The most effective cleansers I’ve used

One of the key components to a good beauty routine is a cleanser. Why? It’s so important to make sure your skin isn’t getting clogged up with the products we use through the day/night, and its own natural secretions.

A lot of really useful information has come out over the years about what makes a good cleanser, and the market has changed massively. Gone are the days when we would be using St Ives Apricot Scrub and a drying, oil-stripping wash and wondering why our skin was getting worse.

Then there’s the double-cleanse. I’ve never been someone who can just use a face wipe and be done with it, but I did only use the one cleanser and be done with it for a number of years. To me, one of the best feelings is taking off all my makeup with a good double cleanse with the right products, and feeling completely clean and fresh.

I’ve got a good old stash that I’ve been getting through, so here are some of my favourite cleansers which I’ve restocked after finishing them.


Beautypie Japanfusion

This is hands down one of my favourite cleansers.

It’s a balm-to-milk cleanser from a squeezable tube. I massage it onto my face to remove product (including over closed eyes) for a few seconds so it really picks up the skincare/makeup on my face. I then go in with a hot cloth and remove it all in one go. It’s SO satisfying!

I find it really effective at removing product, even down to lash glue (as long as you give it a good massage over the eyes to really get it picked up). There is no scent to it and I haven’t found it irritating for my skin in the slightest.

I finish it off with a gentle foaming cleanser (see further down for my thoughts).

I’ve bought countless tubes over the last few years as it’s so affordable and effective. I just love it! Disclaimer: you will need a Beautypie membership to benefit from the affordable prices (see my other post on Beautypie for further details).


Beautypie Jeju Daily

Another Beautypie favourite of mine.

This is a milk-to-oil cleanser and it’s dreaming – from the packaging to the product itself, it ticks so many boxes.

It’s not dissimilar to the Japanfusion cleanser above, and I use it in the same way, but I love the convenience of the pump bottle and the whole look of it. I tried this one later down the line after using the Japanfusion one for quite a while, and dare I say I think I actually prefer this one…

Just the aesthetic, the convenience of the bottle, the value (you get a lot of use out of just one bottle of it!) and how effective it is, this is now my primary BP cleanser (and probably the one I use most out of them all).

Again, it’s gentle but does an amazing job and removing any nasties that will clog your skin. I’ve never had any type of reaction to it. I can’t recommend it enough!


Clinique Take The Day Off

Not quite as affordable as the Beautypie cleansers mentioned previously, but I think this was the first proper balm that I used and fell in love with.

Ever since using this, I’ve opted for a balm/balm-to-oil cleanser, and always have to have one nearby. I couldn’t go without using this type of product to remove product now, and it’s all thanks to the Take The Day Off balm that carved the way for me.

This goes from a solid-y balm to an oil(?) and does an incredible job. As with the others, I massage in and use a hot cloth to remove.

The only downside is that it’s a bit more pricey than others on the market. Not too bad price-wise yet still pricier than other great ones out there, but that comes with the brand.


The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Balm

I said I love a good cleansing balm. Believe me now?!

This is on the more affordable end of the spectrum, but is definitely not to be scoffed at. Using the massage and hot cloth method as per, it removes a load of product and does everything you want it to.

What will say about this product, however, is that I find it more oily and it runs into my eyes and blurs them, also leaving more of a residue than the others. I always feel I need to go in with a gentle foaming cleanser anyway, but especially after using this.

That’s not enough to make me want to take it off my list of favourites, but it is something that makes me reach for it less than the others.


Deviant Skincare Cleansing Concentrate

I’m well aware that I’ve clogged this list up with a load of balms, so I’ll make this the last balm on the list. But it’s certainly a balm with a bang.

If you haven’t heard of Deviant Skincare, you’re missing out. It’s a small UK-based company that create top-tier products (in my opinion at least, as well as many others it seems).

I first heard about them on Instagram through some fellow beauty-lovers, and all I saw were rave reviews of them. This is the first product I bought from them and I was not disappointed in the slightest.

The consistency is thicker and not as soft as some other balms, but it feels like a real treat for the skin. Using a little scoop to get some of the product from the tub, you don’t need too much as a little goes a long way. It removes product so, so well and leaves the skin feeling amazing afterwards. This is probably the only one where I don’t go in afterwards to remove it with a second cleanser, only because the ingredients are so nice to have on the skin. I’ll go more in-depth on the product itself in another post, but this is just an overview for now.

The only downside is the cost, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for the sales they have a couple of times a year to take advantage of. There are different sizes though, so if you can’t afford a bigger tub you can go for a smaller one to economise.

This is definitely a luxurious product, and very worth it.

Blue Tansy version – the standard version is green

Ok, I’ve said a lot about balms/milks and so on now, so I’ve briefly touch on some other cleansers below, because contrary to what the above seems, I don’t only use those!


The Body Shop Camomile Eye and Lip Makeup Remover

I suppose this can technically be considered a cleanser too, and it’s fantastic.

Having some oil in the bottle makes removing eye and lip makeup an absolute breeze. I would usually use this one before a balm.

I did go to replace the bottle that I was running out of, but could only find a camomile eye make up remover, which does not seem to be the same formula as this one and I was quite disappointed with the results – it just smeared my makeup around my eyes and made them sting. I’ve been keeping an eye out but I feel it may have been discontinued, which I’m so disappointed about.


CeraVe SA Smoothing Cleanser

I’ve heard a lot about the gentle foaming cleanser from CeraVe, but this is the one that gets my vote.

It contains Salycilic Acid, so it gently exfoliates the skin while cleaning it, leaving it feeling super soft and smooth. I use this one after a balm.


Caudalie Foaming Cleanser

I love this foaming cleanser. It doesn’t dry out your skin or make it feel rubbery afterwards, which a lot of foaming cleansers do.

My skin still feels hydrated after using this, and not gasping for moisture. It really is an effective but gentle cleanser, which I use after my balm and wash off with a splash of water.


Fresh Beauty Soy Face Cleanser

This is definitely a last but not least situation…

I absolutely adore this gel cleanser. It has all the attributes that I want in a cleanser: it’s effective, smells nice (although I don’t think it’s fragranced – but it really reminds me of cucumber!), feels really nice on the skin and is just a great experience overall.

I first tried this when I got a couple of Christmas sets from Fresh Beauty and just fell in love with the minis that I used. I have in and bought a big tube and I haven’t regretted it since. This is a regular in my rotation.


This is not an exhaustive list of my favourite cleansers/cleansing products, but these are the ones that first spring to mind whenever anyone asks me for a recommendation. I do have a big stash of others to get through, so this list may change over time, but they’ve been solid staples in the rotation after a good few years so I would be surprised if any are replaced with something else. Perhaps the list will just grow and grow!

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