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Skincare guide — 16 Apr 2022

7 types of facial cleansers: Which is right for your skin?

You're at the drugstore or your favourite cosmetics store, staring at the hundreds of products lining the shelves. After a long day at work and school, you just want to pick up a cleanser that will get your skin clean and make you feel good. But how do you sort through all these products to find the best one for your skin? The options are endless, thanks to a huge variety of ingredients and formulas.

Cleansers are the workhorses of any skincare routine. They're the first product you apply to your face in the morning and again in the evening. They're designed to remove dirt, oil, and makeup that might have accumulated during the day. What are the characteristics of a good cleanser for the skin on your face?

A good facial cleanser will remove excess oil and dirt, stimulate blood flow to the face, and help remove dead skin cells. It's a vital step in your skincare regimen but you want a cleanser that works with your skin type. Cleansers come in several forms, but they all have the same basic function -- to remove cosmetics, pollutants your skin is exposed to throughout the day, and dead skin cells without drying your skin out.

First and foremost, a good facial cleanser should not be harsh on your skin. Overly aggressive products can strip your skin of essential oils, which can lead to dryness and irritation. You also want a product that can cleanse without stripping or irritating your skin or clogging your pores. The cleanser that's right for you depends on your skin type, whether you have sensitive skin, the environment you live in (dry or humid), and whether you are prone to acne.

Let's take a closer look at the various types of facial cleansers and their pros and cons.

Cleansing foams

Cleansing foams are most appropriate for very oily skin since they tend to be the most drying type of cleanser. Although effective for removing makeup, they aren't as effective at emulsifying oils and dirt as cream-based products are, and most of them may leave behind a film on the skin. Cleansing foams typically cleanse more superficially than cream-based cleansers and may leave your skin feeling tight. 

Cleansing lotions and milk

Cleansing milk and lotions are usually water-based and have a low tendency to foam. This makes them ideal for all skin types including especially dry and sensitive skin since they lightly moisturize without leaving a film on your skin. If you're accustomed to a cleanser that foams, you might miss the "clean" sensation that a foam offers, yet cleansing lotions and milk are less likely to dry your skin out.

Here is what we have at Brewing Beauty Co for this category:

Calming Oat Cleansing Milk with Prebiotics and Liquorice

Clarifying Cucumber Cleansing Milk with Aloe Vera and Tea Tree

Cleansing gels

In general, cleansing gels are water-based and are ideal for oily and acne-prone skin. They often contain ingredients that soothe sensitive skin such as tea tree oil and other essential oils, but most of the commercially available cleansing gels typically lack emollients that will increase your skin's oil burden or clog pores and trigger an acne outbreak. However, our gel cleansers are extremely rich in emollients, hydrating agents and other active ingredients. Our gel cleansers can be used for all skin types including sensitive skin without causing any dryness and tight after-feeling. 

Here is what we have at Brewing Beauty Co for this category:

Soothing Oat Face Cleanser with Prebiotics and Liquorice

Purifying Willow Bark Face Cleanser with Chlorella and Cucumber

Brightening Hibiscus Face Cleanser with Echinacea and Butterfly Bush

Renewing Turmeric Face Cleanser With Sea Buckthorn and Vitamin E

Invigorating Green Tea Face Cleanser with Willow Bark and Calendula

Cleansing creams

Cleansing creams contain oils and are the thickest option for cleansing your skin. This makes them ideal for dry skin but a poor choice for oily or acne-prone skin. A cleansing cream is a good choice if your face feels tight after using other cleansers and your skin needs extra moisture.

Micellar waters

Micellar water is made of tiny balls that lift impurities from the surface of your skin. It's composed of pockets of surfactants encased with water that surround and remove oil and make-up. This type of cleanser works well if you wear light makeup or none at all, but it doesn't do a great job of cleansing oil-based products such as foundation or concealer. Our micellar water includes astringent active ingredients which also help to minimize pore appearance while lifting impurities from your skin. 

Soothing Prebiotic Micellar Tonic Water with Witch Hazel and Wild Indigo

Cleansing balms

Cleansing balms are an excellent option if you have dry, moisture-starved skin since they're rich in emollients that nourish and moisturize your skin. Cleansing balms are effective at breaking down cosmetics, sweat, impurities, and excess oils but do so in a different way. They come in solid form. Once you apply the balm to your skin, it softens and melts onto your skin. When you apply water to your skin, it becomes a liquid like a milky cleanser. They're often made with natural ingredients and are a good choice for sensitive skin.

Here is what we have at Brewing Beauty Co for this category:

Comforting Baobab Balm Cleanser with Coconut and Liquorice

Reviving Cranberry Balm Cleanser with Borage and Butterfly Bush

Replenishing Sea Buckthorn Balm Cleanser with Buriti and Turmeric

Cleansing powders

Cleansing powders are available in a dry powder that you mix with water in your hand. Once you add water and mix the powder with your fingers, it turns into a paste. You can adjust the thickness of the cleanser by how much water you add. An advantage of a powder cleanser is that the powder particles exfoliate your skin and help remove dead skin cells.

The bottom line

Now that you know your cleansing options, choose one that best meets your skin's needs. If you have dry or combination skin, a lotion or cream-based cleanser might best meet your needs. At Brewing Beauty Co, we also have gel-based cleansers that make fabulous alternatives to those heavier cleansers for dry or combination skin. If your skin is oily or acne-prone, a foam or gel-based cleanser may serve you better. Also, consider the tactile properties of a cleanser. You might enjoy the way a cream cleanser makes your skin feel soft or the way a powder cleanser lightly exfoliates your skin and removes dead skin cells. It's good to know you have so many options!

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