Cleansers are one of the hardest working products in your skincare routine. They remove makeup, oil, dirt, and dead skin cells, creating a clean canvas. Rather conveniently, face cleansers come in a range of formats, from balms and lotions to foams and gels, to cater to all skin types and concerns, and to make cleansing in the AM and PM feel like a mini ritual rather than a chore.

Check out which products are best suited to your skin.


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EradiKate Daily Foaming Cleanser
10 sold today
Superfood Cleanser
Youth to the People
£15.00 - £38.00
£15.00 - £62.00
Eve Lom
£48.00 - £90.00
Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser


A good cleanser helps to wash away dead skin cells, dirt, excess oil, and even pollution particles, ensuring your skin is properly clean before you start applying your creams and serums. Not all cleansers are equal though, and you should choose a formula with the best texture and ingredients for your skin type and concerns to reap the rewards.

At the heart of every face cleanser is the surfactant system. Wait, what are surfactants? Well, they target dirt and oil by breaking them down so they can be rinsed away. While some surfactants can be too harsh for sensitive skin (think household items!), those commonly used in facial cleansers tend to gentle enough to get rid of dirt, oil, excess sebum, and dead skin cells, without irritating or stressing your skin.

In addition to surfactants, cleansers are formulated with antioxidants and active ingredients to address specific skin concerns. For example, The Ordinary has included squalane in one of its cleansers to help moisturise dry skin, while Egyptian chamomile in one of Eve Lom’s cleansers calms sensitive skin. Live or work in the city? Look for formulas that feature antioxidants such as liquorice root and green tea extracts to help protect your skin.

All skin types benefit from using a cleanser twice a day, but your skin type, skin concerns and goals will determine the type of cleanser you use. In general, very sensitive skin should opt for a gentle formula containing skin-nourishing ingredients, while oily skin may find gel and foaming textures, with a blend of AHAs and BHAs to gently exfoliate as well as cleanse, more effective.

Cleanser should be the first step in your morning and evening skincare routines. Depending on the formula, massage it into dry or damp skin – don’t forget your hair line and neck. If you’re using a balm or oil-based cleanser, add more water to emulsify the texture. Once you have thoroughly massaged your skin, use a wet cloth to remove every trace of product before patting skin dry with a towel and continuing with your routine.