Disclaimer: Even the best cleanser can't turn back time on your wrinkles. And we all know that ensuring you're using SPF every day has the biggest effect on those fine lines forming around your eyes and your mouth. But there is one thing that you need to know about why cleansers are the key to anti-ageing. When you don't take your makeup off or rid your skin of all the dirt it's collected during the day, your skin dries out and won't repair itself properly, which leads to the formation of wrinkles.
According to skincare specialist Nichola Joss, if you don't properly cleanse your skin at the end of the day, it will get dehydrated; however, "the skin needs to be as clean as possible in order for it to [repair itself]." Not only that, but Joss also says that "when you're leaving makeup on, especially around eyes, the naturally occurring hyaluronic acid [the stuff that helps your skin stay hydrated and plump] doesn't work as naturally as it should. You will very quickly see wrinkles from dehydration." Uh-oh indeed.
This all means, of course, that cleansing is paramount to great skin. It's important to ensure your skin can repair itself and therefore help stop those fine lines from forming, or at least slow them down a bit. To help, we've selected the best cleansers that we know work for every type of skin, from oily to dry, as well as ones for more sensitive complexions. Keep scrolling for the nine best cleansers to give you incredible skin.
Best cleanser for acne-prone skin
When you suffer from acne and you're prone to breakouts, you want a dedicated product that will cater to your skin. This cleanser, created by Mario Badescu (the drying lotion is a must for any acne sufferers), contains glycolic acid to break down buildup from the skin's surface and reduce minor discoloration. Do note though that you should only use this cleanser a maximum of three times per week.
Best cleanser for dry skin
When you have dry skin, the last thing you want is to wash your face only to find that it immediately tightens with that ready-to-crack feel. With an oil face cleanser, you'll find that it removes dirt and makeup beautifully. Just remember to remove any excess oil with another cleanse using a micellar water or toner.
Best cleanser for normal skin
One of the best cleansers that this Byrdie editor has ever tried is this one from Kiehl's. One pump and you'll find that it lathers enough to cover your whole face, removing all traces of makeup and dirt. Oh, and it won't dry out your face after patting dry.
Best cleanser to take off makeup
This is a beauty-industry favourite and for good reason. The spa-level quality product is luxurious when you apply it to your face, which removes all traces of makeup and grime from the day. It also leaves your face looking glowing too.
Best cleanser to remove dirt
When you want to really give your face a deep cleanse (one or twice a week), then you need something a little more hard-core. For that, we recommend hunting down a great charcoal cleanser. The charcoal helps to draw out the dirt from pores and gives you a much deeper clean than usual.
Best cleanser for exfoliating
While you don't want to exfoliate your skin too much, if you do it gently, even every day, you might just see the benefits. This gentle exfoliator by Clarins (it foams when you add water—like magic) is perfect for a spot of daily exfoliation. However, if you feel that seven days is a bit too much for you, then cut it down to what your skin is telling you.
Best cleanser for anti-ageing
Quite truthfully, no cleanser is going to be anti-ageing, as it doesn't sit on your face long enough. (You are washing it off after all.) But that doesn't mean you can't find one that is gentle on your face and will remove dirt and makeup easily. This one from Eve Lom helps to stimulate collagen production and will help boost tired skin.
Best cleanser for oily skin
Complete with salicylic acid, this daily cleanser is ideal for those who are prone to breakouts and want to prevent any potential problems too.
Best cleanser for sensitive skin
A really effective, gentle cleanser doesn't have to come with a big price tag. This classic product from Cetaphil is so popular because it works by getting rid of makeup and dirt without totally stripping your skin.
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