The 12 Types of Facial Cleansers: Which Is the Best for You?

The 12 Types of Facial Cleansers: Which Is the Best for You?

The 12 Types of Facial Cleansers: Which Is the Best for You?

Why use a facial cleanser?

How often should you wash your face?

Which cleanser is the best for you?

  1. Cleansing Gels
  2. Cleansing Foams
  3. Micellar Waters
  4. Cleansing Creams
  5. Cleansing Balms
  6. Cleansing Oils
  7. Cleansing Clays
  8. Powder Cleansers
  9. Bar Cleansers
  10. Cleansing Wipes
  11. Cleansing Cloths/Sponges
  12. Cleansing Devices



Cleansing is the first and most important step of any skincare routine, even if a simple and straightforward process. Removing any trace of makeup, oil, dirt, sweat, and dead skin cells unclogs the pores and allows the skin to breathe, repair and renew. Applying your skincare products on a clean surface allows the active ingredients to deeply penetrate into the skin and better perform, so you can get the full benefits of your skincare regimen.


Cleansing should happen twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening.

Overnight we sweat and our pores expel sebum, which makes us wake up with shiny and unclean skin. We should start our day by removing excess oil and sweat from our skin and start fresh. While a splash of water might be enough for normal skin, you should cleanse your face using a mild cleanser and lukewarm water if you have oily skin.

In the evening, cleansing will remove makeup, dirt, dead cells and bacteria that have accumulated on the face throughout the day. Thoroughly cleansing your face before going to bed will allow your skin to better absorb your moisturizer and to renew itself overnight. 


Different people have different skin types and when it comes to cleansing, it’s very important you choose the right product for your skin.

It is sometimes difficult to find your way through all the facial cleansing formulas on the market, so here is our guide to help you make the right choice.

If you are amongst the lucky ones who have a normal skin type, you may try any type of cleanser as long as your skin tolerates it.

  1. Cleansing Gels

They are lightweight cleansers with a gel-like consistency (obviously!) that need rinsing-off. Cleansing gels unclog pores, remove excess oil and acne-causing bacteria, providing deep cleansing and leaving the skin refreshed and hydrated.

Ideal for: oily and combination skin, acne-prone skin

  1. Cleansing Foams

They are lightweight cleansers, starting as a gel or cream that bursts into a rich foamy lather. Cleansing foams remove make up, excess oil and dirt as effectively as the cleansing gels.

Ideal for: oily and combination skin, acne-prone skin

  1. Micellar Waters

One of the lightest forms of facial cleansing, micellar waters are… almost water! Micellar waters consist of micelles, which are tiny oil molecules suspended in water which attract oil, makeup and dirt from your skin. They are usually applied using cotton pads and don’t need rinsing. They are popular for makeup removal rather than deep facial cleanse.

Ideal for: all skin types

  1. Cleansing Creams

They have a thick, creamy consistency and contain moisturizing ingredients. They gently and deeply cleanse your skin without stripping it of its natural oils and are nourishing and hydrating. Some of them require rinsing, some require a wipe-off with a cotton pad. They are deeply moisturizing cleansers and leave a creamy feel on the skin, which is good for dry skin, but not for oily skin. Cleansing creams can also come in a form of ‘lotion’ or ‘milk’.

Ideal for: dry and sensitive skin

   5. Cleansing Balms

Balm cleansers are similar to oil cleansers, they’re more of a makeup removal than a face wash. They usually contain botanical extracts that are deeply nourishing and moisturizing, leaving the skin smooth and replenished.

Ideal for: dry and normal skin

  1. Cleansing Oils

Oil-based cleansers are a gentle way of removing any makeup or dirt from your face (including waterproof makeup) without drying your skin. They often contain a mix of plant oils which replenish the skin, leaving it smooth and supple.

Ideal for: most skin types. (For oily skin, you might want to double cleanse (use a water-based cleanser as a second step). 

  1. Cleansing Clays

Clay cleansers provide an intense cleansing experience. They are excellent at drawing excess oil and toxins out from your pores, but they can’t remove makeup. They behave similarly to clay masks, deeply cleansing and purifying the skin. They tighten the pores and have mattifying and detoxifying benefits. It’s important to re-hydrate your skin with a moisturizer after using this type of cleanser.

Ideal for: oily and combination skin, acne-prone skin

  1. Powder Cleansers

They consist of a soft powder that dissolves into a creamy mixture upon contact with water, providing a deep cleansing and a soft exfoliation to your skin. They are gentler and less abrasive than physical exfoliants (such scrubs), therefore less aggressive to the skin.

Ideal for: oily and sensitive skin

  1. Bar Cleansers

Usual soaps are known as extremely aggressive cleansers. They do the job, but they too drying for the face, causing dehydration and inflammation for almost all skin types. Lately, a new generation of cleansing bars is gaining popularity. They contain very little to no soap and are packed with nutrient-rich and highly moisturizing ingredients, which makes them less skin-drying than their ancestors. Even so, you should avoid them if you have dry skin.

Ideal for: oily and combination skin

  1. Cleansing Wipes

They might be a savior when you’re on the go and need a quick solution for removing makeup, but they’re not able to clean dirt or excess oil efficiently. So even if they do a decent job removing makeup, you should complete your routine with a rinse-off face wash.

Ideal for: all skin types

  1. Cleansing Cloths/Sponges

These cleansers are made with special fibres (some are plant-derived) and generally don’t require the use of any traditional cleansers to thoroughly remove impurities or dead skin cells.

Ideal for: Oily and combination skin

  1. Cleansing Devices

Cleansing devices and brushes are not usually used on their own, they are complementary products used to enhance the efficacy of facial cleansers.

And you, what’s your favourite cleanser? Which one do you recommend?

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