Facialists and skincare experts universally talk about the importance of cleansing as the best way to prep skin for whatever comes after and to keep spots and irritation at a minimum. But cleansing doesn't just apply to the face—ensuring you're cleansing your body with the right products is equally as important. With so many different formulas and textures available, there's definitely one out there that you'll look forward to using every morning and night.
For this year's Marie Claire UK Skin Awards, our panel of expert judges tested hundreds of products across our Cleanse, Treat, Moisturise, Sustainability and New to Market categories to create a definitive edit of the best in skincare.
Across face, hands, bath and body, here are our judges' expert choices on the best cleansing products...
Best Bath Product
Winner: Comfort Zone Tranquillity Oil
Comfort Zone Tranquillity Oil, £46.50 | Comfort Zone
This sumptuous oil can be poured into your bath at the end of a long day. Comfort Zone Tranquillity Oil is perfect for destressing and unwinding thanks to its soft, spa-like aroma that comes to life when added to a warm bath. The blend of essential oils along with amaranth oil is super sensorial and brings joy to every bath. “What an incredible bath oil,” said judge, Karen Williams. “The smell, the way it left my skin, the packaging—I didn't want it to end.”
Best Bath/Body Range for Kids
Winner: Aveeno Kids Bubble Bath & Wash
Aveeno Kids Bubble Bath & Wash, £5.99 | Boots
This sweet range is gentle and kind to the skin while making wash time fun. This product are brilliant at cleansing skin for growing kids without stripping or irritating. The bubble bath is nourishing on the skin and is crafted with only the necessary ingredients needed to formulate without excessive filler.
Best Body Scrub
Winner: Sanctuary Spa Signature Natural Oils Salt Scrub
Sanctuary Spa Signature Natural Oils Salt Scrub, £16 | Lookfantastic
Sanctuary Spa products have glowed up in recent years—and you can tell. The new and improved formula remains cruelty-free, and now all products are vegan and mineral oil-free, too. The iconic fragrance is also created with 100% natural oils. As judge, Dr Uchenna Okoye, said, “This felt luxurious to use. It smelled divine and experiential. It glided on effortlessly and my skin felt wonderful.” She continues, “It’s definitely on my Christmas list as gifts for friends.” Thanks to the jojoba and coconut-oil base, the exfoliation from the dead sea salt flakes is immediately smoothed and cocooned, so there is no need for extra moisturising.
Highly commended: Beauty Pie Soul Providers Re-energizing Dry Oil Sugar Scrub
Best Cleanser for Sensitive Skin
Winner: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, £10 | Amazon
Some cleansers really are suit-all. It’s not easy to navigate sensitive to oily to dry to irritable skin types, but this cleanser is perfect for a plethora of skin needs. Whether you are new to cleansing, in need of something gentler to aid a flare-up or just looking to see what all the fuss is about, your skin is in good hands. As Sarah Tonk describes, “This is utilitarian product that you can’t really argue with due to the price point. It does exactly what it says it does.”
Highly commended: Keys Soulcare Golden Cleanser
Best Everyday Cleanser
Winner: Youth To The People Superfood Cleanser
Youth To The People Superfood Cleanser, £31 | Cult Beauty
Judge, Marie Reynolds, described this cleanser as a “beautiful non-stripping foaming cleanser that leaves the skin nourished and cleansed”. The superfood extracts of kale, spinach and green tea are all at play in this formula to allow your skin to reap those antioxidant benefits. The gel formula is pH-balanced so it suits most skin types, and the foam is so gentle that even if you have skin on the drier side, your skin doesn’t feel tight. Think of this as your perfect morning cleanser or second evening cleanse.
Highly commended: Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser
Best Facial Exfoliator/Scrub
Winner: Dermalogica Daily Milkfoliant
Dermalogica Daily Milkfoliant, £65 | Dermalogica
When you think of milky skincare, what comes to mind? Gentle and soothing right? Now, what about when you think of exfoliation? Not synonymous, are they? Well, Dermalogica is here to quell the idea that exfoliation needs to be harsh and potentially damaging to the skin barrier. The brand's Daily Milkfoliant can be used with one cleanse every single day without harming the skin. It smooths rough skin and uneven texture calmly, using coconut milk, oat bran extracts, AHAs, BHAs, papain extract, saccharide and hyaluronic acid to help keep skin soft and retain moisture. “Love, love, love this product,” said judge, Hannah Martin. “It's so gentle, so effective—a really lovely, gentle exfoliator.”
