When it comes to getting your skin squeaky clean, there are countless ways to do it. From cleansing balms to micellar waters to cold creams, everybody has their own favourite way to wash the day away. Personally, I'm a big fan of an oil cleanser, which I'll use with a hot cloth in the evening to melt away my make-up and leave my skin feeling purified. But in the morning? I love to wake up with a good face wash, which I usually do as the second-to-last step of my shower routine before washing out my conditioner.
Finding the right face products can be trial and error—which isn't great if you're prone to adverse reactions and is less than economical to boot. But as there are just so many products on the market, matching one up to your specific skin concerns can be way more complicated than it needs to be.
Read on for our guide to the best face washes for different skin concerns.
Cetaphil is still relatively under-the-radar here in the UK, but our friends in America have been raving about it for ages—and for good reason.
Acne can be a very serious skin complaint, one that's about more than just the occasional blemish breakout. If you're really concerned about your skin, then it's best to speak to your general practitioner or a dermatologist. But in the meantime, use products that are gentle and won't strip or damage the skin.
There are a lot of myths about pores—they certainly don't open and close in the way that we've long been led to believe. Having said that, there are factors that can make pores look enlarged, and one of these is being clogged with excess sebum, oil or dirt. This cleanser has baking soda and an AHA to gently exfoliate and refine skin.
If you have redness or rosacea, then you know just how tricky it can be to find a product that won't inflame it further. Minimising or controlling the redness can sometimes feel like an impossible dream, but that's where Murad comes in. The Redness Therapy range calms, cools and hydrates without leaving skin sensitised or sore.
Sensitive skin needs a gentle touch, and this softly foaming wash is a great place to start. A small amount goes a long way, and as you work up a lather you'll immediately feel how gentle this cleanser really is. It won't leave your skin feeling stripped or tight, thanks to the shea butter formula.
When dealing with blackheads, it can be tempting to reach for a harsh scrub, but a gentle chemical exfoliant like salicylic acid can often be a more effective and less aggravating option that will clear out the oil, bacteria and dead skin that make up a blackhead. It's also worth distinguishing between blackheads and sebaceous filaments as the latter generally don't really need to be treated, although salicylic acid will help to minimise their appearance too.
Dehydrated and dry skin is a pretty common complaint, and it's often aggravated further by central heating in the colder months and air-conditioning in the summer. If you do have dry skin, washing it with the wrong product can leave your face feeling tight and shiny or even flaky. The best tool to combat this is a gentle formulation that contains emollient ingredients, like this wash with avocado and apricot kernel oils and vitamin E.
One of the sad truths of ageing is realising that we don't all leave spots behind in our hormonal teen years; some people even get more as they age. But dealing with them in adulthood doesn't have to be a huge drama. Tea-tree oil has been revered for years for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the appearance of spots and stop them from recurring. This face wash is really refreshing too, so it's great for use first thing in the morning.
Even those without any skin complaints should be careful of using overly harsh cleansers. Yes, removing make-up, grime and excess oil is going to help keep your skin clear. But if you strip everything away, it means that your skin has to work harder to replace the natural oils it needs to stay supple and lubricated.
This foaming cleanser leaves skin clean, soft and ready to absorb your favourite skincare products.
Clay is seriously super-powered when it comes to sucking up impurities and clarifying the skin, which makes it a go-to ingredient usually reserved for face masks or occasional treatments. But this soap-free gel transforms into a foam when used, which means it's light enough for regular use, making it a great addition to your everyday skincare arsenal.
Opening Image: Instagram user @renskincare