There’s something therapeutic about a deep cleanse and exfoliation. For starters, it’s good for your skin: Cleansing helps to remove makeup, oil, dirt, and everything else that makes its way into your pores throughout the course of the day. Depending on your cleanser of choice, it can also supply your skin with essential nutrients. Exfoliation, whether through chemical exfoliants like AHAs or physical exfoliants like cleansing brushes, helps to slough dead skin cells and increase cell turnover to reveal brighter, more even skin.
But then there’s the soothing, relaxing aspect of cleansing, too: How we feel on the outside can impact how we feel on the inside (and vice versa), so sometimes wiping everything away and starting from scratch—or literally stripping away a layer—can be exactly what we need to allow ourselves a moment to reset. In that vein, we knew that these cleansing and exfoliating products had to make their way into our 2022 Healthy Beauty Awards.
To kick off the awards, we accepted thousands (yes, really) of product submissions by several hundred brands. From there, we used dermatologists’ criteria to pick which items to test. Then, we doled out products to our list of more than 50 willing testers, including SELF editors, doctors, derms, influencers, and new parents, just to name a few. When it comes to prepping, cleansing, and clearing products, these 19 are the best of the best. Among the winners are Cetaphil’s people-pleasing gentle cleanser, a superb acne-banishing exfoliant from Glow Recipe, and red light therapy mask from Omnilux. Here’s to putting your best skin forward.
Reviews have been edited and condensed for length and clarity.
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