Skincare Roundup: Cleansers

Reviewing ALL of the cleansers

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I I’ve been wanting to keep track of my open skincare items and also write notes on other options I have used in the past. I figured it might be helpful to have multiple reviews in one place. At the very least, it will be a reference point for me to remember what worked well and what to avoid. So, here’s my current stash of cleansers. I use different ones to remove makeup, quickly wash my face in the morning, and deep cleanse. I generally use a chemical exfoliant, so I’m including my only physical exfoliant in this post because I mostly use it as a cleanser.

First up is the newest addition to my collection: the Little Seed Farm Activated Charcoal Bar that was very kindly gifted to me. I think solid cleansers are great for travel and I like to bring something detoxifying with me just in case, so this is perfect. I love that it’s handmade, cruelty-free, and paraben-free. It does leave my face feeling a little dry, so I only use this about once a week or after a really sweaty workout.

Next I have the Mad Hippie Cream Cleanser. This doesn’t remove my mascara (which isn’t even waterproof) so I only use this in the morning as a very gentle cleanser. I love the pump, it’s affordable, and you can get it at Whole Foods. It also has lots of great, organic ingredients and hydrating oils, so it doesn’t strip the skin.

This Drunk Elephant duo is one of my very favorite cleansers – I’ve repurchased it about four times!! I love traveling with these bars because they’re effective and convenient. The Pekee Bar is my favorite nighttime cleanser; it removes makeup so efficiently without irritating my eyes. The Juju Bar has tiny exfoliating particles for a very gentle scrub – it’s nice in the morning as well and doesn’t dry my skin out at all. I like the scent of both and these tiny bars last about six months! I’d highly recommend this and think it’s definitely worth $18.

Lastly, I use this Acure Organics Facial Cleansing Gel in the shower as a simple and easy step. It removes makeup as well and I love that it’s natural as far as ingredients. Acure is one of my favorite skincare lines – they just went through a rebranding with new packaging and I can’t wait to try everything.

Here are all of the other cleansers I’ve owned in the past (that I can remember).

Skincare Roundup: Cleansers

Fresh(R) Soy Face Cleanser(R) • $15–38 – This is an amazing daily cleanser that also removes makeup, is gentle, and smells fresh like cucumbers. It’s definitely pricey, but a tiny bit goes a long way. It’s a gel formula that lathers well.

Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water • $32 – One of the only micellar water type cleansers I like because it actually removes all makeup without leaving any residue behind. It’s expensive for what it is though.

Lush Let the Good Times Roll • $12.95 – I forgot how much I love this cleanser! It smells amazing and leaves my skin soft. You take a tiny bit and add water to make a paste, so I used it in the shower as a very light physical exfoliant; it doesn’t remove makeup. I’ve repurchased two or three times!

Peter Thomas Roth Anti Aging Cleansing Gel • $38 – This cleanser was great for keeping my skin clear from the occasional breakout. The bottle is gigantic, so the price is actually decent. I liked the gel texture and inclusion of salicylic acid. It has a lot of anti-aging claims that I’m not sure about.

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate® Cleanser Daily Foaming Wash, 4.0 oz. • $38  – I love the glycolic and lactic acids in this cleanser; they help maintain a glow in between peels or masks. I never used it to remove makeup, so I’m not quite sure how effective it would be.

Skin Laundry Gentle Foaming Face Wash • $20  – Great for a nighttime cleanser because it quickly removed my makeup. It’s a slippery liquid that lathers easily. This is the only item I’ve tried from the line and I haven’t heard many people talking about it, but I’m intrigued.

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser, 5.0 oz./ 125 mL • $78  – This is clearly a splurge and I’m really not sure if any cleanser that you wash down the drain is worth this much, but I received it as Gratis when I worked at Birchbox years ago. It’s super luxurious, smells amazing, and the packaging is gorgeous (anything with a pump is also a plus for me).

Origins Checks and Balances(TM) Frothy Face Wash • $23  – This was one of the first cleansers I remember buying at Sephora. I tried it again a year or so ago, but it was super drying. My skin has changed a lot, but I think it’s only good for really oily skin.

Key West Aloe Gentle Aloe Facial Wash – 6 oz • $10.29  – I picked this up with my Birchbox points because the sample smelled amazing. It was effective at removing makeup and had a gel texture. Love the pump and price and that it’s available at Target now.

Tatcha Women’s The Deep Cleanse 150ml • $38  – Here’s a recent launch that I’m not really sure about yet. I love the gel texture with natural luffa fruit bits. However, it says not to use near the eye area, which is off-putting. It’s also for normal to oily skin and I have normal to dry skin. I’ll test it again in the summer when I’m more normal – combo.

Foreo Day Cleanser • $19.95  – I received this cleanser as a gift with my Foreo Luna Play purchase. It works well with or without the device. I found it to be very gentle and creamy. It also smelled delicious, like creamsicles.

