I believe one of the most commonly misunderstood steps in a basic skincare routine is the use of a facial cleanser. There are certainly a lot of taboos surrounding cleansing and a lot of misuse, too. Many people believe that cleansing the face is unnecessary. Some people find it important but do not use the proper cleanser for their skin type. Others are using cleansers that are way too harsh for facial skin. Some believe that if they have dry skin, cleansing may make it more dry.

Regardless of any misconceptions, cleansing the face is in fact important. Dead skin, sweat, bacteria, and oil can all build up on the face. Without cleansing, the probability for superficial skin concerns to occur is more likely. Issues such as acne, texture, and dullness can become more significant. Other than superficial issues, there are health concerns associated with not cleansing the face. Just as we wash are hands to rid of bacteria, microbes, and viruses that cause illness, we should wash our faces for this reason, too.

So, cleansing is important. But. . . now you might be wondering. . . which cleanser should you use for your skin type?

No matter which skin type, you should always look out for a gentle cleanser. This means that the ingredients should not be harsh or stripping. Try to avoid irritating and toxic ingredients such as: sulfates, parabens, alcohols, polyethylene, synthetic colors, and sometimes fragrance (I added fragrance because some people find it more irritating to the skin than others). There are definitely other harsh additives that can be in cleansers, but these are the main ingredients I would try to avoid.

When picking a cleanser for your skin type, drier types tend to have more luck with a non-foaming milkier consistency, whereas oilier types usually benefit from gentle foaming washes. If you have a combination skin type, try to gauge whether you are more ‘normal and oily’ or ‘dry and oily’ when comparing combination areas. Then, you can choose a foam versus milk consistency depending on where you fall on the spectrum of normal to dry within your combination type. For any skin type, remember to try to only wash your face two times a day, because washing your face too much can be stripping to your skin barrier!

Here are some of my personal favorite cleansers. I think all of these cleansers are gentle enough to use on any skin type, but they might suit different preferences based on consistency. I listed which skin type might benefit from each. . .

BONAJOUR Green Tea Foam Cleansing – Oily, normal, and combination skin types.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser – Oily, normal, and combination skin types.

Tula Skincare The Cult Classic Purifying Face Cleanser – Oily, normal, and combination skin types.

OZ Naturals Ocean Mineral Facial Cleanser – Oily, normal, and combination skin types.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser – Normal and Dry skin types.

La Roche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Cleanser – Normal and Dry skin types.

*I have tried all of these cleansers personally and have not had issues or irritation, but please remember to listen to your own skin! If irritation or sensitivity occurs, cease use of the product.

If you are still unsure of a cleanser for your skin type or situation, please feel free to reach out and leave me a message! I can even answer questions on different cleansers you may have in mind! I’d be happy to help find something that really works for you. Great skin is in your future!

A first crucial step to finding out how to properly take care of your skin is figuring out which skin type you have. It may even be a combination of types! Let me break down some of the skin types you may have and how to know which category you fit into.

Normal skin:

All skin is normal, but the normal skin type simply means your skin has balanced oil production and is generally free from most breakout related symptoms. You do not have very sensitive or reactive skin either, meaning that products do not irritate your skin easily. If you were to use an oil blotting sheet or tissue about twenty minutes after washing your face with a gentle cleanser, there would be little to no oil transferred.

Oily skin:

Oily skin occurs when your pores have a bit more sebaceous activity than other skin types. You may have slightly larger pore appearance and are more prone to breakouts, blackheads, or whiteheads. If you were to wash your face and oil blot after about twenty minutes, there would be significant transfer of oil onto the sheet. A lot of factors can cause sebaceous glands to do more work than they need to. Oily skin can be caused by genetics, hormonal changes/imbalances, harsh cleansers, climate etc.

Combination skin:

This skin type occurs when your skin is spilt between types. Combination skin, like oily skin, can be caused by a variety of hormonal and cosmetic issues. Usually, there is a mix of oily skin and normal skin on the face, but it can also be a mix of oily and dry skin. A commonly used skincare term, the T-Zone, can describe where the oily patches usually occur on the face. The T-Zone describes the region on the forehead, down the nose, and the chin. The outer portions of the face and cheeks are usually normal or dry.

Dry skin:

Dry skin is usually flaky, tight, and dull. You may feel like you have more apparent fine lines on the face and not much oil production at all. Dry skin can be caused by hormonal and health factors, but can also be enhanced by external factors and personal care mistakes. Harsh cleansers, very high indoor temperatures, too hot of showers, etc. can enhance the effects of dry skin.

Sensitive Skin:

This skin type could be any of the other types mentioned above, but also yields a lot of redness, irritation, burning, and itching. These symptoms can be enhanced by certain topical products that are used. It is important to try to determine what products trigger the most irritation and cease the use of those products.

*It is important to note that oily skin types or combination skin types usually have the most issues with acne, but it can occur in any skin type.

Now that you have a better understanding of what your skin type might be, it is important to gear your routine to suit your individualized needs! In future posts I will detail my favorite products for my skin (Combination/Dry) as well as pointing out product recommendations for other skin types! If you are still unsure about what skin type you are, please feel free to send me a message! I see healthier skin in your future!