Essential for removing makeup and daily grime, cleansing is arguably the most important stage in your skincare routine.
And face wipes just don’t cut it, as this shocking video from a cosmetic doctor shows. You need to be using a best cleanser, worked thoroughly into the skin and then removed with a splash of water or a clean flannel.
Fortunately nowadays there’s a formula for every skin type. Gel cleansers will leave normal-to-oily skin types feeling refreshed, while micellar waters are a quick and easy way to get rid of makeup (although are best followed with a cream or gel cleanser to remove any lingering surfactants).
If your skin errs more towards the dry side, an oil-based cleanser or a thick, dense balm, massaged in then removed with a damp cloth, are great at effortlessly removing makeup, while a cream texture makes an excellent morning or second cleanse.
Read on to see which ones get five-star reviews from our testers…
Best micellar cleanser
CeraVe Micellar Cleansing Water, £10 here
The beauty editor-favourite skincare brand has recently added a micellar water to its line-up of cleansers. This promises to whisk away makeup and grime with a quick sweep of a cotton pad, and it’s also packed with CeraVe’s trademark blend of skin barrier-bolstering ceramides.
Tester says: “I think CeraVe's cleansers are brilliant, so I was excited to try this new one. It removes my makeup easily (although stubborn mascara will take a couple of swipes), and doesn't leave skin feeling at all dry. The instructions say you don't need to rinse your face afterwards, but I always like give my face a quick splash anyway after using a micellar water." 5/5
Best gel cleanser
TEMPLESPA Way to Go Purifying Cleansing Wash, available in the Treat Time OK! Beauty Box, £4.95 here
The perfect everyday cleanser, this gel formula will leave oily or combination skin feeling super clean and refreshing, without stripping.
You can find a deluxe size tube of this cleanser inside the new Treat Time OK! Beauty Box, which is packed full of top products for your face and body. The box contains five beauty must-haves and is worth an impressive £95, but new customers can pick it up for just £4.95 here when they shop using the code 67FIRST BOX – that's 67% off the usual monthly subscription cost of £15.
About the TEMPLESPA cleanser, tester says: "For me, this is perfect for a second cleanse, after removing makeup, or your morning cleanse in the shower – its gel texture almost feels as though it clings onto any impurities or excess oil then whisks then away with a splash of water. It leaves skin feeling really but not dry. I love its fresh scent, too." 4/5
Best oil cleanser
REN Clean Skincare Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser, £28 here
Suitable for all skin types, this contains three oils to effectively break down makeup and grime. REN also gets brownie points for the packaging – the tube is made from 50% post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic, with the cap made from 100% PCR plastic.
Tester says: “This comes out as a thick, balm-like jelly, which then transforms into a milk when water is added, rinsing away completely clean. It made short work of my makeup, removing every speck of mascara with hardly any effort required, and my skin was left feeling really soft and smooth. Seriously impressive!” 5/5
Best balm cleanser
Palmer's Coconut Monoi Cleansing Balm, £7.50 here
A blend of coconut, monoi and sweet almond oils work to melt away makeup.
Tester says: “I suffer with dry skin so I look for a really hydrating cleanser, and this is perfect! It feels so nourishing, removes makeup – including mascara – in one application, and leaves my skin feeling soft and dewy. I also love the tropical coconut oil scent, which reminds me of the beach. A really great, soothing cleanser that I'd definitely re-buy.” 5/5
Best cream cleanser
Tata Harper Softening Cleanser for Sensitized Skin, £75 here
A nourishing cream formula designed to strengthen the skin barrier and provide comfort to stressed skin.
Tester says: “This is a very effective cleanser – my face felt very clean and refreshed, and I also felt it calmed my face, leaving it feeling very soft and comfortable. I was getting a lot of blemishes from wearing face masks and I feel this really helped with that. My skin felt very pampered and clean without feeling stripped." 5/5
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