Holy Grail cleansers That Will Transform Your Skincare Routine
I feel like I’ve been in a battle with finding Holy Grail cleansers for most of my life.
What ingredients do I need? Does oil cleansing work?
How should it make my skin feel?
Only recently however, have I felt confident in knowing the truth about cleansers.
The realisation is somewhat surprising, however I will share it with you today; less is more.
Your natural oil barrier on your skin is SO important to maintain, and I was previously destroying it with harsh cleansers that left my skin dry and tight.
If you struggle with oily skin (like me) you might even want to try cleansing just once a day.
It depends on how my skin is feeling, but some days I’ll only cleanse at night, which significantly helps reduce oil production.
It also depends on your current climate. It’s best to change your routine / cleanser depending on the season and humidity.
It’s somewhat counter intuitive, but having oily skin, means you must let your skin produce and stay in a naturally oily state.
The more oil on your skin = the less oil it has to produce.
(This is the same for your hair, stripping your hair of natural oil causes your body to go into oil overdrive, making your hair even more oily. But I digress).
The perfect cleanser will ideally wash away dead skin, dirt and dust from the day, and excess oil, while maintaining a natural and healthy oil barrier.
These cleansers below do just that! You’re welcome.
The all time best Holy Grail cleansers are as follows:
- La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser
- Hada Labo Japan Gokujyun Foaming Cleanser
- KLAIRS Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser
- Eco by Sonya Driver Super Citrus Cleanser
- Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser
- COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
- Hadalabo Gokujun Cleansing Oil
- SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser
- CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash
- Cetaphil Pro Soothing Wash
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The All-Rounder Holy Grail Cleanser
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser
If you’re looking for a general, all-rounder, Holy Grail cleanser, this one is perfect for you.
With active ingredients such as niacinamide and ceramides, this cleanser leaves your skin l feeling clean, comfortable, and hydrated.
The actives further work to improve skin texture and brightness, while not irritating or drying your skin.
It’s non comedogenic and fragrance free, which further decreases the chances of skin irritation.
“I really love this cleanser. I have normal/acne-prone skin, and this cleanser is very gentle and good and removing dirt, oil, etc. I love the pump and the size of the bottle. I’ve repurchased this twice and love it every time.” – Kat
Holy Grail Cleanser For Dry Skin
Hada Labo Japan Gokujyun Foaming Cleanser
With hyaluronic acid as an active ingredient, this gentle Holy Grail cleanser is amazing at removing impurities, and washing away dirt and oil trapped within pores.
It’s free of fragrances, alcohol, and colorants, making it perfect for sensitive skin.
Hada Labo is a staple brand within Korean skincare, and a large amount of their products could be labelled as Holy Grail.
If you haven’t already dipped into the world of Korean skincare, This Holy Grail cleanser from Hada Labo is the perfect starting point.
“Loving this cleanser.. the foam is very creamy and does not dry out my skin. Great price too! I am loving all of the great ingredients in all of my kbeauty skincare products. My skin looks amazing. I will repurchase this cleanser” – Lindsy S.
Holy Grail Cleanser For Sensitive Skin
KLAIRS Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser
This hypoallergenic cleanser is extremely moisturising with hyaluronic acid, while calming and nourishing your skin with aloe leaf extract.
With added tea tree leaf oil, this cleanser is great for blemishes and acne prone skin.
The foam has a soft and smooth consistency, which leaves your skin feeling supple and hydrated, while not stripping you of your natural oil barrier.
“I love this product! It has a great ingredient list without fragrance, essential oils and alcohol. This is a must in skincare!!! It does not strip my face, so my face doesn’t feel dry after using this!!! I would recommend this in a double cleansing routine!” Nena S.
Personal Holy Grail Cleanser
Eco by Sonya Driver Super Citrus Cleanser
Once again, I’m putting a little bias into an article. This Holy Grail cleanser is PERFECT (for me).
As someone with extremely oily, sometimes dry, acne prone skin, this cleanser works wonders.
The key element of success for this cleanser is paradoxically that it doesn’t do much.
It’s simple, with just some extra vitamin c ingredients to help with skin brightness and pigmentation.
If you have oily / combination skin, and are looking to strip back your cleansing to just the basics, this holy grail cleanser would be worth checking out.
“The BEST cleanser you’ll ever try. I promise you, 100% honestly. The Super Citrus Cleanser is very gentle, yet extremely effective – it leaves my skin feeling supple and fresh – and most importantly, CLEAN! My favourite thing about this product is that it doesn’t strip my skin of natural oils or make it dry/flaky.” – Ada
Holy Grail Cleanser For Oily Skin
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Oil-Reducing Cleanser
In a similar vein to my personal holy grail cleanser, this product is ideal for oily skin as it’s basic, and not extremely harsh.
With aloe extract and a soothing cream to foam texture, this cleanser removes impurities while reducing overactive oil-production.
Paula’s Choice delivers a wide range of amazing skincare products that must skincare addicts love. Their Holy Grail cleanser is no exception.
“There really are not enough stars that I would give this cleanser. Not only has it reduced the oil on my face but it has improved the overall appearance of my skin. My skin looks considerably smoother and brighter. This is THE FIRST cleanser or any product really, that has caused me to see a WOW difference. I am now a loyal Paulas Choice user!” – Chelsea M.
Best Affordable Holy Grail Cleanser
COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
We featured this cleanser in our article on the best COSRX products of all time.
However it deserves some extra love in this article too.
This COSRX Holy Grail cleanser has a low pH, allowing it to gently cleanse your skin, without any irritation.
The active cleansing ingredient of Betaine Salicylate works to cleanse away oil and sebum.
