I’ve used a LOT of cleansers since developing adult acne around 6-7 years ago. I went through virtually everything my local Boots and Superdrug stores had to offer like Garnier, Clearasil, Clean And Clear, Simple etc before transitioning to several ranges from The Body Shop. These led me to Clinique’s Anti Blemish Solutions and beyond. I used to think the higher the price tag on a product the better it would be for my skin after nuking my skin barrier with cheap drying formulas that were just too strong for my face. I thought it might be helpful to pop together a list of the best cleansers I’ve tried to date for specific reasons. All of which I’d naturally buy again or have already bought several times over.
- Rate or Hate? Reviews Of Cleansers I Tried In 2020 For Acne Prone Skin – Cerave, Cetaphil, La Roche Posay and Acnecide
Acnecide Gel Wash – £9.99 for 50g – For Tackling Breakouts
I’ve previously used prescription treatments with Benzoyl Peroxide and my skin hated them. They caused my skin to become red, swollen, puffy and very sore but I can use this product with no negative side effects. I’ve only ever bought one bottle of this and I’ll admit it took me a while to work through because it was too much for daily usage for my skin but I can’t deny how effective this is at taking the aggression out of spots. Whenever breaking out I’ve reached for this as the first port of call to calm any painful spots as it does such a good job without ever hurting. It is low cost, reliable and when used sensibly doesn’t cause dryness or irritation. If washed off really thoroughly it is possible to avoid bleaching towels too. My skin is in a position now where I don’t feel the need to rush out and buy another bottle immediately whilst I work through my stash of products but I would happily buy this again in the future if I felt I needed it.
- Which Skincare Ingredients Are Best For Treating Acne? A Breakdown Of My Favourites & What I Find Them Helpful For Including Benzoyl Peroxide, Retinoids, Salicylic Acid & Niacinamide
Cerave Cream To Foam Hydrating Cleanser – £12.50 for 236ml – For Non Stripping Cleansing When Using Acne Treating Actives
I tried the original hydrating formula but just preferred the texture of this very lightly foaming product as I’m so used to gel cleansers, this felt like the perfect hybrid. It has never caused irritation even when my skin has been incredibly sensitised from easing in topical acne treatments like retinoids. It’s affordable, easily accessible, doesn’t leave skin feeling overly stripped, tight or dry. It feels soothing and caring whilst leaving my skin feeling clean. I see it as a no nonsense product that works perfectly for me so that I can use other actives to treat my skin like BHA exfoliants etc. I can’t comment on how good it is as a stand alone to treat acne as I’ve always used this in a routine with actives.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser – £ 18.50 for 400ml or £12.50 for 200ml – For Being The Best Gel Cleanser I’ve Tried
I bought the giant bottle of this cleanser whenever it was on offer for the better part of at least 4 years. Prior to this lots of products I used aimed at acne prone skin I found far too harsh and aggressive whilst the gentler formulas did absolutely nothing for my spots. I used this prior to discovering exfoliant toners, retinoids etc. When used morning and day because a little went a long way it would last me 11-12 months making it the most cost effective cleanser I’ve ever used. I’ve even seen the 400ml bottle featured on Boots £10 Tuesday before so at this price it would end up costing less than £1 a month to use. It is gentle, non stripping, non drying and leaves skin feeling clean but not overly squeaky. The only reason I stopped using this was because I was prescribed a topical retinoid and required a hydrating cleanser as a result. I significantly prefer this to the Avene Cleanance gel cleanser and find it more gentle than La Roche Posay’s Effaclar Peeling Gel. Although I haven’t used this now in nearly 2 years it will always hold a special place in my heart for being the first cleanser I ever found that I felt was making a positive difference to my skin without causing any negative side effects that needed balancing out.