These days, I’m a little obsessed with facial cleansers. I use a sulfur-based wash for when my rosacea flares up, a glycolic and alpha hydroxy acid wash for when my skin is more congested and dull, and a gentle wash when my skin is dry. Maybe I’m overthinking this step in my beauty routine too much, but I find changing it up really works for my skin and gives great results.
“Removing impurities is important to overall skin health,” says board-certified dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD. “Cleansing also helps remove dead surface skin cells, which accumulate on the skin and contribute to clogged pores.”
Peredo recommends using a gentle cleanser in the morning and one containing actives such as AHA’s or purifying ingredients in the evening. “If you have acne or oily prone skin, try a glycolic cleanser in the evening and a salicylic acid cleanser in the morning to help manage light breakouts and excess oil.”
Always choose a cleanser that does not make your skin too tight or irritated. As for those convenient towelettes, Peredo says they are fine to remove makeup or use after the gym, but they don’t replace actual face washing with water, which is the best way to wake up to healthy skin.
Here are some of my favorite new face cleansers and tried-and-true favorites:
- M-61 Power Cleanse ($34) — This refreshing face wash contains glycolic acid to keep pores clear and remove dead skin cells, while tea tree oil helps heal breakouts, all without drying out skin.
- Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser ($32) – This all-natural antioxidant-rich cleanser smells like fresh-cut strawberries and leaves skin brighter and more even. It even doubles as an exfoliating mask.
- Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser ($11.49)– A favorite that I’ve been using on and off since college, the mild formula works well on all skin types and is cheap, too.
- Murad Transforming Powder Dual-Action Cleanser & Exfoliator ($30) – This powder turns into a light exfoliating cleanser when mixed with water, containing salicylic acid and pumpkin seed extract to help banish breakouts and keep pores clear.
- Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser ($32) – This hybrid cleanser starts off as a gel, then turns into an oil and when activated with water transforms into a milky cleanser, removing makeup and dirt gently. Vitamin C, rose hip and virgin cherry oil brighten and repair skin.
- REN Evercalm Cleansing Gel ($32) – I love the smell and refreshing gel texture of this gentle wash that leaves skin soft and really clean without any irritation.
photo by Vix Walker