Product Recommendations: Cleansers

Product Recommendations for Cleansers |

Here is a list of facial cleansers organized by the type of cleanser. It is broken down into product recommendations for bar soaps, foaming cleansers, non-foaming cleansers, cleansing balms, micellar cleansers, and cleansing oils. With the below chart, you can also see which type of cleanser is best for which skin type, pros and cons of using the particular type of cleanser, and both expensive and cheap product recommendations.


Type Skin Type Pros/Cons Expensive Cheap
Bar Soap Oily, tough skin PROS:
Cleans thoroughly

Cleans too thoroughly; Can be overly drying and irritating

(Cream or Gel)
Oily PROS:
Cleans thoroughly; Lasts a long time; Feels good while washing because of all the bubbles

Can be too drying; May not remove makeup well
Non- Foaming

(Cetaphil- type cleansers or lotions)
Dry, sensitive PROS:
Gentle; Light; Good as morning cleaners or cleansers for days you don’t wear makeup and/or sunscreen

Doesn’t remove makeup and/or sunscreen well; May leave a film
Cleansing Balms

(Cream or Oil)
All skin types PROS:
Not stripping; Removes makeup, sunscreen, and waterproof products well

Feels oily or greasy; Leaves a film; May make oily skin oilier

(Cleansing Waters)
All skin types, esp. dry and sensitive PROS:
Cleans without using water; Very gentle; Does not strip skin; Removes makeup and sunscreen

Have to use a lot of product to remove makeup and/or sunscreen; Tissuing off can be irritating for some people; Feels weird to not wash face with water; May leave a film
Cleansing Oils All skin types PROS:
Removes makeup, sunscreen, and other waterproof items; Rinses off with water; Helps improve complexion because of "likes dissolve likes"

May be drying; May cause breakouts; Must apply on dry skin with dry hands; Can make eyes cloudy if you get some into your eyes; Cheap in Asia (found easily in drugstores), harder to find in the US

Finding your holy grail cleanser may take some trial-and-error. But whatever you do, make sure your cleanser does not over-dry or over-strip your skin!

This is a growing list of cleanser recommendations and will be continually updated when there are new products. Please check back often!

Last updated: February 27, 2011

Product Recommendations: