Best Cleansers of 2011 (thus far…)

I had a steady stream of cleansers sent my way lately which were quickly adding up, so over the past few months I’d use a different one for a full 7 days, twice a day to get a real feel for how it worked and how my skin responded. They didn’t all make the cut of course, but I did find several I really liked based on the following:

  • Completely cleans skin and removes makeup
  • Has a unique spin
  • Smells good (one was excluded just because it smelled like old lady)
  • Doesn’t dry or strip the skin
  • No irritation or breakouts caused

So here we go, the first batch of cleansers I’m loving in 2011.

Kosmea Clarifying Facial Wash

It’s not only the intoxicating rose scent that makes me love this Clarifying Facial Wash, it’s the feeling it gives my face after using it that I call squeaky soft because although it removes all impurities, there isn’t a hint of tightness once my skin dries. $32

Caudalie Cleansing Water

Now you have no excuse not to remove your makeup nightly. Caudalie’s Cleansing Water is one of the best I’ve used to really remove the day using a quick, gentle solution of Grape Extract and Plant Glycerin. Soak a cotton pad with the water and with just a few swipes, you’ll have a sparkling clean face that even the most sensitive skin can tolerate. $26

Sensai Silky Purifying Creamy Soap

Sensai’s Soap in a tube is such a hit that Saks wouldn’t let you buy more than 6 a month. I can understand why – the travel size I received will probably outlast most of my standard sized cleansers. It’s so rich and dense that just a dab produces a hearty foam nabbing dirt and makeup, and leaving behind a really soft moisture finish. $50

Bioelements All Things Pure Cleanser

A good clay cleanser is hard to find. I like Bioelements‘ version because of the amount of organic aloe it mixes in with the clay to soothe and calm the skin. It’s the first clay-based cleanser I’ve used that would be suitable to all skin types, and it’s definitely ‘green’ girl approved with mostly natural and organic ingredients. $35

Kate Sommerville Detox Daily Cleanser

Facialist-to-the-stars Kate Somerville formulated her Daily Detox Cleanser for those who struggle with breakouts but also want some anti-aging benefits. In short, it’s not a harsh cleanser that will strip the hell out of troubled skin. Daily Detox gives you the foam you want for slightly oily and inflamed skin while also helping to lighten acne scars using Phytic Acid and also stabilize oil production. $32

Wei Chinese Rose Foaming Cleanser

Yes I know I’m slightly obsessed with all things Rose, but this is a perfect example of a great cleanser that didn’t just use the scent to brand the product – Rose Flower Infusion is its first ingredient. I found it to be surprisingly thorough and one of my favorites of the bunch because of its light and easy ability to cleanse and leave the skin looking bright and glowy. $32

L’Oreal Go 360 Clean Deep Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

I tried several drugstore offerings in this batch, some I’ll review for my blog for Walmart.com, but I thought this one was special and had universal appeal. 360 for sensitive skin is a soap-free, gentle cleanser that washes away clean without leaving a trace of irritating residue. $7

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