Tahira's Guide to Cleansers

I love when readers Contribute by asking me questions to write about, so as requested, here is my guide to Skin Cleansers and Makeup Removers. 

Single Or Double (Cleanse not Coffee)

I have never thought about cleaning my skin more than once until last week when I had my delightful Artisan Facial with Diya who states that just washing your face once is like 'showering with your clothes on' . If you really want to clean the skin, avoid blocked pores and blackheads, you need to remove makeup first,  and Clean your skin second. I get 'congestion spots' fairly regularly,  and have never thought about skin cleansing in those terms, so maybe here is something to that.

Several Brands describe their cleansers as: Makeup Remover + Cleanser Which I suppose is the equivalent of a 2 in 1 shampoo (also making a comeback I have noticed, now under the guise of Cleansing Conditionner, but I digress) While others feel that first you remove makeup by massaging the product into the skin, and then cleaning by rinsing off.

Why I love an Oil Cleanser

From the moment I came into this world, I was slathered in oils. My Mum (Hi Ma, yes I just mentioned you) is Goan, and in hers, as many sun-drenched cultures, babies are slathered in oils from the moment they see daylight. I was using Glycerin + Rose Water on my legs at 8 and Coconut Oil in my hair at 6. I love oil. My skin tends to be dryer and dehydrated, and Hard London Water does nothing to help that, so I tend to go for rich oils and creamy products for my Face and body.

Although it may feel counter intuitive, Oily skins too can use Oil-based products for cleansing and moisturising, it is just about the right balance. In fact, it is often beneficial to use specific oils to help balance sebum production, and prevent over-drying which leads to more oil production in the skin.

My (Brief) History with Hot Cloth Cleansers

I love the technique demonstrated in this video

In My Pre-Green Beauty days,  I used the Dermalogica Pre-cleanse , loving it from the moment it hit the market,  and from there I moved to various oil and balm cleansers.  And Then I discovered warm cloth cleanse (muslins, face cloths, flannels, whatever you want to call them)

When Eve Lom taught us all how to wash our faces properly sometime in the mid 2000s I was an instant convert,  then came Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish, which also took the market by storm. I enjoed the Shu Uemura Oil cleanser for a while but discovered the Emma Hardie Moringa Balm a few years ago and fell in love.

Coconut oil became the go-to product for everything a few years ago, and many people use it as a makeup remover. I personally like Coconut oil for a very limited amount of things and am really not on the 'Miracle of Coconut Oil' Train. I find it neither absorbs nor rinses, so my skin feel like it has a it of a flm on it, even when I wash it with a cloth. But If it works for you, It is a great and inexpensive natural option. I certainly think it is an effective remover, but would definitely follow up with a cleanse.

Natural and Organic Facial Cleansing

Balm/ Oil Cleanser:


The Melting Cleansing Balm is AMAZING. I tried it while away, and it has a beautiful texture and scent. Maleka, Founder of the brand has a lovely Video explaining the product and how it double cleanses by by emulsifying the makeup fist, and then cleanses the skin as you rinse it off.  I found it removed makeup Quickly and effciently and leaves the skin feeling really hydrated.


I adore this brand and their melting cleanser is gorgeous. Full disclosure: I tried this product in its previous formulation, but I am in love with this brand and all they produce, and have only heard positive reviews of the new consistency. It turns to a milk when mixed with water and washes well just water or with a cloth.

3107 Skincare

I have not had the opportunity to use this extensively at home but it felt beautiful when it was used on me and i enjoyed both the scent and texture as my makeup was lifted away.

Cream + Milk Cleansers


I love this gentle creamy remover for sensitive skin. It works to remove makeup and comes with a fantastic double sided cloth (It is my favourite cloth cleanser). I need to wipe a little more around my eyes to get all the last traces of makeup off, but it works beautifully and has no detergents or alcohol which are drying.

Green People

This Lovely brand actually have a fabulous range of cleansers for all skin types, from Mature to teenage (which includes a genius 3 in one cleanser and moisturiser for teens, perfect for boys I would think!). I have only tried their cream cleanser which is similar in feel to the one from Pai, but rinses a bit easier. Aslo listed as a makeup remover and cleanser, it seems to work very well without stripping or drying.

Twelve Beauty

Everything by Twelve is beautiful and thought out. I have only tried this in store and it feels just lovely. I think a good option for delicate skin.

Wash/ Foam cleanser:

Sukin Skincare

This is best if you prefer a more "soapy" feel or you have oilier skin. Although my skin did not feel stripped or tight , my skin is dry + dehydrated , and I would hesitate to use this as my only cleanser, however, my husband love it with his slightly oilier skin.

Elethea Pure Balancing Clenaser

Again, I only had the chane to use this during my facial with Dija, but it felt and smelled amazing. It has Tamarind Seed Extract which apparently is more effective than Hyaluronic acid to stay hydrated!

Micellar Water:

I LOVE Micellar Water, for quick and easy makeup removal and is brilliant for me for changes at work, but it is definitely a first step that needs a good cleanse after.

In Green Beauty Brands have only tried the one by Sukin, which I find effective but I think there are other brands I would like to try like Balance Me or Melvita

Cover image by Lou Denim, Makeup by Me, Nails by Roxanne Campbell