The Best Clean Face Cleansers

March 22, 2021

Best Natural and Clean Cleansers

We all know the importance of cleansing our faces every day but not all cleansers out there are created equal when it comes to effectively cleansing your skin. I’m really picky when it comes to cleansers. I’m not a fan of those that leave your skin feeling striped dry and don’t really love foaming cleansers that so many brands seem to make. I also steer clear of those with ingredients that are culprits in clogging pores.

The Best Clean Face Cleansers

Cleansing regularly can help slow aging and prevent breakouts. I’ve tried lots of brands over the years and for the past two years I’ve been using the following natural, clean face cleansers. I love them, the ingredients, the way they make my skin feel (skin should always feel clean but nourished and hydrated) and will continue to buy them again and again.

The Best Morning Clean Face Cleansers

Best Natural and Clean Cleansers

Youth to the People Superfood Cleanser, $36

This is my #1 go-to cleanser. It’s the loveliest rich gel texture that goes to work to clean but not strip skin. The formula is designed to be like a daily green juice for your face – thanks to its superfood-extract blend of kale, spinach, and green tea. It’s sulfate- and alcohol-free so skin is cleansed without drying for optimal pH balance. I find it does a great job of getting rid of excess oil that’s built up on my face overnight while sleeping.

I also love that this is vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free and comes in recyclable packaging. I’ve converted several friends to this cleanser because after just one use your skin just feels so good. I also recently read it is a top selling cleanser at Sephora and can certainly understand why. I know it’ll always be in my rotation.

The bottle is a really healthy size (8oz!) and lasts me for at least six months with regular use making it a great value. (As an aside, I also love the brand’s Superfood moisturizer so much – it is holy grail status for me for its lightweight hydration and matte finish!)

Best Natural and Clean Cleansers

Osea Ocean Cleanser, $48

This is the refreshing, energizing cream-gel cleanser I keep in my shower. I reach for it every time I’m washing my face in the shower and particularly after workouts. It’s got a bit of zip in it when it hits your face and just perks you right up.

This gel cleanser is formulated to remove dirt, excess oil, and impurities from the surface of your skin while maintaining a hydrated, healthy looking complexion. Vegan Lactic Acid (derived from beets) promotes a clean, toned appearance; Lime, Cypress, Juniper, Orange, and Jasmine wake you right up and USDA Certified Organic Red Algae gets skin looking visibly refreshed, energized, and radiant. 

Best Natural and Clean Cleansers

True Botanicals Renew Nourishing Cleanser, $48

If you have sensitive or overly dry skin, this is a great do-it-all cream cleanser. I actually use it both A.M and P.M depending on my cleansing needs. If I’m not wearing makeup, it’s what I reach for at night. But if my skin is feeling drier in colder months, I’ll swap this in on certain days in the morning in place of the Youth to the People cleanser. 

This cleanser is formulated to clean, condition and promotes softness. So it meets my criteria for never leaving skin feeling striped – rather my skin feels refreshed after use. I also love the calming scent of it – it’s naturally scented with grapefruit, lavender, vetiver and jasmine. It’s a creamy formula that doesn’t lather but rather glides over every inch of your face easily and can be used on eyes without sensitivity as well which is always a plus in my book.

If you have skin that tends to be more congested or break out, they have a version of this cleanser under their CLEAR line, too for you to try.

This cleanser is also in my rotation for nighttime on days I don’t wear much makeup. It easily cleanses and takes off light makeup with no irritation removing mascara either.

Best Natural and Clean Cleansers

The Best Evening Clean Face Cleansers

Best Natural and Clean Cleansers

Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm, $64

This Cleansing Balm has a cult following for a reason. It really does feel like a spa experience to use thanks to its heavenly smell and texture. Makeup truly melts right off and skin feels super nourished after use. It comes with a cleansing cloth to help remove every last trace of makeup, dirt and oil. The balm is formulated particularly for aging skin so it really prioritizes skin feeling hydrated and nourished.

To use it, warm a pea-sized amount between your palms and then massage over face, neck and décolleté with light circular massage movements. Afterwards, moisten fingertips and continue to massage. Remove with a warm, damp cleansing cloth.

Best Natural and Clean Cleansers

Votary Rose Geranium Cleansing Oil, $72

This brand is pricey but it is far and away the best cleansing oil I’ve ever tried. It’s been in my rotation for nearly four years at this point. It is formulated so beautifully and feels so luxurious thanks to its natural blend of rose, geranium and apricot oils. Especially when my skin is dry, this cleansing oil leaves it feeling renewed.

And a little goes a long way. One bottle lasts me about a year with use several times a week. Just two pumps is enough and you will watch all your makeup melt away but skin will be left so smooth, so soft, so glow-y and so nourished. With regular use I’ve found my skin tone improved and I actually look forward to removing my makeup with this oil vs. finding it to be a chore. 

I also love that each bottle comes with a soft cloth to remove every last trace of makeup, dirt and oil. The cloth also helps to gently exfoliate which I prefer over exfoliating cleansers that may contain harsher ingredients. This cleansing oil is for all skin types but I’ve also used their Super Seed Cleansing Oil and their Clarifying Cleansing Oil depending on what my skin needs are and they are equally as wonderful and effective.

Truthfully I love the brand’s entire line. I also used to work with the founder Arabella when she was a client of mine and she is a wealth of knowledge and a former makeup artist who prioritized nourished skin as a canvas for makeup and natural beauty. It’s definitely a natural line worth trying if you want more radiant skin.

If you’re looking for a less expensive alternative, I recommend the One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil – I’ve used it on and off for years and it’s great. 

. . .

If you have more acne-prone skin, I also recommend adding these two Caudalie products featuring salicylic acid which will help treat breakouts and clean out clogged pores. They’ve done wonders at clearing up my skin whenever I incorporate them into my routine.

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p.s. my favorite clean mascaras and my favorite affordable clean beauty products.

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