My favourite SPF-dissolving cleansers

I wear SPF pretty much every day. Unless I'm staying indoors all day with all the curtains closed, there will be factor 50 on my face. But how do I take it off at the end of the day?

The importance of protecting your skin against harmful ultraviolet radiation is a given, the benefits to your health and to the appearance of skin are well known, making SPF universally recommended by dermatologists and aestheticians. And your friendly local skin freak, just like me. The only caveat is that SPF needs to be removed properly. It's formulated to literally stick to your face like a protective layer, not sink in like a moisturiser or a serum. I've heard many people say that SPF breaks them out, I suspect the culprit in SPF-related break outs are sticky, greasy, heavy or fragrance-laden formulas. There's sophisticated enough formulas available, to which those bad skincare descriptors do not apply, for, hopefully, SPF breakouts not to be too much of a concern for most people. FYI my recommendations are Skinceuticals Ultra Facial Defense SPF 50* or Ultrasun Face Lotion

But, back to the point of this post, I suspect many people who have had a bad experience with SPF breaking them out simply aren't washing them off correctly. In my experience the most effective way to remove sunscreen is to use the double cleansing method: start with an oil cleanser to dissolve the SPF and dirt, then use a non-oil second step cleanser (like a cream or a gel) to remove the oil and other remnants. Basically any cream or gel cleanser will suffice as a second step (I've mentioned lots on the blog here and there, if you fancy a perusal of my skincare section)  but I think because so many people suffer with acne because their skin is oily - or just have oily skin and don't want it to be oily - the thought of an oil cleanser may be off putting. So I wanted to recommend a couple of my favourites because they're so good at dissolving SPF, which a very important step in my skincare routine. 

This balm is glorious. It's luxuriously thick, soft to touch (think playdough, in terms of texture) and melts into a silky oil. It contains oils like jojoba, sweet almond oil and apricot kernel oil. All fine oils to apply to your face, in fact, they're fantastic skin softeners. It also contains mud from a Hungarian thermal lake, I have to acknowledge that in a way, this is a gimmick, but the product is lovely to use - all Omorovicza products are - so the thermal mud must be good for something! The formula does contain fragrance, whilst I would recommend avoiding if you have sensitive skin, fragrance poses less of a risk in short-contact rinse off products, i.e cleansers. This is a lovely product, but very expensive. I find a tub doesn't last very long either so it's not even good value for money. If you can afford it and you really like it, great - I do recommend it - but don't let this be top of your list if it's out of your budget.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Oil
If you told me I had to pick just one oil cleanser, it would be this one. I like it because it's very basic. It's just an oil cleanser designed to dissolve SPF and other dirt on your face, it's not trying to do or be anything else. It's also more budget friendly and excellent value for money because you get a lot of product. This is lovely and silky, fragrance free, gets the job done really well. It rinses off really well also. I love the sister product, the TTDO Cleansing Balm but it can be quite stubborn to rinse off, but the plain oil is great.

Pixi Hydrating Milky Make Up Remover
This is technically a make up remover but I prefer it to remove SPF. I'd rather use something more substantial (like the Clinique balm) to get rid of foundation et al. This is a lovely thin formula, slightly more watery in texture than the Clinique cleanser, so is also great to be soaked onto a cotton pad and swiped over the face, for people who may prefer that method. I personally just slather my face in a couple of pumps worth of oil but someone who doesn't particularly enjoy the feel of oil may not like to do that! This Pixi cleanser is coconut oil based and coconut oil is famous for it's ability to dissolve make up/SPF/dirt on the face. This is also another fragrance free formula with a couple of 'frills': probiotics to reinforce and protect the skin barrier, as well as some soothing ingredients like willow bark extract. Someone with irritated skin may be find these extras very useful. (I personally would return to the Clinique Oil because it's the best value for money, so I'd rather splurge on active ingredients in other products where they're more potent and more helpful.) If you like to get in some 'treatment' wherever you can, including in your cleanser, this one is a great pick: it's a lovely oil cleanser that comes very recommended by me.

Do you have a favourite oil cleanser?


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