Have sensitive skin? Read up.
Once upon a time, there was only one way to wash your face: with soap and water. Nowadays, it seems like with every day comes a new product, technique or tool that all promise you your cleanest face yet. While some methods are a godsend (here's looking at you double cleansing) and others are a complete waste of time (read: micellar waters), there's a now new generation of cleansers on the market that are touted for their non-dry and extra gentle formulas. Creamy yet light, milk cleansers are changing the cleansing game for the better...despite their misconstrued reputation.
When it comes to clear skin, chances are you’ve heard that you should stay away from milk and milk-based foods (since those can cause acne-inducing inflammation). Milky cleansers, on the other hand, are a whole other story. That’s probably because they’re not actually named for their ingredient labels, but rather for their textures, which look a lot like something you’d add to your coffee (please don’t, though).
Milk cleansers are made from an emulsion of water and fats which gives them their dense, milk-like texture. This unique mixture of emollient-rich ingredients is a great way to truly cleanse your skin as it gets rid of impurities, excess sebum, and even makeup without leaving your skin feeling dry, irritated and uncomfortably tight. Basically, they’re able to wash our faces and rinse away dirt, grime, and other blemish-causing impurities, all without stripping our skin of its natural oils, which is paramount for those with chronically dry skin, eczema, and acne. So, these cleaners don’t just feel better on your skin compared to their foamy and gel-based counterparts—they’re truly nicer to your skin.
Many milky formulas also offer skin-soothing properties, leaving a refreshing, cooling effect on the skin post-application, which is great for those whose skin is on the sensitive side and/or suffer from redness and blotches of discolouration. The best bit? They pack some serious makeup removing power so you can wave that waterproof mascara goodbye without sacrificing your precious lashes.
From Glossier's genius bi-phase Milky Oil, to Milk Makeup's first vegan milk cleanser, these are the best cleansing milks for your most gentle cleanse ever.
THE BEST MILK CLEANSERS:
A moisturising cleanser perfect for those with even the most sensitive of skin types, this all-new Goat Milk Cleanser from Kate Somerville gently removes makeup, dirt, oil and impurities without stripping skin of its radiance or essential moisture. The formula, as its name suggests, also contains moisturising goat’s milk, and natural milk proteins to create an extra creamy texture.
Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cleanser, €34.40, BUY IT HERE.
Despite also being super kind to skin, this milk textured cleanser is effective enough to thoroughly cleanse normal-oily skin types that need a deep clean. With grape seed and sandalwood, this smells like a spa and leaves skin feeling soft and bouncy.
Aesop Gentle Facial Cleansing Milk, €28.45, BUY IT HERE.
A makeup removing-specific follow up to Glossier's bestselling Milky Jelly Cleanser, this oil uses a combination of micellar water and weightless oil to gently remove makeup. It also works brilliantly in tandem with the Milky Jelly Cleanser (€9); the oil being the first cleanse, and the cleanser the second. When used together, they leave no trace of makeup (eye and lip included) and soft skin in its wake. Can Glossier do no wrong?
Glossier Milky Oil, €12, BUY IT HERE.
Infused with the brand's luxurious floral water, this milk is specifically designed to remove all traces of makeup in a kind-to-skin, gentle way. Best of all, the cleanser can be used with or without water. Perfect for on-the-go makeup removal when you don't want to sacrifice for a face wipe.
L’Occitane Immortelle Milk Makeup Remover, €22.50, BUY IT HERE.
An incredibly gentle formula for stressed, dehydrated or sensitive skin types, Susanne Kaufmann’s Cleansing Milk is a rich, soothing blend of chamomile, sage and St. John’s wort – which helps to dissolve daily makeup, oil and grime without upsetting your skin’s fragile balance. Sufficiently delicate to use around the eyes (this melts even stubborn mascara), this is a beautiful ‘first step’ cleanse and is perfectly balanced to maintain your skin’s own pH. Bonus, it also comes with a pump, making it ultra-convenient to use on rushed mornings.
Susanne Kaufmann Cleansing Milk, €76, BUY IT HERE.
The only downside to milk cleansers? Not all of them are vegan. But if you're a vegan with sensitive skin, don't worry - hope isn't lost. The OG milk beauty brand, Milk Makeup, has gifted us with the first-ever vegan cleansing milk. Formulated with fig, oat and argan milk, this smoothie cleanser helps remove make-up and leave skin soft and supple.
Vegan Milk Moisturizing Cleanser, €31.25, BUY IT HERE.
Developed especially for those who suffer from redness and extreme dryness or irritation, REN's cleansing milk is completely free from allergens, parabens, sulphates, mineral oils, petrolatum, silicones or synthetic colours or fragrances. In short - it's got no nasties which makes it ideal for super sensitive skin.
Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk, €25, BUY IT HERE.
Featuring Provitamin B5, Grape Seed Oil and Vitamin E, this formula conditions and perfectly balances moisture levels thus leaving you with hydrated, plump skin. What's more, it is also formulated to gently cleanse and nourish the skin, effectively removing make-up and daily residue without stripping the skin of its natural oils making it ideal for those with sensitive or problematic skin. Use in the morning and as your first cleanse of two at night for truly visible results.
Ultraceuticals Ultra Hydrating Milk Cleanser, €39, BUY IT HERE.
Main image by @katesomervilleskincare on Instagram