How to Choose the Best Face Cleanser for Your Skin Type

1. What types of face cleansers are there?

a. Foam cleanser

b. Micellar water cleanser

c. Gel cleanser

d. Cleansing wipes

2. What is the best face cleanser for my skin?

a. The best cleanser for dry skin

b. The best cleanser for sensitive skin

c. The best cleanser for oily and acne-prone skin

d. The best cleanser for mature skin

e. The best cleanser for combination skin

3. How to use a face cleanser

 

A lot of people dismiss facial cleansers when building their skincare routine. Instead, they focus their energy on the “stars” of the skincare show like serums, eye creams and moisturizers—but that’s a big mistake. Cleansers are the first step of your skincare routine—they set the tone, so choosing the right one is important—but what’s even more important is steering clear of the wrong cleanser, which can create a problem or skin condition you don’t normally have.

It’s all about choosing a face cleanser that’s tailored to your skin type—this will set you up for success and leave you with a fresh canvas that allows your skin to absorb all the benefits of your go-to skincare products. Whether you have dry, oily, acne-prone or sensitive skin, cleansers eliminate dirt and remove makeup without stripping your skin. Here’s how to choose the best face cleanser for your skin’s needs.

1. What types of face cleansers are there?

Healthy skin starts with good skin hygiene. Cleansing your face washes away dirt, dead skin cells, makeup and anything else that might clog your pores or cause general dullness. When it comes to cleansers, there is a myriad of options that can confuse even the most seasoned skincare aficionado. And we do mean “cleanser” because even the best makeup remover won’t suffice. Sure, makeup removers are often used interchangeably with skin cleansers, but they’re not the same. Face cleansers remove dirt and oil while makeup remover takes off the makeup and that’s it.

When you’re shopping for a new cleanser, don’t just grab any product off the shelf; consider your skin type and goals and then choose a delivery method and texture accordingly. These are the most common types and how they work.

a. Foam cleanser

Just like the name indicates, this cleanser creates a foamy lather. The best foam cleansers are often lightweight, come in a tube or a pump container and have a foaming or sudsy quality when applied to the skin. If you’re wondering what skin type foaming cleanser is best for, they generally do well for normal to combination skin. They’re extremely effective at washing away hard-to-wash-off products like sunscreen and makeup and are also effective at removing oil.

b. Micellar water cleanser

Micellar water is a multi-use cleansing product made of purified water and micelles. Think of these micelles as tiny balls of cleansing oil suspended in water. The water-like formula is usually applied with a cotton pad. When a soaked pad is pulled across the skin, the micelles start pulling makeup, sebum and other impurities off the skin. If you want a gentle face cleanser, micellar formulas are your best bet because there’s no need to rinse them off. However, if you're looking for a more target treatment for your skin type, Vichy has a micellar water for that. Normaderm 3-in-1 Micellar Solution is infused with acne-fighting antibacterial ingredients like Zinc PCA. While Vichy's Purete Thermale One Step Cleansing Micellar Solution works like a cleanser, toner and eye makeup remover in one.

c. Gel cleanser

The best gel cleansers are effective at unclogging pores, killing acne-causing bacteria and removing excess oil. Vichy Pureté Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel goes even further and cleanses impurities like pollution and dust particles and reduces the effects of hard water. Gel formulas also tend to be the best kind of face cleanser for oily and acne-prone skin.

d. Cleansing wipes

On busy days, facial wipes can really save the day! The best facial wipes are the perfect tool for getting skin clean quickly! But not all cleansing wipes are the same. Vichy Makeup Removing Micellar Cleansing Wipes have the Canadian Dermatology Association’s seal of approval and are strong enough to remove waterproof makeup but are safe and effective to use on all skin types.

2. What is the best face cleanser for my skin?

We know that the first step of any solid skincare routine is cleansing. What’s less obvious, however, is how to choose a face wash that suits you. Not sure where to start? Here are the best formulas according to your skin type.

a. The best cleanser for dry skin

If you’re prone to dry skin and your skin feels tight and uncomfortable after you cleanse, chances are you’re using a formula that’s too aggressive. The best kind of face cleanser for dry skin is one that’s creamy and hydrating. Vichy Pureté Thermale Cleansing Milk Balm uses mild (yet efficient) cleansing agents that remove banish impurities while leaving behind a veil of hydration thanks to vitamin E and glycerine.

b. The best cleanser for sensitive skin

Looking for a face cleanser for sensitive skin? It can be frustrating to find because so many on the market are filled with harsh and unnecessary chemicals and fragrances that can trigger reactions like redness and flaking or even lead to acne flare-ups. The best face cleanser for sensitive skin is something that is gentle and slightly hydrating and removes impurities. Vichy Pureté Thermale Fresh Cleansing Gel effectively removes oils and dirt and alleviates the effects of hard water on skin. Another safe and nourishing formula is Vichy’s Pureté Thermale mineral Micellar Water Face Cleanser. With a high concentration of Vichy volcanic water, charged with 15 minerals, it strengthens the skin barrier while the micelles dissolve impurities and soothe skin.

c. The Best cleanser for oily and acne-prone skin.

Anyone who has struggled with acne knows that facial cleansers can make a big difference. The best cleanser for acne is one that’s gel-based and contains acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and zinc, which can help clear up skin while cleaning it. Vichy Normaderm Anti-Acne Purifying Gel Cleanser is an effective face cleanser for acne because it uses salicylic acid to help clear blocked pores and introduces probiotics to help reinforce the skin barrier.

d. The best cleanser for mature skin

The best cleanser for mature skin is one that combines dirt-eliminating ingredients with pampering hydration that leaves skin refreshingly clean but never over-stripped—plus it packs anti-aging punch. Vichy Pureté Thermale 3-in-1 creamy texture turns into a rich lather and deeply cleanses skin, even sensitive.

e. The best cleanser for combination skin

A pH balancing face wash that won’t irritate oily and combination skin is hard to find—but it’s out there. The best cleanser for combination skin is lightweight and effective at removing makeup without irritating skin. Vichy's Nordmaderm Phytosolution Cleansing Gel does all that while also fighting acne by banishing excess sebum and soothing blemishes.

3. How to use a face cleanser?

If you’ve ever wondered how to wash your face, you’re not alone. There’s no one right way to do it, and it often depends on the kind of skin cleanser you use, but there are a few hard-and-fast rules you should follow.

Rule 1: Wash your face at least once a day, in the evening. It’s important to wash away all the pollution, makeup, dirt and oil that has built up throughout the day. If you’re wearing makeup, either double cleanse (which means use two different kinds of cleanser back to back) or use a makeup remover before your cleanser. An effective duo that works on most skin types is a Micellar Water followed by milky balm or gel cleanser. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you should cleanse both in the morning and the evening.

Rule 2: Never use hot water when splashing your face before you apply your cleanser. Hot water can strip the skin of the natural oil barrier that helps maintain its integrity. Instead, stick with mild to cool water.

Rule 3: Make sure you’re using the best cleanser for your skin type. If your skin feels tight after cleansing, it’s too harsh for you.

Rule 4: How long do you leave cleanser on your face? Not long. It may be tempting to leave it for a few minutes or rub your face with added ferocity, but that doesn’t correlate with how clean it will get. Aim for 30 seconds or until the product lathers on your face and then rinse with mild to cool water.

Rule 5: The face cleanser is your first step, but you can follow up with a skin toner. It’s a fast-penetrating liquid that delivers a light hit of skin hydration and helps remove any leftover dead cells. If you’re really looking for added skin pampering, once or twice a week, follow up with a face mask. Finding the best face mask for your skin is easy: Most of them have their benefits listed on the label.

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