What Is Cleanser and What Does Cleanser Do?

What is cleanser? Discover everything you need to know about cleansing your face and how to use facial cleanser in your skincare routine.

Darlings, cleansing your face is one of the most important steps to maintaining happy, healthy-looking, fresh-faced skin. But what is cleanser and what does a cleanser do?

Cleanser should be the first thing you apply in the morning and the second thing you apply in the evening (after your makeup remover!). This helpful guide tells you everything you need to know about facial cleanser including what it’s used for and how to use it to create a spa-cleansed complexion that’s ready for the rest of your skincare routine!

That’s not all, darlings… Discover my NEW! skincare innovation – Charlotte’s Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser – a 3-in-1 facial cleanser that plays an essential role in your magic skincare routine. It’s a new era of cleansing!


Facial cleansers are formulated to gently wash your face to melt away makeup and remove sweat, excess oil, impurities, dirt, and dead skin cells. Some cleansers can help to unclog pores and provide subtle exfoliation, as well as help skin to look fresh-faced and glowing after every rinse. A good cleanser provides extra skincare benefits such as smoothing, brightening, and hydrating effects while cleansing your complexion.

Each of my cleanser innovations are supercharged to cleanse and hydrate your skin for an instant magic glow! Discover:

NEW! Charlotte’s Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser: my 3-in-1, next-generation cleanser cleanses to the power of three! Transforming in texture from a cushiony cream into a lathered foam to a nourishing milk, this formula cleanses, hydrates, and primes your skin all at once while delivering kind-to-skin ingredients like hydrating hyaluronic acid, smoothing-effect peptides, and barrier-strengthening biomimetic barrier shield technology. 

Magic Cleanser foaming cleanser

Multi-Miracle Glow: my multi-use beauty balm for cleansing, nourishing, and reviving the look of skin. This miracle balm can be used as a cleanser, overnight mask, and a body balm to leave skin feeling soft and supple with a dewy-looking facial finish.

Multi Miracle Glow balm cleanser

Goddess Cleansing Ritual: my expert double cleansing method that pairs an invigorating citrus oil cleanser and a purifying charcoal cleanser for a rejuvenating 2-step cleanse that leaves skin appearing brighter and refreshed.

Goddess Cleansing Ritual


A cleanser is used to remove dirt and impurities from your skin as well as gently and effectively removing your makeup at the end of the day. By washing away impurities from your skin, cleansers can help to prevent clogged pores which are often the cause of blemishes and breakouts.

Facial cleansers also help your complexion to look smoother and more radiant. They are an important step for creating a clean canvas for the products that follow in your beauty routine, like toners, serums, moisturisers and makeup.

Cleanser vs Face Wash

Face washes are water-based products that are formulated to help remove dirt and oil from your skin. They are useful for unclogging pores and are especially suited to oily skin types as they can effectively target and help to reduce the look of oily skin.

Tilbury Tip: If you have oily skin, try using a face wash at night and a cleanser in the morning. This will help to keep your skin looking and feeling balanced.

Facial cleansers provide hydration and nourishment while cleansing your skin. Compared to face washes, they tend to be richer in texture and are formulated with skincare ingredients like ceramides, peptides, and hydrators like hyaluronic acid to help to boost moisture and balance the look of your complexion. 

Is A Cleanser The Same As A Body Wash?

While cleanser and body wash are similar, there are some key differences. Both cleansers and body washes are formulated to provide a deep cleanse that helps to remove impurities, sweat, sunscreen, and makeup, however they shouldn’t be used interchangeably. Cleansers are intended to be used on your face and often contain gentle skincare ingredients that are kind to the sensitive skin on your visage. Body washes often have a heavier lather as they need to stretch further and absorb into the thicker skin on your body. 

How To Cleanse Your Face

Cleansers can come in many different formats from foaming cleanser, to cleansing milk, to cleansing balms, and how you cleanse your face will depend on which cleansing product you use. Discover my tips and tricks on how to cleanse your skin using my clinically proven cleansers including NEW! Charlotte’s Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser!

