When I created this blog and my YouTube channel, it was really a way for me to have a creative outlet for my passion for all things beauty, skincare and more. However, as the coverage of all things “Beauty” on Social Media has increased, we see more and more “beauty gurus”, who have no experience in the Beauty Industry at all, sharing information that is often just incorrect and full of myths. I just have to shake my head at some of the misinformation that is out there in the online world.
So my blog and YouTube channel have morphed a bit, where I really just want to share my knowledge and experience with you all. That is why I started the Skincare 101 series, where I will be sharing all kinds of information on how to best take of YOUR skin and help you find the right skincare routine for your skin’s needs. As you may know, all skin is different. We each have unique skin types, skin concerns and skincare needs. What works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for all.
I have already done videos and blog posts in this series on: The Importance of Skincare and Skincare Routine, Anti-aging Skincare: Retinols, AHA’s and BHA’s, An Esthetician Busts 10 Skincare Myths and 10 Skincare Jargon/Terms Demystified.
Now I want to further breakdown the products we use everyday for our skin. We are going to take a look at each individual category of skincare products from cleansers all the way to moisturizers. And we are going to take a look at the different options in each category as well as what works best for certain skin types. So put on your favorite sheet mask and let’s get started.
Today, we are starting off with the first step in any great skincare routine: cleansers. Obviously, cleansers are meant to cleanse the skin. With so many product lines and variations of cleansers on the market, it can be really confusing about which is the right one for you. Creams, milks, micellar water, foams and more! I’m a firm believer that it really just comes down to texture and your skin’s needs.
No amount of claims on a product is really going to change your skin. Cleansers basically remove makeup, dirt and other impurities from the skin. They are not going to “shrink pores” or “minimize fine lines”, they are purely to remove makeup, dirt, excess oil and dead skin cells from the skin and prepare it for other products to be layered on top. And just think about it, you are typically washing off your cleanser with water so any added ingredients like anti-oxidants or anti-aging benefits are just being washed down the drain. Think about it.
As far as texture preference, an oily skin type might want something that is more of a foaming product, where as a drier skin might want something more emollient like a cleansing oil or cream. Again, this really comes down to your skin type and personal preference in texture.
Skincare Cleanser Types
Gel Cleansers are typically well suited for oilier skin types. Most men love a good gel cleanser as well. These are great at combating excess oil as well as removing dirt and impurities leaving skin feeling fresh and clean. These often foam up well and provide a deeper cleanse.
Cleansing foams work with water to foam up and create a lather that whisks away dirt and other impurities. These can even work well to remove heavier products like makeup and sunscreens. Be careful with most foaming cleansers though as sometimes harsh surfactants are used that can be very stripping and drying. These work well for oily to normal skins. However, a drier skin can use a foaming cleanser too but I recommend looking for one with added hydrating benefits like hyaluronic acid.
When I was first introduced to a cleansing oil, I was like “Girl, you crazy!” but now I swear by them. Cleansing oils are a more gentle way to remove makeup, dirt and other impurities than say a foam or a gel. Normal to Dry skin types do really well with the cleansing oils. Typically the oils used in these products area also very nourishing for your skin.
And if you are a bit shy of using oil on your face, then I highly recommend the double cleanse method. I’m more Normal to Dry and typically at night do a cleansing balm/oil and follow that with a gentle cleansing foam.
Cleansing Balms are typically a more solid form of a Cleansing Oil. When massaged onto the skin these break down into the oil. Again, I really recommend these for really all skin types but drier skin types will probably love these more. I find these to be really hydrating and nourishing for skin.
Some of my favorite Cleansing Balms have wonderful plant and flower extracts in them like Rose. I love to spend about 4-5 minutes massaging these into my skin before gentling removing with a dampened towel. The massage helps to stimulate the skin and increase blood circulation.
Cleansing Milks kind of fall in to the same category of the Oils and Balms, except these are usually a very emollient, milky texture. These are amazing for a dry or mature skin as they really leave the skin feeling amazingly hydrated and soft. Most milks are usually tissued off and not rinsed off.
Also, these can work really well for a cleanser on the go as you don’t often have to use water to use a cleansing milk. So they make a perfect addition to your gym bags (same with Micellar Waters below). These are typically pretty gentle and full of skin loving essential fats.
Micellar Waters have gained popularity recently and it seems like every company is now making one, but they have been around for quite some time. Micellar Waters have tiny balls of cleansing oil known as Micelles mixed into the water. These do a great job of removing makeup, dirt and other impurities in a very gentle way and without drying out the skin.
I think any skin type can really use a Micellar Water. I prefer to use these in the morning. Typically, we do not come into much contact with dirt and oil during the night (unless you have dirty sheets. Blech!) so we don’t need a super cleansing product in the morning. A Micellar Water is a great way to cleanse and refreshen your skin in the morning and save your other deeper cleaning cleansers (foams, balms, etc.) for at night when you need to remove makeup and rinse the day and pollution off of your face.
Finding The Right Cleanser for Your Skin Type
Cleansers for Normal Skin
Normal skin is really lucky as they can use pretty much any cleanser. Look for ones that are not too drying or too exfoliating/harsh on the skin. As we try to bring most skin concerns around to a more normal state, with normal skin it is really about maintaining that normalcy.
Cleansers for Combination Skin – Oily to Normal
Look for products that will help to minimize the oil such as a foaming cleanser. But be careful that you don’t use something that is overly drying. I also suggest maybe looking for a cleanser that also has some hydrating benefits like hyaluronic acid added to help maintain the moisture levels and PH Balance of the skin.
Cleansers for Combination Skin – Normal to Dry
This is about where my skin falls. So I personally love using a combo of products and this is a skin type that could do really well with doing a double cleanse. I love using a cleansing oil, cleansing balm or a cleansing milk on my skin first. Then I follow up with a gentle cleansing foam that has some emollient or more hydrating ingredients. This always leaves my skin feeling cleansed but also soft and well hydrated.
Cleansers for Oily Skin
I think we have been conditioned to fear oil and most cleansers geared towards an Oily Skin actually do more damage by drying out the skin completely instead. In fact, I love using an oil based cleanser on an oilier skin as oil cuts oil. But you may prefer going with a foaming cleanser instead, just make sure its not overly drying.
If you are oily and prone to breakouts look for cleansers that gently exfoliate or contain Salicylic Acid. An oily skin type might also really love using a gel based cleanser to help remove oil and dead skin cells that can build up and clog pores.
Cleansers for Dry Skin/Mature Skin
Dry and Mature skins actually do really well with more emollient cleansers like balms, oils or milks. Think creamy, rich and hydrating. You want to make sure that whatever you are using is not stripping your skin of natural moisture and oils.
I hope this clears up what cleansers are right for your skin and helped you find one that fits your skin. Remember that these are guidelines and again everyone’s skin is different so find what works well for you and stick to it.
Let me know in the comments what cleansers you love and use regularly.