Everyone raves about the cult Elemis cleansing balm, but it's this underrated cleanser that I swear by for oily skin

It leaves skin bright, clear and smooth

Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash - beautiful woman with her hand on her cheek smiling against a blue backdrop gettyimages:1181806328
(Image credit: Getty Images / Delmaine Donson)

As an oily-skinned beauty editor, finding the very best cleanser for my skin type has been quite the labour of love. After all, there is nothing that fills me with more joy than washing away all traces of the day after a particularly strenuous one. And while I now have quite the collection of calming, breakout-reducing, inflammation-soothing cleansers for oily skin, there is one that I’d undoubtedly make a grab for first if my entire stash was about to go up in flames—the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash.

We’ve all heard of Elemis’s iconic Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm (and for good reason—it truly is like a spa in a jar) but, for me, it’s the Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash that is the real star of the brand’s cleanser line-up. Perfect for oily, combination or dull-looking skin, it boasts a gently exfoliating formulation that deeply cleanses to leave skin bright and smooth. And my oily skin can’t get enough of it. But what exactly makes it so brilliant and why does this underrated gem deserve your time and attention?

Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash

(Image credit: Mica Ricketts)

Why is the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash so good?

While gel cleansers are often recommended by experts as a great option for oily skin, I don’t always love using them as they can feel slightly stripping—especially now that I’m in my mid-30s and my skin isn’t producing as much sebum as it once was. However, the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash has a gel texture like nothing else I’ve tried before. It’s a rich, thick gel with a slight milkiness to it, which means it has none of the astringency of some of the less sophisticated gel cleansers that I’ve tried in the past. 

And as with all Elemis products, it boasts an impressively research-based formulation. First up, there's a patented tri-enzyme technology works to break up the dead skin cells that sit on the surface of your skin and cause congestion and dullness, without compromising the strength of your skin barrier or its ability to retain moisture. This means that while my skin benefits from improved texture and tone after using this, it's never at the cost of leaving my complexion feeling stripped or overly dry. The cleanser also contains two lesser-known ingredients—babassu oil which is rich in laurice and myristic acids and a great conditioning agent - and white truffle which is a mushroom that soothes and supports the health of the skin’s microflora. This combination leaves my skin soft, hydrated and plump.

Truly, whenever I use this cleanser I am so impressed with how smooth and bright my skin is. Once all of that gentle exfoliation has worked its magic and cleansed away all traces of dirt, grime and pollution (essential if you live in the city like me) my skin always feels so fresh and clean, but without any hint or redness and irritation. And best of all, as someone with acne scarring and active breakouts, my skin always looks lots more even in both tone and texture. While the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm might smell like a spa, the Dynamic Resurfacing Cleansing Wash gives you the kind of skin that you'd expect after having a facial at one.

Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash

(Image credit: Mica Ricketts)

Which skin types does it suit?

Due to the exfoliating nature of this cleanser, it’s well suited to oily or combination skin types like mine who might deal with congestion, excess levels of sebum, or uneven texture from breakouts or scarring. And it's also a great option if, like me, you're in your mid-30s and your skin is starting to lose some of its natural brightness and luminosity. 

While I would happily use this daily, if your skin is slightly on the drier side but in need of a radiance boost then this would make a great option to add to your routine a couple of times a week or before a special event. Its focus on supporting skin health and the milky gel-texture means that it won't feel too harsh or drying.

How do you use the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash?

Because the Elemis Dynamic Facial Wash doesn’t contain any potent actives like salicylic or glycolic, which typically appear in cleansers that offer similar exfoliating benefits, the good news is that it’s gentle enough to be used every day both morning and night. However, because you are gently exfoliating the skin I tend to use this in the evening only—and as a second cleanse after I’ve removed my makeup with either a micellar water or more of a balm cleanser. So you could even use this in conjunction with the Elemis cleansing balm.

I apply a pea-sized amount to wet hands and then massage it into my damp face and neck before rinsing off and patting dry. I am evangelical about wearing SPF so I’d always apply it the next day as part of my morning skincare routine, but if you’re less stringent then make sure to apply sun protection when using this cleanser due to the way that it resurfaces the skin.

Shop the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing range

Mica Ricketts

Mica Ricketts is a freelance beauty editor and contributor to Marie Claire. She has written for titles including Refinery29 and Who What Wear UK, and also works with beauty brands on content messaging and marketing copy. She was previously Who What Wear UK's beauty editor. As someone that has tried basically every acne product on the market, she has a particular passion for debunking skincare myths and finding products that work. Plus, with two small children at home she is all about time-saving beauty routines that boost glow and disguise dark circles.