All Beauty, All the Time—For Everyone.

This Is the Only Cleanser I Trust on My Dry, Acne-Prone Skin

Maya with clear skin
@Mayaalenaa / Instagram

I get sad thinking about all of the cleansers I've tried over the years that have wreaked havoc on my skin. In all honesty, my journey to finding the right cleanser feels like a dysfunctional love story. Le sigh. I dated so many before finding the right one, and it was always a struggle when each cleanser's honeymoon stage came to an end, leaving me with literal acne scars.

Here's how my cleanser saga went: I'd interview skin experts, spend hours reading reviews on the internet, and carefully examine each ingredient. I did my due diligence on each cleanser before trying it on my face. I'm so careful when it comes to skincare products because my face freaks out whenever I try something new. I frequently talk all about my sensitive skin and confess how working in beauty made my skin worse at one time.

Good thing I held on to the hope that everyone will find true love one day. I met Sunday Riley's Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser ($35) and will never be the same. My love is real. I was introduced to this power player during a facial. I was being my normal, expressive self, oversharing my skincare woes with a super-skilled, knowledgeable esthetician. After thoroughly examining my skin, she concluded that I needed to try Sunday Riley's cleanser, and here's why.  

Ceramic Slip Cleanser 5 oz/ 150 mL
Sunday Riley Ceramic Slip Cleanser $35

Living in New York City, I'm subject to its excessively polluted air. This requires a nourishing cleanser that's able to vacuum out my pores with a deep clean, without stripping my skin of natural oils. This, my friends, is the tricky part. Sunday Riley's cleanser is perfect for that. My skin is abnormally absorbent, so it craves a cleanser that's able to handle dirt, debris, and oil buildup but is not too harsh. 

Dealing with my dark spots is my number one concern, and this formula is full of vitamin C, which has a brightening effect. It's made of French green and Moroccan Rhassoul clay, and the two ingredients work together to balance my skin's oil production. It feels extra creamy because of the neroli oil. This feels like it's giving my skin a big hug after a stressful day. For all my fellow sensitive-skin peeps, trust that its vegan, silicone-free formula won't break you out. My favorite way to use this cleanser is as a mask. I use this once a day in the evenings and massage it all over my face. Then, I leave it on while I shower, and this act of self-care really penetrates my pores. When I use it this way, it really works its magic on my skin. Afterward, my skin looks supple, glowy, and feels baby-soft and ready to drink up the rest of my products. 

Here's my skin before I started using this cleanser. 

Maya before using cleanser
@Mayaalenaa / Instagram

And here's my skin six months in. Look at that progress!

Maya after using cleanser
@Mayaalenaa / Instagram

Speaking of my skincare routine, here are the other products I use religiously that I swear have brightened my dark spots and blessed me with my best skin yet. 

Arya Essentials Purifying Toner $50
Masque Vivant
Biologique Recherche Masque Vivant $150
Kantic Brightening Moisture mask
Alchimie Forever Kantic Brightening Moisture mask $60
Polishing Facial Exfoliant
Grown Alchemist Polishing Facial Exfoliant $67
Hydrating Accelerator
Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator $35
Hydrating B5 Gel
SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel $83
Hyaluronic Serum
Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum $300
Face Cream for Darker Skin Tones
Dr. Barbara Sturm Face Cream for Darker Skin Tones $215
Even Tone Night Treatment
Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Night Treatment $68
Healing Ointment Tube
Aquaphor Healing Ointment $6
Acne Retexture Pad+ 2% Salicylic Acid USP with 10% Glycolic Acid 60 Peels
Cane & Austin Acne Retexture Pads $60

This post is sponsored by Sunday Riley. Editor's thoughts are her own.

Related Stories