It’s easy to grab a random face wash off the shelf because after all, it will only be on your skin for a few seconds, right? Well, I’m here to tell you that you need to be as picky with your choice of cleansers as you are with your exfoliants. When we cleanse our skin, regardless of the nature of the cleanser (soap or soap-free), we strip down moisture. Yes, that’s what surfactants are supposed to do; while removing excess oil and impurities, cleansers also strip down components of the skin’s natural moisturizing factors (NMF).
In this post, we looked at the different criteria to guide you in selecting the right gentle cleanser for your skin; identifying the surfactants, pH, moisturizing agents, and other active ingredients present (for treatment cleansers).
Now, I’ll be sharing with you my top gentle cleansers that checked all those boxes without drying out/causing further damage to the skin. For reference, my skin type is a combination (a bit oily in the T-zone & normal to dry in the perimeters).
COSRX Low pH Good Morning Cleanser
This is a water-based gel cleanser that uses mild surfactants such as Cocamidopropyl Betaine and Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate to give the skin a good, refreshing wash. Other key ingredients include Tea Tree Leaf Oil (anti-inflammatory) and Betaine Salicylate (mildly exfoliating)- both great for soothing acne. From my experience, the Cosrx Good Morning Low pH cleanser is best suited for combination to oily skin. My skin doesn’t feel stripped or squeaky clean after using this cleanser.
Pros: It’s gentle enough for daily use, the pH is on the acidic side 5.0 – 6.0 (similar to that of the skin), it is affordable ($14/150ml) and easily accessible. The only downside is that it contains essential oils which might be irritating to sensitized skin. My skin tolerates it well though.
Where to shop? Eve Beautique (Nigeria), YesStyle (Global).
Wishtrend 2% Acid-Duo Mild Gel Cleanser
Forget the acid in the product title; this cleanser is nowhere near harsh on the skin. Of all the cleansers I’ve tried, this one from Wishtrend is my favorite! It strikes the perfect balance of deep cleansing, exfoliating, keeping blemishes at bay while being gentle and skin pH-friendly. The key ingredients in this cleanser include Gluconolactone 1% (PHA) and Lipo Hydroxy acid 1% (LHA)- gentle exfoliating acids.
It contains mild surfactants such as Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, and a bunch of plant extracts (rich in antioxidants). Butylene glycol, Panthenol, and Beta-Glucan are also present for minimizing dehydration. As much as I want to say that this is a safe option for all skin types, I can’t because I don’t have extremely dry skin. However, even in the colder months where my skin was at its driest, it tolerated this cleanser well.