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10 Best Powder Cleansers 2023 for a Deep Cleanse Anywhere You Go: Tatcha, Chanel, Kiehl's

May 23, 2023

By Iman Balagam

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One could argue that cleansing is the most important step in any skin-care routine, as cleansing sets the stage for all of the serums, oils, and moisturizers you apply afterward. Without proper cleansing, your products might not be able to penetrate the skin, as dirt, makeup, and excess oil can all impede the absorption of your beloved skin care. While you may only be familiar with oil and foam cleansers, there's a new kid on the block: powder cleansers.

Or, should we say, comeback kid? Powder cleansers aren't totally new but have been experiencing a resurgence in popularity lately. As the name implies, these gentle cleansers typically consist of a blend of powdered ingredients such as clays, enzymes, exfoliants, and antioxidants that form a cleansing paste when mixed with water.

According to Dendy Engelman, MD, FACMS, FAAD, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at the Shafer Clinic in New York City, there are a few reasons why one would choose a powder cleanser over a traditional cleanser. First, powder cleansers offer customizable, gentle exfoliation for the skin. "Adding less water makes the cleanser more exfoliating while adding more water will smooth out the texture of the cleanser, making it less exfoliating," explains Dr. Engelman. People with oily or acne-prone skin who are looking for exfoliation, along with cleansing benefits, will likely enjoy powder cleansers.

However, people with very sensitive skin or those who have inflammatory skin conditions may find powder cleansers "too irritating or may need to add more water to the powder to make the texture smoother," says Dr. Engelman. It's worth noting that patch testing is recommended for anyone trying out a new powder cleanser for the first time. If you have any concerns when it comes to powder cleansers, it's a good idea to consult with your dermatologist to determine if it's the right choice for your skin type and concerns.

Powder cleansers gently remove dead skin cells and boost the skin's cell turnover and radiance without adding an extra step to your skin-care regimen. Due to the lack of liquid ingredients in the formula, they also tend to contain fewer preservatives (like parabens or chlorphenesin) that can be harsh on the skin. Additionally, the weightlessness and compactness of powder cleansers make them a great option for anyone who has ever captioned a photo "catch flights, not feelings," and meant it.

Ahead, read about 10 deep-cleansing powder cleansers that we recommend adding to your skin-care routine, stat.

Humanrace's Rice Powder Cleanser won a Best of Beauty Award in 2022, and for good reason. It's a powder-to-foam cleanser with key ingredients such as brightening rice powder, balancing kaolin clay, moisturizing snow mushroom extract, and a balancing blend of alpha hydroxy acids naturally derived from sugarcane, sugar maple, lemon, orange, and bilberry. For those in the market for light exfoliation, the inclusion of rice powder is especially noteworthy as it's a finely milled exfoliant that unclogs pores and eliminates dead skin cells, resulting in more polished skin without the risk of micro-tears.

Infused with a concentrated blend of skin-loving ingredients, including hydrating hyaluronic acid, soothing cotton extract, and exfoliating green tea probiotic-derived enzymes, Amorepacific's Treatment Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder is a Korean skin-care treatment beloved by many. The nourishing formula deeply hydrates the skin, leaving it as refreshed as a burst of Liquid I.V. in your water, while also strengthening its moisture barrier. The result is a brighter, more radiant complexion that's ready to carpe diem.

Get ready to indulge in a little bit of luxury with Chanel's Powder to Foam cleanser. Featuring red camellia oil and extract at its base, this softening formula, upon contact with water, becomes a light foam, effectively removing impurities and pollution residue from the skin. It also comes in a beautiful, matte-white bottle that can serve as a flex in any bathroom.

Tatcha has earned quite a reputation for its luxurious J-beauty products, and The Rice Polish is certainly no exception. This exfoliant powder is formulated with Japanese rice bran, a gentle physical exfoliant packed with vitamins and proteins that unclogs pores and eliminates dead skin cells. Plus, it turns into a creamy foam, making it a versatile choice for all skin types — and not to mention, very satisfying to use.

If your skin needs a little pick-me-up, might we suggest TonyMoly's I'm Rice Exfoliating Enzyme Cleanser? You only need a smidge of this powder-to-paste formula (which won a Best of Beauty Award in 2021) to bring back your skin's natural glow. Rice powder, rice extract, and papaya enzymes work in harmony, complementing each other perfectly to gently exfoliate the skin, improve texture, soothe any areas of irritation, and hydrate dull, dehydrated skin. Plus, at just $13, this enzyme powder is the steal of the bunch.

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Looking to bring the spa experience home? Look no further than Kiehl's latest drop, the Rare Earth Deep Pore-Minimizing and Polishing Powder-Cleanser. This innovative cleanser is designed to help clear blackheads, reduce excess oil, and minimize the appearance of pores for a smooth and refined skin texture. Formulated with Amazonian white clay, tartaric acid (an alpha hydroxy acid or AHA), and microcrystalline cellulose grains, this purifying formula offers non-irritating dual exfoliation (meaning, with less water mixed in, the product can be used as an exfoliating scrub) to leave your skin looking and feeling capital F fresh.

Looking for a facial cleanser that delivers a silky-soft cleanse? DHC's Face Wash Powder transforms into a foaming lather with water, sweeping away impurities and leaving your skin feeling fresh and clean. Enriched with exfoliating protease enzymes, this cleanser easily dissolves away dead skin cells, revealing a softer, smoother complexion. And with the added benefits of moisturizing honey and sodium hyaluronate, your skin will feel deeply hydrated and nourished after each use.

Dead skin cells never stood a chance against Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant — the Thanos of microfoliants. Although it's not technically classified as a powder cleanser, the exfoliating treatment comes in a powder form that, when combined with water, triggers the release of papain, salicylic acid, and rice actives, a combination that smooths skin and stimulates cell renewal. Natural extracts like bearberry, aspergillus, grapefruit, and licorice are added to balance skin tone, while green tea, ginkgo, and colloidal oatmeal provide a calming effect and reduce inflammation.

This non-abrasive Cleansing Powder from Josie Maran is loaded with finely crushed argan shells that work to buff away dull skin and reduce the appearance of age spots. The inclusion of rice powder helps to even out skin tone and texture for a glowing, "I've had a skin-care routine since I was born" complexion. Once activated with water, this powder converts into a powerful exfoliating agent with the help of papain (papaya enzymes), salicylic acid, and rice enzymes.

This powdered exfoliant from Eminence, or should we say Fizzofoliant, is mild enough to be used daily without drying out your skin. Filled with microgreens (including broccoli and radish), stone crop, rice flour, and adzuki flour, this fizzy formula morphs into a foam, gently removing impurities and revealing a more vibrant complexion. A word of advice: Avoid keeping the product in the shower as water or mist can get into the bottle and cause it to harden.

By Gabi Thorne

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By Aliza Kelly

Read more about Allure -approved skin care:

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powder cleansers Humanrace's Amorepacific's Chanel Tatcha TonyMoly Kiehl's DHC Dermalogica Josie Maran Eminence Read more about Allure -approved skin care: Now, watch a makeup expert guess cheap vs expensive eye shadow: