Five cleansers under $35, #5: Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel

Five under $35 is a series of posts about related products that are $35 and under. This week I’m trialling five facial cleansers that are perfect for skincare newbies or those looking to cut the clutter and simplify their skincare regime.

Mario Badescu - Enzyme Cleansing Gel

Mario Badescu - Enzyme Cleansing Gel

This is cheating a little, I know. I’ve talked about Mario Badescu’s Enzyme Cleansing Gel before, way way way back in February of last year. I started using this face wash in 2006 and, six years on, it’s still my old faithful skin cleanser of choice.

There are a few differences between this cleanser and the four others I’ve profiled this week. One major difference is that this isn’t a foaming cleanser. Foam is good if you have a lot of sticky sebum on your skin, but unless it’s combined with moisturising agents (as it is in the Dove and Antipodes cleansers), it’s not great for skin that’s on the dry side. Removing excess oil is good, but stripping away too much can unbalance your skin and leave you rockin’ a delightful skin condition known as ‘sebum dehydration’ – when your skin is producing lots of oil to try and moisturise itself, but is still dehydrated underneath.

The other key difference is that this is an AHA cleanser, not a BHA cleanser. BHAs and AHAs are both exfoliating agents that break down the gluey bond between living skin and dead skin, encouraging dead skin cells to vamoose without abrading the younger skin underneath. The difference is that AHAs are water soluble, whereas BHAs are lipid (aka oil) soluble. If your skin tends dry and you don’t have a great deal of natural oil, using a water-soluble exfoliant makes better sense, right?

Short version: Enzyme Cleansing Gel is a non-foaming gel cleanser suitable for all skin types, featuring a papaya-derived AHA to exfoliate without being harsh or drying. It works a treat with a Clarisonic or other cleansing brush, but is still effective at removing dirt, make-up and sebum from my skin when applied with just my hands or a face cloth. Easy peasy, simple and easy.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel is AU$18.95 for 236ml, available from Kit Cosmetics.

Do you have a Holy Grail cleanser? I’d love to hear what makes your skin happy. Leave a comment below and let me know!

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