How to Choose the Best Facial Cleanser

What to look out for when choosing the best facial cleanser for you

When choosing a face cleanser, keep in mind the following tips:

  • Cleansers made with natural and organic ingredients are usually free from harsh surfactants making them gentler on your skin.
  • Don't believe the advertising and hype, including words like 'natural' and 'organic' on the packaging - get into the habit of actually reading the ingredients. Over time, you will be able to easily identify suspect ingredients.
  • Ingredients best avoided include:
    • sulphates (sodium lauryl sulphate/sodium laureth sulphate) - these can be harsh & strip your skin of its natural oils.
    • parabens (methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben) - these can interfere with hormone function & have been linked to increased breast cancer risk.
    • petrolatum - classified as a carcinogen in the EU, can clog pores and may be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (also linked with cancer).
    • synthetic fragrances - can hide a cocktail of chemicals including phthalates which have been linked to allergies, headaches, skin conditions, reproductive issues and birth defects.
    • diethanolamine (DEA), monoethanolamine (MEA) & triethanolamine (TEA) - can affect the brain and organs like liver & kidney, also associated with skin & eye irritations.

Here's a little 'how to' video from Miessence on Natural Facial Cleansing to Detoxify and Nurture the Skin

Finally, consider your skin type and choose a natural face cleanser suited to that particular skin

  • Generally speaking, cream facial cleansers are a better choice for dry and/or sensitive skin types. They're usually more hydrating and gentler on the skin. If you've been wearing makeup, you may need to cleanse twice, though, to remove all traces of cosmetics. Alternatively, apply the cream cleanser, then wipe your face clean with a wet certified organic cotton face cloth.
  • Oily and blemish prone skin types usually fair better with a foaming facial wash which can cleanse and remove excess oils at the same time.
  • Micellar water is a water-based cleanser that is typically applied to the face with a cotton ball or makeup removal pad and usually requires no rinsing. It's suitable for all skin types but may not remove heavy makeup.
  • Oils also make for excellent cleansers and are particular good for removing makeup, especially eye makeup including mascara. Jojoba oil is great for this purpose. Oil cleansers are also suitable for those with dry and/or sensitive skin.