Cleansing is the cornerstone of a good skincare routine. Not only does it wash away the dirt and pollution that has collected on your face over the course of the day it also eliminates sebum and sweat that has built up. And if you wear makeup, cleansing is crucial to keeping your pores clean and clear as sleeping in your makeup can lead to clogged pores and eventually, pimples. Plus, it allows you to start your skincare routine on a clean slate.
The key to getting your cleansing routine right is finding the right cleanser. You want one that will gently, but effectively remove offending elements of the day without stripping your skin of its natural oils and leaving it feeling stretched and uncomfortable (yes, even if you have oily skin). Double cleansing will help remove all traces of makeup and sunscreen. To double cleanse, start with a makeup remover first, rinse, and then cleanse a second time with your cleanser. A gentle cleanser is especially crucial in this routine. While you’re at it, try to have your cleanser on your face for at least 60 seconds, while you work it in using small circles (unless you have very sensitive skin). Don’t forget your hairline, the area under your jaw and the neck.
Here are some of the gentle cleansers I’ve been using to keep my skin clean without leaving it feeling dry.
Rooki Beauty Honey Matcha Cleansing Drops, $59
The clear gel is a blend of goji berries, pumpkin and spinach extracts, and feels like a deep cleaning smoothie for your face. Applied on to clean skin, it sloughs away dead skin cells making it less likely for them to collect in your pores The clear gel is a blend of goji berries, pumpkin and spinach extracts, and feels like a deep cleaning smoothie for your face. Applied on to clean skin, it sloughs away dead skin cells making it less likely for them to collect in your pores and cause acne. There are no harsh beads or nut shells and it doesn’t leave skin feeling tight and uncomfortable. It can also be used on skin aA blend of nourishing honey, omega-rich chia seeds and organic Uji matcha prevent skin from feeling stretched and dry, while vitamin C derivative ascorbyl glucoside and lactic acid help brighten skin. If you’re someone who likes their cleanser with a bit of foam, this one hits the spot. I use it after removing my makeup for my second cleanse and it leaves my skin feeling refreshed and comfortable. It has an uplifting citrus scent, so if that’s something that bothers you, take note.
Sigi Skin Kaleanser Face Wash, $41
This lightweight serum is packed with ingredients that tackle existing acne, minimise chances of more breakouts, This low-foaming cleanser with a jelly-like texture can be used for your first and second cleanse. Massage a small dollop of this cleanser on to dry skin and it removes light makeup and sunscreen; rinse and repeat on damp skin to remove all traces of makeup. Kale extracts detox, cleanse and brighten complexion, while soy extracts keep skin smooth, supple and hydrated. It is gentle enough to be used on the skin around the eyes and it is vegan and cruelty free.
Forest Rhapsody Milk Ferment Rice + Probiotic Milk Cleanser, $68
You can remove light makeup, double cleanse and lightly exfoliate with this lightweight but creamy cleanser that doesn’t foam. I massage a generous amount on to dry skin to remove any sunscreen and light makeup; when I need to tackle dead skin, I just leave the cleanser on for a few minutes before washing it off. My skin is bright, soft and comfortable after thanks to rice bran and colloidal oatmeal that soothe, moisturise and nourish skin. It also has probiotics and lactic acid that balance the skin’s mircobiome and boost skin renewal.
About Smita DeSouza is a beauty industry insider with over 10 years of experience in beauty journalism. In her late 30s, she welcomes the wisdom, confidence and resilience that age brings, but not the pigmentation and loss of collagen. Follow her skincare rituals here.