Let's start this off with saying that I am not about to put all the best of skincare products into one post... This needs to be broken down by category or this will be a 12-hour read.
First up is cleansers, and we're going to talk about first cleanser and second cleansers. First cleansers being the cleansers you would use to take makeup off with and the second cleanser would be the cleanser you use to wash your face afterwards OR in the morning (the one you want directly on your skin).
I guess it's fair to start with the cleansers to remove makeup with, it's also the shortest because there's only a few I used this year and it's the same ones I've been using for a while. 1. Farmacy - Green Clean Makeup Removing Cleansing Balm - $45 (100ml)
Why is this a favourite? Well, this balm melts off all the makeup, dirt & SPF on your face effortlessly. Take about the size of a quarter (I have a big face) and massage it into the skin. You can use this over your eyes and it will remove the eye makeup, with no burning. Even waterproof makeup!
This cleanser is great for all skin types, including people with sensitive skin like myself. It has sunflower and ginger root oils in it which is what melts the most stubborn makeup off, tumeric and moringa extract which will remove the sunscreen and fight impurities, as well as papaya enzymes to naturally exfoliate (gently).
Call outs: This cleanser is marked as "Clean at Sephora" meaning, this product is vegan, Farmacy is cruelty-free (as of the time this was posted), no artificial fragrances or colouring, no SLS + SLES, no parabens. For my information on what "Clean at Sephora" means, you can click here. Scroll down and click their little blurb to see a full list of ingredients it will not include.
This is a great balm as well that takes everything off, just like the title says. There isn't as many ingredients in it to do "more", its very basic and simple. Takes all the makeup off without irritating skin or eyes and works wonders.
Clinique is known for being hypoallergenic and fragrance free. Anyone who has the most sensitive of sensitive skin, usually goes towards Clinique has no issues using their products. So if you fall into that category, try this one out!
Call outs: This cleanser is vegan. It is free of artificial fragrances, alcohol, SLS, talc, mineral oil, silicone and gluten. It was allergy tested and ophthalmologist tested (I'm honestly not sure what an ophthalmologist is going to say besides maybe confirming you can use it around your eyes with no irritation? Feel like they could have passed on that one).
Now for AM/PM Cleansers (Second Cleanse)
For those who are not familiar with Obagi, this brand is dermatologist-developed by Dr. Zein Obagi. He is a world renowned board certified dermatologist and skin expert. But into the product, this cleanser is another amazing brightening cleanser that is in a gel as well. Great for all skin types. I specifically like using this cleanser on days that I have makeup on, as my second PM cleanse, with my clarisonic. I found it gives my skin a great cleanse, doesn't leave me dry and gives a great boost of radiance.
This cleanser has L-Ascorbic Acid which is the most effective vitamin C to target dark spots/pigmentation. Now, with that being said, it's also the most unstable ingredient when in a water based product. With that being said, this should be used within 6 months of opening otherwise it can start to oxidize and be less effective. It also has aloe in it which is great for soothing the skin.
This cleanser is NOT fragrance free, however, because this is a doctor brand, you can trust that he is not putting in any type of harmful artificial ingredients. It is also the 3rd last ingredient which means it will have an extremely low percentage in the formula.
The most inexpensive cleanser on this list will be this cleanser, but don't take inexpensive for being cheap quality ingredients or non-effective. The Ordinary truly breaks all rules for why high-end products don't need high-end price tags.
It's great for all skin types, but specifically targets pores and dryness. However, I know people with oily skin who absolutely love this. Squalane is a moisturizing ingredient that's also a source of skin-replenishing fatty acids and antioxidants. I use this primarily in the morning and at night on days I don't have makeup on. I find that right after I wipe it off/rinse it off that my skin is instantly soft, supple, and any redness has greatly reduced. The next morning, I always find that my skin looks so much better overall.
Call outs: Vegan & Cruelty-Free. Free of fragrance, SLS + SLES, parabens, mineral oil, phthalates.
This is my favourite cleanser for if I'm experiencing a breakout or have a lot of blackheads on my nose. I swear, after using this twice, all the blackheads on my nose were gone. I was gagged & gooped. I could not believe that my nose was ridiculously smooth, as if I just got an extraction. My reaction after looking in the mirror and seeing how perfect my nose was. Now for me, using salicylic acid in the morning or night does not leave my skin feeling dry at all, but for some people that will be a common effect. Limit it to PM cleansing if you do find your face being tight after usage.
As we all know, salicylic acid (BHA) is the best for deep cleansing pores and breaking the bonds between dead skin, oils & dirt, which commonly will cause breakouts. You may find yourself get a slight "purge" with this because salicylic acid does deeply clean the pore and can pull everything up. However, there is zinc in this as well to help reduce inflammation/irritation and help control sebum production. I promise if you do purge that it'll last for a few days and be gone.
Call outs: vegan & cruelty-free. Free of: fragrances, SLS + SLES, parabens, phthalates, and mineral oil.
Another phenomenal cleanser for all skin types, that can be used morning or night and does not strip the skin. I believe this is an exclusive product to Canada, because I can't find this exact one anywhere in America (there is a similar version though). This is another very moisturizer and soothing cleanser.
It has ceramides in it, which create a moisture barrier on the skin to location moisture in without being able to escape. It also contains niacinamide, another great ingredient for the skin to help with redness, inflammation and just calms the skin down.
Call outs: free of fragrance, SLS + SLES, parabens, phthalates, and mineral oil.
The last, but not the least. While The Ordinary was the cheapest cost, this is the best cleanser for VALUE and for those on a budget. Despite this saying it's for normal to dry skins, everyone can use it. It's a great hydrating cleanser and surprisingly overall fairly "clean" for a drugstore brand. It's also usually on sale in stores, so shop around.
CeraVe also works with dermatologists to create products that doctors would recommend, again, leaving you feeling secure & safe.
The cleanser contains the 3 essential ceramides to again lock moisture in, as well as, hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid holds 1000x it's weight in water which creates the ultimate hydration in skin, while plumping the skin at the same time.
Call outs: free of fragrance and mineral oil
Leave your favourite cleansers in the comments below, let me know what you love about them too! I'd love to try them in 2020!