No matter what type of skin you have choosing the right cleanser is key to maintaining the protective layer and nutrition of your skin. When choosing cleansers for skin types, I break them into different categories ranging from the most gentle and nourishing to the strongest cleansers:
Cream Cleansers – have the consistency of thick cream. Cream cleansers generally don’t contain any surfactants (foaming agents). They are ideal for dry, dehydrated, mature or sensitive skin as they work by using the oil component to bind with and remove makeup and daily pollution. Cream cleansers only minimally disrupt the acid mantle of the skin, if at all and maintain skin hydration. They are also the best for removing makeup.
For best results, moisten your face with tepid water, apply the cream cleanser and gently massage your face. Remove by wiping with a soft moist cloth or rinse with tepid water. Examples include Haven Scent Coconut Cream Cleanser and AUM Brightening Milk Cleanser.
Milk Cleansers – have the consistency of milk. Milk cleansers may or may not contain surfactants and if they do, they are generally only very mild surfactants. They are lighter than cream cleansers and therefore are ideal for normal to sometimes dry, mildly dehydrated and mature skin. Examples include Treasured Earth Cleansing Milk and Third Stone Botanicals Palmarosa Cleansing Milk.
Gel Cleansers – typically used for normal to combination skin they can be minimally drying but less so than a foaming cleanser. Gel cleansers are ideal for skin that is sometimes dry and sometimes a bit oily and certainly for congestion. They aren’t as good as milk or cream cleansers at removing makeup but will certainly give the skin a “clean” feeling. Generally they are gentler on the skin than Foaming Cleansers and less disruptive to the acid mantle. Mukti Gentle Foaming Cleanser and Treasured Earth Lemon & Mango Cleansing Gel
Foaming Cleansers – often leave you with a “squeaky-clean” feel and so are great for acne-prone, congested or oily skin. Most natural foaming cleansers only create tight bubbles rather than lots of foam like cleanser based on synthetic foaming agents. The smaller foaming action means less disruption to the acid mantle and a quicker recovery. Foaming cleanser can be slightly drying for non-oily skin types or in winter when there is less humidity in the air. Examples include: Remedica Black Soap, Devita Aloe Cleanser and Third Stone Botanicals Rose Geranium Cleanser.
If you use a cleanser that is too “strong” for your skin it will have an impact on the protective layer and you may find your skin feeling overly tight. Using a richer moisturizer is a common way of combating the use of the wrong cleanser for your skin type and ultimately it will lead to either dehydrated skin or dehydrated skin with congestion, which is something no-one wants.
On the other hand choosing a cleanser that is too rich for your skin can lead to congestion and/or superficially oily skin. Again not a great outcome! You may find that you need to try a few cleansers to get the best one for your skin. And indeed it may change with the seasons. Myself, I use a cleaning gel in summer and a milk in winter which I have found suits my skin perfectly. As a general rule of thumb, if your skin feels squeaky clean, the cleanser is probably to “strong” for your skin. Your skin should feel clean but not tight after cleansing.Twitter It!
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