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A few short years ago, I used to fall asleep in my makeup and wash my face with bar soap whenever I remembered to. Now, I throw my money at pricey skincare like it’s going out of style and I employ several, multi-stepped skincare routines depending on the time of day, month, and year.
I’m clearly not alone. Skincare is at peak-cool and can cost you a fortune near instantly. But according to Dr. Harold Lancer, board-certified dermatologist to the stars and founder of the eponymous skincare line, good skin doesn’t have to come at an exorbitant price.
For clear skin, Dr. Lancer swears that “the best thing is to use a small cotton washcloth, some plain, low-astringent liquid cleanser, warm water, your hands, and just rub a dub scrub.” That's it.
Dr. Lancer’s Beverly Hills-based office treats famously glowy clientele like Jenna Dewan (Tatum?), Michelle Williams, and Kim Kardashian, but he knows that not everyone can adhere to the three-step skincare regimen he recommends to his celebrity patients, which is where a simple combo of washcloth and Cetaphil comes in.
What's so special about Cetaphil?
More than any other branded product, you'll probably notice a pump bottle of Cetaphil in most of medicine cabinets and shower shelves you've seen. It's long been a favorite face cleanser for everyone from teens to dermatologists because it's so gentle, moisturizing, and doesn't clog pores. With more than 1.7k reviews on Amazon, it has an average 4.3 stars. People love it for its ability to remove grime and makeup without stripping skin.
Pair it with a cotton washcloth and you have a winning combination for clean, fresh skin. Why? A face cloth can be washed and sanitized repeatedly so that you're not putting old dirt and dead skin cells back onto your face. Its nubby material is great to exfoliate skin and wipe away stubborn eye makeup. Plus, every Kardashian sister has repeatedly touted the importance of a hot washcloth to remove makeup and keep skin looking fresh (advice courtesy of matriarch Kris).
How it compares to more expensive products
Facial cleansing devices are handheld, waterproof devices that clean your face with a soft, rotating brush. We think they are great for more aggressive cleansing, but Lancer asserts, “you just cant clean them thoroughly enough, [but] a gentle cotton washcloth can be washed between uses. You also can’t clean your eye orbital area properly with some sort of device.”
That much is true—when we tested facial cleansing devices, I found them, at times, difficult and time-intensive to use since you can’t use them on your eyes (trust me—I tried, and you definitely shouldn’t. My mascara-coated lashes were twirled into a sticky mass).
I, like most people, wear the majority of hard-to-remove makeup on my eyes, and since facial cleansing devices truly are only for a deep clean on the skin, you have to remove eye makeup by hand ahead of time. If you're in a rush or prefer a simpler routine, the Cetaphil and washcloth method might be up your alley.
Our advice is to try out this Lancer and Kardashian-approved method—but be sure to buy black, cotton washcloths so you never have to worry about mascara and eyeliner stains on white linens.