Boston winters aren’t gentle. Just as we change our wardrobe with the seasons, it’s critical that we take our skin’s needs into consideration. Now put down the St. Ives Apricot Scrub, because what we wash our faces with is more important than you might think: Harsh cleansers can decimate our moisture barrier and wreak general havoc on skin that won’t stand a chance against the subzero chill, let alone the dry heat inside. Here are 10 facial cleansers that are ideal for the harsh months when all our faces need a little extra love.
DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil
Oil cleansers are having a moment, but this Japanese cleansing oil is the OG cleansing oil pioneer, and it still ranks among the best for good reason. Made with organic olive oil, DHC’s Deep Cleansing Oil dissolves makeup and melts away impurities without stressing out your skin. Your skin is left insanely soft and ridiculously happy.
Darphin Aromatic Cleansing Balm
If cleansing oils sound luxurious, just wait until you get into cleansing balms. Darphin’s Aromatic Cleansing Balm with Rosewood provides a decadent and effective cleanse that stimulates the senses (seriously, you won’t be able to stop sniffing this one). Water transforms the yellow balm into a smooth, milky texture that makes this a breeze to rinse off. If your skin tends to get tight and uncomfortable during the colder months, this is a great place to start.
Kat Burki Vitamin C Nourishing Cleansing Balm
Double cleansing is another article for another time, but this sublime balm cleanser from Kat Burki is meant to be the second step of a two-step cleanse. Made with 15 percent vitamin C (cue angels singing) and seven different cold-processed oils, this cleanser plumps, brightens, and helps skin retain moisture. And don’t let the $65 price tag scare you away: a little goes a long way.
Jordan Samuel Skin The After Show Treatment Cleanser
Have we ever been so obsessed with a skincare brand so fast? Maybe not. This gel-to-oil cleanser removes makeup and impurities while gently exfoliating away the sins of the day (or night). The company has also just launched a version of this cleanser for sensitive skin that does away with the exfoliating fruit acids, doubling down on its soothing, hydrating properties.
Royal Fern Phytoactive Cleansing Balm
Dr. Timm Golueke’s Royal Fern products all contain Royal Fern Complex, a patented powerhouse blend of botanicals, antioxidants, and hyaluronic acid. This cleanser is skin’s ideal cold weather companion in that it completely cleanses your skin while hydrating, soothing, softening, and restoring. These are lofty claims for a cleanser, but this luxurious cleansing balm makes good on its promises.
TULA Purifying Cleanser
We love this cleanser and so will you: It works for every single type of skin and addresses multiple skin concerns, from exfoliating and removing impurities to firming, calming, protecting, and moisturizing. Oh, and the foundation of all TULA products is probiotics. Who knew that a little bit of bacteria is actually good for your skin? We don’t love the overwhelming perfume fragrance, but it took us only three days of cleansing with this to see and feel a difference in our skin.
Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm
It was love at first cleanse for us and this sensuous, luxurious cleansing balm that routinely lands itself atop lists such as these, and for good reason. It goes on like a dream and leaves skin looking and feeling clean and hydrated. Moringa seed extract balances the skin while wild sea fennel (what?!) purifies and vitamin E reduces the appearance of pores. What’s more, this cleanser is so moisturizing that it can be used on lips, cuticles, and dry patches as a leave-on treatment.
Votary Clarifying Cleansing Oil with Rosemary and Oat
Whether you have acne-prone skin or are just suffering from a little breakout, the last thing you should ever do is reach for a harsh scrub. It seems counter-intuitive to use oil on blemishes, but we promise, it works. And by turning to a clarifying oil cleanser like this one from Votary, the authority on all things oil, skin is clean, balanced, and healthier. There is also a lovely Votarian ritual involving a hot towel, which comes with the cleanser, but we’ll let you discover that on your own.
Go-To Properly Clean
I’ve given a lot of love to richer and more luxurious cleansers here, but Go-To’s Properly Clean mousse cleanser is a breath of fresh air in a market that is beyond saturated by little cleansers making big claims. Straight-forward, gentle, clean, all-natural, and all-around irresistible, this foaming cleanser from Australian brand Go-To isn’t just fun to use, but it actually works.
In Fiore Lustra Illuminating Cleansing Essence
I know what you’re thinking—yes, $125—but hear us out. This oil cleanser is so divine; so luxurious, effective, and delicious that we had to fight the urge to wash our faces four times a day. It literally targets every problem for every skin type, all the while maintaining the health of skin cells, improving the absorption of nutrients, and soothing and renewing skin. It also increases lymphatic circulation and stimulates collagen, things that few cleansers can promise. This is a splurge in every sense of the word.
BONUS CLEANSING DEVICE: Foreo LUNA fofo Custom Cleansing Brush
We have always loved the idea of cleansing brushes, but at the end of the day, it usually seems like too cumbersome a thing to incorporate into our daily routine. Most brushes are great for in-shower use, but they don’t travel well and tend to make a mess of the bathroom sink. Enter Foreo, which with its LUNA line has revolutionized how fun and easy cleansing with a device can be. Its newest addition, the cutely named fofo, is everything that we have been missing in our nighttime or travel skincare routine. Not only is it waterproof and bacteria resistant, but it can be used up to 400 times without having to change the battery, which means no more charging cables. But wait! There’s more. The back of the fofo is outfitted with two 24K gold-plated sensors that, when paired to your phone, analyze skin hydration levels and provide a custom cleansing routine. Foreo for president.