6 serum cleansers that are game-changers for those with sensitive skin

Combining the benefits of a cleanser and serum in one step, serum cleansers soothe redness and hydrate sensitive skin without stripping natural oils in the process. 

Ready to add another type of cleanser to your skincare arsenal? Entering the ring with jelly cleansers, oil-to-milk cleansers and cleansing balms, serum cleansers are set to change the landscape once more. 

Innovative soap-free formulations designed especially for sensitive and reactive skin, serum cleansers combine the benefits of a brilliant cleanser with a powerhouse serum. 

How are serum cleansers different from other cleansers?

“Serum cleansers are gentle on the skin and work to remove make-up, dirt and debris. Unlike a lot of other cleansers, they can be used in the morning and at night without irritating the skin as they’re soap-free and non-foaming, which makes them a good choice for those with sensitive skin,” says Dr Ross Perry, medical director of Cosmedics skin clinics.

“Despite being washed off the same way as other cleansers, a serum cleanser actually continues to work on the skin long after application penetrating deeper into the inner layers of the skin. Plus, because of the active ingredients it also helps to hydrate and nourish.”

How do serum cleansers work?

“When you wash off a traditional soap or foaming cleanser, although your skin may feel squeaky clean, it may also feel dry and taught. Because of how gentle serum cleansers are they don’t strip the skin of its natural oils. This allows the natural oils found in the skin to rehydrate and nourish the skin – something that will continue to happen in between cleansing routines,” explains Dr Perry. 

“A serum cleanser will also protect your skin cells, resulting in a better overall feel and appearance in the long term.”

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Which skin types are serum cleansers best suited to?

“Sensitive and easily irritated skin will really benefit from using a serum cleanser as they are super gentle and completely free from common skin irritants,” says Dr Perry. “Almost anyone can use a cleansing serum, but always check to make sure the ingredients are best suited to your skin type and specific concerns.

“However, if you have particularly oily or acne-prone skin, I suggest looking for a serum cleanser that is oil-free and packed with ingredients such as niacinamide which helps visibly refine pores.”

Should you apply a serum after using a serum cleanser?

“Depending on what you want a serum to do, you can still use an additional serum at night, but I’d avoid using one in the morning,” cautions Dr Perry. 

“Serums can really help with regeneration overnight when our skin is healing. They are packed full of antioxidants that will continue to work the following day, which makes them great for anti-ageing and reducing fine lines and open pores.”

  • Biologi Bc Refresh Cleanser

    Nourishing and refreshing are two words we love to hear when it comes to our cleansing routine. This innovative formula from Biologi removes daily grime, make-up and impurities while soothing redness and hydrating skin. 

    Shop Biologi Bc Refresh Cleanser at Lookfantastic, £30.75

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  • IT Cosmetics’ Confidence in a Cleanser Serum

    Gently removing make-up (including waterproof eye make-up), IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser Serum is a “one-step” hydrating solution and cleansing serum that leaves skin soft, supple, refreshed and balanced. 

    Shop IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser Serum at Boots, £24

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  • Suqqu Pore Cleansing Serum

    Not only does Suqqu make some of our favourite make-up products (dark lipstick, especially), it also makes a pore cleansing serum to cleanse and brighten skin, soothe redness and deeply hydrate.

    Shop Suqqu Pore Cleansing Serum at Cult Beauty, £36

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  • Shani Darden Skincare Cleansing Serum

    Celebrity facialist Shani Darden’s cleansing serum softly lathers to remove make-up and debris and clear pore-clogging impurities without stripping the all-important nourishing natural oils on the surface of the skin. 

    Shop Shani Darden Skincare Cleansing Serum at Cult Beauty, £32

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  • Romilly Wilde Light + Energy Serum Cleanser

    This cleanser comes with a soft muslin cloth to help remove make-up, excess oil and daily grime. Not only does it help restore your skin’s natural radiance but it’s also packed with a plant-derived omega complex to support optimal skin hydration.

    Shop Romilly Wilde Light + Energy Serum Cleanser at Lookfantastic, £43.50

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  • Decorté Phytotune Double Cleansing Serum

    Infused with coix seed extract, this serum cleanser moisturises skin and restores softness and suppleness. The best bit? Due to its lightweight formula, there’s no need to rinse after application. 

    Shop Decorté Phytotune Double Cleansing Serum at Lookfantastic, £30

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Main image: Stylist

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