SOS: Foaming Facial Cleanser


If you struggle with dry skin but need a cleanser tough enough to clean away dirt and grime, foam is the way to go.  Foaming cleansers pack a punch, but they’re designed to cleanse without stripping the skin.

Splurge. Ole Henriksen Africa Red Tea Foaming Cleanser ($30) was the first foaming cleanser that I tried.  It came in a kit that I purchased so that I could try several Ole Henriksen products without committing to a full-size.

Unlike some of the foam cleansers that I have tried since the Ole Henriksen, the Red Tea cleanser isn’t sticky or tacky.  Unsurprisingly, it generates a rich lather that cuts through all but the thickest eye makeup with no trouble.  It also has a pleasant, almost citrusy, smell.

What I like most about the Ole Henriksen cleanser is that it’s packed full of anti-oxidants and vitamin-C.  It’s a great choice for those of us with aging skin that needs a boost.  (I like all of the Red Tea products, especially the moisturizer.)

Save. Garnier Clean + Purifying Foaming Cleanser ($8).  I’ve been trying to cut back on my beauty expenses, and face soap seemed like a good place to start.  This Garnier cleanser has a fruity, clean scent and a boost of antioxidants.  It also cleans thoroughly and leaves skin feeling quite refreshed.

The foam is a bit sticky to the touch, but it rinses clean, so it’s of little consequence.  And, this may seem like a small matter, but the pump on the Garnier cleanser produces a truly luxuriously lather that far surpasses the Henriksen.

Verdict.  Save your money.  The Ole Henriksen cleanser is a good product, but the Garnier is just as effective with all the benefits for 1/3rd the price.  In fact, with the thickness of the Garnier foam, the drugstore brand may be superior.



  1. Anna says:

    I just got a foaming cleanser in my Birchbox this month (Claudelie), and the foam is so puny. I feel like I need to use half the bottle for it to actually clean my face.

    February 19, 2014/Reply
  2. Alison says:

    I use the Simple foaming cleanser ( and I really like it. It also has a pump that produces a great, rich foam.

    February 19, 2014/Reply
  3. Anna B says:

    I do love the Ole Henriksen soap (it smells just like tea to me!), but maybe when it runs out I will try the Garnier instead! Thanks for the recommendation!

    February 19, 2014/Reply
  4. Maggie says:

    I’m always up to try new products, but why spend money on facial cleanser when my dermatologist tells me that Cerave is the best cleanser bar none? Plus, it’s $10.

    February 19, 2014/Reply
    • Mary says:

      Yep, Cerave is the way I roll. The foaming cleanser is my favorite along with all the lotions and creams that I rotate depending on my skin’s mood. I spend my money on serums and treatments, not cleanser or even moisturizer at this point. Cerave is perfect.

      February 20, 2014/Reply
  5. DontBlameTheKids says:

    If you want to cut beauty expenses, I agree that cleansers are the first place to start. I like antioxidants, but $30 is too much for something that rinses off. Serums, on the other hand…I bought SkinCeuticals based on your review, and you would have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

    February 19, 2014/Reply
  6. save. spend. splurge. says:

    You might also like to try White Tea Fluid Gel Cleanser from Korres..! I liked it a lot as well.

    February 19, 2014/Reply
  7. Saramel says:

    If you’re trying to cut cleanser costs I highly recommend Johnson & Johnson’s Purpose. A friend recommended it to me 8 years ago and I’ve been loyal to it ever since (the only product I can say that about besides Retin-A). It’s so gentle but very thorough at removing everything without stripping the skin.

    February 19, 2014/Reply
  8. Traci says:

    I am on the foaming cleanser bandwagon too & I recommend the Neutrogena Extra Gentle Foaming Cleaner. It is great for those of us with sensitive skin and the price is good.

    February 20, 2014/Reply
  9. Rebecca says:

    My dermatologist recommended Aveeno ultra calming facial cleanser and I love it. I have really sensitive skin and it’s gentle but effective.

    February 21, 2014/Reply
  10. Katie says:

    I also use Aveeno Ultra Calming Cleanser. My skin is dry with rosceaca and it works well.

    February 22, 2014/Reply