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What are cleansing powders? The 7 best powder cleansers to try

These customizable cleansers will change the way you wash your face.
Woman smiling and scrubbing her face in the bathroom
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/ Source: TODAY

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Meet your new skin care obsession: cleansing powders. Like oil-based makeup removers and BB creams, these granular concoctions originally became popular amongst Korean and Japanese skin care devotees — and they’re beauty game changers.

Cleansing powders are concentrated versions of liquid cleansers that form a paste or foam when activated with water. Most contain naturally derived ingredients like rice bran, oats and adzuki beans to give the product gentle, non-abrasive exfoliating properties, making this product perfect for those with sensitive skin.

The best thing about cleansing powders, according to Boston-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch, is that they’re totally customizable. “You have control over the final texture,” Hirsch told Shop TODAY about the powder's DIY approach.

To get your perfect low-foaming lather, adjust the amount of water you add while rubbing your hands together with a coin-sized amount of powder. For a deep exfoliation, you’ll just need a splash of liquid. Use more water if you’re looking for a milder cleanse.

Hirsch also noted that cleansing powders are TSA-friendly, making them ideal for travel, and that they typically contain less preservatives than liquid products since there's no water in the formula.

According to shoppers and beauty lovers, these cleansing powders should definitely be added to your shopping cart.

Best cleansing powders, according to shoppers

Clinique Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser

Each box contains 28 single-use packets infused with rejuvenating vitamin C. “I have never in my life been complimented on my skin, UNTIL THIS STUFF!” one reviewer wrote on QVC's website. “My skin is noticeably brighter and smoother.”

Several people also commented that a single packet can last up to four washes, so you really get your money's worth.

DHC Face Wash Powder

The cult Japanese brand, best known for its ultra-moisturizing lip cream, also offers a standout cleansing powder. Each bottle packs soothing lavender and licorice root extract, making it ideal for all skin types, plus exfoliating protease enzymes that'll leave you with a smooth complexion.

Amorepacific Treatment Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder

This cleanser from Korean skincare brand Amorepacific hydrates and exfoliates dead skin cells. Key ingredients include hydrating hyaluronic acid and exfoliating green tea-derived enzymes.

Glytone Enhance Brightening Cleansing Powder

Glycolic acid reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and treats a variety of conditions including hyperpigmentation. The raved-about formula also includes niacinamide, which minimizes the appearance of pores, and acne-fighting mandelic acid.

Hanalei Papaya Enzyme Powder Cleanser Travel Set

This pH-balanced powder cleanser contains papaya enzyme and grapefruit seed oil, which are known to brighten and exfoliate. It also includes the native Hawaiian Noni fruit, which is loaded with fatty acids and antioxidants that naturally help to reduce the signs of aging. As an added bonus, all Hanalei products are cruelty-free.

Honest Beauty Skin Sweep Exfoliating Powder Cleanser

Kaolin clay and sea minerals gently sweep away dead and dry skin cells, leaving skin feeling oh so soft. Along with leaving your skin silky smooth, you can also feel great knowing that this water-activated cleanser is 100% vegan and formulated without parabens, silicones and synthetic materials.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Face Scrub Powder

Amazon shoppers rave about this calming rice powder cleanser that’s gentle enough for daily use. “After using it for three months, my skin is glowing and freaking gorgeous!” one person wrote. “I went to work without foundation and only a little mascara and chapstick and everyone thought I had a full face on. I am truly a believer and I’m hooked!”

Several reviewers also claim that it treats hyperpigmentation and prevents outbreaks.

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