The first and most basic step in any skin routine is cleansing. It is one of the first steps that we incorporate into our skincare regime as teenagers. It is often said that cleansing is one of the most important aspects of our skincare regime, and for good reason - it helps remove oil, dirt and makeup that accumulates through the day without stripping the skin off its natural moisture. It helps maintain a healthy and glowing complexion by keeping the pores clean and warding off potential breakouts in the form of acne, blackheads and whiteheads.
What role do cleansers play in the skincare regime?
Cleansers are the first step in a skincare routine, followed by a toner. They create a clean canvas, which aids in the absorption of active ingredients present in other skincare products such as serums and moisturisers.
Cleanser > Toner > Serum > Moisturiser > SPF/Face Oil
What are the things to keep in mind while choosing a cleanser?
- Ensure that it does not dry out the skin too much.
- Opt for a gentle and mild formulation that balances the skin's natural pH levels.
- Make sure it effectively removes makeup, dead skin cells and grime.
- There is no feeling of greasiness or stickiness on the face post-cleansing.
- The formulation is free of harsh chemicals and fragrances that can cause irritations or breakouts.
While we may be overwhelmed with the number of choices available, navigating through the different types of cleansers to find the perfect fit for your skin type need not be daunting anymore. Here is a comprehensive guide to finding the right cleanser for your specific skin type.
What are the different types of cleansers and what skin types are they suitable for?
Ideal for: Oily, acne-prone and combination skin.
Foam cleansers are those that lathers up into a foamy consistency when combined with water. They are lightweight cleansers that effectively remove all traces of makeup and dirt, and get rid of any impurities to reveal softer, smoother skin. They provide the pores with a deep cleanse, making them an excellent choice for acne-prone skin. However, they tend to dry out the skin a little more than gel cleansers but are preferred by many due to their foamy, bubbly texture and feel.
We recommend: Sukin Foaming Facial Cleanser
Ideal for: Dry and sensitive skin.
Cream cleansers have thicker, richer textures with deeply moisturising properties. They are also known as ”Milk Cleansers”. They cleanse the skin without stripping away natural oils, replenish lost moisture and provide intense nourishment and hydration. They are an excellent choice to remove makeup, which can often dry out the skin. However, they are more suitable for dry skin over oily skin, as their creamy texture can clog the pores sometimes. Since cleansing is always the first step, it needs to provide a clean canvas, otherwise no serum or moisturiser can properly penetrate into the skin.
We recommend: Sukin Hydrating Cream Cleanser
Ideal for: All skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin.
Gel cleansers have a clear, bouncy consistency similar to jelly. They offer deep cleansing and clear out the pores to remove excess sebum and bacteria that can lead to breakouts. They leave the skin feeling moist and fresh due to their intensely moisturising ingredients. They also provide hydration to the skin while healing it in the process.
We recommend: Coccoon Purifying Facial Cleanser with White Tea & Neem
Ideal for: All skin types without drying the skin.
Oil-based cleansers are great to thoroughly cleanse the skin, and are a great choice to remove heavy makeup, waterproof sunscreen or simply just double cleanse. Double Cleansing is a popular Korean method of using an oil-based cleanser first, followed by a foam or cream cleanser. The oils present in these products stick to the natural oils on the face and get dissolved, which allows the makeup to separate and makes it easier to rinse off. They are best as pre-cleansers, and must always be followed by a regular, deep cleansing one. They are beneficial as they help in nourishing the skin and keeping it soft and supple without drying it out.
We recommend: Dear Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil
Ideal for: All skin types
They are the lightest forms of cleansers with a texture that is similar to water. They have tiny molecules of oil called micelles, which help remove dirt, grime and makeup effectively from the skin's surface. Unlike most cleansers, they do not need to be rinsed off. They can be applied using cotton pads with a gentle, sweeping motion across the face. They are great to thoroughly cleanse the skin without drying it out. They provide a thorough and deep cleanse, making them a common choice for makeup removal.
We recommend: Sukin Micellar Water
Ideal for: All skin types
Not only are they super-convenient, but they also are a great choice to remove dirt and makeup from the skin. They have a soft feel and do not feel sticky or greasy. While using these, always ensure that you are gently wiping your face and not pulling on your skin, as this can cause damage to the skin's natural barrier. They are definitely a great choice for all the lazy girls out there, and super easy to use on to the go too!
What is the correct way to wash your face and cleanse?
Washing your face is something super simple. However, doing it the wrong way can strip your skin off its natural oils, making it feel tight, dry or even dull. No matter which cleanser you use, your skin should feel smooth, fresh and clean after.
We are here to break it down for you, step by step for every kind of cleanser.
For a cleanser with a watery texture, like a gel or cream cleanser:
- Splash some lukewarm water on a dry face, using clean fingers.
- Take an almond size amount of cleanser on your palm.
- Rub your hands together, and apply it to your face using gentle, circular motions. You can do this for 20-30 seconds normally, but feel free to take longer if you’re wearing any makeup.
- Avoid pulling on the skin, and rinse thoroughly with some water.
- Pat your face clean with a dry towel (Make sure you don’t rub!).
For dry skin if you use a thicker cleanser like a cleansing oil or balm, the steps are similar, however we recommend doing this on wet skin and massaging it for a little longer, about 30-45 seconds.
For micellar water, which is typically used as a makeup remover, follow these steps:
- Shake the bottle if the product has settled, and apply some onto a cotton pad.
- Use light strokes on the face and start from the top, working your way down.
- Use the "Press and Hold" method, where you press the pad gently on your eyelid and hold it in one place before you softly wipe away.
- Keep swiping until you see no dirt or makeup on the pad.
- If you wish to double cleanse, follow this up with your usual cleanser. Otherwise, rinse your face with water to ensure no cleansing agents remain on your skin, before you continue with your regular skin routine.
For cotton pads, or makeup wipes, follow these steps:
- Remove one wipe/cloth from the packet, and gently massage it all over your face.
- Include your eyes and eyelashes too. Ensure you do this without tugging.
- Once you feel like no more makeup is coming off, discard the used cloth and use a new one. Normally a full face of makeup requires more than one cloth/wipe.
- Rinse your face with water and pat with a soft, dry towel.
- Once again, you can follow this up with your regular cleanser if you wish to double cleanse, or some water before continuing with your skin routine.
So, choose the right cleanser that will suit your skin type, and always remember - no matter what cleanser you use, it is essential to do it the right way for better results and efficacy. Cleansing twice a day is recommended because healthy skin starts from within.
- By Krisha Jhaveri