Beautified: Keeping It Clean(ser)

The average woman puts about 168 chemicals on her body any given day. Namely, these are found in your shampoo, conditioner, beauty and skincare products. I try to use clean, green and cruelty-free products when possible. That said, most of the products on this list promises just that. (However, it’s important to do your own research as well.)

Another thing I’ll note is although many of these products are available online, I think it’s better to get them from a reputable source in-person. That way, you can make sure they’re not expired, and exactly what you’re intending to purchase. Use these links to scour reviews and see which one is the best fit for you. But, if possible, buy in person.

My Favorite Cleanser

Tatcha, The Deep Cleanse, $38

Their claim? “The Deep Cleanse oil-free gel lathers into a creamy foam to lift away dirt, oil and impurities without over-drying. It cleanses with amino acids derived from silk gentle enough for even the most delicate skin, leaving skin soft, refreshed and comfortably hydrated.”

And you know what? It delivers. It doesn’t just leave my skin clean, it’s super soft too! Plus, it’s dermatologist tested. Cruelty-free. And does not have mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, sulfate detergents, parabens, urea, DEA, TEA or phthalates. Honestly, between the clean product and how it performs, it’s worth the extra cost.

Honorable Mentions

My mom, a physician, always made sure I was using dermatologist-recommended, quality products growing up. Cetaphil, Gentle Skin Cleanser ($7) was my first cleanser, and for good reason. Not only is it commonly recommended by dermatologists, but it works on a variety of skin types. That’s because it is super, super gentle on your skin. However, in recent years Cetaphil has been called out for using toxic or controversial ingredients. For that reason, I am going to defer my first honorable mention to the contentious rival, CeraVe.

CeraVe, Renewing SA Cleanser, $10

As I mentioned, this is often compared to Cetaphil and doesn’t have quite the controversial ingredient list. Similarly, too, it promises to be created with dermatologists. This will leave your skin feeling extra soft. However, like Cetaphil, I feel both products are too gentle for my liking. At this point, I need a little bit more than a gentle cleanser. I need something that will work overtime. Exfoliation. Moisturizer. There’s a lot of shoes to fill and, quite frankly, I’m okay with the extra price tag if it’s worth it. Read: only if it’s worth it. This product is a great, affordable solution if you find it works for your skin.

Fresh, Soy Face Cleanser, $38

Consider this the high-end version of CeraVe. It leaves the skin clean and soft, and is great for sensitive skin. But, the first thing you’ll notice is it is fragranced. Heavily. So whether that is a pro or a con in your book, it is the hallmark that makes the Fresh brand what it is. This particular product smells like cucumbers, with a subtle hint of roses. It is extremely milky soft and leaves the skin clean. However, I don’t get the softness that I get with other products afterward. And, it isn’t the most effective on lingering eye make-up.

Glossier, Milky Jelly Cleanser, $18

This product is silky smooth and extra gentle on the skin. But, it is not impervious when it comes to eye make-up. This is a great product, but know you will have to scrub pesky eye make-up off. But, it is also one of the better pricetags on this list and a good quality product.

Murad, AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, $40

If Tatcha and Glossier had a baby, this would be it. This product is gentle like Glossier, with the exfoliant of Tatcha. So although it does come with a heftier price tag, it still lands on one of my top products. But, it doesn’t leave quite the softness as other products.

Drunk Elephant, Beste No.9 Jelly Cleanser, $32

Drunk Elephant is going to be a very clean product. It promises, “Beste No. 9 is formulated at an ideal, non-stripping pH level of 5.5. This cruelty-free product is vegan and cruelty-free.” As the name indicates, it is going to be jelly-like consistency. It leaves the skin clean, but that’s where it falls slightly short. Although it leaves the skin fresh and clean, I didn’t find it to be as hydrating as the winner, making it quite the honorable mention.

Garnier, Micellular Cleansing Water All-in-1, $9

This is more of a make-up remover for me than it is anything else. It is technically a 3-in-1 product, that promises to act as a make-up remover, cleanser, and moisturizer. And though dermatologists are on board with this product, especially with the main ingredient being glycerin, which is ultra-hydrating, it falls short compared to the other products on this list.

But, what’s great about this product is it’s perfect for throwing into your bag for vacation. There are super-affordable, travel-sized versions readily available at your local store. And for that reason, and pretty much that reason alone, it makes the list as an honorable mention. Another caveat is that it really should not be used around your eyes. If it were to clog the glands around your eyes, it could cause a painful and unsightly stye.