Cleansers are often overlooked (especially in a world full of enticing retinol serums and brightening vitamin C treatments), but they’re actually the most vital step in looking after your skin. After all, every successful routine begins with a proper, thorough cleanse, leaving the skin perfectly prepped to absorb anything you apply to it afterwards.
The best cleansers and face washes on the shelves should do two things: leave your skin free from make-up, excess oil and free radicals (especially in an age of ever-rising pollution levels), and keep it calm and balanced. The latter may sound like a given, but many alcohol and acid-laden cleansers will upset the skin barrier, leading to redness, irritation or clogged pores.
So, which one to choose? Here, we’ve rounded up the best gentle, balancing cleansers for every skin type, so you can set your skincare routine off on the right track…
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.