Clean Beauty 101 // Cleanse

Choosing the right cleanser is just as important as what you use to tone and moisturize. In the Clean Beauty world, there are a few different types of cleansers (oil-based, gel cleansers, cream cleansers and even bar soaps), and each method of cleansing has its own unique features.

// What Makes A Good Cleanser? //

A truly effective cleanser should do more than just cleanse. We all know a great cleanser will successfully remove makeup, dirt, and everything your skin came into conctact with (greasy fingers, anyone?) between washings. A great cleanser will also gently exfoliate via fruit enzymes, dissolving dead skin cells and revealing your new, glowing skin cells underneath. It should not, however, strip the skin. Instead, it should support your skin's natural barrier function by conditioning it with healthy botanical oils. Your cleanser should be addressing your skin's concerns, be it tackling pesky acne, reducing hyperpigmentation, or soothing sensitive skin. Lastly, your cleanser should be tailored to your skin type from dry to oily, and will ideally help balance out your skin's oil production.


Removes makeup, dirt and pollutants

Conditions + Supports your skin's barrier function

Exfoliates, reveals new glowy skin cells.

Address your skin concerns like blemishes and sunspots

Balance your oil production - not too dry or too greasy

// Types of Cleansers //

Oil Cleansing

Deep Glow Botanical Oil Cleanser by Among the Flowers | $28

We love it because it's effective at removing makeup and balancing out oil production in the skin. It works because oil dissolves oil. Oil cleansers bind with all that makeup, dirt, grease and your skin's natural sebum buildup. It is fantastic for oily skin types because it is known for reducing the skin's oil production over time, making for a more balanced complexion.

Cleansing Balm

Nourishing Cleansing Balm by Woodlot | $39

Similar to an oil cleanser, the cleansing balm is one of our favorites because of its rich consistency and ability to act similar to an oil cleanser. We particularly love it for it's  deeply conditioning quality, which is excellent for balancing dry skin.

Cream Cleanser

Cocao + Chamomile Cream Cleanser by Little Barn Apothecary | $40

A step away from a cleansing balm, a cream cleanser is sort of like an update to your mom's cold cream. It gently removes impurities and is quite soothing for sensitive types.

Gel Cleanser

Rosehip Cleanser by Indie Lee | $34

The go-to from our friends at Indie Lee, gel cleansers are clean beauty's closest approximation to what you used growing up, but without all the chemicals and fillers. The new clean gel cleansers are super concentrated and are great for anyone from dry to oily.

Bar Soap

Bamboo Charcoal Soap by Herbivore Botanicals | $12

We love this option for the price and it's gentle nature and squeaky clean feeling. If you want to incorporate more soothing and detoxifying ingredients into your cleanser, a soap is a great place to start.

// Our Picks For Every Skin Type //

Sensitive: Cocao & Chamomile Cream Cleanser


Cocao + Chamomile Cream Cleanser by Little Barn Apothecary | $40

Why we love it: Chamomile's anti-inflammatory properties soothe and heal damaged skin, while cocao is packed with antioxidants to help repair skin cells. Organic colloidal oatmeal also works to protect your complexion by helping it retain moisture to relieving dryness. It's super gentle yet effective enough to remove eye makeup.

Dry: Woodlot Cleansing Balm

Nourishing Cleansing Balm by Woodlot | $39

Why we love it: This rich cleanser easily removes makeup, dirt, and oil without over-drying your skin. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, balancing petitgrain, and ultra-moisturizing shea butter make this cleanser a go-to for clean, soft skin that leaves your face feeling cleansed, conditioned and moisturized.

Normal: Pink Clay Soap

Pink Clay Bar Soap by Herbivore Botanicals | $12

Why we love it: Pink Clay is great for skin rejuvenation and improving elasticity. It is high in Iron Oxide and Silica which help to nourish the skin, plus very gentle clay known for drawing out impurities without drying the skin. It also features geranium essential oil which is known for its skin balancing properties. This refreshing soap features a citrus and floral scent and has a silky-smooth texture. 

Combo: Brightening Cleanser by Indie Lee

Brightening Cleanser by Indie Lee | $34

Why we love it: Strawberry Seed Oil, hydrolyzed Wheat Protein and Tomato extracts help strengthen, firm and protect, leaving the skin hydrated, silky and luminous. Plus, this gently lathering gel cleanser doubles as an exfoliating mask if left for 5 minutes before rinsing.

Oily: Purifying Face Wash by Indie Lee

Purifying Face Wash by Indie Lee | $34

Why we love it: This rich foaming gel cleanser contains Java Plum, Orange and Lavender extracts to soothe the skin while dissolving excess sebum. Clove, Burdock and Mandarin promote a clearer, brighter complexion. Rose Damascena and Jasmine ensure skin feels soft and supple.

Acne Prone: Blue Yarrow + Geranium Cleanser by Little Barn

Why we love it: Blue Yarrow acts as an antiseptic to help heal and repair, while Geranium oil balances and tones. This formula is also blended with coconut oil for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, making this the perfect oil cleanser for the more oily types. Hydrating but never clogging, this cleanser takes off everything your face doesn’t need and leaves everything it does. Oil cleansing made simple.

Shop All Cleansers

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