Six select cleansers for dry, sensitive skin

Lucy Holloway

It’s that time of year when ‘spring cleaning’ features pop up all around. Following on from our recent pick of the best cleansers for acne-prone skin and maskne, here’s a bunch that are ideally suited to dry skin that can be a bit touchy. In alphabetical order:


1. Beauty Pie

Lots of lovely things have been said about Beauty Pie’s Plantastic Apricot Butter Cleansing Balm. The latest cleanser on the Beauty Pie block is another luxurious balm – firm, fragrance-free and a fraction of the price of some similar formulations. Super Healthy Skin Hot Oil Double Cleansing Balm (100ml is £65 for non-members and £11.65 for members) is a set oil that goes silky as it warms in your palm. Baobab oil, rice bran oil and aloe work together to ensure it nourishes as it cleans. It rinses away gradually with warm water and wipes away easily with a hot cloth. If you’re a fan of Clinique’s Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, you’re going to love this. Grab a pot here when it launches in April.


2. Dr Hauschka

This gentle giant is a lighter milk which makes it ideal for summer, hot weather cleansing. When the chips are down and my skin is reactive this is the cleanser that I’ve turned to since my teens. Enriched with anthyllis (a shrub like plant known for its resilience), jojoba and almond oil it’s super-soothing, with a light herbal fragrance. The men in this house love it too, and they’re obviously not alone as box it comes in (which they haven’t read) suggests it as a shaving lotion. It’s £25.50 for 145 ml and available at the Dr Hauschka online store. Currently discounted to £20.40 at Look Fantastic.


3. Elemental Herbology

Elemental Herbology has a fantastic range of cleansers for all skin types and conditions. For dry, sensitive skin the Purify & Soothe cleansing balm from their moisture replenish selection is the way forward. Nourishing botanicals – inca inchi (an Amazonian superfood seed), angelica flower and argan oil – are rich in omega oils and essential fatty acids, giving dry, tired-looking skin a nutritious boost. This naturally fragrant balm cleans without drying, is great at removing make-up and heavy sun cream, and strengthens skin’s barrier function. Delicious. A 75ml tube is £30 and comes with a muslin cloth. Pick one up here.


4. Emma Hardie

The doyenne of cleansing balms, Eve Lom, met her match when facialist Emma Hardie launched the botanical, all-natural Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm (£47 for 100ml or £25 for a limited edition 50ml collab – both with a cleansing cloth). The Moringa tree grows in Africa and Asia and is associated with reducing inflammation. The formula combines moringa seed oil with wild sea fennel and vitamin E to purify and minimize pores. A blend of zingy orange, neroli and mandarin works alongside calming jasmine and rose to revitalize dull and dehydrated skin and boost your mood. This rich and ritualistic balm is an absolute treat: great at removing waterproof make-up, a little goes a long way and I often leave it on as an overnight mask. For double cleansing, or for your morning cleanse, try the light and refreshing Moringa Light Cleansing Gel (£34 for 100ml). Pop both in your basket here where there’s 10% off if you sign up for the newsletter.


5. Oskia

Turn every day into a rest day with Oskia’s Rest Day Cleansing Milk (£38 for 150ml). The brand’s signature MSM together with cactus extract, chamomile and rose and lavender water soothe as it cleans, while oat ceramides and probiotics support skin’s natural pH and make it more resilient to external aggressors such as pollution. Fragrance-free but with a delicate, natural scent from the oils, the youngest member of the superb Oskia family is perfect for young folk in your family. It’s a calming influence on stressed, temperamental older skin too. Elegantly packaged in glass, and perfect for gifting, you can treat yourself and your loved ones here.


6. Peter Thomas Roth

Peter Thomas Roth’s Water Drench Cloud Cream Cleanser contains Hyaluronic Acid, a natural ingredient in healthy skin which attracts and binds in water. It’s gold-standard when it comes to skin moisturization, and, alongside Sodium PCA – another powerful humectant – ensures that this hero cleanser keeps skin hydrated as it gently removes make-up and grime. Other actives in this creamy formula include coconut oil and marshmallow root to soothe and soften.  Fragrance-free, it’s great for any gender and ideal for older, delicate skin. £24 for 120ml and in stock now at Look Fantastic.


Next up we’ll be looking at cleansers that support skin as it ages. Please message me @lucy_holls if you think there are any that deserve a particular shout out, or if you’ve got any cleanser queries.

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