A major component to any good skincare routine is having a cleanser. Cleansers are a way to dissolve the grime and grit after a long day and can be a great way to unwind. Like a lot of aspects of my self care routines, I’ve made an effort to slow them down and treat them as rituals. By acting with this intention, the act of cleaning off the day is more than just physical, it becomes a way to check in and wipe the slate clean at the end of the day.
I must confess that until a few years ago I was a makeup wipe user. Yes, I know. After long days in the city I’d, on more than one occasion, come home, use a makeup wipe and put on some moisturizer and that was it. I didn’t realize at the time that that really doesn’t cut it. Let me break it down for anyone not in the know as I was. If you’re taking your skincare routine seriously, then you are wearing sunscreen. Chances are you are wearing makeup every now and then, too. You are also living, working and out and about. So, all that adds up on your face.
The best way to approach your routine at the end of the day is to DOUBLE CLEANSE. Yes, Double. Trust me, it will change your skin if you haven’t already been doing so. Double Cleansing is starting with an oil-based cleanser, then finishing off with a water-based cleanser. The benefit of the first cleanser is that it helps to break down any makeup, dirt and excess oils from the day. It also helps you gently massage so you aren’t causing more damage by tugging at your skin. Then your second cleanse is a great way to finish it off and add any other minor treatments to then wash off.
Though I typically operate under the assumption that my skin type is combination sensitive, skin concerns ebb and flow. So I’ve collected some of my favorite cleansers in both first and second cleanse categories to address those concerns. I’ll also list some others I recommend but do not currently own.
My first to share for First Cleanse is the Chia and Moringa Algae Enzyme Cleansing Oil from MARA BEAUTY
I’ve been using and loving this cleanser for a few months now. The beautiful formula includes an algae blend, squalane and enzymes from papaya, pineapple, grapefruit and pumpkin. So not only does this cleanser work to gently remove that initial layer of grime, but it also helps to lightly exfoliate and soften skin. You can also leave it on for a light exfoliating peel every so often. It’s certainly luxurious. It also has an interesting texture and grit. To use, simply put two pumps and massage into dry skin. Work into face and then slowly integrate water and slowly emulsify. Emulsifying is when you see the oil turns to an almost milky texture. Once you’ve worked it in, gently rinse to clean and ready for next cleanse. One thing I love most is that a little goes a long way (I’ve barely made a dent after months!). I have found in the past other cleansing oils have me using so much product that the price point and volume mean nothing. This is very much worth it and the results have been beautiful for me so far. I highly recommend it– purchase yours on their site here or Credo Beauty.
My second First Cleanse recommendation is the Cleansing Concentrate from DEVIANT SKINCARE
Now this one I’ve only been using for a short time but I’m already beginning to see why it is known as the “Holy Grail” of cleansing balms. This balm-to-milk cleanser has a beautiful texture. Hemp, Camellia Seed, Sacha Inchi, Blueberry and Borage work together in a powerful formula that soothes and balances skin while helping to lift impurities and clear congestion. Heavenly, buttery and sensitive skin-friendly. Use a scoop to get a small amount and work into hands and onto dry skin on your face as a truly decadent oil cleanse. If you’re looking to treat yourself, add this to the wishlist! You can get and discover why it’s a fan favorite here.
Some other cleansing oils I have used and recommend include Biossance’s SQUALANE + ANTIOXIDANT CLEANSING OIL and Farmacy’s Green Clean.
First Up I’ve got The Real You Jelly Cleanser from Nolaskinsentials
I love this cleanser. Simple and to the point, she does not mess around. Yes, she’s a she. She’s soothing and hydrating with just a touch extra. Some of the ingredients included are Green Tea, Cucumber, Rose Water, Vitamin C, Aloe, and Chamomile. To use: shake it up, add a couple pumps into hand and work to a lather onto dampened skin, rinse and there you go! Clean, fresh skin. I just started my second bottle recently and will never be without it. A solid everyday cleanser.
Next up is the Omega Kale Facial Cleanser from Nolaskinsentials
Another Nolaskinsentials favorite of mine is this Omega Kale Cleanser. I didn’t initially give it a second look because it is marketed more towards male folk as a standard no-fuss cleanser. However, I found myself breaking out more often due to mask-wearing and summer sweat, so I needed help. I did a skin consultation with the gals at Nolaskinsentials and they recommended adding this into my routine to fight external causes of acne. Spotlight ingredients included in this nutrient-rich cleanser are Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil, Cabbage, Kale, and French Green Clay. They help hydrate and deep-clean, all while preventing future breakouts. I used to shy away from Tea Tree after some sensitive reactions, but this formulation is gentle and leaves skin feeling soft. Since I’ve started using this as my morning cleanser I have not had any major breakouts. So I highly recommend this green smoothie for the face.
Last but not least is Alia from Dehiya Beauty
This cleanser is part of my weekend ritual where I give myself just a little extra time. The brand Dehiya is based on Moroccan beauty practices and sets at its heart a goal for bringing together modern skincare with ancient time-honored rituals. This particular cleanser features rich Argan Oil and the option of a boost-my choice was neroli. The texture is unlike any I’ve ever used before. It is an Argan Oil Beldi. Using it is very fun because of its waxy form and is great paired with a tool called a mihakka (as you can see me pictured using in the first photo). The mihakka is a terra-cotta tool covered with organic cotton that is used to spread the product onto and work onto the face for a light manual exfoliation. Simply scoop out a small amount and spread onto the mihakka, then work into a slight lather with water and lightly work on face. I don’t do manual exfoliation often, but when I do I use one important tip. An esthetician once told me to think of your face as a balloon. You don’t want to pop it so you learn to apply a clever amount of pressure. Try this tip and let me know what you think! Anyway, this cleanser is very fun and tactile. Check out Dehiya Beauty and buy your ALIA here.
Those are all part of my cleansing ritual! Add some light meditation and cleansing can be on more than one level. Focus on the textures, scents, and let the water wash away your worries. Each of these addresses its own goals to my concerns and each gives me something to enjoy. So tell me, what is in your cleansing ritual and what do you want to try?
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