How To Cleanse Your Face


The secret to cleansing your skin with a foaming cleanser is to get a good lather that can cocoon your complexion in refreshing and revitalising cleanser. Foaming cleansers like Charlotte’s Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser are formulated to foam on contact with water – just add water for fresh, foam-cleansed results!

Discover How To Cleanse with Charlotte’s Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser:

STEP 1 - CREAM: Squeeze cleanser into the palm of your hand – you will need a hazelnut-sized amount to coat your entire face. Your cleanser will start as a comforting cream that feels malleable between your fingers and is easy to lather.

STEP 2 - FOAM: On contact with water, your cleanser will begin to create a frothy, foam texture. Foaming cleanser smooths effortlessly onto the face and is perfect for evenly flooding skin with the skin-loving properties of cleanser.

STEP 3 - MILK: As you massage my foaming cleanser into your skin, it will transform into a nourishing milk texture that is easy to rinse away after completing your cleanse. Use upward circles when applying cleanser onto your face, then use a luke-warm muslin cloth to remove cleanser and reveal your freshly cleansed skin.


The beauty of Multi-Miracle Glow is that it’s a cleanser, mask and moisturising balm in one. For best effects, use my wonder workout massage when applying cleansing balm to your face for a deep-cleansing, beauty-boosting facial massage.

FOR A DREAMY DEEP CLEANSE: Apply Multi-Miracle Glow to your dry face, massaging the product in angel wing motions towards your hairline and neck. Leave the product on for a masking effect, then rinse off with warm water after 10 minutes.

FOR AN OVERNIGHT MASK: If you’re using Multi-Miracle Glow as an overnight facial mask, apply a thin layer of cleansing balm all over your face, massaging it into your skin and leaving it on overnight for best results. In the morning, rinse off any excess product and begin your usual morning skincare routine.

FOR A BEAUTY BALM: Apply Multi-Miracle Glow directly onto targeted areas like dry patches on the elbows, hands, and knees, then massaging the area for a radiant, nourished-looking glow. No rinsing required!

Discover how to use Multi-Miracle Glow


If you want to perform a rejuvenating double cleanse for a spa-like complexion, apply my Goddess Cleansing Ritual cleansers.

Double cleansing requires an oil-based cleanser followed by a purifying cleanser for a deep skin cleanse. First, apply my refreshing, brightening-effect, oil-based cleanser with citrus oil and Vitamin C to break down and remove any traces of makeup. Then, apply my charcoal cleanser to draw out impurities from your pores for a purified, spa-cleansed complexion.

MAGIC STEP 1: Massage oil-based cleanser into your skin, then take a muslin cloth soaked in warm water and apply it to your face for 20 seconds for a magic steam clean.

MAGIC STEP 2: Apply charcoal cleanser and massage it into your skin while avoiding the eye area. Wet the muslin cloth in warm water and wash off the charcoal cleanser to reveal a cleansed complexion that’s ready for toner, face serum, moisturiser and facial oil.

Learn more about double cleansing

Tilbury Tip: If you adore Charlotte’s Magic Hydration Revival Cleanser (I don’t blame you, darling!) but want to experience the magic of double cleansing, simply use as instructed above, then apply a second time for a deep, double cleanse effect.

How Often Should You Use Cleanser?

Facial cleanser should be used twice a day, every day. Cleanse your skin once in the morning to freshen up the look of your complexion and create a radiant, smoother-looking canvas, and once in the evening to remove makeup and wash away the day.


By Day: Apply cleanser first thing in the morning as part of your daily skincare routine to hydrate, nourish and brighten the look of your skin before the rest of your skincare and. makeup routine.

By Night: Apply cleanser after your makeup remover (I recommend my bi-phase, high-performance makeup remover, Take It All Off). Cleansing at night will help to remove any stubborn dirt and makeup so that your skin can rest and replenish overnight.