How To Choose A Cleanser Based On Your Skin Type


Ah-mazing, so you want to find a cleanser to suit your skin type. Good for you. This is oh-so-important and something I am here for.

You see, knowing your skin type is such an essential step when it comes to skincare. There’s no way around it. Plus, it helps pave the way for you to better understand the best way to look after your skin and in turn, select products that will actually help your face instead of making things worse.

Although where do you begin? Because understanding your skin type can be a little tricky, sans the guidance of a professional. However, let’s break it down so you can find the right cleanser for you.

A Quick Note On Double Cleansing 

I very much recommend double cleansing every night at the end of the day. First with a balm/oil which will help remove/dissolve your makeup followed with the best cleanser for your skin type.

Of course, not everybody wants to buy a million and one cleansers so you can also double cleanse with just one. However, the best way to keep your skin clear, clean and help minimise the appearance of pores is to ensure you are removing your makeup and sunscreen properly at the end of the day - and an oil cleanser will definitely help you do that.

Oil/balm cleansers also tend to contain fatty oils to plump and deeply hydrate the skin. Moral of the story: don’t be scared of oil cleansers. They tend to work for most skin types and do a damn good job at ensuring you actually clean your face and the rest of your skincare works effectively.

If you're unsure of your skin type, check out the video below as Amy explains how to work out your skin type...

Now, which cleanser do I recommend for your skin type, you ask?

Normal Skin Types

This skin type doesn’t ever really deal with breakouts (lucky!) and often only experiences oiliness or dryness with the change in seasons (literally every other skin type is jealous of you). Anyway, gel-based cleansers will work best for you, however, your skin can generally enjoy the full spectrum that the cleansing world has to offer.

A super cost effective gel cleanser that can be used both morning and night as part of a second cleanse. It’s also non-stripping and does an amazing job at cleaning your face. Another absolute holy grail is Bioderma's Sensibio H2O. You can use this micellar to quickly clean your face with in the AM, or use it to remove your makeup at the end of the day – following with your standard double cleanse. It won’t strip your skin and suits just about everyone. Seriously, just try and find me a better micellar water… I’ll be waiting.

Oily Skin Types

This skin type tends to have bigger more visible pores than others. Breakouts are also a little more common (especially when the skin isn’t looked after properly). I also bet oily skin types were BFF’s with blotting papers through high school – like I was. Anyway, foaming cleansers work amazingly well for oily skin. Especially ones that include ingredients that can help fight blocked pores and congestion such as Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA’s) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s).

A cleanser that will both instantly brighten and help smooth your complexion without ever leaving your skin feeling tight. That’s the thing with cosmeceutical based foaming cleansers like these – they will actually help balance your skin. (Unlike many foaming cleansers sold at a supermarket which do the exact opposite and strip it bare.) This one also works hard to control oil and shine.

Sensitive Skin Types

This skin type tends to know a thing or two about redness/irritation and is probably the most cautious from the lot. Products with fragrance should be avoided and conditions such as rosacea, psoriasis or eczema might be present.

Sensitive skin types also know they can’t just try anything on their face and be done with it (as they’ve probably tried to do that in the past with very crappy results). So, always remember to tread with caution. Gentle creams/milks/oils/balms will generally work well for sensitive skin – but this is a skin type that will forever have to be mindful of ingredients.

This cleanser is super gentle, easy on the wallet and uses a combination of squalene and skin identical esters to remove makeup effectively whilst leaving your barrier intact. In fact, if you’ve ever had a reaction to a cleanser this one is a good one to try. Plus, it’s so cheap it’s practically free. Other great options for sensitive skins include La Roche-Posay and Avene.

Combination Skin Types

This skin type tends to experience ALL of the things. Oily T-zone, dry patches, dullness, some roughness etc… it just depends. Acne may also be common, while pores might be bothersome in certain areas. Hence why it pays to have a few different cleansers on rotation – depending on the way the skin is presenting.

Cleansers with a physical component may also work well. OR you could even opt to use them on stubborn areas of congestion such as your nose and chin only. (Which is something I like to do.) Gel and chemical exfoliating cleansers are good options too. 

Say #bai to dullness and texture - stat with this cleanser which combines both physical and chemical properties in one. Plus, because it’s formulated with gentle enzymes and AHA’s such as lactic acid it will help brighten and smooth your skin while maintaining its hydration levels. Ps. when you have combination skin you only really need to use this cleanser two-three times a week.

Dry Skin Types

Dry skin types are often BFF’s with flaky skin or random dry patches. Skin might also feel tight or itchy post-cleansing. Which is why dry skin types need to stick to cream or milk formulas and go super easy on any exfoliating cleansers that might be floating around their stash.

Fun fact: I also love creamier cleansers as we age. In fact, the creamier the better especially in the morning. The less you strip your skin, the more likely you are to minimise your fine lines.

I’ve been obsessed with this cleanser for dry skin all winter and it feels so lush I want to bathe in it. It’s the best cream cleanser, super thick and fortified with shea butter so your hydration levels are completely covered. However, it will work really well as part of a second cleanse during your PM routine too.

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