Since facial cleansers lay the foundation to every skincare routine, I know finding the right one can make the difference between mediocre and great skin. I’ve found many cleansers swing too far in one direction or the other – either too harsh (as in stripping and drying out my skin) or they don’t seem to clean well enough and leave dirt and debris behind.

With quite oily skin, I have been prone to dealing with congested skin and all the baggage it brings – pores that are clogged, blemishes, blackheads and uneven skin tone. With this in mind, I need a cleanser that effectively cleans without stripping away moisture and more importantly, the skin’s acid mantle. Secreted over the skin’s surface, the acid mantle is a very fine, slightly acidic coating that acts as a natural protective barrier to lubricate and protect the skin (and underlying tissues) from dehydration. The acidic pH of this mantle also helps to inhibit bacterial and fungal growth. Who knew there was so much science behind appropriately cleansing your skin?

A few weeks ago I began trying out Osmosis Deep Clean Facial Cleanser ($32). The Osmosis line has three facial cleansers and according to the company’s website this one provides the deepest clean. Also interesting to note is that this formulation cleanses with natural ingredients derived from coconut as the primary surfactant, not harsh detergents. I researched a bit further and found the secondary surfactant is based on amaranth grain, which is high in colloidal peptides and has nine essential amino acids to help nourish skin.

With my first use, I found Deep Clean to be a gentle cleanser that doesn’t provide an abundance of foam, which proves a point. You don’t need copious amounts of lather to do the job. I found a couple of pumps are all that it takes applied to wet skin to achieve a comfortably clean face. There was no taut, dry, flaking skin that felt stripped and irritated. Instead, I found it easily rinsed off, leaving my skin clean, soft and full of moisture. I purposefully left my face bare and checked back in an hour, and my face wasn’t as oily as it usually is in that short period of time. Less oil means fewer blemishes and less skin congestion.

Now that weeks have passed, I find I like this cleanser as much today as the day I first used it. This met my needs right in the middle and as a bonus, the natural oils of citrus and lemongrass give this a very light, pleasant fragrance that will appeal equally to both sexes. This cleanser worked well for my oily skin; however Osmosis recommends it for all skin types.

Ingredients: Harmonized Water, Glycerin, Sodium Hydroxypropylsulfonate Laurylglucoside Crosspolymer, Sodium Cocoglucoside Tartrate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Sodium Cocoyl Hydrolyzed Amaranth Protein, Lauryl Glucoside, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemongrass) Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Sinensis var. Sanguina (Blood Orange) Oil, Santalum Austrocaledonicum (Sandalwood) Wood Oil, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Sodium Hydroxypropylsulfonate Decylglucoside Crosspolymer, Gluconolactone, Sodium Benzoate, Butylene Glycol