PSA: Some of The Best Face Cleansers Launched This Summer

From gels and jellies to balms and creams, Summer 2020 is having a very strong face cleanser moment. A number of new formulas have joined the beauty landscape and offer impressive textures, results, and noteworthy overall user experiences. In relevant news, one icon has undergone its first major reformulation in over twenty years. 

I’m always, but especially during the warmer months, seeking face cleansers that tackle specific skincare conundrums — like blackheads or dullness. This summer, I’ve been very lucky to have discovered new favorites to join my ever-revolving stash of staples. Enjoy the round-up. P.S. One thing that’s common to all my highlighted picks are spectacularly long ass names! 

Glow Recipe Papaya Cleansing Balm

Full name: Papaya Sorbet Smoothing Enzyme Cleansing Balm. This is one of the biggest hits of the summer. If you enjoy sorbet-like textures that melt into the skin (but never shape-shift during travel), this silky formula glides on the skin and melts away every speck of pigment, grime or heavy-duty sunscreen. It also emulsifies beautifully with water and makes for a fantastic first step in a double cleanse (the base includes Apricot, Camellia, and Papaya Seed Oils). When I remove it with a hot cloth, I go straight to my essence and serum without needing to  follow up with a foaming wash. Since the formula ensures gentle enzymatic exfoliation via Papaya Fruit Extract, I leave it on for a minute before rinsing — that’s my personal glow recipe. $32 (100ml) or

Herbivore Pink Cloud Jelly Cleanser

Full name: Pink Cloud Rosewater + Tremella Creamy Jelly Cleanser. Typically, I don’t normally go for rose scented cleansers (and this one has quite an intense aroma because of the high content of Rose Hydrosol) but I can’t get enough of this fun and frisky jelly wash. The latest from Herbivore has a thick liquigel texture that is infused with mega hydrating Tremella Mushroom Extract, Squalane, antioxidant rich Green Tea, Neem Leaf and False Daisy Extracts, soothing Aloe Vera, and a touch of Moringa Seed Oil. The foaming formula is super gentle on the skin and won’t result in any dryness or tightness. Herbivore suggests you apply it to wet skin but I do two pumps on dry skin before hopping into the shower. I’d keep the sleek glass bottle on the shower shelf but knowing me, that’s asking for an accident that would end my foot modeling career. $24 (100ml)

Versed Keep The Peace Cleanser

Full name: Versed Keep The Peace Acne-Calming Cream Cleanser. Versed has been full of surprises lately and I’m here for every single one of them. This new cleanser is absolutely brilliant, especially for those whose skin is prone to breakouts or blackheads. With 1.5% Salicylic Acid, the creamy wash (the texture reminds me slightly of an old school shaving cream) addresses existing and prevents future clogged pore-related fiascos. Keep in mind that while it lathers fiercely, it is completely non-drying. Since the formula also highlights Apple Fruit and Blue Tansy Extracts, the soft frothy foam delivers gentle exfoliation with calming anti-microbial benefits but without triggering any sensitivities. Versed doesn’t add any fragrance ever so the faint scent is completely natural. This is my once a day pick for either a morning cleanse or step two in a double cleanse at the end of the day. $16.99 (120ml)

Tatcha Rice Wash

Full name: Tatcha The Rice Wash Skin-Softening Cleanser. Having learned to wash my face properly over twenty five years, I say this unequivocally: Japanese face washes are among the most exquisite in the category. And, Tatcha does everything right. A pea size amount (I hate submitting to industry speak, so forgive me) creates plenty of rich lather, which results in a luxurious face cleansing experience. The creamy formula is packed with a skin softening blend of Algae, Green Tea, and Rice Extracts as well as hydration boosting Hyaluronic Acid. The purple tube adds a luxe touch to any shower shelfie. More importantly, it makes my skin feel great. I can’t wait to start hoarding this one in travel-sized tubes because I can’t imagine going anywhere without it. $35 (120ml)