Highly commended: Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid
Best Hand Sanitiser
Winner: Dr. Bronner’s Organic Peppermint Hand Hygiene Spray
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Peppermint Hand Hygiene Spray, £5.49 | Dr Bronner's
If you’re unsure how a hand sanitiser can be set apart from any other, you clearly haven’t tried Dr. Bronner’s Organic Peppermint Hand Hygiene Spray. This spray is certified organic and fair trade and the active ingredient, ethyl alcohol, is 99.9% effective against germs. Super refreshing and light, the peppermint oil gives hands a really uplifting scent. Plus, the formula includes glycerin, an ingredient known for delivering moisture into the skin, which counterbalances the drying properties of the alcohol—it's a game-changer.
Highly commended: KOHA Beauty Hand Sanitiser
Best Luxury Cleanser
Winner: ARgENTUM la lune de velours
ARgENTUM la lune de velours, £98 | ARgENTUM
Truly, cleansers don’t come much more luxe than this. Thanks to the brand’s patented fusion of silver hydrosol & DNA HP along with argan oil, sweet almond oil and vitamin E, this cleanser has a delicious blend of nutrients for skin health for all skin types. The texture is something that judges really picked up on with Marie Reynolds saying that “it applied like velvet”. The oils in the formula are non-comedogenic and organic, so with the combination of them and silver hydrosol’s antibacterial properties, this cleanser can also target blemish-prone skin. The judges also loved the added touch of the sponge that comes with the elegant packaging. Everything you need for a luxury start to your skincare routine is included.
Highly commended: ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm
Best Make-Up Remover
Winner: The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter
The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter, £12 | The Body Shop
Camomile is known for its soothing and calming properties, so there’s no surprise that The Body Shop has harnessed its properties for this excellent cleanser. The texture is buttery soft and melts into the skin with ease. As judge, Zoe Taylor, explains, “This is an effective and soothing product, perfect for sensitive skin. It’s very effective at removing make-up.” Along with the star camomile extract, the butter also contains shea butter for enhanced moisturising, and olive oil for added softness. It’s a great first cleanse if you double cleanse but can also be used in the morning alone, ahead of the rest of your skincare routine.
Highly commended: Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm
Best Micellar Water
Winner: UKLash Lash & Brow Wash
UKLash Lash & Brow Wash, £17.99 | UKLash
UKLash is one of the most well-loved lash brands in the UK, and the judges were impressed with the brand’s Lash & Brow Wash. The formula includes aloe vera and apple water for a soothing, gentle but thorough clean that doesn’t disrupt the skin’s barrier or aggravate it. Plus, as it’s oil-free you can use it on lash extensions too. Judge, Gina Kane used both at home and on beauty shoots. “This is fresh and easy to use,” she says. “I love that its fragrance- and oil-free and works well on even on the most sensitive eyes.”
Highly commended: CeraVe Micellar Cleansing Water
Best Purse-Friendly Cleanser
Winner: Superdrug B. Melting Cleansing Balm
Superdrug B. Melting Cleansing Balm, £9.99 | Superdrug
If anything proves that purse-friendly doesn’t mean sub-par, it’s this cleansing balm from B..The key ingredient in this cleanser is shea butter, which gives it its velvety-soft feel and ensures your skin doesn’t feel tight or dry when washed off. “I was absolutely shocked at how good this is considering how affordable it is,” said Dr Sarah Tonks. “It's amazing value and a really great product, as well as being very well packaged considering the price, too.”
Highly commended: BYOMA Creamy Jelly Cleanser
Best Shower Product
Winner: Nécessaire The Body Wash
Nécessaire The Body Wash, £25 | Space NK
With so many incredible active ingredients, you would be forgiven if you thought this was a luxe face wash. But no, this sumptuous formula is the judges' favourite body wash. With niacinamide, vitamin c and vitamin e, as well as omega-6 and 9, this stuff suds up into a nourishing and balancing cleanse. To top it off, you can pick your scent; eucalyptus, sandalwood or completely fragrance-free.
Highly commended: Hello Klean Nourishing Micronutrient Wash
Winner: Orveda The Healing Sap
Orveda The Healing Sap, £125 | Orveda
“This was a pleasure to use,” said judge, Ola Awosika. “I wasn't surprised to see that this brand focuses on achieving glowing skin as well as maintaining the skin barrier. My skin felt smoother and balanced after use.” It tethers the line of a toner and serum that contains a complex of a massive 10 bio-actives. These actives help to illuminate, brighten and fade marks too. The formula includes contains bio-fermented kombucha black tea to rejuvenate skin and help with glow, plus papaya enzyme, which is known for its brightening properties.
Highly commended: Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence
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