By Alison McGill
How blessed was I to have a mother who championed serious skincare to me at a very young age. She signed me up for regular facials beginning at age 13 when angry hormonal acne began populating my chin and forehead. Those monthly pro-skin sessions taught me how to properly care for my skin—to double cleanse, to tone, to layer serums and moisturizers, and to always use SPF.
In less than six months, my skin completely transformed. The breakouts still happened but came and went quickly. Those formative years were the beginnings of my dedication to the ritual of skin cleansing. Morning and evening face washes became a favourite part of my day. I loved the freshness of starting the day with a clean canvas, then washing the day away before bedtime. A few decades later, skin cleansing is still one of my most essential and ultimate comforts in life.
If don’t already think of skin cleansing as a treasured beauty ritual, it’s time you did. One of the things I love most about a skin cleansing session is how it impacts my entire mood depending on the cleanser I reach for. When I crave indulgence, I reach for a rich creamy formula. When I need energizing and acne clean-up, a deep cleansing foam or gel is on the menu. When I need calming, an aromatic oil-to-milk cleanser is my choice pick. Building a wardrobe of skin cleansers to suit your vibe and ever-evolving skincare needs really is fundamental.
Here are 10 amazing skin cleansing selects—some new ones and some classics—to crush on right now.
THE ULTRA-LUXE ONE
U Beauty The Mantle Skin Conditioning Wash
The newest obsession from Tina Craig’s cult skincare brand is this conditioning face wash which does the work of a double-cleanse and makeup remover in one clean sweep. Emulsify this oil-balm into a silky soft milk and bask in the glow of refreshed, hydrated, and radiant skin.
THE AROMATIC ONE
Eminence Organic Skincare Coconut Milk Cleanser
Consider this creamy cleanser as a vacation in a bottle. It smells like the tropics thanks to an antioxidant rich, nourishing blend of coconut milk and coconut oil. It not only leaves your skin feeling soothed and rebooted, but your mind in a serious state of Zen.
THE FOAMY ONE
Benefit The POREfressional Good Cleanup Foam Cleanser
A brand extension of Benefit’s signature POREfressional skin primer lineup, this deep cleansing gel bubbles into a fabulous foam that deep cleans with out stripping. This is a great one to stock in advance of summer when skin impurities multiply thanks to heat and environmental pollutants.
THE HYDRATING ONE
innisfree Green Tea Amino Acid Face Cleanser
This K-beauty line’s latest all-star is this new cream-to-foam formula boosted with Jeju Green Tea Water harvested from plants grown on innisfree’s very own organic farm in Korea. Packed with 16 hydrating amino acids, this cleanser delivers a deep infusion of moisture to the skin.
THE NO-RINSE ONE
Drunk Elephant E-Rase Milki Micellar Water
If you love micellar water cleaners, this is the ultimate. This clean beauty favourite contains a blend of three plant-based ceramides which moisturize skin and support the skin barrier preventing irritation. Use a cotton pad to smooth over your face, eyes, and lips—it gently and thoroughly removes the day.
THE TRANSFORMATIVE OIL ONE
Caudalie Vinoclean Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil
This vegan cleansing oil melts into skin and transforms into a silky serum-like texture. You can use it as pre-cleanser or as your primary face wash—it does gently and effectively remove everything including mascara. Formulated for oiler skin types, it’s perfect to use when you are having an acne breakout and it helps clear flareups and inflammation quickly.
THE MULTITASKING ONE
Charlotte Tilbury Multi-Miracle Glow
This balm has been part of the now iconic Tilbury brand since day one, and it is one I have kept in rotation since launching a decade ago. Packed with vitamins A, C and E to nourish and brighten skin, I love this product not just as a cleanser, but as an overnight mask. Rinse off in the morning and marvel at your baby-soft, sparkling skin.
THE SENSITIVE ONE
Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser
If you err towards redness and have easily irritated skin, make this one a mainstay of your cleanser collection. This gel/cream is made specifically for reactive skin and helps to cool and calm things down and boost skin’s natural barrier. It’s loaded with lavender flower extract and smells as soothing as it feels on your skin.
THE GLOWY ONE
ROC Multi Correxion Revive + Glow Gel Cleanser
Vitamin C is the magic ingredient that will give your skin that coveted crystal-clear, glass-like appearance. This cleanser is packed with it and is a brilliant gel formula that smells citrusy fresh and imbues skin with an instant glow. If you love a refreshing face wash, this is a choice pick.
THE TIKTOK FAMOUS ONE
CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
If you can find this one in stock, take two! This drugstore favourite cleanser went viral in 2021 and is loved for so many things. It’s gentle formula; it’s hyaluronic acid, moisture-boosting properties; and its incredible affordability. Derms love it and we do too!