I'm quite particular with cleansers (facial washes, foams, gels, oils, etc). because I believe it's the most important step in skincare. I regularly double-cleanse (cleansing oil and/or micellar water + facial foam) because I'm acne-prone and I find that it is quite effective in keeping my face clear and smooth.
For cleansers, I tend to favor the foam type because I like the squeaky clean feeling, as opposed to a veil of greasy "hydration" film all over my face. Maybe it's just me, but I tone and moisturize anyway afterwards, so I'm fine with it. My skin has improved drastically since I became more diligent in moisturizing and "layering" skincare. So for cleansers, I just want something that will remove all the gunk I've accumulated throughout the day.
I used to be a Ponds girl (I've repurchased the Pure White cleansing foam so may times in the past)but I found that the formula is rather too drying for my skin now. I guess, my skin has changed now that I'm in my 30s. So I've scoured other formulas since then and I'm pretty much rotating these in my cleansing routine right now:
|Cleansing arsenal, anyone?|
The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam is something I haven't been using on a regular basis, because I thought the formula is quite mild; It leaves my face quite moisturized, lathers really well, but I feel that it does not adequately remove residues of cleansing oil. This maybe suitable for girls who have sensitive skin, or for those who do not need to double cleanse. It has a slight pleasant scent that is quite soothing. As for the brightening effect, I have had this for quite a while (excuse the dirty packaging)! And I haven't noticed any brightening at all.
Nivea Extra White Repair Pore Minimiser Foam (Whitening) is quite good-- I've used up mine, as you can see. It leaves my face squeaky clean and it lathers up nicely as well. Again, I do not count on it for whitening, but it did seem to make my complexion more refined. A nice note: it does not contain any skin thinning ingredients. Sometimes cleansers with exfoliants are quite harsh on skin so I'm wary of those.
Shiseido Perfect Whip Facial Foam -- Ah, I'm currently using this one, and so far, I'm really liking it! It's a very basic, fuss-free cleanser, no whitening, brightening promises, just mild yet thorough cleansing. The foam is very, very fine, and I'm quite enjoying my cleansing routine now. This is also quite moisturizing---in fact, probably the most moisturizing facial foam I've used, but I do feel that my face is clean. In short, it's the irritating, gunky moisture kind that makes me break out the morning after.
Astara Blue Flame Facial Cleanser is a stash that came from Truth in Aging ---- it's a gel cleanser, and it claims to be paraben-free and organic. I'm not a fan of gel-based cleansers, like I said, but this one is quite promising, with tea tree oil, lavender and a host of other essential oils. The smell is quite strong, but very soothing, like a combination of natural herbs. I'm using this for my chest and back for acne maintenance, and it's quite good in keeping the blemishes at bay.