somehow, i find myself with an abundance of cleansers this season. mostly gifted, some purchased, all beautiful cleansers. since it's rare for me to have this many same-category products i would genuinely recommend in my possession at the same time, a cleanser lineup/review post felt necessary.
a closer look.
the new multi-taskers
i've been saying to friends and colleagues for a while that a really good double-cleanse-in-one product could potentially be groundbreaking, but creating a formula that's efficacious and not gimmicky would be difficult. the only one i've tried in the past is the goodal oil to foam cleanser, which caused immediate breakouts. this season, charlotte + neogen, you fulfill my skincare wish with these two!
super congrats to charlotte and sokoglam for creating this travel-friendly, gym bag appropriate, gently exfoliating green tea cleansing stick* that functions as an oil cleanser as well. over the holidays, i crashed at different families houses for 5 out of 9 nights of the break so this stick definitely came in handy. the scent is really subtle and lovely, and the stick works up a nice thick lather, a particular part of the experience i loved. (side note: my colleague at VP+C has been raving about the boscia charcoal cleansing stick. has anyone tried? thoughts?)
while the the milk-to-foam coconut milk cleanser by neogen* certainly isn't new to the market, it's new to my vanity! great concept with an interesting pillow-y milk-to-foam texture. i was expecting a coconuty scent from the cleansing experience, but it has an almost sulfur/rubbery scent to it, which i actually don't mind because it gives the impression that there are no added fragrances. after cleansing, the skin feels a bit nourished/hydrated somehow, which is perfect for the harsh winter months in new york.
while i wouldn't replace a full-on double cleanse with either of these products, it does the trick if i'm feeling lazy and don't want to do a full double cleanse in the evening. they're both actually really great as morning cleansers, to wash off my nightly sleeping masks thoroughly and give me a bright start to the day.
oil removes oil
soap box moment: oil cleansers are not just for removing makeup! everyone has oil-based gunk in their skin that can cause bigger pores, breakouts, etc that should be removed nightly with an oil-based cleanser.
cleansing wipes are always handy, particularly before a workout (exercising with makeup is so bad for your skin), on days when i don't want to do a full double cleanse, and if i'm wearing a tight top that touches my face upon removal and i don't want to get makeup on it. don't judge me, y'all have been there—admit it! :) while the baby powder-esque scent of the too cool for school kazkaza wipes aren't my favorite, the scent doesn't linger and the package is a great size for my gym bag and travel carry-on.
my sister was looking to rid herself of her clean it zero, so i gladly took it off her hands because it's an all-time favorite of mine. at farmacy, we recently launched our own cleansing balm called green clean, which i love because unlike the holy grail clean it zero formula, it does not have mineral oil (known to clog pores) and does have moringa extract to remove physical pollution from the skin. i plan on replacing my cleansing balms with farmacy green clean after i go through this jar.
i recently went through the sea mud cleansing oil by erno laszlo and am now trying out the white marble brightening oil*. both have beautiful scents and an unexpected fluffiness to the texture of the oil. the formula gets deep down into the pores and washes off well without stripping the skin. not sure how they do it, but i'm definitely a fan. (additionally, i recently tried the sensitive oil through influenster and can vouch for that one as well. all of their oils are SO GREAT.)
in my late teen years, i first started double-cleansing with the green tea shu uemura cleansing oil. while i do prefer the erno laszlo cleansing oils, i just couldn't resist the shu x murakami collaboration so alas, i have both cleansing oils in my vanity.
peter thomas roth has been a favorite brand for me after i started using their glycolic acid toner, which has become a must-have staple in my vanity. since my battle with cystic acne is still ongoing (ugh), i bought their acne starter kit and have been loving all of the products included. within the kit came this gentle but effective citrus acne wash that i would recommend based on the formula. however, i may or may not buy the full size when i'm done with this travel size bottle—the goop is great, but i can't stand a disc cap.
also in the citrus family, i've started using my erno laszlo white marble brightening cleansing bar* in conjunction with the sea mud cleansing bar (not pictured). i think between introducing this bar to my regimen in combination with the peter thomas roth acne clearing products, my breakout hyper-pigmentation has significantly improved. i thought i would never be rid of those marks. eureka!
while these two could be seen as multi-taskers, i see them more as dual-purpose with the differentiation being:
accomplishing more than one step that is already in your routine (increasing productivity)
has more than one function that may or may not be in your daily skincare regimen (increasing benefits)
farmacy new day will always be a favorite because it's such a gentle cleanser with the softest cranberry seeds and rice bran as feather-light physical exfoliants. while it's delicate enough to use daily, i personally cannot because i have breakouts from time to time. (scrubby exfoliants + active breakouts = super no-no)
it's been a year since i started using the neogen charcoal mask foam*, but it's still such a mind-blowing formula to me that i have yet to see from any other brand. i recently met with the brand in new york purely to geek out over skincare and their brand since i'm such a fangirl. (anyounghasaeyo!) the VP there had a different use for this particular product than i do—she uses it as a cleanser, but i like to use it as a charcoal / clarifying mask for 10–15 minutes before adding water to foam it up as a cleanser. it sounds like their canadian clay product is a similar process to how i use this one, but i've yet to try it. if anyone reading this has feedback on the neogen canadian clay product, i'd love to know your thoughts.
* FTC: the products marked with an asterisk were gifted from the respective brands. all thoughts expressed here are my own unfiltered opinions.