When it comes to beauty "rules", I have to come clean: Despite being a beauty editor, I don't really have much time for them. Whether it's skipping bold eye shadow while you're wearing a bright lipstick, avoiding face oils if you have oily skin, or steering clear of glitter and shimmer if you're over the age of 25—these old-fashioned takes on how you should (or more oftentimes shouldn't) enjoy experimenting with beauty products are frankly passé. Instead, I prefer to embrace a more exuberant approach to beauty by mixing-and-matching the products that bring me joy. Sure, there might be some misses along the way but there's fun to be found in the trial-and-error of playing with different colours and textures—despite what the rule book might say.
However, having said all that, there are a couple of expert-approved beauty rules that I wholeheartedly get behind—particularly when it comes to skincare. First up, a non-negotiable: Always wear SPF. At this point, I'm hoping that this advice is so well-ingrained that it feels more like a way of life than a rule, but either way skipping out on sun protection is a definite no-no. The second skincare rule? Always double-cleanse at night. And there's one brand that I swear by when it comes to creating the perfect double-cleansing wardrobe: Elemis
I'll admit, as someone with naturally spot-prone skin I've had lots of contradictory advice about how often to cleanse my skin over the years: Not enough and you risk exacerbating congestion and blocked pores, too much and you encourage your skin to overproduce sebum by stripping away your natural oils. However, since a dermatologist advised me to cleanse once in the morning using a micellar water or light gel cleanser and twice at night—once to remove the surface layer of makeup and grime and again to deeply cleanse pores—I've noticed that my skin is so much happier. Sure, I still get breakouts (there's no quick-fix for acne) but overall double-cleansing has helped to improve my skin texture, boost glow, and minimise the lifespan of any unwanted blemishes.
And when it comes to the formulas that I swear by for all of my cleansing needs, no brand does it better than Elemis. In fact, as the self-proclaimed home of cleansing, Elemis are undoubtedly an industry authority on what constitutes a brilliant cleanser with their advanced formulations and nutrient-rich ingredients working together to create the ultimate first skincare step for every complexion. Elemis firmly believes that clean skin is healthy skin, and this is very much an ethos that I can get on board with. But with such an extensive library of products to choose from, which Elemis cleansers have earned a permanent home in my skincare rotation?
Keep scrolling to discover the Elemis cleansers that I swear by, and to shop the very best cleansers for your skin type.
Shop my favourite Elemis cleansers
I'd describe my skin as combination (I tend to have an oily t-zone with some dryness around my nose and chin) and prone to breakouts, so I'll often look for cleansers that resurface and deep-cleanse the skin. However, now that I'm 32 I'm also keen to start using skincare products that will target those early signs of ageing, like fine lines, and love the feeling of richer textures on my skin at night.
On days when I fancy something a little more hardworking than a micellar water for my morning cleanse, I reach for this luxurious gel cleanser. It's packed with skin-friendly minerals like magnesium, zinc and copper which I find helps to bring down any inflammation in my skin and the deep-cleansing action means that any excess oil is kept at bay—without leaving my skin feeling stripped. It's a wonderfully rejuvenating cleanser that always leaves my skin looking bright and healthy.
As my skin isn't particularly reactive I tend to overlook products that are coined as calming or targeted towards sensitive skin. However, since trying this innovative micellar cleanser I've been totally converted. Again, another brilliant morning cleanse, this gentle foaming formula sweeps away any grime left on your skin overnight with a superfood blend of cleansing olive and mango and hydrating rice water and green tea seed oil. My skin always feels so soft after using this, and I love that it's getting a dose of vitamins and nutrients ahead of the day. I think of this as the skincare equivalent of a fruit smoothie.
Of course, what would a list of the best Elemis cleaners be without the cult Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm? I have been using this for as long as I can remember and it's pretty much always my first cleanse of choice at night. Although oily-combination skin types might feel a little dubious about cleansing with such a rich, oily balm, the beauty of this product is the way that it transforms from an oil into a silky milk once mixed with water. Once it's rinsed away, you're left with supple, healthy skin with no makeup, grime or unwanted oil in sight. Just a serious glow.
For my second cleanse at night, I tend to want a formula that's going to be a little more active and can combat any congestion that I'm currently dealing with, and they don't come more effective than the Elemis Dynamic Resurfacing Facial Wash. A lightly foaming gel cleanser, it uses a patented tri-enzyme technology that gently resurfaces your skin to leave it looking brighter and smoother. Plus, it's packed with antioxidant-rich ingredients like moringa and white truffle to hydrate and keep your skin barrier in check. I've been to facials where they've used this as the first step because it's that good.
