As a general rule, the fewer ingredients you find on the label, the cleaner the product is. Case in point: all of those do-it-all coconut oil balms that keep the ingredient list short and sweet with one ingredient, coconut oil. But there are exceptions to every rule. And to remove makeup, oil, and impurities, sometimes you need a little bit more on that list. So adding a few ingredients isn't a bad thing. But when that limited ingredient list is littered with sulfates, fragrances, and anything that starts with methyl, ethyl, propyl, or butyl, you've found the exception to the rule.
Once upon a time, being free and clear of synthetic dyes and fragrances gave your product the sensitive-skin stamp of approval. We've come a long way since then. These days there are dozens of seemingly innocuous (though hard-to-pronounce) ingredients filling cleanser bottles everywhere. Of course, not everything with a scientific-sounding name earns a spot on the no-no list, but many of the chemically manufactured ingredients you find in so-called gentle cleansers aren't doing your skin any favors. Cetyl alcohol, for example, is a wax. Does wax help cleanse your skin? No. Instead, you should look for ingredients that help your skin—like antioxidants, vitamins, and nourishing oils.
Scroll through for a few of our favorite gentle cleansers that have earned their title!
Have you tried any of these cleansers? Tell us your favorite below!