As tempting as it is to evade the daily ritual of washing your face, especially when it seems to make that extra two minutes separating you from your pillow drudge on on in slow-motion, a nightly cleansing really does carry benefits. Remnants of makeup and oil can clog pores, while environmental elements, such as pollution, also take their toll. Combined, these factors apparently contribute seven days’ worth of aging each time you skip washing. While regular bar soap is drying, opt for a cleanser, which is gentler and less abrasive, with many specifically formulated to your skin type. Paraben-free beauty products (parabens are chemicals that are often tied, but without a solidified link, to breast cancer), are increasingly easy to come by, including in the cleanser realm. These guys are my picks for the best currently on the market. For maximum results, use with a Clarisonic, or similar facial brush twice daily.
All Skin Types: Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple is a perennial favorite of the beauty world, amassing endless awards and recognition. This multi-purpose cleanser tones, hydrates, removes face and eye makeup, and combats even the most sensitive and dry skin.
Sensitive/Oily Skin: On the cheaper end, Neutrogena’s Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser is engineered for sensitive skin, including those with rosacea and eczema. While gentle, it doesn’t hold back attacking stubborn makeup.
Normal/Combination Skin: The Cleansing Foam of Eau Thermale Avène, a skin care brand popular in European pharmacies, is perfect for acne-prone skin. I’ve used it to the last pump, and it truly works wonders in keeping unsightly blemishes at bay, with a clean, lingering scent.
All Skin Types: La Roche-Posay’s Physiological Cleansing Gel leaves the pump as a cooling gel that’s non-drying, and gives formerly dull skin a plumped finish. It’s also gentle enough to incorporate the cleansing ingredient Poloaxmer, also found in many contact lens solutions.