Cleansing your face should be one of the first and most important step in your skincare routine. It preps the skin for the next steps in your routine and is a must for those who don’t have a routine in place. With slightly more time on our side now, kick-starting your skincare routine might be a good idea plus it allows you to have more self-care time. 🙂
Why use a facial cleanser?
Cleansing helps to remove dirt and debris sitting on the skin – this goes for men and women. Think of it like washing your hands. Most cleansers will removes face makeup effectively but not all of them will remove eye-makeup or waterproof mascara so read the labels carefully. If the cleanser doesn’t state it removes eye-makeup then it won’t be gentle enough to use on eyes or take it off effectively. Micellar water is usually your best option for eye makeup removal and they’re usually a 3-in-1 (makeup remover, cleanser, toner) which means you can use it all over the face with no need to rinse off.
Skin types can be broken down into the following categories:
- Dehydrated – skin that lacks water; parched skin can feel tight, it can look dull and sallow, uneven skin tone/texture, can also become red, sensitive, congested
- Combination – a combination of two or more skin types, generally combination skin is oily and dehydrated
- Dry or Ageing – skin that lacks oil; rough texture, looks dry and flaky look, can be itchy, dry skin is more prone to ageing ie. visible lines and wrinkles are more prominent
- Oily – skin texture may be thick and consistently shiny, may also be congested and/or acne-prone, if acne is active the skin can become red and sensitive
- Sensitive – skin that suffers from redness, feels sore or irritated, affected by the environment (sun, heat, cold), may suffer from rosacea, reactive to ingredients in products, medication or diet, may also become prone to breakouts
I’ve not listed ‘normal’ skin types as even this skin type can become dehydrated so if you have normal skin, look for products that can improve dehydration and/or radiance.
The different types of facial cleansers out there:
- Balm – rich texture that is nourishing and comforting
- Cream – medium-rich texture that is heavier than gels or oils but lighter than balms, moisturising and hydrating
- Gel – lightweight texture that usually foams, leaves skin feeling refreshed and/or slightly astringent
- Oil – lightweight to medium-rich texture that glides on the skin smoothly, usually great at removing all types of makeup including waterproof eye makeup
- Micellar water – very lightweight, used on the face to remove makeup usually including eyes, cleanses and tones the skin without the need to rinse off
There are other types which include foaming washes, cleansing milk, 2-in-1 cleansers, solid bars, and cleansers that emulsify to a ‘milk’ before washing off.
Everyone’s skin type is a little different and can change depending on climate, weather and even the environment. Check out how your skin looks and feels regularly and if needed, switch up your cleanser but no more than twice a year (cold and hot seasons). I live in London, UK which is usually cold but I can tell that in ‘summer’ months, my skin is a little more dewy and hydrated so I’ll switch to a lighter cream cleanser or gel/foaming wash cleanser.
My top natural skincare cleansers for your skin type
As a natural skincare junkie (and spa therapist) I’ve come across quite a few skincare cleansers. Some I love, some others love and some that are questionable. All of the cleansers I’ve listed below are labelled as suitable for all skin types but I’ve included my recommendations for which skin type I think is would get the best results from them. Ingredients like rose, aloe vera and glycerin are great for hydrating the skin – something which all skin types can benefit from.
None of these cleansers do not contain sulfates, parabens or silicones. As good practice, I’d advise you to always check the full ingredients list just in case. A cleanser might market itself as sulfate-free but could still contain parabens or silicones.
I’ve included the full list for you below too… you’re welcome! 🙂
This light but creamy cleanser smells gorgeous and feels so smooth on the skin. We use the AA brand at the spa – this natural brand that really does its job. As the cream is lightweight, it really is suitable for all skin types especially normal/dehydrated, sensitive and combination skin types. This is one of the few cleansers that can be used directly on the eyes to remove eye makeup and doesn’t sting the eyes.
Apply on with clean hands using circular motion and rinse off with water. As an extra step I like to rinse then use my wet face cloth to buff the skin so I’m getting a deeper cleanse and a little exfoliation. It’s really easy to use.
[Full ingredients: Aqua (Water), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Phenoxyethanol, Rosa Centifolia (Rose) Flower Water, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citronellol*, Geraniol*, Linalool*.]
*Natural Essential Oil Contents.
