I am frequently asked, “What is your go-to facial cleanser?” This question poses a challenge for me as I have tried countless options. Nonetheless, there are certain cleansers that stand out from the rest. As I enter middle age, I prioritize anti-aging benefits and avoid cleansers that strip my skin. Despite pre-cleansing with makeup wipes, I still seek a cleanser that effectively removes all traces of makeup and deeply cleanses my pores. I understand that this is a demanding criterion. Additionally, I have sensitive skin and prefer gentle formulas. Moreover, I firmly believe that skincare products should not be compromised. Therefore, I do not frequently mention drugstore options, but most of these cleansers are priced below $40. Below are my top picks for the most exceptional facial cleansers catering to the needs of mature and sensitive skin.
3 Steps to Properly Cleanse Aging Skin
First and foremost, it is essential to cleanse our faces twice a day. If you have yet to adopt this habit, repeat after me, “I will cleanse my face when I wake up and before I go to bed every evening.” Below are some guidelines for effectively cleansing your face.
1. In the evening, ensure that you remove all makeup before cleansing. It doesn’t matter whether you use makeup remover or facial wipes, as long as you thoroughly eliminate foundation, eye makeup, and lipstick. Approach this step with gentleness and avoid any tugging.
2. Wash your face with a cleanser specifically formulated for aging skin (refer to my recommendations below). It is crucial not to vigorously wash your skin. In fact, let’s replace the term “wash” with “cleanse” in our vocabulary. The word “wash” brings to mind harsh cleansers that strip away moisture, which is something you want to avoid. A squeaky-clean face equates to a dry face, potentially leading to the emergence of fine lines and wrinkles. Gently cleanse your entire face and rinse off the cleanser with warm or cool water. Remember that hot water can be excessively drying and should be avoided, both for your face and body.
3. Pat your face dry using a soft cotton towel. This will press some of the moisture into your skin. Immediately follow with a toner (if you use one) and apply a facial oil and/or cream. Be cautious not to overload your skin with too many products, as this can lead to clogged pores and breakouts.
Added Bonus: Remember to exfoliate a couple of times a week. Considering that we shed roughly 50 million skin cells daily, it is crucial to ensure that they do not linger on your face and cause damage. Incorporate a pH-balanced exfoliator into your skincare routine to prevent dryness.
12 Top Facial Cleansers for Mature and/or Sensitive Skin
1. Glo Skin Beauty Phyto-Active Cream Cleanser, $50
Seeking a gentle facial cleanser that does not strip your skin? Look no further than the Glo Skin Beauty Phyto-Active Cream Cleanser. It creates a delightful lather that effectively removes impurities while simultaneously softening your skin. This cleanser is specifically designed to combat signs of aging. Papaya enzymes aid in exfoliating, allowing antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and plant stem cells to penetrate deeply, promoting cell turnover and collagen production. With consistent use, you will notice firmer, smoother, and softer skin. Notably, this product is “clean” and certified cruelty-free.
2. Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare Purify – Enzyme Cleanser, $44
The Osmosis Pur Medical Skincare Purify – Enzyme Cleanser (previously known as Purify Exfoliating Cleanser) is perfect for individuals with aging skin who occasionally experience breakouts. It refines and eliminates dirt, oil, makeup, and dead skin cells, effectively refreshing your skin. Lemon oil acts as a natural astringent, toning and tightening your complexion for a smoother appearance. Grapefruit oil aids in drying out excess oil that can clog pores and cause blemishes.
3. DERMAdoctor Wrinkle Revenge Antioxidant Enhanced Glycolic Acid Facial Cleanser, $34
Many women I know simply adore this cleanser! If you’re seeking a glycolic acid cleanser, this is a must-try option. It gently and effectively exfoliates, removing cellular build-up and residue caused by pollution, makeup, and excessive surface oils. As a result, your skin will be left clean and radiant. This soap-free, oil-free, pH-balanced, buffered glycolic acid cleanser is fortified with free radical-fighting antioxidants. It is suitable for all skin types, excluding those with extreme sensitivity. Moreover, it is allergy-tested, hypoallergenic, non-drying, non-comedogenic, soap-free, oil-free, fragrance-free, dye-free, and cruelty-free.
4. Emma Hardie Moringa Light Cleansing Gel, $45
Personally, I have developed an obsession with this cleanser ever since I first tried it! The lightweight gel texture of this cleanser effectively eliminates impurities and revitalizes your complexion, thanks to its Vitamin E and peptide content. Formulated with moringa extract, omega 6, and sea fennel extract, this cleanser not only cleanses but also nourishes and enhances the radiance of your skin. Many individuals swear by the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm, but in my opinion, this lighter version is even better. I keep it in my shower and use it both in the morning and at night. The scent is absolutely intoxicating.
5. Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Foam, $38
This incredibly gentle and mild cleansing foam removes impurities from your skin without causing any tightness. Its rich, non-stripping formula lathers exceptionally well, effectively eliminating pore-clogging impurities without irritating or drying out your skin. Dokudami (a medicinal plant) soothes your skin, resulting in a soft, clean complexion. Furthermore, Japanese apricot hydrates your skin, leaving it luxuriously moisturized and radiant.