Skincare 101: How to choose a cleanser

By Georgia Seago
4th April 2023

We want to help you make good skincare decisions, so welcome to our new Skincare 101 series, where we give you quick tips to choose the best products for you. First up is how to choose a cleanser.

What does cleanser do?

You want your cleanser to remove makeup, sunscreen, sweat, and any other dirt and debris your face has picked up during the day, so it needs to be effective enough to give a good clean, but gentle enough not to disrupt your skin’s protective barrier.

What kind of cleanser do you need?

Think about what your skin needs – does it feel dehydrated, dry, oily, or maybe sensitive? Be guided by this to choose a texture for your cleanser. So, if your skin feels tight or it’s very dry, you probably want a nice, rich, comforting balm or oil-based cleanser, which will nourish the skin. But if you’re oilier, you might prefer something gel-based or lightly foaming that makes your skin feel clean and fresher.

Just make sure whatever you choose doesn’t contain harsh surfactants or exfoliating grains or beads, because unless it’s a really high-quality formula, these are really just scratching and irritating the surface of the skin. If you wear a lot makeup, you might want to first go in with a specific makeup remover – like a micellar water or eye makeup remover – to break that down, followed by a second cleanse with a cleanser to properly take care of the skin.

Cleanser should be the most uncomplicated part of your routine. While there is a school of thought that says it’s not worth spending much money on something that’s going to get washed straight down the plug hole – here at TTG we do feel it’s worth investing in a high-quality formula that’s going to support the hard work your other products are doing. Choose something your skin likes that you enjoy using, and do it twice a day.

Some of our favourite cleansers:

iS Clinical Cleansing Complex

Great for acne and blemish-prone skin, this gel cleanser clears out blocked pores with the help of willowbark extract, a source of salicylic acid, and sugarcane extract, a source of glycolic. Even though it’s a gel formula, this cleanser softens the skin rather than stripping it of its natural oils, so it won’t leave your face feeling dry or tight. Only a tiny amount is needed, so the bottle will last a long while.

Medik8 Lipid-Balance Cleansing Oil

This gorgeous cleansing oil effortlessly melts off make-up. If you only want to use one product to remove your make-up and treat the skin, this one works double time to give a really good clean while supporting the skin’s barrier thanks to its high omega-6 content in the form of linoleic acid.

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash

This is a foaming wash but not as you know it, so don’t panic. It’s fab if you’re concerned about signs of ageing relating to skin texture. It contains glycolic acid for skin renewal, and will prep your face really well for maximum absorption of whatever you put on next (which should really be a serum).



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