I’d highly recommend this for: dehydrated skin, dry/ageing skin, combination skin, sensitive skin
The Pro-Collagen range from Elemis has been their bestselling collections for over 5 years. I used Elemis during my training days and it’s a wonderful brand; it smells divine and products incorporate a lot of science to deliver on results. It’s much more science-y than Aromatherapy Associates and so they used to contain more chemical nasties however their new formulations now are more gentle and they’ve cut out a lot of those chemicals. This product doesn’t state it can be used on eyes to remove eye makeup so I wouldn’t suggest it. If you do, then do it with caution at your own risk.
It’s only rich once you put it on but that’ll change. Massage the cleansing balm into the skin using circular upward motions to work it into the skin to loosen up the makeup and dirt. Add a little water (emulsify) to get it going, this will allow the makeup to lift off the skin. Once it turns into a milk you wash it off and pat dry, leaving you with baby soft skin.
[Full Ingredients: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, PEG-6 Caprylic/Capric Glycerides, PEG-8 Beeswax, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sambucus Nigra (Elderberry) Oil, Sorbitan Stearate, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, Silica, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Lecithin, Borago Officinalis (Starflower) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Cera (Wax), Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Acacia Decurrens (Mimosa) Flower Cera (Wax), Rosa Multiflora (Rose) Flower Cera (Wax), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol, Lavandula Hybrida (Lavandin) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora (Ho Wood) Wood Oil, Mentha Arvensis (Mint) Leaf Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil, Menthol, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Citric Acid, Linalool, Geraniol, Eugenol, Citronellol, Limonene]
I’d highly recommend this for: dry/ageing skin, dehydrated skin, combination skin
This cleanser was one of the first natural products I tried and I do love it still. The smell of the cocoa butter with the menthol aroma of eucalyptus reminds me of chocolate-minty goodness. It can be used over the eyes to remove makeup but the menthol might sting a little if you have sensitive eyes.
This rich cleanser needs to be applied similar to the Elemis cleanser, dispense 1-2 pump(s) into your hands and massage onto your face and eyelids. Make sure you massage all of the cleanser in then rinse the cloth in hot (but not boiling) water and wring out excess water. Use circular motions to remove the cleanser off.
[Full ingredients: Aqua (water), Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, Cetearyl alcohol, Cetyl esters, Cera alba (beeswax), Glycerin, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan stearate, Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, Humulus lupulus (hops) extract, Chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, Propylene glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Benzoic acid, Dehydroacetic acid, Sorbitol, Limonene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyaminopropyl biguanide, Citric acid, Sodium hydroxide.]
I’d highly recommend this for: oily/congested skin, combination skin, dehydrated skin
Micellar water is actually one of my favourite beauty bag staples. Simply because you can take it with you anywhere, use it to remove makeup or even just freshening up your skin when out and about. A’kin’s micellar water is super gentle and can be used on all skin types. It’s cooling on the skin and removes eye makeup pretty well. It has a really fresh cucumber scent (one of its main ingredients) so if you’re not a fan of cucumbers, this may not be one for you. This micellar water is totally water-based however you can find some other micellar water includes oils.
Can be used to remove eye makeup. Simply use with cotton pads and wipe over eyes, face and neck area. No need to rinse off.
[Full ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water *+, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea)*, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Water*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Juice*+, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract*, Glycerin*, Ethylhexylglycerin, Heptyl Glucoside*, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate*, Sodium Levulinate*, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid*, Linalool^.]
+Certified organic. *Botanical source. ^From essential oil.
I’d highly recommend this for: sensitive skin, dehydrated skin, combination skin
REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Gel
I’m not a massive fan of gel cleansers however they are slightly better for my dehydrated skin in the summer than full-on foaming wash cleansers. Gel cleansers are super lightweight but will contain some lightweight oils to keep skin moisturised and balanced. I find gel cleansers also work best on combination and oily/congested skin types but ideally could be used for all types. Dry/ageing skin types might find that gel cleansers do not provide enough moisture or hydration and will probably do better with a creamier cleanser.
Apply onto skin with wet hands or emulsify gradually with water to cleanse the skin, avoiding the eyes. Rinse off with water and pat dry.
[Full ingredients: Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Coco Glucoside, Polysorbate 20, Xanthan Gum, Panthenol, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, Potassium Sorbate, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Parfum* (Fragrance), Rosa Damascena Extract, Cymbopogon Martini Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Lactic Acid, Citronellol, Geraniol]
*100% Natural Fragrance – Parfum 100% Naturel
I’d highly recommend this for: combination skin, oily/congested skin, dehydrated skin, sensitive skin
There you go!
It’s not a comprehensive list but enough to get you looking around and get you started this Spring on your skincare journey. Do you have a favourite cleanser? Let me know in the comments section what you think of these recommendations and whether you agree. x
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