I tried a million face washes…so you don’t have to.

Okay more like 6 but a million got your attention, right? 😉 

One day I looked around my bathroom and started counting. 1…2…5…I had a lot of face cleansers. Most people have this issue because they buy something once and don’t like it so they move on. Turns out I actually like all of the face washes I have used in the past, SO I put 2+2 together and thought why not share this accidental trial and error with my face washes! I will be your guinea pig, gladly.

Just before we start — my skin type is normal. I’m not very oily, a little bit in my t-zone but not a ton, and breakouts are rare and usually hormone-related. (Thought I’d throw that out there in case you have different skin issues!) So with my skin type, I have a few things that I look for in face washes — not overly drying, gentle and I need to have that really, really clean feeling. (You know the one. It makes you go ‘ahhhhh‘) Anything above those standards is just icing on the cake in my book.

So let’s get to those face washes, shall we??


Most Luxurious:

Colleen Rothschild Radiant Cleansing Balm

This cleanser is hands down the fanciest your face will feel. I’m not even kidding and not just because it’s kind of expensive. Essentially it’s a solidified oil that you use as a cleanser and it feels so amazing. Your skin feels incredibly soft and amazing after. The first time I used it I made my husband feel my face more times than necessary and I’ll be honest it got weird for both of us. It seems counter prductive using oil to wash your face, but it works and I’m not questioning it. If you are looking for something to get hooked on, here you go. Softest skin ever.


For usage: I use about a quarter to half dollar size amount. (Also if you know what a half dollar is — fist bump.)

Find the cleanser here.

Most Cost-Effective:

Cetaphil Anti-Bacterial Bar

I used this for face wash for years — I mean years. When I decided to wash my face in college which was not often let’s be honest, this bar was my go-to and it kept my acne at bay. If a breakout was coming on, this would knock it out fast. It’s non-drying, lasts forever and it’s easy to travel with. I still keep this bar in stock and use it to wash my Beauty Blenders with. It works like a charm.

This bar is also great to travel with — you can use it as a body wash as well. So if you don’t have a lot of room or don’t love to take liquids in your suitcase, then this is a great option! (PS: I’m not sure why but they always sell it in a multi-pack even in stores! Random, I know.)

Find the cleanser here or at your favorite drugstore / Target.

Favorite Drugstore Option: 

Cera Ve Foaming Facial Cleanser

This one is the newest and a fast favorite! I use this cleanser in the morning in the shower. I love the pump and the foaming — it’s just the easiest clean ever. Plus it’s a light cleanse, which is what I need in the morning. Since I’m not heavily moisturizing like I do at night, I don’t want to strip too much oil from my face and this is the gentlest cleanser. Lovely option if you are looking for one under $15! It lasts around 2- 3 months with daily use.

I use about 2 pumps for my whole face. I start with a damp face and suds it up! Simple enough, right?

Find the cleanser here or your favorite drugstore.

Richest Cleanser + Best with a Brush:

Lancome ‘Crème Radiance’ Clarifying Cleanser

I’ve written about this face wash many times before, but it truly is a favorite. It’s so thick that just a tiny dab will do. I like to use smaller than a dime size with warm water on my hands first and work up a lather, then right onto the face. It leaves your face incredibly clean; this gives the most clean out of any of the soaps here. And it’s so creamy that it never dries out my skin. Bonus: if you use a cleaning brush or exfoliating brush like Clarisonic, this is the soap for you. It gives just the right amount of suds.

I use a little bit less than a dime size amount each time. I’m not kidding this stuff lasts forever. If I’m using it on my Clarisonic, I use about a nickel size amount.

Find the cleanser here.

Fastest Clean Option:

Miceller Water 

This category actually has two that I’ve tried but on very different ranges of the price scale. Garnier’s SkinActive Micellar Water is the most cost effective I’ve tried, by far the best drug store brand of micellar water, and it is the best clean / makeup remover if you are on the go … or lazy like me sometimes and your best that you can give is a cotton pad at night before you doze off to bed. (Hey, it happens.) I also love to use miceller water as a makeup remover before I wash my face. It’s such a nice refreshing feel! Trust me. The strangest thing is that it really does feel just like water. Again, beauty science is boggling my mind over here.

The second option is La Mer ‘The Cleansing Micellar Water’ and yes, it is on the very other end of the spectrum at $90 a pop. Go ahead and close that jaw and remember to breath again soon. I will say that this stuff feels like magic, as do all of La Mer’s products. (What do they put in this stuff???) It gives a peppier feel than the Garnier product but essentially the same exact result. I wouldn’t say this is the product to jump into micellar water with if you’re new to the product, but if you are a fan of La Mer, give this micellar water a try out! It lasts for a long time — I’ve had my bottle for almost a year and it’s about half way finished. And I love the size of the bottle, it makes it perfect for traveling.

Another plus to micellar water; if you have a more oily face it’s a nice refresher during the day. Taking just a swipe of this to your t-zone during the day leaves you feeling refreshed. It’s also nice to keep in your gym bag to refresh after the gym if you’re in a pinch.

Find the Garnier cleanser here and the La Mer cleanser here.

