Living in London, which is very polluted, the first thing I want to do when coming home is to wash my face. Nothing beats the feeling of getting the city’s dirt off my face in the evening (except a nice glass of wine of course).
After more than 7 years in London, I have finally figured out what cleansers work best. I have used all of the products I mention below for more than 3 months at least, so they have all been thoroughly tested!
Now quickly before I share with you my favourite cleansers let’s talk about my skin type. I have the ultimate combination skin, my T-zone starts the day normally and end it as an oily mess. My cheeks are dry when I wake up but ease into a normal type eventually. Finally, I do get mild redness and adult acne every now and then. So, if your skin is similar to mine enjoy the products below as I do, if you are on the drier or more sensitive side maybe avoid some of the more balancing products or the tools I use.
To remove all traces of makeup – Clinique Take The Day Off Balm
If you pick only one product make it this one, hence why I mention it first! Clinique Take The Day Off Balm removes EVERYTHING in a very gentle way. It is quite a greasy and rich balm so make sure to thoroughly rinse it if you have oily skin. It is a fantastic cleanser for dry and normal skins and will remove even the most stubborn waterproof mascara.
The micellar water – Bioderma Crealine
I mentioned it in my French Pharmacy guide and in my in-flight essentials guide for good reasons, I have been using this micellar water for 9 years! It has been essential in any French skincare routine for many years. I know there are now other brands doing it but I am faithful to Bioderma Crealine as it is the first micellar water I have ever used. I apply it with a cotton pad in the morning after rinsing my face with water and in the evening after using one of my other cleansers. I also use it as a makeup remover on lazy days.
For a thorough cleanse – Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish is great if you want a very thorough cleanse or as a second step cleanser on a very heavy makeup day. Apply it on dry skin and wash it off with a damp face cloth. It will remove dead skin and any last bits of makeup. I love to use it on a very hot day to remove traces of sweat and sticky sunscreens.
For the mornings or non-makeup days – Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser
A simple no-fuss cleanser, perfect to use in the morning or on non-makeup/non-city day. It is very gentle and should please even the most sensitive skins.
To use with a facial brush – Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
I am a Clarisonic brush convert and have been for years now. I use mine in the shower every other day or so. And because the Clarisonic brush is the star of the show and does most of the scrubbing I use a very basic cleanser with it to avoid irritating my face too much. Cetaphil is the ultimate simple cleanser, so much so that it is recommended by most dermatologists. If you have very sensitive skin skip the facial brush but keep Cetaphil.
For adult acne – Neutrogena Visibly Clear
Aaaaaah good old adult acne! No one really tells you about it, and one day in your mid/late thirties your skin has an emotional meltdown. Mine isn’t too bad but I do get random breakouts on my face and neck, and when I do I go back to a classic Neutrogena Visibly Clear. It is basic yet efficient and the grapefruit scent makes it a lovely cleanser to use during a morning shower.
Pick your favourite among the above, follow with a face mask if you need to and your skin should thank you!