9 Clean Cleansers That Are Actually Worth the Money

Updated 05/25/19

I feel like I'm on a never-ending journey of swapping all my products for all-natural ones. For the past few years, I've used Ursa Major's Fantastic Face Wash, which holds up to its name. The non-harmful ingredients support my "less is more" philosophy when it comes to my skincare routine. My aesthetician Adi at Heyday helped me hone in on the rest of my products. She shared that in most cases, she tells her client's to take products out of their skincare routine rather than add more. I learned from her that cleansing at night is more critical than in the morning.

(I previously had it all wrong). I would spend most of my time exfoliating and prepping my skin for makeup at the start of my day. Instead, she recommends having a thorough nighttime routine to get rid of makeup and dirt build-up. In the morning you could even skip a cleanser altogether and rinse with water to remove any product you may have applied at bedtime. It all depends on your skin.

If you're interested in switching to all-natural products, a good starting point are products you use daily: face wash, hand wash, body wash, lotion. Often, people are concerned that all-natural products may not work as well as their unclean counterparts. That, and products derived from natural ingredients are often more expensive than manufactured ingredients. Is the expensive price point worth it? The short answer is yes, most of the time. Ahead, my thoughts on a few of the most popular clean cleansers.

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser $82
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This micro-bead daily exfoliating treatment is Tata Harper's best selling cleanser, and it's no surprise why. The 100 percent natural and non-toxic formula is gentle enough to use daily morning and night (it didn't dry my sensitive skin) and smells like grapefruit. As the name suggests, my skin felt regenerated after single use—my complexion was visibly brighter. While expensive, it's definitely worth the investment and can be found on all-natural skincare mecca, Follain.

Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash $28
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This has been my go-to daily face wash for the past few years. I use it every morning in the shower and am obsessed with its gentle 99.5 percent naturally derived formula. That being said, I've posted about it on Instagram a few times and have gotten feedback that it was too gentle for acne prone skin. For combination or sensitive skin like mine, I'd recommend it. I can use it multiple times a day and it won't strip my skin of any moisture. Major bonus: the scent—a blend of cedar, spearmint and a hint of citrus—is heavenly.

It doesn't get any fresher than this cleanser.

MŪN Akwi Purifying Cleanser $15
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Founded by makeup artist Munemi, this natural face cleanser had the most immediate results of any of the others I tried. The oil-based formula instantly left my skin glowing. Like, there was a noticeable difference before and after I washed my face. My skin appeared to have more elasticity and was brighter. Because it is oil-based, the directions call for it to be applied to dry skin and washed with warm water. I prefer using a washcloth with oil cleansers to thoroughly remove the product and any makeup.

After daily use, it dried my particular skin type (combination and sensitive skin) so I have it reserved to remove makeup because the gentler cleansers won't take away mascara, or as a self-care pick-me-up. There's something really soothing about massaging this formula into skin. It's like giving yourself an at-home facial!

Peet Rivko Gentle Cleanser $28
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This all-natural cleanser is as gentle as they come. The milky cleanser is fragrance-free and formulated with aloe vera and green tea. It's ideal for sensitive skin types and feels like you've done something good for yourself (like drinking eight glasses of water). I'd recommend it as a morning and nighttime option for gentle cleansing.

True Botanicals Renew Nourishing Cleanser $48
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This milky, thin cleanser smells like Hawaii in a bottle (it gets its fragrance from jasmine extract). My favorite thing about this non-harmful cleanser is how much it moisturized my skin. If you're looking for a nourishing face wash, as the name suggests, this is a really great one that'll leave skin clean and as soft as flower petals. If you're hesitant about the price point, know that there's a 30-day return policy.

Indie Lee Purifying Face Wash $34
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Many foaming cleansers say they're foaming, but they're not. This isn't one of them. Indie Lee's Purifying Face Wash delivers a luxurious foam, which nourishes skin as you're massaging the product into it. Ingredients include mandarin, rose, clove, and grape, giving it a subtle and clean scent. It's ideal for normal, oily and combination skin and while it's gentle, it will remove makeup too. Because my skin is sensitive, it tends to dry, this left my skin nourished and soft. The price point won't break the bank and is definitely worth the delicious ingredients that are in it.

Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Creamy Bubbling Cleanser $36
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Ingredients in this luxe face wash include chamomile and sage leaving skin super soft and nourished. It's also the most subtle exfoliant because of ingredients like papaya and pomegranate extract, glycolic and lactic acid. It's applied to dry skin with wet hands and gentle to use daily. I loved the texture of my skin after this cleanser. I'd recommend it for soft, smooth skin, which is basically everyone, right?

Pai Light Work Rosehip Cleansing Oil $56
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This was one of my favorites. Maybe I have a thing for oil-based formulas? It's a great, natural way to dissolve make-up. I'd recommend it as a pre-cleanse product to pair with some of the gentler and milkier cleansers that won't remove makeup or use on its own. Again, you apply this on dry skin and remove with a washcloth or warm water. Instantly, your skin is soft and radiant. While it's not the most expensive on the list, it's pricey, but there's a 90-day satisfaction/return policy for anyone who's unsure.

The rosehip oil also smells like you're at an all-natural spa. I'd definitely add this to your self-care routine.

Aesop Gentle Facial Cleansing Milk $35
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Aesop's Gentle Facial Cleansing Milk launched earlier this year. The consistency of the formula is thin and milky and includes ingredients like grape seed oil and olive oil. It's a nourishing daily cleanser for most skin types. I have sensitive skin and experienced drying with it. For oily or acne-prone skin it could be a great alternative to something like Pete Rivko if you're looking for a little extra strength. Unlike the others on this list, it's not all-natural, but it is clean of harmful products.

The scent is also gentle and soothing.

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