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The Boutique Cleansers That Are Worth Investing In

Cleansing is not only the first step of your skincare routine, it’s also one of the most important steps, so it’s essential to pick the perfect one.

It’s not secret that most cleansers are “basic”. They don’t penetrate to the deeper layers of your skin like serums or go the extra mile like masks. But having the right cleanser is necessary to achieve a healthy complexion. It not only rids you of dirt (without drying you out) and excess oil (goodbye shine!) – it also preps your skin for the rest of your skincare. But we’ve gone a step further to curate a collection of cleansers that does more than just cleanse. From ones that do everything to giving instantly luminousity, check out these wonders you’ve got to get your hands on.

Shiseido Waso Cleanser Squad, $46
Similar to how a juice cleanse detoxifies the body, this trio is infused with plant extracts, agar jelly scrub, and a Seaweed Moisturizing Complex claims to gently dissolve pore-clogging dirt and sebum without stripping one’s skin. The best thing about it, they provide different benefits so you can pick them according to what your complexion needs. Earthy green contains extract from okra to detoxify problem skin, sunshine-yellow cleanser chock full of vitamins and nutrients to energise skin, while blooming red cleanser has anti-ageing benefits. Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Cleansing Gel, $57, Sephora
Great for oily, rough skin with enlarged pores, this contains a cocktail of hydroxy acids (like mandelic, glycolic and citric) to deeply cleanse and tone. Soap- and sulfate-free, its vegan formula helps to decongest pores, remove makeup, dirt and bacteria, soften fine lines and get rid of surface dead skin cells for a smooth, even complexion. Giorgio Armani Beauty Crema Nera Supreme Balancing Oil-in-Gel Cleanser, $150
If you like multi-taskers, you’re going to love this. It is a makeup remover, exfoliator and cleanser all in one. Transforming from a silky oil to a slippery gel, it boosts clarity, hydrates and re-texturises skin to leave your complexion clean, balanced, softer and smoother. Kate Somerville Goat Milk Moisturizing Cleanser, $62, Sephora
Overly frequent cleansing can strip skin of moisture and cause irritation, which is why if you have sensitivity you need to be extra careful. This will not cause any irritation and is suitable even for damaged, eczema-prone complexions. It has lactose from goat milk to soothe and moisturise, milk polypeptides to soothe inflammation and restore skin’s barrier, as well as Manuka honey to nourish. Sisley Radiance Foaming Cream, $140
You’ll want to check out this cool texture: it starts off as a dense foam in your hands but transforms into a soft yet rich cream when you massage it onto your face. It removes all traces of makeup and pollution without drying skin. It’s a little pricey but has a ton of nourishing ingredients your complexion will thank you for. Peony extract and Pro-vitamin B5 to soothe and hydrate, grapefruit extract to exfoliate, tone and smooth skin’s texture, as well as Ginkgo biloba extract to protect against oxidative stress and brighten one’s skin. Fresh Sugar Strawberry Exfoliating Face Wash, $55
This feels as if you’re putting fresh strawberries on your face, with a helping of sugar, to gently micro-polish while you wash and leave you with instantly brighter, softer skin. It has sugar crystals that gradually melt to refine your complexion’s texture and pores, strawberry and blackberry extracts to tone, as well as grapeseed oil to hydrate. La Mer Replenishing Oil Exfoliator, $200
This transformative oil cleanser starts off as a semi-solid gel that melts into a silky liquid when applied to the face. When water is added to the mix, it changes again to a soft cream. Great for all skin types, it has the brand’s signature skin-healing Miracle Broth, sugar crystals and sea salt to gently buff, natural sea kelp to detoxify and draw out impurities and oils to balance and improve skin health. And as if that’s not enough, it’s also infused with a brightening blend of molasses and vitamin C to boost luminosity.