Inspired by this post  by the Classy Anarchist and you know, the utter lack of posts on this topic (that’s in my opinion), I decided to post on the fact that I absolutely hate to buy cleansers from the drugstore. There are a few that I think are okay, but for the most part, they all suck and here’s why.

Most Are Basically Glorified Hand Soap.

Many of these face wash drugstore brands, especially the ones for acne, are nearly identical to hand soap. The big differences between them and hand soap is that they include a few added plant extracts which they can then call beneficial to your skin, but what really sucks is that they use super drying foaming agents (sulfates, sulphates, etc.) that dry up the natural protective oils on your skin. While it is true that cleansers really are not on your skin long enough to have much effect, they are still on long enough to dry your skin out which leads to you having to either over-moisturize to compensate or have ridiculously dry skin or even oilier skin than you started with. You might also experience more redness, blemishes, and dry patches all at once. So, definitely save your money by buying their crappy $3 cleanser, but pay the price by having completely horrible, inflamed skin. I’m just saying.

Artificial, Preservatives, Carcinogens, Harmful, Etc.

Secondly, while they include 2-5 (on average) potentially beneficial plant extracts in the formula of their cheap cleansers, the rest of the ingredients go like this – water, sulfates, sulfates, soap, sulfates, mineral oil, artificial coloring, artificial preservatives, etc. Many of these sulfates, preservatives and artificial colors have links to cancer, skin disorders, etc. The most benefits for this cleanser really only add up for the big corporations who manufacture and distribute them – big big profits.

They Don’t Support the Economy or The Environment

Sure, the cleanser is cheap for you, but it probably costs them pennies on the dollar to make. Also, it’s unlikely to be made in your country. Pay attention next time you hear an advertisement for one of these; they like to confuse you with tricky marketing riddles such as “Bottled in the USA” or “Packaged in the …[insert country here]” when in reality it’s made very cheaply in another country (usually “third world”). Not only is this detrimental to your economy, but it can also be detrimental to the environment because since cheap ingredients are used frequently by these companies, they often end up endangering plant species. Take palm oil, for instance. It’s very cheap, but it’s also not sustainable. A lot of these ingredients being used has led to deforestation in some areas. I’m just saying.

So, with all that crap going on, what to do about it?

My best advice is to buy online. I know a lot of people associate that with being more expensive when it comes to beauty, but it doesn’t have to be. There are sooo many affordable options to choose from, especially on Etsy. Some of my favorites are Rainwater Botanicals, Naturallogic and Skin Apotheke. You can buy awesomely naturally formulated and often times organic skincare products for as low as $10. Also, you will pay for great quality, often times support your local economy, small businesses (can be local if you choose), and many of these use sustainable, cruelty free ingredients and packaging.

I know, some people love purchasing their skincare at the drugstore because it’s super convenient to do so, but my advice is to either get over that and purchase online or learn which brands you can trust and rely on and purchase those from your local drugstore instead. Some of my favorite drugstore brands include Burt’s Bees, Weleda, and Alba Botanica.

Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Face Cleansers:

  • Massage gentle cleansers (not scrubs!) well into your skin for 1-2 minutes.
  • Massage face scrubs into your skin for no more than 1 minute, gently.
  • Leave cleansers on your skin for 5-10 minutes to get mild face mask effects from them.

So, I hope this was helpful, not too rage-filled and yeah.

What is your opinion on drugstore brand cleansers Vs. others?

Do you care what goes into skincare formulation and manufacturing ?

Please share your opinions in the comments!

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

11 thoughts on “Cheap Drugstore Cleansers Are the Devil + How To Get the Most Out Of Your Cleansers

  1. Alia

    I couldn’t agree more! Why buy a chemical laden cleanser that foams in such an unnatural way when you could use a clean cleanser, (like a mild goat’s milk soap, for example?)

  2. TrueBeautyU

    I’m not a fan of drugstore cleansers either! Your points are spot on!! My favorite face cleanser so far is the Nubian African black soap. It’s technically a body wash but I love what it does for my skin. I’ve only found it online or at specialty stores. It’s actually cheaper online! I’m super sensitive to sulfates, so I’m always reading ingredient labels. Thanks for the post!

  3. sexnmakeupdiaries

    Couldn’t agree more. I love Elizabeth Arden cleansers, although I haven’t checked the ingredient list, to be honest…

  4. theclassyanarchist

    I’m happy to know I inspired you, my dear 🙂 I agree, for the most part. I think there are some drugstore cleansers that are better than others. Like I was saying, I’d even recommend Cetaphil (though it is not cruelty-free, and not all that great in terms of ingredients, it is basic and has worked very well for acne-prone skin types). I would love to do some more research on natural cleansers that can also offer gentle/non-comedogenic cleansing for acne-prone or very sensitive types, because I’d much rather avoid the parabens and the sulfates and all that harsh crap. What a lovely read 🙂

    1. storybookapothecary Post author

      I always get inspired by bloggers 🙂 I totally agree there are some that are still gentle and non abrasive in spite of their ingredients and lack of a conscious(?) . Cetaphil is def. one of the big ones for me. There’s also some Olay products that work well also. I just wish they didn’t come wish all the baggage. Also, some of the ingredients are unnecessary you know? Definitely check out Naturallogic for affordable cleansers. I also love the Rainwater Botanicals Trouble Skin serum. its a favorite . Thanks for visiting 😀 x

  5. Pingback: Happy Sunday + Some Posts You May Have Missed This Week! | Serving Up Fairy Dust With All Things Beauty, Health & Lifestyle ...

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