perfect cleanser for your skin type

How to choose the perfect cleanser for your skin type : When it comes to cleansers, using a product with the wrong ingredients for your skin type has the potential to do more harm than not using a cleanser at all. If you’re asking yourself ‘what cleanser should I use?’ but haven’t yet clarified your skin type, you run the risk of selecting a product for all the wrong reasons. In this blog we’ll help you to discover your skin type and suggest what facial cleanser you should use.

Identifying your skin type

Skin types are broken down into five main categories:

  • Oily
  • Dry
  • Combination
  • Sensitive
  • Normal

Each of these types of skin benefit from specific product ingredients, and may react differently to different cleansers. Your skin will likely change over time or even with the seasons, so might not fit one description for very long. Let’s look at their differences in more detail.

Oily skin

As you can guess from the name, oily skin produces excessive amounts of sebum - the substance that can leave a shiny gleam across your t-zone. Excess sebum can lead to acne and change the way makeup sits on your skin, but it also means you’re less likely to develop wrinkles later in life.

Dry skin

At the other end of the spectrum, dry skin is either naturally lacking in enough natural oils to keep it moisturised, or this sebum is being washed away by excessive scrubbing or harsh products. Dry skin can be flaky or painful, especially in the winter months, and look rough and textured underneath makeup.

Combination skin

If you’re oily in some areas and dry in others, you might have combination skin. This means you’ll need products that can solve your skin issues without aggravating the different areas.

Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin is easily irritated. This could be a side-effect of an underlying medical condition, or sometimes be a condition all on its own. It might react badly to products that are strongly perfumed or have abrasive ingredients.

Normal skin

While ‘normal’ is a subjective term, in this context it applies to skin that doesn’t really fit any of the descriptions above. Not too oily, not too dry, not both, and not particularly sensitive.

Understanding cleanser formulations

To cater for various skin types, cleansers come in lots of different formulations. Here are some of the types of cleanser you can choose from:

  • Gel - gentle and hydrating, gel cleansers often have a jelly-like consistency.
  • Oil - great for removing dirt and waterproof makeup, oil cleansers can come as liquid or balms.
  • Cream - cream cleansers can lather, are usually water based, and tend to feel very luxurious and moisturising.
  • Foam - as the name suggests, foam cleansers produce a lather of airy bubbles, and are considered halfway between a gel and a cream.
  • Micellar water - water cleansers are gentle enough to not strip your skin of natural oils but can be powerful enough to remove eye makeup.

Selecting ingredients for your skin concerns

You can buy cleansers with ingredients to help to target specific skin concerns, such as acne, psoriasis, or rosacea. Once you’ve identified your skin type and any major skin issues you want your cleanser to tackle, you can narrow down your choice of cleansers by looking at both formula and ingredients.

For example, an ingredient such as retinol that promotes skin cell turnover is great for tackling uneven skin texture and clogged pores. If your skin is dry, you might look for a cleanser that contains a humectant such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or even honey, which is an ingredient that helps your skin to retain moisture.

Customising your cleansing routine

The benefits of cleansing can only truly be appreciated after regular use. This is why it’s important to build a routine and stick to it if you want to see results. Cleansing should be the first step in your skincare routine - after all, if you intend to use other products afterwards, you don’t want any dirt, makeup or other residue getting between their ingredients and your face.

A cleansing routine can be as unique as you are. For example, some prefer not to cleanse in the morning to avoid washing away the natural layer of sebum our faces produce overnight. Others will double cleanse in the evening - a skincare trend originating in Korea, that involves using two different types of cleansers one after the other.

What cleanser should I use first when double cleansing?

The first cleanser is used to remove makeup or SPF residue and is usually oil based, whereas the second usually contains more active ingredients that need to be applied to the skin directly, such as an acid-infused or cream-based cleanser.

Considerations for special skin conditions

It is always worth seeking the advice of a dermatologist if you have a skin condition that is causing you concern. They will be able to recommend products appropriate to your skin type, and help you to avoid anything that might irritate it further. For some skin issues you might even need to be prescribed a stronger treatment.

What cleanser should I use for combination skin?

Gel or cream cleansers are great for combination skin. Just because your skin has oily areas doesn’t mean that you should shirk hydration completely - it just needs to be the kind of hydration that won’t make the oily areas even oilier. Squalene is non-comedogenic, which means it will keep your skin hydrated without clogging your pores.

What kind of cleanser should I use for acne?

There are many forms of acne, some more severe than others. Some acne may need medication to be banished completely, but the occasional breakout can usually be handled with the right cleanser. Foaming cleansers with salicylic or glycolic acids are particularly good for acne-prone skin.

Testing and evaluating cleanser products

It can take anywhere from 24 hours to a whole month to see signs of the impact a cleanser can have on your skin. Don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t transform your face overnight. As skincare goes, this is actually one of the faster-acting products - some skincare won’t start to work its magic until a few months of continuous use.

In general, when patch testing skin products, you should leave the product on your skin for at least five minutes to check for any adverse reaction. If you feel any burning or itching, rinse the area with water and pat clean - don’t persevere if it’s causing you pain.

Achieving healthy and radiant skin

Only a few people are blessed with naturally glowing, low-maintenance skin. For the rest of us, healthy skin can only be achieved through consistent skincare routines using the right products. It’s important to take care of your skin, whether your priority is its health, its appearance, or simply your peace of mind. Find the right cleanser for the skin you’re in from our range of facial cleansers.