The most searched skincare product in 2020? Face cleansers

The most searched skincare product in 2020? Face cleansers
PHOTO: Unsplash

Now that we're a year on from the Covid-19 outbreak and circuit breaker, we're starting to read a slew of news articles recounting how our lives, daily routines, and priorities have changed.

In the skincare department? We collectively - as a digital world - were all searching for face cleansers in 2020, found an Amazon search data insight from Label Insights.

In fact, we Singaporeans were Googling face "cleansers" so much that search volumes were double of 2016's, and the months of May, June, October, and November 2020 broke five-year historical charts.

Why the mad rush and craze over cleansers?

It's easy to see - we were cooped at home, with barely any use for extravagant makeup and the attention naturally turned to skincare basics.

Some of us were also plagued with painful mask acne (maskne, anyone else?), and that was commonly said to be caused by bacteria trapped within the confinements of the mask and skin.

And if you've been prompt and diligent with cleansing your face, your tube of face cleanser should be running out by now.

Here, we rounded up five of the most popular face cleansers online and their reviews:

1. CeraVe

Whether on iHerb or Amazon, CeraVe cleansers nabbed all the top spots.

Here, the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser for dry to normal skin ($32.50) came first on as the #1 best selling face cleanser.

Of the four different CeraVe cleansers, this is the most generic daily use version for dry, combination, and normal skin types.

Benefits include:

  • Contains hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin to help hydrate skin
  • Contains 1, 3, and 6-II ceramics to help restore and maintain the skin's natural barrier
  • Paraben-free, fragrance-free, soap-free, non-comedogenic, non-drying and non-irritating
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Multi-tasking: You can use it on your face, body, or as a hand wash

Reviews? While there are only five (raving) customer reviews on Amazon's site itself, you can easily find numerous reviews about this CeraVe cleanser from bloggers and beauty influencers. 

Here's a general consensus of what they said:

  • Creamy face wash, doesn't leave sticky post-wash residue
  • Doesn't dry out the skin either
  • Fewer breakouts
  • Specifically designed for sensitive skin

The other versions of this very same cleanser, namely the foaming face cleanser ($6.58 for 87ml) and salicylic acid (SA) renewing exfoliating cleanser ($29.90) came in the top three positions as well.

2. Cetaphil

Ranking #3 after the CeraVe cleansers on iHerb is the trusty old Cetaphil Daily Face Cleanser ($15.91) which was first introduced in 1947 as a cleansing lotion for dermatological uses.

This is a cleanser suitable for all skin types, from dry, combination, normal, to oily to clean your skin.

Reviews are aplenty all over the internet:

  • Gentle lotion
  • Doesn't dry out the skin
  • Doesn't cause allergies
  • Suitable for daily use
  • Hydrates skin

In 2016, however, a slew of backlash against Cetaphil's listed ingredients surfaced in the media (a time when clean beauty and anti-parabens, anti-SLS sentiments were brewing).

A couple of their ingredients were listed as potentially - propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearyl alcohol, methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.

While the debate trickled off inconclusively, Cetaphil fans continued to use Cetaphil while clean beauty junkies made a switch for cleaner cleanser options.

3. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay

Ah, here's an all-time cult favourite - the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($46.61 for a pack of 3).

You'll practically find fans of this cleansing clay everywhere around the globe, from London to New York City, and back to Singapore.

It's basically 100 per cent natural calcium bentonite clay (which you can actually get from Scoop) which draws impurities out of your pores for a super deep pore cleansing session.

Customer have left raving reviews for this little tub of clay:

  • Visibly tightens pores
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Refreshing
  • Suitable for regular use
  • Works great for acne and itchy skin

However, users have cautioned against washing the clay down your sink or drainage pipe lest it clogs the pipes.

Instead, allow the clay to dry, peel it off, and flush it down the toilet.

And, a final word of caution - dermatologists have warned against individuals with dry skin types from using a clay product like this for the tightening and draining effect may be too intense for dry skin types.

4. Heimish

Coming in fifth in place on iHerb (but fourth on our list here) is this little cute tub of cleansing balm - the Heimish All Clean Balm ($21.11).

Heimish is a South Korean skincare brand, and it's best known for this cleansing balm which supposedly can remove heavy duty makeup.

Here's the breakdown of the product:

  • Vegetable-based ingredients
  • Spa-grade cleanser with natural aroma oils
  • Removes heavy makeup
  • Suitable for daily use as well

You'll need to use this balm on dry skin, melt it all over your makeup before massaging it with water until it turns milky, and finally rinsing it off with water.

Remember to double cleanse! Reviews of this product are great:

  • Pleasant, aromatic smell
  • Easily dissolves cosmetics
  • Rinses off easily
  • Doesn't clog pores

5. Aveeno

Finally, we have the Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Nourishing Daily Facial Cleanser ($27.15) that's #5 bestselling on Amazon Singapore.

Now, this cleanser is part of Aveeno's nourishing anti-ageing series called Absolutely Ageless.

It can be used as a daily cleanser to remove dirt and oil, or as a makeup remover.

The key ingredient is blackberry extract which provides antioxidants for the skin.

Reviews are, however, a little divided.

While some users deemed it a mediocre cleanser which came with leakage in the packaging, most users praised this cleanser for its pleasant smell that's great for bedtime and its gentle, thorough cleansing.

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.

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