Washing your face is such a basic task, but that doesn’t mean you can lather up with just any old soap and rub-a-dub-dub. You show your face to the world every day, so why not treat your skin with some love and choose a cleanser that makes you look and feel radiant?
There’s no magic potion that suits every face, and what could have worked beautifully for you when you were younger may not be what you need now. I learned this the hard way when my skin, which had basically been an oil slick for years and fairly receptive to most face washes, suddenly became inflamed during three — yes, three — separate face wash trials in the past two years.
All of these cleansers, by the way, were free of sulfates and parabens, proving that skin could react negatively to even so-called “natural” products. The struggle is real. Plus, it’s always nice to have a few options in your skin-care arsenal that you can really rely on, and that add a bit of luxury to your routine. If you’re looking for a new cleanser, maybe one of these will fit the bill.
From: Trader Joe's
Cost: $5.99 for 8.45 oz.
I know what you’re thinking — Trader Joe’s? Really? — but hear me out. Next time you’re shopping for cookie butter and spinach kale dip at everyone’s favorite supermarket, make sure you swing by the skin-care section. This potion has calmed my skin when other, more expensive brands made it go haywire. Free of sulfates and soap, this cleanser treats your skin to antioxidant green tea extract, and it’s packed with nutrients like Panthenol and vitamin E. Basically, it’s like a multivitamin for your face. This lightweight gel also removes even the most stubborn waterproof makeup with ease.
From: Liz Earle
Cost: $25.50 for a 3.3 oz. pump starter kit, which contains two muslin cloths
Liz Earle, a UK-based brand, is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I’ve yet to find a dud in the products I’ve sampled, and this cleanser started my obsession. Liz Earle is a skin-care line that uses innovative botanical ingredients, and this cleanser contains toning hops extract, soothing chamomile extract and antioxidant rosemary oil. Glycerin helps skin to retain moisture while beeswax and cocoa butter moisturize. You just smooth the velvety cream cleanser onto dry skin and wipe off using a moistened muslin cloth. Think of this luxurious and gentle cleanser as a mini facial, a tiny bit of pampering to brighten your day and your complexion.
From: Lush Cosmetics
Cost: $12.95 for 3.5 oz.
Ah, Lush, is there anything you can’t do? This company has managed to make a sulfate-free, preservative-free cleanser that gently cleanses, moisturizes and exfoliates with corn. Yes, you read that right. Here, you’ll find corn in many forms, including corn oil, cornmeal and…wait for it…popcorn! Also, it smells amazing, like caramel corn and, thanks to cinnamon powder, the harina de maiz I used to eat as a child. It’s immensely comforting. (It’s not edible, though, so don’t even think about tasting it.) Just remember, preservative-free means a very limited shelf life. Chances are you’ll love this so much it’ll be gone before it expires, but make sure to pay attention to the date provided.
From: Josie Maran
Cost: $12 for 30 wipes at Sephora
Face wipes are the lazy person’s dream come true, but so many that I’ve used have just made my skin miserable. Not these biodegradable wonder wipes. Bear Naked Wipes are fragrance free and, like all Josie Maran products, contain pure Argan oil, along with cucumber and aloe vera. They are great for refreshing skin and removing makeup in a pinch when you’re too tired to drag your sorry butt to the bathroom for your usual full-on nightly skin-care routine. (You do have a nightly skin-care routine, right?) Also, your purchase will help protect endangered polar bears via a partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Polar Bear SOS initiative. Keep a pack in your gym bag and one on the nightstand for quick cleansing anytime.
Try one of these cleansers and put your best face forward each and every day!