When Trinny London waded into the world of skincare with the launch of a gel and balm cleanser in February 2022, we had high expectations. And thankfully the gel cleanser delivers.
Cleansing is a fundamental part of any skincare routine. It’s the first, and arguably the most important, for the health and hygiene of your skin and without clean skin, none of the other products you use will be as effective.
However, different cleansers serve different purposes. Oil-based formulas, such as balms and oils, remove makeup and SPF, while gel, milk and micellar water textures are designed to cleanse the skin, and offer soothing benefits such as hydrating or gentle exfoliating.
Using a first and second cleanser in your routine is widely recognised as double cleansing and is recommended to ensure your skin is completely clean before you apply your serums, moisturisers or masks. Some cleansers are multi-purpose, and will gently exfoliate thanks to the inclusion of chemical exfoliants, while others are designed to combat common skincare concerns such as sensitivity, inflammation, redness and dryness.
However, in a saturated market, finding the right one for your skin type can be tricky, so we’ve made it our mission to share our top-rated products for removing makeup, cleansing skin and keeping your complexion happy. There’s nothing worse than a cleanser that doesn’t feel comfortable on the skin, takes ages to melt down make-up or leaves behind a greasy residue.
Whether you want to add a luxurious bit of TLC in your everyday beauty routine or are keen to find something affordable and speedy, we’ve spent the last two months testing tens of products and narrowed it down to the top eight. Our roundup spans oils, balms, creams, milks, gels and water textures.
How we tested
Throughout the past eight weeks, we’ve been dissecting the performance claims of cleansers. Putting them to the test first thing in the morning and last thing before bed, we incorporated them into our daily routine. Our criteria included how well some removed makeup, how our skin felt immediately after and following weeks of use, and of course, value for money. Ahead are the ones that made the cut.
The best face cleansers for 2022 are:
- Best overall face cleanser – Trinny London AHA/PHA gel cleanser better off: £28, Trinnylondon.com
- Best budget face cleanser – The Ordinary squalane cleanser: £5.50, Johnlewis.com
- Best face cleanser for sensitive skin – Avène Tolerance extremely gentle cleanser: £9.86, Boots.com
- Best face cleansing balm – Farmacy Beauty green clean makeup removing cleansing balm: £32, Spacenk.com
- Best face cleansing oil – Tatcha camellia cleansing oil: £45, Spacenk.com
- Best face cleanser for dry skin – Aveeno face calm and restore cleanser: £5.59, Boots.com
- Best face cleanser for oily skin – La Roche-Posay effaclar purifying cleansing gel: £10.80, Boots.com
- Best miracellar cleansing water – CeraVe micellar cleansing water: £10, Cultbeauty.co.uk