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➊ Youth To The People Kale Superfood Cleanser
Y’all know how green juice is the craze nowadays? Well friends, this gel cleanser is like green juice for your skin! It contains all the healthy key ingredients which make up your morning green juice: kale, spinach, green tea, alfafa, in addition to Vitamins C, E and K.
However, the “super” player in this superfood cleanser are its cold-pressed antioxidants that scavenge for free radicals, helping to slow down the signs of skin aging (free radicals try to grab an extra electron from the skin, causing damage to the skin’s DNA). It is also works great as a double cleanser and extremely effective in removing makeup.
Developed by one of my favorite vegan brands Youth to the People, its completely free of sulfates, parabens, pthalates and cruelty-free. No wonder GQ Magazine voted this skincare product as the 2018 winner of their Best Stuff Award!
➋ The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
This pick isn’t called Squalane Cleanser for just any reason; it contains 100% pure squalane oil! Squalane is not to be confused with squalene, which is a fatty acid derived from the liver of sharks; squalane with an “a” is plant-derived but it is also found naturally in our skin! This fatty acid is a huge component of skin-surface lipids serving not only as a moisturizing agent but also a protective barrier against pollution.
I absolute LOVE this cleanser due to how it completely yet gently removes makeup without drying out my skin! It’s balm-to-oil formula works by rubbing the product in your hands until it turns into an oil, THEN massaging it onto dry skin, allowing the emulsifying esters to dissolve any makeup, sunscreen etc. Finally, rinse it off with warm water.
Its important to note that squalane is an oil-derivative (not an oil) so it feels slick YET light on the skin – a perk for those who already have oily or combination skin (like yo sistah over here!)
➌ Acure Brightening Cleansing Gel
Acure’s Brightening Cleansing Gel might be my favorite cleanser on this list. It costs less than $10, lasts about 3-4 months if you use it twice a day (in the AM and PM) and is chock full of the antioxidants blackberry, pomegranate and açaí.
Other antioxidants such as chlorella, lemon, and calendula work together to hydrate your skin while helping to lighten and diminish the appearance of dark spots and acne scars.
For application, I gently massage 1-2 drops into my skin with wet fingertips until all the makeup and dirt has been removed, then rinse off with warm water.
➍ Versed Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm
Holy cannoli y’all. This is the holy grail of cleansing balms. I have become a huge fan of VERSED products, their Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm in particular!
Formulated with a soothing base of eucalyptus, clove and jojoba to remove makeup and other dirts and the antioxidant Vitamin E to provide moisture and a protective barrier against pollutants, this is one effective cleansing balm.
I use my handy beauty spoon to scoop out a dime sized amounts of product into my palm, heating the balm into a milky consistency. I then use my fingers to apply it to my face. It turns into an oil upon contact with your skin so it does feel a little oily for me. The coup de grace of this balm is that it removes my makeup with minimal effort! I especially love how it completely removes my eye makeup with such ease.
The only cons to this balm is that 1) it does give off a subtle menthol scent (most likely due to the eucalyptus) and 2) there have been a few reviews by those with sensitive skin saying that it stung a little bit around the eyes for them. I personally have never had any issues while using this balm but if you have sensitive skin, that’s something to consider prior to purchasing.
➎ Tata Harper Clarifying Cleanser
Now here is a liquid cleanser for all you foam and lather lovers out there! Keep in mind that typical lathering facial cleansers contain surfactants (surface active agents) which repel water while attracting sebum. While surfactants are highly effective in removing excess sebum and dirts from your scalp, they’re allergens known to cause irritation and drying of the scalp – because of this, vegan brands eliminate surfactants such as sulfates, DEA and TEA from their ingredient list. However, Tata Harper has developed a foaming, 100% vegan cleanser!
Its active ingredients include prickly pear flower enzymes, wild crafted juniper fruit and chlorella. The enzymes gently exfoliate to slough off dead skin cells, juniper fruit balances pH and oil while chlorella soothes redness and calms irritation. Other natural ingredients include willow bark, arnica, calendula, borage leaf extracts, lactic acids and citric acids; these are all known for their healing and rejuvenating properties.
I like to use Clarifying Cleanser as a first cleanse in both the AM and PM; occasionally I’ll use it as a flash mask (keeping it on for 1-2 minutes). It has a pleasant cooling sensation without leaving my skin feeling stripped or dried out. My only cons for this product is that it is a bit pricey and it does have a strong scent so if you’re sensitive to smells, please take note of that before purchasing!