Cleansers are one of the most underrated steps in a skincare regimen. Perhaps it’s because they get washed off so quickly that once they’re out of sight they’re out of mind. How many of us can even say we commit enough time to the cleansing step?
But if you’ve ever gone searching for a cleanser it’s obvious how important and tricky to nail they are. Matching the right cleanser textures to your skin type makes for a deeper, more effective cleanse. And clean skin is the bedrock on which all the other, arguably more exciting, skincare steps and products build on.
There’s a lot of variety in the cleanser market these days, and beauty brands are innovating and coming up with new textures that offer more options and solutions for a variety of skin types. Here are our picks.
The latest cleanser from Dior is inspired by the rigours of makeup removal backstage at a fashion show. During the show season, models regularly get their makeup applied and removed several times a day. The idea, then, was to create a product that could balance a thorough cleanse with minimal skin irritation. The bouncy, fluffy mousse format makes this an ideal product for sensitive skins. At the heart of its 90 per cent natural-origin formula are water lily extracts that provide hydration and maintain the skin barrier. In addition to these, it’s also infused with micellar technology to up its overall cleansing effectiveness – effortlessly getting off makeup, sebum, UV filter particles from sunscreens and environmental pollutants.
La Mousse Off/On Cleanser, $69, Dior
The cleanser from Chanel’s latest Nº1 collection is a quiet but exciting innovation. It’s the first powder cleanser for the brand – a texture that’s generally quite uncommon in the market. It’s infused with hydrating and revitalising red camellia, and the fine powder lathers up from contact with water into a smooth, gently-scented foam. It’s an innovative new way to encapsulate a cleanser, and its dry inert format makes it a great portable option for travel or even just going to the gym.
Nº1 De Chanel Red Camellia Powder-To-Foam Cleanser, $76, Chanel
Cleansing balms are generally an indulgent experience. They encourage taking the time for a facial massage, and their waxy textures prevent your skin from feeling stripped. The latest from Alpha-H, a brand that specialises in chemical exfoliation, is designed so its active ingredients – amino acids, benzoic acid and phenolics from Australian wild orange extracts; grape seed oil that’s rich in Vitamin E; Australian sandalwood oil with anti-inflammatory and sebum regulating benefits; and calming and hydrating chamomile extracts – are rapidly absorbed by the skin. To take your cleanse a step further, leave this mask on for up to ten minutes for a boost of hydration.
Alpha-H Melting Moment Cleansing Balm, $60, Sephora (available from April 21)
Eve Lom is arguably the brand that reignited the beauty world’s interest in innovative, luxurious and ultimately effective cleansers. The product that did that back in the day is its flagship cleansing balm. A more understated product from the brand’s lineup, though, are these cleansing oil capsules. Each capsule – made of biodegradable material – is perfectly sized to hold a single-use dose of cleansing oil. The consistency and texture of this oil are quite watery and runnier than most others in the market. The result is that you get a soothing cleanse without the feeling of a film or layer of oil pooling on your skin. It’s formulated with Omega fatty acids and the brand’s signature botanical oil blend that features eucalyptus, clove and chamomile.
Eve Lom Cleansing Oil Capsules, $120, Escentials
Laneige, and its parent company Amorepacific, have spent 34 years researching hyaluronic acid, a wonder hydrating ingredient. The brand’s latest coup is the launch of its Blue Hyaluronic line of skincare, which uses a modern version of this ingredient that’s now 2,000 times smaller in size – great news for optimum product absorption. That also means that the acid’s key benefits of hydration are greatly increased. That’s certainly the case with this cleanser, which innovates on the time-tested foam texture. The bouncy lather of this product also includes cellulose beads and papain enzymes for gentle exfoliation and deep cleansing. Best of all, the updated active ingredients ensure that this is a foam that doesn’t leave your skin feeling waxy or tight.
Water Bank Blue Hyaluronic Cleansing Foam, $36, Laneige
This article was first published in Female.