The added tea tree oil helps to sooth and nourish your skin, great for inflammation, pimples, and acne.
At a price point of only $9.45, it’s the perfect product to up your cleansing game, without breaking the bank.
“This is a heavenly gel cleanser that’s effective and gentle at the same time. In the AM this is the first part of my routine and PM, this is after makeup remover. I typically get a little redness and dry patches around my cheeks from certain cleanser but this was perfect for my dry sensitive skin. It will certainly be making an appearance again in my skincare routine!” Rosie Q.
Best Holy Grail Oil Cleanser
Hadalabo Gokujun Cleansing Oil
Oil cleansing is just something that everyone needs to try, at least once.
It’s somewhat different from your average cleansing experience. As the name states, it’s a much more oilier product. Which is actually a good thing!
There are a wide range of benefits to oil cleansing, such as:
- Effectively cleanses sebum from pores
- Cleanses away dirt, blackheads, and whiteheads
- Easily cleanses makeup
The final benefit is a main reason why K-beauty enthusiasts swear by oil cleansing; it gets rid of makeup much better than regular cleansing.
If you’ve found yourself breaking out after makeup use, then it would be worth your time investing in an oil based holy grail cleanser, such as this one from Hadalabo Gokujun.
“Since using this product, I have tried 3 other drugstore brands of cleansing oils and creams at similar price points and NOTHING takes off my make up like hado labo. It emulsifies beautifully. It doesn’t sting my eyes and it always gets all of my mascara and eyeliner off. It’s a holy Grail for sure. And for the price, you really can’t beat it. I can’t rave enough about this cleansing oil.” – Nicole D.
Best Holy Grail Foaming Cleanser
Etude House SoonJung 5.5 Foam Cleanser
With similarities to the COSRX cleanser, this holy grail cleanser from Etude House is only slightly acidic
This slight acidity and 5.5 pH score, ensures no irritated occurs.
Containing active ingredients of Panthenol and Madecassoside, soothes and calms your skin complexion, while taking care of inflammation and damaged skin.
With no fragrances or harsh chemicals, this cleanser will not strip away your natural oil barrier.
“Overall, I find this to be a pretty solid second-step cleanser – it’s non-drying, very affordable, and simple. Those with sensitive and dry skin types may like to consider this!” – Corgi727
Most Expensive Holy Grail Cleanser
SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser
SK-II as a brand certainly isn’t for everyone, however the skincare results they deliver prove they aren’t 100% just hype.
The general consensus online is that their products can GREATLY improve your skin, however a small amount of people find their products hardly do much.
If you aren’t one of these people immune to its effects, then the SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser is worth the boughie price tag.
With pitera and white willow extract, this cleanser removes impurities, while leaving your skin hydrated, smooth and supple.
“This product is expensive but I feel like it’s totally worth it. I’m always searching for the next big thing in skin care and as science of skin care continues to advance we as consumers are expecting more out of our products. Perfect combination of getting the skin clean without drying out my skin. It’s definitely worth a try if you haven’t found your favourite cleanser!” – Jessica J.
Best Holy Grail Cleanser For Acne
CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash
I personally found this Holy Grail cleanser to be amazing when I was dealing with acne. It’s EXTREMELY gentle to your skin, and is a lovely smooth consistency.
With ceramides and hyaluronic acid, your skin won’t feel stripped of moisture after washing it off.
A cleanser won’t magically improve acne overnight, however a gentle one is a step in the right direction.
When looking for products good for acne, try to find ones that are gentle, moisturising, and non irritating.
“I absolutely adore this cream cleanser. I always double cleanse to get all of the makeup and grime off so I start with this gentle but effective wash. CeraVe only uses the best and the cleanest ingredients so I know my skin isn’t being harmed. I definitely recommend picking this up if you have dry, oily or acne-prone skin. it will change your life. they’re kind of on the expensive side for drug store products but they’re always huge bottles so they last forever!” – Robby-Lee R.
Best Holy Grail Cleanser For Eczema
Cetaphil Pro Soothing Wash
When dealing with eczema, this cleanser from cetaphil can be a game changer.
It can be used for both the body and face, and is renowned for it’s soothing, and non irritating formula.
It doesn’t strip away your bodies natural oils, and it’s perfect for apply to red, irritated, and dry skin.
“The BEST body wash for anyone with skin issues such as eczema or psoriasis. My son and I suffer from keratosis pilaris, and this is the first body wash that has helped relieve it! It works even better than prescription washes we’ve tried.” – Juleah B.
The Bottom Line
You’ve made it all the way to the bottom! Congrats.
Let’s do a quick recap of all these amazing Holy Grail cleansers. If you’re looking to dip your toes into getting an amazing cleanser, I would recommend the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser.
If you wear makeup a lot, and need a level up in terms of cleansing, I would recommend the Hadalabo Gokujun Cleansing Oil.
Don’t forget to listen to your skin, and remember that everyone reacts differently to different products.
Holy Grail Cleanser FAQ
How long should I leave my cleanser on for?
Try to see if the product has the recommended time on the package. if not, the best time is around 30 – 60 seconds. Spend this time gently massaging the cleanser into your face.
What cleanser ingredients should I avoid?
There’s a wide range of harmful ingredients to avoid, however the ones that are most popular in products are:
Avoid these as best you can, for healthier, non irritated skin.
What cleanser ingredients should I look for?
The best cleanser ingredients all depends on your skin type, and what you’re trying to achieve. The following list breaks down the best ingredients for each skin type:
- For dry skin: Hyaluronic acid
- For acne prone skin: Salicylic acid
- For firmer skin: Peptides
- For brighter skin: Vitamin C
Make sure to read the label of every cleanser! And if you’re unsure about a certain ingredient, make sure to research it.
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