Best Elemis cleansers to brighten skin
When we're feeling tired, our skin is often the first place that it shows. Luckily, on mornings that you wake to find that you're in need of a major glow boost, Elemis have some brilliant cleanser options to brighten and improve radiance.
As the name suggests, this cleanser has a gorgeous buttery texture that melts away makeup and impurities to leave even the most lacklustre of complexions looking brighter. Infused with exfoliating pumpkin enzymes (to nibble away those dull skin cells) and fatty acid-rich ingredients like mango butter and chia seed oil, this is a deeply hydrating cleanser that truly restores luminosity.
Often a good exfoliator is the key to boosting radiance, and Elemis's Skin Buff s one of my favourites. It has a lovely creamy texture with ultra-fine hop granules that slough away any dead skin cells to boost brightness. Plus, extracts of bilberry and chamomile help to soothe the surface of the skin so you'll be left looking radiant, rather than red.
Elemis describe this modern gel cleanser as a green juice for your face, and it's easy to see why once you've tried it. Overflowing with superfood extracts from broccoli to wheatgrass, it also contains an active pre-biotic to help maintain a healthy skin balance. After just one use, your skin will be left looking fresh, bright and softly glowing. What could be better?
Best Elemis cleansers for signs of ageing
Elemis is renowned as one of the best anti-ageing skincare brands on the market. And while I'm a firm believer that fine lines and wrinkles are a celebration of ageing, there might be times that you want your skin to look a little more plump, smooth and bouncy—and that's fine too. Elemis's world-renowned pro-collagen range is adored by beauty editors and consumers for its gorgeous textures, hydrating benefits and skin-plumping results, and their cleansers from the same range really deliver.
Of course, the original Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm that I use regularly is probably the most well-known product in the range, but this rose-infused one is well worth a shout out. Brimming with soothing English rose oleo extract, it's a gentle update for more sensitive skin. Of course, you still get all of the classic benefits—deep hydration, soft skin and a youthful glow—but with the added plus of a dreamy rose aroma.
The latest addition to the Elemis cleansing balm family comes courtesy of this water mint formula—which I'm a tiny bit obsessed with. While the original already has spa-like properties, this cleanser is a truly sensorial experience. Inspired by the British coast, it's infused with mandarin, orange flower and waterlily for an uplifting cleansing experience. Along, of course, with all of those aforementioned pro-collagen skin benefits.
At first glance, this cream cleanser might look basic, but I think it's one of the best in Elemis's skincare arsenal. It boasts a rich, creamy texture that deeply purifies skin while a science-led blend of moringa, great burdock and acai deliver a hardworking hit of pollutant-fighting benefits. The result is hydrated, luminous skin.
Best Elemis cleanser for reducing oiliness
If you find that your skin is prone to oiliness and you often find that shine levels are high by the end of the day, then Elemis have a brilliant selection of clarifying cleansers to help regulate your oil production and decongest your complexion.
Clay is the star ingredient of this deep-cleansing facial wash, which has been specially formulated to lift away excess oil without stripping the skin. Natural ingredients like hawthorn and bold leaf extracts work in conjunction to soothe and clarify the skin's surface, while minimising the appearance of existing breakouts. With regular use, skin will become more balanced and clearer over time.
I'm pretty confident that all skin types will love this refreshing cleanser, but I think it's particularly good for oilier complexions due to its purifying nature. I often use this as a morning cleanse when my skin is particularly oily and irritable as it gently removes grime without disrupting the skin's acid mantle and exacerbating breakouts. Plus, it's so easy to use—just sweep it over skin with a cotton pad and you're good to go.
Best Elemis cleanser for redness and sensitivity
If you find that your skin often looks really red after cleansing, or you tend to get irritated or reactive when trying new products then chances are you might have sensitive skin. Or, if like me, and you like to test-and-trial lots of different products, you might reach a point where you want to give your skin some time to reset, replenish and restore your skin's barrier. And that's where Elemis's selection of cleansers for sensitive skin comes in.
Specially formulated for dry, sensitive skin this daily wash manages to deeply cleanse and purify without any hint of irritation. In fact, it's brimming with gentle herbal extracts and a soothing milk protein base to leave skin feeling calm and soothed.