Shopping: Facial cleansers that really work

Reta Lee
Editor-in-Chief, Lifestyle
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

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If you’re like me, and you prefer skin that feels moisturised and not taut after a wash, then sit up and take notice: here’s my recommendations for facial cleansers that actually work. After a long day out with makeup on and standing in traffic with grime on your skin, you should clean your face as it it the first important step in looking after your skin.

Experts say we probably don’t wash long enough, and using a cleansing brush actually helps with dirt removal as well as promoting blood circulation.

According to Doris Day, a New York City dermatologist, clinical associate professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Health, we should be washing for more than a minute.

"We know that washing with a cleansing brush is about six times more effective than using your hands and, generally, it takes about 60 seconds at a minimum to cleanse the skin," she said in an interview to Insider.

Over the months, I’ve been trialing these few cleansers and they stand out for me for their efficacies, as well as not giving me breakouts as I have eczema. Do you use any of the following? Click on the products for more details.


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The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser

I first picked this up in New York as it was the latest gender-neutral brand to hit the market, and I was curious. Squalane is a plant derivative and it boasts of anti-oxidant properties and can be used to manage stubborn acne breakouts. The product does remove some of my eye makeup, but not all of it. Nevertheless, it’s a great product to have as it comes in a travel-friendly size.

Sebamed Liquid Face & Body Wash

What a steal! If you’re someone who’s fuss-free like me, you’ll love this head-to-toe cleanser; it’s safe to use for your face and body, and it leaves my skin feeling refreshed. Plus it works for sensitive skin users like me, who has eczema!

Orbis U Wash Cleanser

I’d like to pin this as a gender-free product as my partner uses it as well! The product has a jelly-like texture and foams up easily with water contact. I like that it doesn’t irritate my skin, and it doesn’t leave with an overpowering scent. Must-use!

Caudalie Purifying Gel Cleanser

The Caudalie Purifying Gel Cleanser is packed with essential oils, grapeseed polyphenols and natural salicylic acid to minimise the look of pores and blemishes. I noticed after two weeks of wash that my skin feels clearer, without that harsh drying effect.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser

This is one of my favourite products to use - the smell is light and inviting, and the foam is not too drying on the skin. It doesn’t come with all that harsh chemicals (sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, and phthalates) and it leaves your skin feeling moisturised and softer.