How to choose the best cleanser for your skin type

As a general rule of thumb, look for fragrance-free liquid facial cleansers with a moisturizing mixture of emollients and humectants to help restore the moisture skin barrier and limit any disruption caused by the surfactant. Occlusive emollients impair evaporation of skin moisture by forming a film on the skin surface to prevent water loss and humectants attract and bind water. Together, these moisturizers maintain skin hydration as well as the skin barrier.

The sooner you figure out which facial cleanser is best for your skin type, the faster you will have the soft, supple, young-looking skin you want.

Women with oily or acne-prone skin are apt to scrub a little too enthusiastically, using harsh soaps. In doing that, they strip the skin of its natural oils, causing the oil glands to panic and overproduce sebum – ultimately leading to breakouts. Skip the scrubbing and the soap, please! Instead use an oil-free gel or foaming cleanser – either will remove excess oil and dirt without dehydrating your skin. Still feel oily after cleansing? Clear out your pores further by steaming your face.

If your skin type is dry skin, use a rich, cream-based cleanser containing emollients like fatty acids or glycerin. If your skin is super-dry and flaky, try a tissue-off cleanse – it leaves a thin layer of moisture on the skin.

For combination skin type (part dry and part oily), stick to cleansers formulated specifically for the combination skin. These ultra-gentle cleansers will help balance your complexion, perfectly prepping it for your moisturizer.

If your skin type is sensitive skin, go for a thin cleansing lotion that is hypoallergenic, allergy-tested or fragrance free. However, keep in mind that the claim “fragrance free” can be tricky. Just because the cleanser does not have fragrance added to it does not mean that it is without a distinct scent. Try the cleanser only on your neck for a few days. If it irritates your skin, try something even milder. Many pros sing the praises of “all-natural” or “organic” cleansers for sensitive skin – but are they really more gentle on your skin? Here is a mini-guide to the most popular natural ingredients out there. Look for moisturizers: Olive oil, shea butter, avocado oil, honey, milk; skin-soothers: Aloe vera, lavender, chamomile, geranium, green tea;  Oil-fighters: Tea tree oil , citrus (lemon, orange, bergamot), ylang-ylang, rosemary.

The great thing about normal skin is that you don’t need to pick a formula that fixes anything! Go for an SPF-infused cream cleanser or a pack of disposable cleansing cloths for normal skin. Just make sure your cleanser leaves you feeling supple, not tight.

The best cleansers for hyperpigmented skin are those that exfoliate, because they slough off the top layer of skin, along with dark marks. Avoid cleansers containing manual exfoliators like micro-beads, salts, ground nuts; and so on they can cause irritation, which leads to more dark spots. Instead, look for those containing glycolic acid, which is gentle.

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