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The 4 Types of Facial Cleansers and Which One You Need

The 4 Types of Facial Cleansers and Which One You Need

Gone are the days when we just washed our face with the good ol’ soap and water combo. After all, it does the job of cleaning our skin from bacteria right? But as the beauty and skincare industry developed over the decades, soap and water just aren’t ideal enough for our different skin concerns.

But with all the different beauty products on shelves these days, it’s understandable that one would be overwhelmed and intimidated with all the options. But because facial cleansers are very important to any routine, we’ll break down the types of cleansers so you can identify which one is for you.


Image source: @cosrx

Gel is clear and has a lightweight texture that helps provide hydration and smooth skin. This cleanser makes a smaller amount of foam compared to foam cleansers when lathered. Most gel cleansers aide in minimizing pores so this type of gel cleanser is ideal for combo to oily skin types.


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Obviously, foam cleansers make a foamy lather when applied but some of these cleansers can be harsh and stripping to the skin. There are those that dry out skin but nowadays a lot of foam cleansers are packed with emollients that moisturize skin. If you have oily and acne-prone skin, this type is for you. If you have dry skin, steer clear.


Image source: @itssophiealbert

Ever heard of the ‘oil attracts oil’ basis? We all know oil and water don’t mix which is why if you’re the oily type, water doesn’t just do the most. Oil-based cleansers are usually part of multi-cleansing regimens—oil cleanser first to remove makeup before applying foam cleansers. Oil does the job of absorbing a lot of impurities and oil so this one’s perfect for frequent makeup wearers and even those with sensitive skin.

Cream or milk

Image source: @caudalie

This type of cleanser avoids suds and foam altogether. If you’re one of those that wants a dramatic amount of foam when cleaning your face to feel like your skin is squeaky clean, chances are you won’t be in love with milk cleansers. These are very mild and concocted for those with very sensitive skin. The likes of Cetaphil or Physiogel are considered cream cleansers. They almost seem like conditioners with their consistency and texture but they are gentle enough for those who suffer eczema, dermatitis, and other skin concerns.

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