Super scrubby exfoliants and gets-the-job-done bar soaps are great for some, but for those of us with skin that goes crazy at even a hint of chemical provocation, choosing the correct cleanser is painstaking work. My skin—so sensitive it cries at corny chick flicks—reacts best to gentle cream cleansers specially formulated to fight dryness without stripping all those essential oils.
Most Wallet-Friendly: It only takes a dab of Sephora's FACE Soothing Cleansing Cream ($10) to wash the day away. The clean, baby powder-fresh smell and smooth, pearly consistency make this moisturizing cleanser a gentle way of pampering your face.
Lightest Lather: The first thing I noticed upon taking Sundari Omega 3 and White Birch cream cleanser ($33) out of its lovely batik-print packaging was how incredible and airy it was. I could see bubbles of air in the cleanser, so I knew it had to be next to weightless on my face. I was right, and although it doesn't feel like much, the Omega 3s, silk amino acids, and white birch and soapberry extracts pack a wallop without irritating my temperamental skin.
Crème de la Cream Cleansers: It may be pricey, but Sensai Creamy Soap ($50) is worth the price. Like fine lingerie that feels custom-made, Sensai's cleanser is silky, delicate, and so luxurious. It foams up beautifully for a feather-light finish that washes away clean and residue free. Ingredients Koishimaru silk and carrot extract work a particular magic that makes this skin brightening cleanser work on normal, dry, and combination skin types.