So why exactly am I using five? Not all facial cleansers were made equal and some provide different benefits than others. I’m using Dermalogica, Glamglow, Skinceuticals and Elemis – all have a great reputation but what does one do better than the other? These are the five best luxury facial cleansers I’ve ever used and here’s why:
1. Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel
The Special Cleansing Gel is a trusty staple and if you haven’t tried this yet, have you really cleansed? It’s meant to be used in the step after using the Pre-Cleanse oil (but I just use micellar water) and the formula is effective in removing makeup from oily, sweaty skin. Unlike a lot of soaps, this isn’t drying and it’s probably the safest option to go for when choosing a no-frills, good quality facial cleanser to use everyday. The only caution I’d give is watch how much it dispenses as it comes out very liberally. When I get too enthusiastic with the bottle, I use the excess soap to wash my makeup brushes. Dermalogica was one of the first luxury beauty brands I worked with, to find out why I personally appreciate their dermatologist-quality products, here’s a video.
Use this for: everyday cleansing and sometimes washing your brushes if you’re feeling extravagant.
Retails for about £28 at Dermalogica.com
2. Glamglow Powermud Dualcleanse
Since the internet fame of Youthmud – you know, that swampy looking pot of mud that makes your skin tingle – Glamglow has come up with some strange and wonderful inventions like a silver peel-off face mask. This cult brand knows how to make their pots go viral and it was from the likes of influencers like Sonya Esman that I first discovered their skincare range. The Powermud, a ‘mud-to-oil’ cleanser that sounds as impressive as it does sci-fi, is the kind of product you take your time with. And it was only after I came to that conclusion that I then realised it’s not made for daily use and rather marketed as a ‘treatment’.
The consistency is a lot wetter than expected, so its not like the Youthmud at all. Actually, the formula is a lot like yoghurt and there’s a light tingle upon application until it dries like a clay mask. I’m still not sure at what stage this product turns into a cleansing ‘oil’ but it’s refreshing to use. It’s also not the most effective at sloughing away a day’s worth of gunk and buildup, despite also being a light exfoliator with Glamglow’s Teaoxi technology, used in multiple other products. A once-over with a makeup remover prior to this cleansing mask will do the trick.
Use this for: an extra layer of deep-cleansing.
Retails for £39 at SpaceNK.com
3. Elemis Gentle Foaming Facial Wash
Whenever a facial wash claims to ‘foam’, it becomes a huge no-no for me because the kind of substances that create those suds can dry out and irritate sensitive skin. However, this balm-based facial wash doesn’t so much as lather up as it does blend wonderfully with warm water to form a kind of milk that removes makeup and excess oil. I like to use this one in the morning because of its comforting texture and mild scent. It’s created with the skin’s moisture barrier in mind and claims to protect the ‘lipid layer’, which is responsible for the production of sebum (and soaps that strip this too much provoke extra production, which is of course gross and will likely give you blackheads).
Use this for: gentle cleansing in the morning.
Retails for £28 at Elemis.com
4. Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm
The luxuriousness of this blissful palm-sized pot of Aromatic Cleansing Balm with Rosewood oil just radiates from its scent and appearance. Who isn’t a sucker for packaging? The portions run small and I can see myself running out of this magic if I don’t ration it. The silky balm melts immediately on moist skin and it’s rich and thick, reminding me of a moisturiser. As it’s packed with a range of essential oils, some may worry about it adding to blocked pores rather than cleaning the skin but I found this effective even without a wipe over with micellar water prior to use.
Use this for: the ultimate pampering when your skin has been behaving and deserves a reward (am I the only one that does this?).
Retails for £35 at Darphin.co.uk
5. Skinceuticals Blemish + AGE Cleansing Gel
Ever used Murad? The Skinceuticals Blemish + AGE cleanser smells and has a similar after-effect to the Murad Clarifying Cleanser (£19.50), except this is a lot milder and doesn’t feel like every pore on your face is under attack. I am prone to congested skin, which means that I need constant light exfoliation to unclog my pores. This cleanser is said to do just that and you know what? I believe it – my skin feels much ‘fresher’ and I hope that with prolonged use, I’ll have less sebum production and wake up with fewer whiteheads appearing overnight. Congested skin is not just caused by food and alcohol that produce toxins in the body but also pollution. I take the tube almost everyday and I’m the kind of weirdo that tries to shield my face from the incoming trains (that gross gust of wind gives me the shivers imagine the dust!!), so it takes a good cleanser to wash that muck away.
Use this for: everyday cleansing, especially if you’ve been on public transport or in urban areas with lots of pollution! (Yes, I have two everyday cleansers and I’m unashamed).
Retails for £22 at facethefuture.co.uk