Seven types of facial cleanser

When I was younger my cleansers of choice came in just a few forms; creams, milks and lotions. I also, dare I say it, used to be a fan of cleansing wipes. Don’t get me wrong, these are great for camping or festivals but I can’t justify this lazy approach on a day-to-day basis.

Seven types of facial cleanser

Perhaps it’s now that I’m older and take more consideration over the products I choose that I’m more aware of the different types. Or maybe there really is more choice on the market. Regardless, navigating the vast array of skincare now on the shelves can be difficult.

Today you’re not only faced with the old faithful cleansing creams, milks and lotions but we now have the choice of foaming face washes, balms, oils, and waters. But what do they all do, what do they have to offer, and what makes them different? Here’s what I have learned…

Cream Cleansers, Milks & Lotions

These cleansers are great for dry, dehydrated or mature skin due to their hydrating properties and can be applied with a cotton pad. I especially like to opt for creamy cleansers when on holiday, especially after being in the sun, as they feel cool on my face. But generally, I steer clear from these. While they remove most of my make-up I’m left with a residue on my face which I can’t help but think clogs my pores. I do, however, often still reach for Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser which I use as an eye make-up remover. It’s so gentle and removes every last lick of mascara and liner.

Foaming Facial Washes

Anything that foams tends to dry the skin; this is down to the chemicals used to create the foaming affect. Regardless I do like that foaming face washes are easy to use in the shower, which certainly speeds up my morning routine. Washes also feel like they’re giving my skin a thorough good clean. The last foaming face wash I purchased was Origins Checks & Balances, while I like this product, particularly the smell, I’m not sure it’s the best for my skin type which is dry and dehydrated.

Cleansing Balms

If, like me, you have an oily t-zone, you can be forgiven for steering away from oil based cleansers. However, I’ve recently learned that other cleanser types have the tendency to dry out your skin and can encourage it to produce more natural oils – making it look greasy. So, by applying oil to your skin you reduce the need for it to produce its own oils. I now always opt for oil based balms or cleansers and have found that my skin is a lot more balanced as a result. A firm current favourite of mine is the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm available from Space NK and Feel Unique.

Cleansing Oils

Very similar to cleansing balms, these are fantastic at removing every last scrape of make-up, you can actually feel it melting off. Again, these are great for hydration and balancing the skin, though I do find these a little messy. I really like the Sanctuary Cleansing Oil but found it difficult to wash off my hands after applying to my face.

Cleansing Waters

Despite being a firm favourite with professional make-up artists for many years, BioDerma finally made a big splash into the consumer skincare arena roughly two years ago. Since then micellar cleansing waters have been launched by most of the big brands. Cleansing waters are great for a quick fix; I use micellar water in place of face wipes when I’m feeling lazy, but I wouldn’t introduce it into my daily routine for the long-term. I feel cleansing balms provide a more thorough cleanse. BioDerma is my number one, but Garnier do a great drug store alternative, and more and more brands are adding cleansing waters to their ranges, so there are plenty to try.

For me, I’m going stick with a cleansing balm as part of my CTM routine, that’s cleanse, tone and moisturise, until I’m tempted to try something new.

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