If you’re reading this and are over 35 (raises hand), you know that this is around the time when your skin starts changing and a lot of products you’ve used in the past don’t quite work for you anymore. Your cleanser is probably making your skin feel too tight (not in a good way) and drier. This isn’t normal or ok!

Even before applying moisturizer, your skin should never feel so dry after washing that it’s uncomfortable. That means you’re stripping natural emollients from your skin and wrecking your moisture barrier, which is one way to longer lasting skin problems such as persistent dry patches and even acne flare-ups from your skin pumping out extra sebum to try and compensate for being stripped.

So whether you’re over 30, 40, 50 or just have drier and more reactive skin in general, here are my favorite cleansers that I’m keeping in rotation, as well as a few honorable mentions.

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Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser

A creamy and non-foaming face wash, this is my favorite for cleaning my face in the morning to take off the last of my nighttime skincare that may not have absorbed fully overnight. Also great on days when you don’t wear makeup to wash off a layer of moisturizer and sunscreen. Leaves skin feeling fresh and hydrated with no residue.










Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Melting Cleanser

This is my favorite for removing makeup at the end of the day. A luxurious melting cleanser that cuts through just about anything, including waterproof eye makeup. Rinses clean, no residue, leaves skin feeling hydrated and bouncy. A perfect first step for a double cleanse.









Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Cloud Cream Cleanser

A gently foaming creamy cleanser with hyaluronic acid to really boost the moisture in your skin while you wash. A great second double cleanse step. While it’s not the best at removing waterproof and heavy-duty makeup on its own, it also works well as a single cleanse on makeup-free days.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cleanser

One of the best drugstore cleansers out there, with lots of hard-working skincare ingredients. Here’s a YouTube video of Kenna, a biochemist, breaking down why it’s so effective and such a great value. Don’t let the gel texture put you off. While not as emollient as some of the other cleansers on this list, it won’t strip and leaves skin soft.


CosRx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

Another gel cleanser that doesn’t strip, it’s a great value Korean beauty star that’s specifically pH balanced to be extra gentle for a morning cleanse.

DHC Deep Cleaning Oil

This Japanese oil cleanser is a favorite of mine when I travel. Great at removing makeup and excellent for deeper hydration.

Tata Harper Refreshing Cleanser

I received a sample of this a few months ago and really loved it. A gentle chemical exfoliating cleanser that uses mild natural acids to help resurface and bring forth smoother skin. A creamy face wash great for brightening a duller complexion and smoothing, won’t strip.









Any favorite cleansers you’d like to add? Leave it in the comments below!

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