Cleansing your face isn’t just a key step in your skincare regimen. It’s a prime opportunity for self-care at the end of the night before tucking into bed, and a moment of zen in the morning before rushing to start the day. Figuring out which type of cleanser is best for your skin will make that sink-time experience even better. To help, we’re breaking down all the basics so you can find the best facial cleanser according to your needs.
Finding the Best Facial Cleanser For Your Skin Type
Step one in finding the best cleanser for your skin is to determine your skin type. These are traditionally broken down into three categories—dry, oily, and combination—which we’re diving into below.
Skin Type #1: Dry Skin
A dry complexion, which usually feels tight or looks flakey and dull, can be quenched not just with moisturizers, but also via your cleanser. Consider it another chance to level up your hydration game.
Oil cleansers, including cleansing balms, are one of the best facial cleansers for dry skin. They’re applied without water, and then gently massaged on for a few minutes to break down makeup, sunscreen, dirt, and grime. After rinsing, they leave a thin, hydrating layer that prevents your skin from feeling or looking dry, tight, or irritated. For all the above reasons, cleansing balms are also a great solution for those with sensitive skin (which sometimes goes hand in hand in dry skin).
In addition to helping dry and/or sensitive skin feel soft and hydrated, oil cleansers also work wonders when used as “step one” in the double-cleansing process. This multi-step cleansing regimen, which consists of using a balm cleanser and then a gel cleanser immediately afterwards, especially benefits anyone who wears cosmetics. The oil in the balm grabs a hold of your makeup—including the waterproof stuff—and then cleanly rinses it away.
Our Bye Bye Makeup Cleansing Balm Makeup Remover is a prime example of a cleansing balm. This luxurious, sulfate-free cleanser effectively melts away makeup, sunscreen and dirt from your face in just a few minutes. You can also rely on it to leave your skin feeling hydrated, supple, and visibly radiant since it’s formulated with ceramides, rosehip oil, shea butter, and vitamin C.
Pro Tip: For an intensely hydrating experience, apply a thin layer of our cleansing balm as a face mask and leave on for 10 minutes before rinsing or wiping off.
Skin Type #2: Oily Skin
You likely have an oily skin type if you notice halfway through the day—or even mid-morning— that your face feels slick or looks shiny. For many people, oil tends to accrue in what’s referred to as the “T-Zone,” which is the T-shaped area that stretches down your nose and across your forehead. (Of course, other areas can get oily, too. This is just a hot spot.) Acne can also be an issue for oily skin since excess sebum is a contributing factor to clogged pores.
Those with oily skin types should really focus on deep-cleansing their face in order to help decongest pores and manage sebum production. A foolproof way to do that is to do a variation of the double cleanse. For that, we recommend starting with a Confidence in a Cleanser™. This multi-step process helps ensure you remove all traces of oil, dirt, and skincare products for a clear, balanced, vibrant-looking skin.
Pro Tip: It might sound counterintuitive, but sometimes excessively oily skin occurs when there’s a lack of moisture, since your skin tries to make up for dryness by boosting oil production. Using hydrating cleansing products, like the ones we outlined above, can help your skin feel more balanced. A lightweight moisturizer, such as IT Cosmetics’ oil-free Confidence in a Gel Lotion™, is a great way to follow up your cleanse.
Skin Type #3: Combination Skin
If you can’t figure out what type of skin you’re working with, there’s a chance you’re dealing with combination skin—typically a mix of both dry and oily areas. Maybe you’ve got flakey bits on your forehead and chin, but you’ve got a slick situation happening on your nose and cheeks.
The best facial cleanser for combination skin is one that helps restore balance everywhere. That means using a product that’s going to really clean your skin while also hydrating it. Our revolutionary Confidence in a Cleanser™ does exactly that.
It’s a cleanser and serum in one that removes gunk, grime, and product so your skin looks and feels 100% clean. Since it's also formulated with a nourishing complex of collagen, hyaluronic acid, colloidal oatmeal, and super ceramides, it ensures your skin feels hydrated and balanced all over.
But Wait—There’s Nuance!
Our skin type remains relatively steady over time, but there’s still a little room for variation. For instance, weather and climate can have an impact on whether your skin feels oily or dry. As you are probably well aware, cold winters are notoriously drying, as are desert climates. Conversely, tropical climates mean higher humidity; if you’re vacationing on a glorious island somewhere, you might find that your skin requires a lighter face cleanser compared to usual.
Additionally, our skin’s structure changes as we age. One of the most notable differences is that our skin produces less moisture on its own, so using a more hydrating cleanser type can help restore the balance. Bottom line: listen to what your skin is telling you and don't be afraid to change up your routine.
As it goes with anything in skincare, ensuring you use a product that works for you is the key to skin success. Here’s to many mornings and evenings where you look forward to washing your face because it feels that good to do so.