Good (Skin) Days Cleanser

Full name: Good (Skin) Days A New Leaf Cream Cleanser by Soko Glam Labs. After a successful Then I Met You brand launch, Soko Glam has released a gentle, effective, and more wallet friendly range, Good (Skin) Days. Powered by a superfood medley of fermented Green Tea, Broccoli, Spinach, Kale and Celery Extracts, the New Leaf cleanser delivers a daily dose of antioxidants whenever you clean your face. The creamy texture is studded with specks of crushed Mugwort leaves which provides skin smoothing, gentle exfoliation. For those who fear cleansing foams will dry out their skin, this one turns frothy but leaves your complexion feeling bouncy and hydrated. There is a faint but natural scent (no added fragrance) reminiscent of oatmeal? Yes, I’m questioning myself. Major props for keeping the 100m tube at $16!

Philosophy purity made simple

Full name: purity made simple one-step facial cleanser. After over two decades, the iconic philosophy face cleanser has undergone a makeover this summer and debuted a new paraben-free formula. The creamy face wash is still powered by the cleansing and nourishing properties of Meadowfoam Seed Oil and has the light herbal scent I was hoping the brand would not change (it’s a blend of 12 essential oils from Geranium to Rosewood). Luckily, the user experience continues to be as sublime as ever. The new purity made simple removes every trace of sunscreen and pigment and leaves the skin lightly hydrated and soft. I’ve been a fan of this low-foaming formula for at least fifteen years and find it to work well when applied to dry or wet skin. These attributes make for an easily accessible option sinkside or in the shower. Philosophy offers this bestselling cleanser (we’re talking 24 international awards in 24 years of existence) in a wide range of sizes. I highly recommend you give the updated version a try. There is also an oil-free option. $13 (3 oz), $25 (8 oz), $38 (16 oz), $48 (22 oz) 

Drunk Elephant E-Rase 

Full name: E-Rase™ Milki Micellar Water. Not only does the new Drunk Elephant cleansing solution look adorable sinkside, E-Rase™ is even more fun to use. The liquigel works as a no-rinse micellar water that you apply to cotton rounds and swipe across the face. If you wear waterproof makeup, keep the pad over those areas (eyelids, lips, for example) for a few seconds before wiping away every trace of pigment, dirt, and excess oil. In addition to using a Micellar Cleansing Blend, the brand has infused this latest innovation with Ceramides, and nourishing and antioxidant-rich oils such as Wild Melon Seed, Marula, Baobab, Mongongo, and Wild Plum. If you practice double cleansing, use E-Rase as the first step. For others, it makes for a great refreshing morning cleanse. It is fragrance free and I find it to be as gentle as it is effective. $28 (8 oz)

Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Cleanser

Full name: Hyaluronic Marine™ Makeup Removing Meltaway Cleanser. This is not my favorite face wash option from Dr. Dennis Gross (the Alpha Beta wash is my ultimate pick), but  this latest addition to the super hydrating Hyaluronic Marine line up is great for those with dry or dehydrated complexions. You apply this gel to dry skin as you would any cleansing balm, massage it in to melt away sunscreen and makeup, and use a damp washcloth to remove. (Reusable cotton rounds also work but I recommend a hot flannel—or the uber soft microfiber face towel Dr. G is offering as a gift with purchase) significantly more effective. It will not liquify with water so you really need the manual move of a cloth to achieve the proper level of clean. Technically, no rinsing is required but I follow up with a foaming wash. As much as I enjoy this new launch, the gel can cling to my brows. It’s a great first step in a double cleanse. Side note: the scent is juicy and delicious but does not linger. $30 (5 oz)


1 Comment

  1. Palak
    August 13, 2020 / 12:52 pm

    Something about your blog posts are as calming and relaxing as your insta posts of bath tubs. Reading about these cleansers is just the nudge I needed to checkout most of these in my cart! Thanks a ton 🙂

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