Keep your skin in tip-top squeaky clean condition with these affordable cleansers.

Effective cleansing is the keystone to any skincare regime. Get the right formula for your skin’s needs and not only will you effectively be washing away the day’s grime, pollution, make-up and sweat, but it will prep and treat it too, readying it for the next steps in your routine. Get it wrong and you have two possible outcomes. The first is skin that is left with residues of bacteria and environmental aggressors which can lead to blocked pores, breakouts and dullness. The second, at the other end of the spectrum, is skin that is aggressively stripped, its natural moisture barrier compromised, which can lead to an imbalance in pH, dryness, sensitivity and redness.

Sound like a minefield? It isn’t, don’t worry. The good news is you don’t have to spend the earth to find a great cleanser that will gently cleanse away impurities while hydrating, refining and nourishing the skin. Below is a round-up of fifteen of our favourites, all under £20, with some under a fiver.

Inkey List

Salycylic Acid Cleanser, £10.99

GREAT FOR: Acne-prone skin
The star ingredient, salycylic acid, is key for controlling sebum production, reducing pore size, blackheads and breakouts. Buy it here.

Liz Earle

Cleanse and Polish, £17

GREAT FOR: A really deep clean
A cult classic, accompanied by an exfoliating muslin cloth for a super effective cleanse that smells amazing, too. Buy it here.

La Roche Posay

Toleriane Dermo Cleanser, £18.50

GREAT FOR: Sensitive skins
A soothing milky formula for even the most delicate of skins that won’t strip or irritate. Buy it here.


SA Smoothing Cleanser, £12

Exfoliating and smoothing yet with three essential ceramides to ensure the skin’s natural barrier is protected. Buy it here.


Ultra Facial Cleanser, £13.60

GREAT FOR: Gentle everyday cleansing
Brilliant, no-frills formula that effectively cleanses away the day with a pH-balancing formula to keep skin happy. Buy it here.


Milky Jelly Cleanser, £15

GREAT FOR: The whole face (even sensitive eyes)
With five skin conditioners and a gentle cleansing agent used in contact lens solution, this skin-softening cleanser is kind yet tough enough to use, even on waterproof eye make-up. Buy it here.


Vinoclean Cleansing Almond Milk, £16

GREAT FOR: Removing make-up
With hydrating organic grape water and fragranced mandarin blossom, watermelon and fresh mint, this spa-worthy scent that blitzes through make-up while soothing and softening skin. Buy it here.


Vitamin E Hot Cloth Cleanser, £4.99

GREAT FOR: Excellent value
A brilliant dupe for high-end ‘hot cloth’ alternatives, this Vitamin E rich formula is a great budget buy, especially for dry skins. Buy it here.

Pure at M&S

Ultimate Cleanse Rose Cleansing Balm, £12

GREAT FOR: A nourishing cleanse
Another great high-street alternative to much pricier ‘balm’ cleansers, it is filled with botanical oils and butters and melts into skin for a deeply nourishing clean. Buy it here.

The Ordinary

Squalane Cleanser, £5.50

GREAT FOR: A moisturising clean
Squalane is known for its moisturising properties. This balm-to-oil cleanser from The Ordinary doesn’t disappoint; as it emulsifies it effectively removes all traces of make-up, leaving smooth, hydrated skin behind. Buy it here.

Face Halo

Makeup Remover Pad, £7

GREAT FOR: A product-free cleanse
These genius pads require no product, just warm water to effectively remove all traces of make-up and exfoliate the face, too. Buy it here.


7-Ingredient Cleasning Oil, £14.90

GREAT FOR: A fragrance-free formula
If sensitivity is an issue, this stripped back formula offers effective make-up removal with zero irritation. Buy it here.

Eco Warrier

Moisturising and Cleansing Exfoliating Bar, £4.50

GREAT FOR: Eco-conscious skincare
An ‘all-in-one’ bar that’s perfect for travelling as the natural oatmeal gently exfoliates and soothes as the citrus scents uplift, making it a great morning cleanse option. Buy it here.

Drunk Elephant

E-Rase Milki Micellar Water, £12

GREAT FOR: Effective, yet gentle cleansing
Rich in anti-oxidants, fatty acids and ceramides, this milky formula will soothe and nourish as it whisks away the very last traces of make-up. Buy it here.


Age Perfect Smoothing Anti Fatigue Vitamin C Cleansing Milk, £4.99

GREAT FOR: 55+ Skins
A fortifying formula to energise, smooth and brighten. It has been designed specifically for post-menopausal skin with essential nutrients including magnesium and Vitamin C. Buy it here.

By Lydia Mansi
February 2022

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.