleansing is key) should be a foam, cream or gel, which will work to clean deep into the pores. Keep these on hand for the morning when your skin just needs a quick refresh.
Suffer from dry skin that’s left feeling tight and squeaky after cleansing? Opt for milky creams which will give a shot of hydration. Oily skin? Go for foams and gels that penetrate deeper into the pores for a more intense cleanse. Normal skin? Take your pick. You lucky thing.
One of the best formulas for dissolving the day’s dirt and grime and removing makeup, balm cleansers are nourishing, making them ideal for sensitive skin types. And where better to begin than Augustinus Bader’s The Cleansing Balm? Infused with amino acids and high-grade vitamins, it melts into an oil, then a milk. The result? Nourished, cleansed skin that feels hydrated, not squeaky. While Sarah Chapman’s Ultimate Cleanse turns to milk while it deep cleanses, conditions and brightens the skin.
There’s a little-known fact that oil attracts oil, making these cleansers the perfect first step in your night-time routine. Tata Harper’s Nourishing Oil Cleanser packs in nine sources of vitamins and minerals, six sources of antioxidant to smooth and soften the skin. While Eve Lom’s Cleansing Oil Capsules deliver just the right amount in one handy capsule. Perfect for your travels.
Oily skin type? Foams are perfect for your second cleanse. Estee Lauder’s cult Advanced Night Micro Foam gives a deep clean whilst leaving skin feeling soft and refreshed. Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Darker Skin Tones Foam Cleanser is formulated with salicylic acid to soften dead skin cells and remove any excess sebum. Last but not least, Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Wash provides an intense clean while replenishing skin with essential moisture.
Made for those with more sensitive skin, creams are soothing, softening and packed with nutrients. Dr. Sebagh’s Rose De Vie Cream Cleanser leaves skin looking fresher and clearer. Kate Somerville's Delikate Soothing Cleanser and Goat Milk Cleanser gently remove dirt, impurities, makeup, oil and pollutants without stripping, drying, irritating, disrupting the skin’s moisture barrier - the dream. And Omorovica’s Cashmere Cleanser feels exactly as you’d expect - soft and creamy.
Just the one for getting that deep, deep clean, gels are perfect for those with combination and oily skin. Dermalogica's Special Cleansing Gel balances the skin, giving the best last step pre-moisturiser. The Inkey List's Hyaluronic Acid gentlycleansers while coating the skin in the beauty worlds golden, hydrating ingredient. And Oskia’s Renaissance Cleansing Gel includes a heap of vitamins and natural ingredients to illuminate and nourish the skin while it works.
Micellar water is best accompanied by a second cleanser, but it can provide a solid solution for those moments when you don’t have water to hand – think flights, festivals and post-workout. Bioeffect’s is made from pure Icelandic water, which promises to hydrate not dry out. La Mer's Micellar Water helps to gently purify the skin while hydrating and soothing. While Evolve’s two-in-one cleanser/toner removes makeup whilst toning and hydrating the skin. The dream.