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?

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!

My First Empties!

Here are a few products I finished up and really liked along with a bunch of items I’m decluttering because they don’t work for me.

What have you finished up lately?

Mini Mask Reviews

Rounding up four face masks

I love testing new face masks! I recently received a couple with my last Sephora order and had two from past Birchboxes, so I wanted to share my thoughts.

Tara Harper Resurfacing Mask ($58)

I really enjoyed the texture of this mask. It was a gel-like base that was easy to spread on the face. You are supposed to leave it on for 20 minutes and then remove with warm water. This little jar lasted about 3 uses and I loved it. It definitely made my skin softer and more radiant. I also love that the Tara Harper line uses safe ingredients, is effective, and feels luxurious.

Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask ($30)

I am obsessed with this clay mask! It’s great at drawing out impurities and it actually makes my pores look smaller. It feels like a mud mask but isn’t overly wet. It’s definitely thicker – almost like a cream. It does dry down so you know when to remove it, but it hasn’t dried my skin out. I only put in on my cheeks, chin, and forehead. Reed and I have both used this a couple times and there are a few uses left, so this is a generous sample. I would definitely buy the full size!

Farmacy Honey Potion Hydrating Mask ($46)

This mask is bright yellow and goes from a thick jello-like texture to a creamy foam once rubbed in. You’re supposed to feel warming while massaging for 2-3 and I don’t really enjoy that. I have some flakiness around my nose and this didn’t fix that either. I wanted to love this because I’ve heard such great things about Farmacy, but I won’t be using the rest of this.

Balance Me Radiance Face Mask ($26)

I tried a few things from Balance Me thanks to Birchbox and I’ve liked everything I’ve tried! This mask only requires 5 minutes and it’s a physical exfoliator and brightening mask in one. It has an interesting, natural scent that’s grown on me and I like how it dries down quickly. It’s also pretty affordable.

All in all, it was fun to try out these different face masks and 3/4 is a pretty good success rate to me! Have you tried any of these masks?