Gentlest Exfoliator:

Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish 

As an avid fan of Laura Mercier products, I wanted to try some of her skin care line out. I ended up loving this skin cleanser and exfoliator. I ended up moving on from the apricot scrub a few years ago and missed the exfoliating every few days. So I love this option. It’s gentle, it cleanses and exfoliates all in one. So if you are an exfoliator freak — which is a good thing — this wash is for you.

I use about 2-3 dime size dollops when I use this cleanser 2x a week. I don’t use it every day so I tend to use a bit more product to really get the exfoliation effect. If you use daily, you could probably get away with just 2 dime size squeezes!

Find the cleanser here.


And those are my favorites! So now tell me yours! I’d love to add a few to my trial and error. 😉

21 Notes

Leave a Comment

  1. La Bijoux Bella | by mia says:

    Great lovely post … I love the Cera Ve cleansing product. They’re focusing on great skin care and is a wonderful product. 🙂

    ❤LA BIJOUX BELLA❤ | BY MIA | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    02.09.17 · Reply
  2. Diana says:

    Purity is my favorite. Gentle. Not drying. Totally removes makeup.

    02.09.17 · Reply
  3. Chemicals, that’s what’s in La Mer.

    There are some super lush clean alternatives out there – May Lindstrom, Yuli, Mun, Bella Figura, Leahlani.

    Through Ecodiva and Integrity Botanicals (who both offer samples!), I’ve been slowly moving away from the chem cleaners and relying more on essential oils and natural formulas.

    I double cleanse – first with One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil and then with Leahlani Kalima. Leahlani’s mermaid mask is amazing too. May Lindstrom’s honey mud is…out of this world.

    I’m new to hydrating toners and serums, so I’m still trying some out.

    Like you, I LOVE skincare, so I’ve had so much fun trying out new products.

    02.09.17 · Reply
  4. Marta says:

    They all seem amazing! I’d love to try that Laura Mercier exfoliator, it seems really good.

    02.09.17 · Reply
  5. Carrie says:

    Purity by Philosophy. But not the foaming version.

    02.09.17 · Reply
  6. MS says:

    I appreciate that it seems like these are authentic opinions (not sponsored). I don’t mind sponsored posts sometimes, but its great to still have great original content like this too.

    I actually went to the drug store to get the CeraVe wash because they have a lotion I love, but the beauty specialist suggested a french brand (I forget the name right now), which I really like so far.

    02.09.17 · Reply
  7. Cassie says:

    Tatcha’s Rice Enzyme Powder in gentle all the way!

    02.09.17 · Reply
  8. Jen says:

    Good choices! I’m a huge fan of British esthetician Caroline Hirons and love her new collaboration with Pixi, the double cleanse. One side is a solid make up/SPF remover and the other is a creamy face wash.
    It’s awesome!

    02.09.17 · Reply
  9. Great post. I should try these products.

    http://misspippisstyle.blogspot.hu/

    02.09.17 · Reply
  10. I love the Cera Ve Foaming Cleanser! I’ve been using it for almost a year and whenever I try something new, I always go back. I’m not totally sold on their moisturizers though.

    02.09.17 · Reply
  11. Mireia says:

    Absolutely love it!

    Mireia from TGL
    https://thegoldlipstick.com/

    02.09.17 · Reply
  12. Alison says:

    I have an irrational desire for that Colleen Rothschild one, mostly because it has the word luminous in it and that is the magic word that gets me to throw my money at people.

    I have a friend who is a chemist and is fairly knowledgeable about skin care and she recommends investing in treatment products (moisturizers, serums, etc) because they stay on your skin for the most amount of time, and not spending too much on cleansers (because you just wash them down the drain). I switch between Cetaphil and Glossier Milky Jelly — cheap and gentle!

    02.09.17 · Reply
  13. Thank you dear i was thinking to get about any face wash i will try it.

    02.10.17 · Reply
  14. I have recently been using a oil cleanser and I love it! I’m surprised at how great they work! My two favorite brands are Saison Beauty and First Aid Beauty, but I also agree that everything La Mer is like heaven!

    xo Bryn
    http://www.waketonroad.com

    02.10.17 · Reply
  15. Great post! 🙂

    02.11.17 · Reply
  16. Marcia says:

    Excellent post. Thank you for sharing this knowledge with us.

    02.12.17 · Reply
  17. Sarah says:

    I LOVE Clinique Micellar wipes for traveling, they are pretty affordable at Sephora. I also just found a micellar wipe at Trader Joes that I haven’t tried yet, but they are crazy affordable.

    02.15.17 · Reply
  18. I LOVE skincare, so I’ve had so much fun trying out new products.

    02.21.17 · Reply
  19. Etizest 1 says:

    I’d love to try that Laura Mercier exfoliator, it seems really good.

    02.23.17 · Reply
  20. Veera Junnila says:

    Your blog is just amazing, I love your style. You have me dream closet, for sure, haha!
    https://byveera.blogspot.fi/

    03.06.17 · Reply
  21. Maria V. says:

    Look nice 🙂
    Maria V.

    04.03.17 · Reply