face cleanser

The best cleanser that’ll make you actually look forward to washing your face

Right this way for the cleanest skin of your life

I would go out on a limb and say that finding (and using) the best cleanser for your complexion is the most important skincare step. Washing away the day’s grime and removing make-up are both essential for healthy skin, and any products that follow need to be applied to a clean face.

Whether you prefer a cream cleanser, thick balm, lightweight gel or nourishing cleansing oil, there’s one to suit your skin’s needs (and those of your bank balance, too).

Armed with a hot flannel and these bad boys and we defy you not to look forward to washing your face.

Best micellar water

Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water, £4.99, Boots

best cleanser micellar water Garnier

Of all of the micellar waters out there (and boy, are there a lot of ’em), Garnier’s is both exceptional and insanely good value. It’s free of alcohol and perfume, making it a great choice for even sensitive skin, and makes light work of lifting away your best mascara and long-wearing eyeliner. Piece of cake. Yes micellar water is wonderful stuff but please, please, please don’t use it as your sole cleanser; It’s an excellent make-up remover and first step, but should always be followed with a proper cleansing face wash unless you’re on-the-go.

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Best cleanser for acne prone skin

La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Hydrating Cleansing Cream, £12, Lookfantastic

best cleanser La Roche Posay

This particular cleanser is very gentle and soothing on the skin, with clever anti-friction technology so as not to further irritate skin that’s already a bit unhappy, which makes it a good starting place for blemish or acne-prone skin. Dr Justine Kluk often recommends this cleanser to acne patients in her clinic, so you know it’s a good’un.

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Best cleanser for oily skin

Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel, £7.50, Boots

best cleanser for oily skin Avene

A gentle soap-free cleansing gel that works to refresh the skin and normalise oil levels, this one can be used all over the body – great if you struggle with back acne too.

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Best cleanser for dry skin

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, £24, Fabled

best cleanser for dry skin Clinique

This deliciously thick balm does exactly what it says on the tub, taking the day’s make-up, SPF and oil off in a few easy sweeps, turning into an oil upon massaging that then rinses off easily with warm water. It’s a reliable cult favourite cleanser for good reason, and won’t strip your already dry skin of all its moisture. We love it.

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Best cleanser for combination skin

Kate Somerville Exfolikate Cleanser, £16, Space NK

best cleanser for combination skin Kate Somerville

ExfoliKate is particularly effective here as it tackles both characteristics of combination skin – the AHAs, lactic and glycolic acid, break down dead and dry skin cells while also removing excess oil for a softer, more radiant complexion. The brand has just launched into its first physical store space at Space NK, so be sure to pop down and check out the products IRL.

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Best cleansing oil

Shiseido Perfect Cleansing Oil, £32, Fabled

best cleanser oil Shiseido

This oil is seriously lightweight and dissolves make-up SO easily, rinsing away as a milk upon contact with warm water. But perhaps even better is that it doesn’t leave you with blurry eyes after you’ve used it, something that’s common with an oil cleanser.

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Best cleanser for sensitive skin

Simple Cleansing Oil, £6.99, Boots

best cleanser for sensitive skin Simple Cleansing Oil

Simple is a household name when it comes to products for sensitive skin. Made from 100% grape seed oil, this cleanser is gentle and nourishing; massage into dry skin, rinse with a little water and wash all impurities down the plughole. As ever there are no artificial colours or perfumes involved, so your sensitive skin is in good hands.

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Best cleanser for blackheads

Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser, £14, Beauty Bay

best cleanser for acne Mario Badescu

Mario Badescu is loved by many a spot-prone skin sufferer, and this cleanser is suited to anyone with oily skin that’s easily congested. It contains wonder exfoliating ingredient salicylic acid that breaks down those pesky plugs of dead skin and oil, reducing their appearance over time.

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Best cleanser brush

FOREO LUNA Mini 2, £95.20, Fabled

A face cleanser brush takes your daily face wash to the next level. Using one of these in your skincare routine will leave your skin feeling smoother and will give your pores a much deeper clean than just using your hands or cotton pads. The best, like the FOREO LUNA Mini 2, are designed to be gentle enough for every day use. This one has eight different intensity settings, so you can tailor your brushing to your skin’s needs.

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Keep scrolling for more of our hero cleanser buys.

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