Four of The Absolute Best Affordable Cleansers

September 5, 2021

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time it won’t surprise you if I say that when it comes to my skincare I don’t mind getting a bit spendy. There are certain areas of your routine that are definitely worth investing the bulk of your skincare budget in over others (a great serum for example is typically what I’d spend the most on) but if there’s a single step that you can scrimp on, it’s probably cleansing. I say that for two reasons, firstly because it’s the step of your skincare routine that spends the least time on your skin, and secondly, because there are so many affordable cleansers out there that tick the low-cost box while still being incredibly effective at their job. It’s important to remember though that cleansing is also your first chance to get great ingredients on your skin, which is why although these options are at the more affordable end, they are still created with great quality ingredients and are skin-loving formulations.

Top Affordable Cleansers

The one that does it all…
Q+A Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Cleanser $15 | |125ml | $0.12 per ml
The idea of a ‘double cleanse’ is as simple as it sounds. It’s the idea that your first cleanse removes your makeup, SPF, daily sweat and grime from the day (gross… but accurate) and the second cleanse is what really cleans your skin. But don’t assume that that means you need to have two different cleansers. If you do, great. But if not, using the same cleanser twice still does the job and if that’s all you have the time and energy for, then this is the cleanser for you. This runny gel formula works really well at cutting through light makeup and SPF, but it also leaves the skin feeling really clean but comfortable after a second pass over the skin. It contains Hyaluronic Acid for hydration and Aloe Vera for calming and soothing.

The one for when you’re feeling dry…
The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser $13.90 | 50ml | $0.28 per ml
This might seem like a pricey option when you notice it’s only for 50ml, but I’m telling you, a little goes a really long way with this baby (and there’s a more economical 150ml option if you try this and find you like it, which I’m almost certain you will). This is still a gel consistency, but it’s a lot thicker and has a luxurious feel on the skin. This is a great option for dry skin, but it really would suit everyone. It’s nourishing and soothing, doesn’t strip the skin at all and leaves my skin feeling really comfy. As far as affordable cleansers, this really does feel more luxe than it’s price tag.

The one to remove makeup…
The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter
$25 | 90ml | $0.28 per ml
I’m typically not the biggest fan of balm cleansers, give me a gel or cream over a balm any day, except when the balm in question is this guy. This is the only balm cleanser I’ve ever tried that removes makeup flawlessly, but doesn’t also sting my eyes or turn them too foggy, and it’s another cleanser where a little goes a very long way. It works well massaged into dry skin as a first cleanse and ploughs through layers of base makeup and SPF as it melts, but this cleanser shines because it is designed for even the most sensitive of skin. I can confirm I’ve gifted this to people who find everything gives their skin grief and I’ve got nothing but glowing reviews on this little tin of joy.

The one for every day…
Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser $21 | 177ml | $0.12 per ml
Another gel, but don’t let the ‘acne’ word scare you off, this cleanser is just as great for oily/spot-prone skin as it is for combination and even dehydrated faces. I have dehydrated combo skin and although the Salicylic Acid works well to balance out my oily spots, the inclusion of Aloe Vera and Camomile keep everything calm, balanced and my drier spots happy too. This is by far my most used cleanser, I’ve been using it for over a decade now and I’m probably getting close to my twentieth bottle if I haven’t surpassed that already. There’s always one in my shower, and at least one or two backups stowed away in a drawer too. This definitely makes the cut on a list of affordable cleansers, but I’d happily pay triple the price for it, it’s simply that good.

What are your favourite cleansers? Do you have any affordable favourites that you can always rely on?

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