For a long time cleanser wasn't something that excited me all that much, it just seemed like something that was necessary and not always that enjoyable to use. However, over the past few years, I've really got into the whole cleansing thing and tackled the vast range of formulations that are out there to find the ones that truly work and which ones aren't worth the hassle.
THE DOUBLE CLEANSE
If you're familiar with the beauty blogging world at all you might have heard the phrase, the double cleanse. Which sounds pretty self-explanatory but for years I was never quite sure if I was doing it right. Basically, it's one cleanse to remove all makeup and then the second is to nourish the skin and get all the benefits of the product that you're using. It's something I've been doing for years and if for whatever reason I've skipped it then I can always see a big difference in my skin. It's a more expensive way to do your skincare routine obviously but with the right products you don't have to spend a fortune and it can make a huge difference to how the rest of your routine performs too.
Cleansing waters are such a wonderful product to have in your stash for removing the bulk of your makeup and I'm never without one. My skin can't handle these as my only cleanse but for removing makeup and getting rid of eye makeup in particular they're perfect. If you're not a lover of the double cleanse with a cream or a balm then these are a wonderful option as they're affordable. I've flitted between many over the years but at the moment I'm firmly set on the Garnier one. For the price, you get so much product and it works so well on my skin.
When I was a teenager and strayed away from horribly stripping face washes one of the first products I used was a cleansing milk. They're not the best for solving problematic skin or removing a tonne of makeup. But as a gentle cleanse in the morning when your skin doesn't need too much they're lovely. I've been using the Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk* which feels beautiful on the skin, it leaves my complexion feeling incredibly soft as well as properly cleansed and calm which is just want you want in the morning and sometimes things can be a little too invigorating. A milky cleanser is such a kind formulation to use as it doesn't matter how sore or tender your skin might feel, when I was struggling with my skin as a teen I still recall how calming a cleansing milk felt. And even though they are so gentle they still get your skin as clean as any other cleansing formulation might so you don't have to worry about them scrimping on the power.
BARE MINERALS OIL OBSESSED*, OSKIA RENAISSANCE CLEANSING GEL*, GARNIER MICELLAR WATER, LIZ EARLE CLEANSE & POLISH, ELEMIS CLEANSING BALM*, REN EVERCALM CLEANSING MILK*, ANTIPODES GRACE AND GRAPESEED CLEANSER*
All I used throughout my school years to wash my face was either a value face wipe or a horrifying gel face wash, oh how I wish I knew what I had been doing back then. As of right now, I feel like gels have a little bit of bad rap as they don't have to be stripping and foaming like they're so often made out to be online and can work well on the skin. Typically I find they are more appropriate for breakout and oily prone skin to keep those issues under control but there are a rare few that can work with dry complexions too. Anything that's really foaming and leaves the skin with a squeak isn't something I'd ever suggest for anyone as stripping your skin never works well in the long run but otherwise, they can work really well for certain skin types.
A good creamy cleanser was my first true love when it came to skin care and they're something I'd probably suggest to anyone that is just getting into skincare. No matter the condition of my skin I know I can rely on a cream cleanser as it's thorough enough to deal with any problematic oily areas or breakouts but it's not so harsh that it dries out dehydrated or dry skin and it still adds plenty of moisture to the complexion. There is a huge variance of cream cleansers on the market from Superdrug's own brand that is always highly praised online to the cult classic Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. Though there are other cleansers that I prefer I will always have a trusty cream in my collection to return to if my skin has a complete meltdown as without fail they return my skin to a happy balanced state.
For a long time, I feared balm cleansers as I was never quite sure if they agreed with my skin after having a couple of bad experiences with them. And just a word of warning to anyone who might have particularly troublesome skin and is to try and avoid shea butter if possible. But balm cleansers can be completely safe to use on problematic skin and with the right choice, they can work beautifully. I typically reach for a balm when my skin is feeling dry and dehydrated which is usually in the autumn/winter months as they're incredible for nourishing the skin. They're one of the best cleansing options I've found apart from a water for removing the first bulk of makeup, you might look like a member of KISS whilst doing it but you really do get every scrap of makeup off your skin which of course is exactly what you want from your cleanser.
I only mustered up the courage to use an oil cleanser last year and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved them. When you've got somewhat oily skin the thought of slathering your skin with an oil in any way can be slightly scary but they can work incredibly well at removing makeup as well as a morning cleanse when your skin is feeling a little dry. And the great thing about oil cleansers is that a little really goes a long way and you don't have to use a lot of product to reap the benefits of them. Obviously, they're pretty hydrating to the skin but I don't think they're something that's unusable on an oily skin, as sometimes the best thing for an oily complexion can surprisingly be an oil. You can find oils at so many price points and even the blogger favourite coconut oil can be used as a cleanser.
What are your favourite cleansers to use?
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