The search for the perfect cleanser is a Holy Grail pursuit. Like coming across a binge-worthy Netflix show with four seasons in the bank, finding a good cleanser can be like stumbling upon a unicorn at the tail-end of a double rainbow. Aka, very rare. As a result, we often just stick to our ol’ faithfuls; those same ones that’ve sat in our shower caddy for years.

And we get it, hunting for a cleanser that can cut through the layers of makeup that many of our profesh working lives demand of us can be exhausting. Finding one that removes stubborn waterproof mascara but doesn’t leave your face feeling ultra dry? We feel like taking a nap just thinking about it. Like that new Netflix show, your cleanser will be with you morning and night, so it’s crucial you get it right. Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, like all good spirit guides, we got you.

La Mer The Cleansing Oil


This might just be IS the prettiest cleanser ever. And not only does this luxe product look great in my cabinet, but my face felt almost instantaneously detoxified and glowing after just a few days of incorporating it into my daily routine. I only needed two pumps of the wonder product and it glided on silky smooth, leaving me smelling how I imagine a sparkling mermaid would. Massage the product gently into your skin, add a splash of water, and stand back as this magical cleanser transforms your face into a thing of wonder. I’ve well and truly become a double-cleanse devotee, and I’ve got a lot to owe to La Mer for that.


Dermalogica PreCleanse


It’s easy to understand why this little guy has a cult following. The hard worker does all the heavy lifting that a normal cleanser won’t do alone — the lightweight oil gets rid of the tough stuff whilst also leaving your skin hydrated. After a week of using this product both morning and night, I noticed PreCleanse had significantly helped to control and knock out breakouts. After using the PreCleanse, I generally follow up with a foaming cleanser, and the result is squeaky-clean skin. It’s perfect for the lazy gal beauty routine (guilty). Thank you, Dermalogica gods!


Herbivore Bamboo Charcoal


Some days I just need a good ol’ deep cleanse — one that exfoliates, detoxifies and draws out all those nasties that have built up on my face during the day. This is the times when I need this charcoal soap bar the most. My skin was noticeably smoother and a whole lot less oily after using this, the little black soap of your dreams. This cleanser is perfect for those with acne-prone skin and hormonal breakouts that rudely crash the party each month. And the best bit is that it’s not overly harsh. I included this bad boy 2 to 3 times a week, and my skin tone is noticeably smoothed. Not to mention the fact that it’s vegan friendly, for all the animal lovers among us.


Arcona White Tea Purifying Cleanser


If you and your skin need a break, this calming and purifying cleanser is like yoga for your face. This heavenly scented cleanser is actual #goals: it left my face refreshed, toned, and helped to minimise my pores to the point that you’d probs need a microscope to see them. Stacked with goodies like aloe, soothing yucca and Vitamin E, this beautiful cleanser won’t dry or irritate your precious face, instead leaving you with that fresh, tingly feeling.


Malin+Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser


Sometimes my skin decides to betray me, regardless of all the love and attention I give it, and on those days I need to be extra kind. This cleanser is super gentle, and works by balancing my skin’s natural pH with grapefruit extract and amino acids that work together to get rid of excess oil and dirt. I used this at the sink and in the shower, always taking time to work it into a foamy lather of goodness. It completely took off any make-up, but I didn’t feel dry or need to rush straight to my moisturiser. I used this twice a day and came out feeling fresher than a daisy.


Perricone MD Foaming Cleanser


If you’re like me and are a fan of wearing make-up on the reg, then you and Perricone are definitely MFEO. I use this product in the shower and it removes all make-up (even long wear), washed away all of my impurities, combated my skin stress, and left me feeling ultra ~smoov~. A massive bonus was that this foamy, cloud-like product helped to replace the natural oils on my face, so after a gentle pat down with a towel I was ready to move straight on.


Kate Somerville Daily Cleanser


Holy smokes, where do I start? Struggling with breakouts is an undisputed pest of the highest order, but this powerful, medicated cleanser, teamed with honey and rice bran, is officially here to save my life. My skin feels firm and fresh after each use, and I use it twice daily, which helps to get rid of blemishes. Remind me to send Kate a thank-you note.


Clarisonic Mia Fit


City living — or life in generally, really — can build up on our face. That’s where the Mia Fit, aka this heavenly little portable facial, comes in handy. It’s super compact — I was able to take it with me anywhere — and it had my dull skin in check after a few goes. My skin is a bit of a delicate princess when it comes to brushes, but the soft bristles meant that it was a-ok to use twice a day. It also has two settings, which meant I could choose a delicate clean or a power cleanse, which, let’s be real, my hands have never done for me. Better still, as a gal who spends a ridiculous amount of time travelling, the charge is USB-enabled, so I can hook it up to my laptop anywhere.


Words, Domonique Chevalley. Photography, Sarah Adamson