Yes to Cucumbers Gentle Milk Cleanser • $8.99  – I remember liking this as a drugstore option and kept a bottle at my parents house for when I stayed overnight. It’s a good, basic cleanser with a smooth consistency.

Burt’s Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser, 6 oz • $10  – Here’s an affordable option that removes makeup and smells nice. I’m not sure how much it brightened alone, but I was also using the Caudalie Radiance serum and my skin looked much less dull through the whole bottle. I’d definitely repurchase.

Derma E Daily Detox Scrub • $15.99  – This is one of the only other physical exfoliants I use. This is gentle but effective for surface flakiness. It has a light, natural charcoal scent that adds to the detox experience in my opinion. Derma E is one of my favorite skincare lines for sure.

Avene Cleanance Gel Soapless Cleanser • $20  – I really liked this a few summers ago when my face was oilier. It never stripped my skin and removed makeup well. I love this brand and want to try more of their products.

I apparently go through a lot of cleanser… which makes sense because I use it twice a day. I’m sure there are even more, but these were the main ones that stuck out to me.
Have you tried any of these cleansers? What’s your go-to cleanser that also removes makeup?

What’s In My Shower? Bodycare, Haircare, Etc.

My favorite shower things

Sometimes I forget about the products in my shower – even though they’re some of my most used items! So, I figured I would share some of my favorite body products, haircare, and other shower essentials.

I’m obsessed with this Josie Maran Argan Sugar Balm Body Scrub  ($38 for 10oz). It has a lovely abrasive texture for removing dead skin and then melts into a balm which leaves behind a layer of argan oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. It sounds a bit weird, but it’s really convenient to have a single product for both exfoliating and moisturizing. This smells amazing as well – sweet and citrusy. It also comes with this adorable wooden scoop, so you don’t get the jar gross or wet with your fingers.

This Number 4 Hair Care Detangling Comb is really useful and only $4! I think I received mine when I purchased a couple items from Birchbox, like their Super Comb Prep and Protect and Clarifying Shampoo. Reed loved the leave in conditioner and I was impressed that the shampoo was sulfate-free yet still effectively clarifying. This comb doesn’t rip out any hair and detangles gently. The curved end means you can hang it on your shower and I love the bright color.

Another bright item is this coral razor from Billie, a new subscription service. I’ve been super loyal to the Venus + Olay razors for about five years, but here in NYC, the refills can be $30 for six. Billie is only $9 for 4 cartridges that are automatically shipped to you. The blades are sharp and there’s an aloe bar for smooth gliding, but you still should use shaving cream. My old ones did have a giant comfort bar on both sides (and they smelled amazing – which is actually kind of weird for a razor), so I didn’t need shaving cream. You can sign up for Billie with my referral link if you’d like.

I have a couple face washes in my shower – the Acure Organics gel is great for removing makeup. It says it’s for normal to oily skin on the packaging, but I have dry skin right now and it doesn’t strip my skin at all. Reed loves the St. Ives Green Tea Scrub which I only use after a sweaty workout. The exfoliant particles are now 100% natural (instead of microbeads). It does contain dyes, which I think is stupid, but I’ve found most acne targeting cleansers are way too harsh for me and this one works to keep minimal breakouts at bay.

I didn’t photograph my shampoo and conditioner because they’re all almost empty and looking well loved. I adore the Alterna Caviar Moisture line, but at $34 a bottle, it’s a splurge. I’m currently rotating between the Verb Hydrating line ($14/bottle) and Living Proof Perfect Hair Day line ($26/bottle). I like them both and would definitely repurchase either. My hair is dry, fine, and wavy for reference.

Since I’m almost out of shampoo and conditioner, what line should I try next?? What’s your favorite shower product?

My Clean Beauty Wish List (and current favorites)

Opting for more organic, vegan, clean beauty
Clean Beauty Wish List

I’ve been interested in Clean Beauty for a while, but I’m consciously making an effort to switch up my products as I’m learning more and more about toxic ingredients recently. I’m aiming for an 80/20 lifestyle, where I’m aware of what I’m putting on my body and try to mostly use clean products.

A great place to start is the EWG Skin Deep Database – you can search by brand, product, or ingredient. You can also build your own report if an item hasn’t been verified yet. For example, the Wander Beauty powder is not in the database, but I input the ingredients and it’s score came out as a 2. The lower the score, the safer the product.

My favorite clean beauty shop is Credo Beauty  because they have a large selection with detailed product descriptions and ingredient explanations. I also use the Ingredient Conscious page on Birchbox. Target even has a natural beauty page, which is pretty awesome to see how mainstream clean beauty is becoming. Some other brands I really want to try include Pai, Herbivore BotanicalsAlima Pure, and 100% Pure.

Here are some clean beauty products that I already love:

What are your clean or green beauty favorites? Where do you get information on product safety and new brands? If you have a green/clean beauty blog, please share it below!