Unlike Milk Cleansers, gels tend to be more "sudsy" and "lather" (all cleansers we will be talking about are sulphate free so none of them will "foam"). Gel cleansers by nature tend to be more cleansing and, therefore, can also be stripping. I avoid the more stripping cleansers at all cost, even on clients with super oily and acneic skin. What we're looking for is something deeply cleansing while also being pH balancing which keeps the skin's barrier function (acid mantle, hydro-lipid film, the top most protective barrier of your skin) in tact. That "squeaky clean" feeling you get post cleanse is the removal of that top protective layer, stripping away all of your skin's moisture. As much as you might love it, its terrible for your skin and hopefully I can train you to love a more hydrating feeling post cleanse.
While best suited for oily and acneic skin types, I like recommending a gel cleanser for your evening cleanse on almost* all skin types after removing makeup with an oil cleanser, cleansing water or makeup wipe. (*If you have incredibly dry, sensitive or reactionary skin you should, more than likely, stick with a milk cleanser.) Gels are a perfect cleanser pairing to your cleansing devices.
Natural, Speciality $$
Sircuit is a high tech skincare range melding together science and nature while using the purest ingredients that also affect real change in the skin. Their X-trap cleanser is deeply cleansing but not just toward your regular dead skin and dirt. X-trap contains Zeolites (one of my favorites ingredients!), a specific type of volcanic ash which acts as a heavy metal magnet attracting pollutants in your skin, pulling them out and washing them away. How cool is that?! It also contains Purisoft®, a dirt resistant peptide from the Moringa Seed that keeps your skin cleaner longer, and Adenosine, an anti-aging amino acid that protects the skin from environmental stressors.
I use this on all skin types, from mature and dry to oily and acneic clients (even though Sircuit makes a cleanser called Savior for treating acne), due to its ability to prep the skin for high absorption of whatever you put on after. Guys loves this cleanser too.
Aqua (Water), Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Santalum Austrocaledonicum (Sandalwood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Nymphaea Coerulea (Blue Lotus) Flower Extract, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil*, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Bisabolol (L-alpha), Zeolite, Gluconolactone, Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Amaranth Protein, Arginine HCL, Adenosine (D), Menthol (L), Alcohol Denat., Sodium Benzoate. *USDA Certified Organic, NOP. Phthalate Free. 1,4 Dioxane Free. Certified Gluten Free.
Eminence Stone Crop Cleanser
Natural, Specialty $$
This gel cleanser leaves the skin so hydrated while diminishing blemishes and brightening the skin. It's gentle enough for sensitive skin types with its regenerative and calming shea butter. Stone crop, a succulent known for retaining moisture in even the driest climates, is one of Eminences best known ingredients. It's juice and pulp are utilized in this cleanser to brighten, hydrate and regenerate the skin.
Great for all skin types!
Stone Crop Plant, Stone Crop Juice, Shea Butter Extract, Meadow Foam Seed Oil, Cellulose (Plant Source), Alpha Olefin Sulphonate (Plant Source), Benzoic Acid (Plant Source), Citric Acid, Essential Oil.
Organic, Speciality $$$
If you have acne and the above cleansers aren't "active" enough for you and you don't mind a little skin tightness post cleanse, this is your guy. Dr. Alkaitis's Purifying Gel Cleanser will do just that, purify your skin. It will kill any and all lingering bacteria, reducing pustule breakouts, clearing your skin and refining your pores, while strengthening your skin's natural barrier.
This cleanser is beneficial for oily acneic skin types. While Dr. Alkaitis suggests that all skin types could benefit from this cleanser, if you have dry skin this cleanser will dry you out more. However, I have used it on my own dry sensitive skin as a spot treatment and it was very effective (just be warned).
Something to think about: This is a raw skincare range, which means to preserve the integrity of ingredients nothing was heated past 98 degrees F. I would highly recommend that if you choose to use a raw product that you stick with an all natural routine. Mixing in synthetic ingredients with raw skincare can cause topical reactions in the skin.
Into Dr. Alkaitis' Castile Cleansing Base (compounded from virgin, cold pressed olive*, shea*, jojoba*, coconut*, sesame*, castor* and borage* oils), the following ingredients are added: aloe vera gel*, Dr. Alkaitis' Herbal Skin Repair Complex (made up of chamomile*, plantain*, black elder*, greater nettle*, myrrhº, bitter orange*, rosemary*, marsh mallow*, benzoinº, marigold*, true lavender*, sea wrackº and atlantic seaweedº), Vegetable glycerin*, citrus seed extract*, natural vitamin A and C complex, natural full spectrum vitamin E complex (D-alpha, beta, gamma, delta tocopherols) and a blend of 100% pure essential oils.
* certified organically grown
º ceritfied ethically wild-crafted
If you are looking for a comprable cleanser at a lower price point I would suggest Juice Beauty's Blemish Clearing Cleanser ($). Again, just as above, I would not recommend this for mature, dry or sensitive skin.