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The Skin Cleansers You Need this Winter Season

As an acne prone, sensitive skin type of gal, I can tell you a lot about skin care. I’m no dermatologist and there are no hidden medical degrees in my pocket (I’m barely making it through my undergrad right now tbh) but I do have years of testing products, checking ingredients, going to doctors and more under my belt.

I find myself pretty passionate about skin care and love talking about it with friends or throwing away their St. Ives products for them. I also think it’s pretty useful for battling the depressions and being more mindful.

So without further ado, here are some of my current favorite cleaners right now.

1. Youth to the people kale + Green tea spinach vitamins superfood cleanser

This is a real gem here. I once heard it described as a salad for your face, and that’s exactly what it is. It smells and feels absolutely delightful, has a smooth texture and a gentle foam. I have used three of their eight-ounce bottles (which are aesthetically beautiful, may I add) and am pleasantly happy with it. This is my first cleanser, used for taking off any makeup residue, oils, daily life grind and all.

It has been very nice to my sensitive skin and doesn’t strip my skin after a wash. My breakouts have lessened and I have never experienced irritation from this. I genuinely look forward to cleaning my face with this stuff.

Some A+ ingredients include superfoods, alfalfa, vitamins C and E.

The only negative I have here is the price. She’s sitting at a cool $36 on their site, which isn’t the sexiest for a broke girl – but I’ve purchased three already because it’s that good. Sometimes it’s worth investing in a good product, plus a little dot of this goes a long way.

2. Cerave renewing sa cleanser

I’ve been using this bad boy as my secondary follow up cleanser (or primary now that it’s winter and my skin is drier. It’s important not to strip your skin by over-cleansing it.) This has been my acne controller and life saver.

I’ve been using this for a few months now, which is just long enough for me to say I confidently recommend this as an acne-fighter cleanser. My breakouts have seriously reduced and so has the oiliness in my face.

My favorite thing about this cleanser is how much goodness is packed into it while still at an affordable price. It’s at every drugstore and FRAGRANCE FREE! I highly dislike heavily fragranced skin care products if you couldn’t tell.

3. the inkey list salicylic acid cleanser

This one’s for the back in my routine (because that’s skin to be cleansed, too.) Not to expose myself now, but I’ve got sprinkles of chest and back acne, so cleaning both with a gentle salicylic acid cleanser every wash is useful. I haven’t been using this one long enough to say if I’m confident in it’s acne-ridding abilities yet, but I can always do a follow up article with updates.

4. Glossier milk jelly cleanser

This is a new try for me, so I have no definitive yes or no yet, but I totally dig that I can use it to take off my eye makeup safely (it has poloxamer in it, an eye-safe cleansing agent). It smells nice, foams quite a bit and doesn’t irritate my skin. I’ve heard mixed reviews on Glossier but I want to test this one out myself, so stay tuned for an update to see if she’s a keeper.

5. Nécessaire – the body wash

I used their fragrance free body wash and enjoyed the way my skin felt when I got out of the shower. It has some great ingredients like niacinamide, vitamin E, green tea and marula oil (though these last two are farther down the list and have less concentration than I’d like.) I couldn’t tell if it helped with my body acne but I did enjoy it for its general benefits. It was a nice self-care addition, though also pricey.

Looking for some extra advice? YouTube always has my back when it comes to information, DIYs and tutorials. Some of my favorite skin care junkies are Hyram, Dr. Pimple Popper, and Dr. Zion Ko Lamm. They are consistent with their advice, updates, tutorials and give the what’s what in the skin care world.

If you’re looking to change up your skin care routine or start one, you can find some useful videos on Hyram’s channel here. Or if your current cleanser isn’t doing the job for you and you’d like to know why before trying a new one, check out this video for help too.

There’s so much that goes into researching the right ingredients and the “good” brands which is why I follow a lot of sources who do it for me and go from there. But more than that, skin care can get personally challenging.

My skin has always been a sensitive subject for me. I’ve had acne since elementary school and my self-confidence has suffered for years because of it. I have tried so many topical medicines, dermal treatments and regimes without much change – it felt like there would be no light at the end of the tunnel and I would always disagree with my appearance.

Researching my products and putting effort into how I care for my skin has helped. I’m a busy college student with a part-time job and a dog, so coming home to a predetermined routine that’s healthy for me is exactly what I’ve needed.

Whatever challenges are blocking you from that routine, keep picking it back up until it sticks. You’ll feel better for the consistency and both your mental and physical health will thank you for it. For me, my little skin care routine has helped ground me during panic attacks or soothe me in times of depression.

It’s not always easy to pick yourself back up and wash your face when your soul is exhausted, but I’ve always felt better afterwards and that’s why it’s important.

If any of these ramblings resonate with you, then I hope my cleanser list leads you to the beginnings of a new self care routine. We all need to be a little more gentle with ourselves. And read the ingredients in our products.

The Her Campus National Editors write about products we love and think you’ll love too. Her Campus has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase. All products are in stock and all prices are accurate as of publication.

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Laura Rohrer

South Carolina '23

Laura is an environmental science major and mass communications minor at UofSC. She likes playing in the dirt and capturing moments with her camera. She hails from Colorado and Wyoming and grew up camping all over the US. She's involved in the mountaineering club, Sierra club, book club, WUSC-FM university radio station, SCALM (Student Community for Archives, Libraries, and Museums), and Her Campus! Laura is the new Social Media Manager for WUSC and hosts a weekly show, currently called the Bear Jamboree. Beyond campus, she is an ambassador for Keep Nature Wild, a group that fights litter all over the country. In her (limited) free time, she loves playing with her puppy Moose and spending time with friends. She's also super into fashion and thrifts like a maniac. She never stops moving and lives exclusively on coffee and Chipotle.
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