8 Types Of Facial Cleansers For Every Skin And Purpose

Facial Cleansers

Cleansing is the first step of any skincare routine, and while it may seem like a basic, mundane task, it happens to be the most important one. However, finding the right facial cleanser can be tougher than finding a soul mate. You need something that cleanses without stripping, has exfoliating properties, and maintains the skin’s pH balance. It should have calming ingredients and be non-comedogenic. Phew! The checkbox is never-ending. But don’t let it overwhelm you. We point you to the one you need.

1. Foam Cleansers

Ideal For: Oily skin

Foam cleansers usually start as cream or gel and burst into a rich, foamy lather. While they are a great option for washing away dirt, pollution, and makeup, they can also strip skin of its natural oils, leading to tightness and dryness. The key is to find ones that are soap-free and infused with humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. Remember: Squeaky clean skin is not always good.

2. Cream Cleansers

Ideal for: Dry and sensitive skin

Also available in milk and lotion form, they have a thick, creamy texture that is gentle on the skin. Cream cleansers remove dirt and grime without stripping skin of its natural moisture, making it perfect for dry and dehydrated skin.

3. Gel Cleansers

Ideal For: Oily and combination skin

As the name suggests, they have a gel-like consistency designed for deep cleansing, decongesting clogged pores, removing excess oil, and keeping acne-causing bacteria at bay. They are best for acne-prone skin.

4. Oil Cleansers

Ideal for: All skin types

Putting oil on the skin to remove grime may sound counterproductive, but hear us out.  While water and oil repel each other, oil attracts oil. This means cleansing oils draw out excess oil, dirt, gunk from your skin without causing irritation or dryness. It is a gentle way of removing pore-clogging debris, waterproof makeup and sunscreen. Oil cleansers can also be used for double cleansing to keep sebum in check.

5. Powder Cleansers

Ideal for: Oily and sensitive skin


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Powder-based cleansers are not new; they have their roots in ancient Indian beauty practices, known as ubtan. They turn into a creamy pack upon contact with water and slough off dead skin cells without being harsh on the skin. You can pick from natural ingredients such as chickpea flour and rice starch or ones which contain actives like vitamin C or salicylic acid.

6. Clay Cleansers

Ideal for: Oily skin


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Clay is to oily skin what Kryptonite is to Superman. It works like a magnet to pull out toxins and debris from the pores. Kaolin and green clay are the most effective ones. But you can also try fuller’s earth and volcanic ash clay. Avoid it if you have dry skin.

7. Micellar Cleansers

Ideal for: Dry and sensitive skin


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The secret to French skincare is micellar water.  These cleansers contain micelles—tiny oil molecules suspended in soft water—to attract oil, dirt and makeup. They are free of harsh chemicals which work well for sensitive and irritated skin. Best bit? You don’t need to rinse them off with water, making it a great travel companion.

8. Cleansing cloths

Ideal for: All skin types

They work similar to cleansing wipes but are eco-friendly and reusable. Made with special fibres, they help remove make-up, impurities and stubborn mud masks. While they work with water only, we recommend washing your face with a facial cleanser of your choice to remove any residue.

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