An Expert's Guide To Finding The Right Cleanser For Your Skin Type

Skincare routines can, at times, feel pretty daunting—from the endless serums and creams to navigate through, right down to remembering which order the products are meant to go in—but as any expert will tell you, there’s one non-negotiable step that can’t be overlooked: a cleanser. While arguably not the most exciting aspect of a skin routine, it’s a crucial step to ensuring a healthy, glowing complexion. It’s also not a one-size-fits-all kind of situation, and pinpointing the right cleanser comes down to determining your skin type, says Charlotte Messam, Biossance Education Manager Asia Pacific.

“Cleansing is such an important part of your skincare ritual and nothing is more essential to achieving a healthy skin microbiome than the perfect cleanser,” Messam explains. 

In addition to finding the right cleanser for your skin type, Messam adds it’s also important to make sure you’re keeping on top of other factors that help to achieve the perfect cleanse. 

Water temperature

According to Messam, water temperature “should be tepid, not too hot and not too cold.” Personally, the skincare expert says she likes to cleanse her skin at the basin, rather than in the shower, knowing that often shower temperatures are either too hot or too cold for a beneficial cleanse. “If your water happens to be too hot or cold you are likely to notice some redness, dehydration and sensitivity.”

Timing

“Recent studies have shown that the amount of time you spend cleansing your skin plays a role in the effectiveness of your cleanse,” Messam explains. “At the end of a long day, all we want is that makeup off, so we can jump into bed but, don’t rush… spend at least 30 seconds massaging your cleanser into your skin before you rinse. If you’re wearing makeup or SPF daily, make sure you rinse and repeat, giving your skin a double cleanse.” 

Tools

While Messam says tools are not a required step with a good cleanser, there are modern ones that you can use to give the skin an even deeper cleanse. “There are cleansing brushes, muslin cloths and bamboo reusable cleansing pads to name a few.”

If your skin tends to be on the dry and/or sensitive side, Messam suggests using a cream, jelly or oil cleanser. 

“These cleansers contain additional oils which will nourish and leave skin more hydrated rather than stripping any moisture away,” she notes. 

“I love the Biossance Squalane + Elderberry Jelly Cleanser. This innovative cleanser transforms from a gorgeous, naturally hued purple jelly to a silky oil and rinses clean as a luxuriously soft cleansing milk, so it’s perfect for dry skin. Your skin should feel comfortable after cleansing, any sign of tightness is a sign that your skin is being dehydrated.” 

Go-To Fancy Face Oil Cleanser: A luxe formula that nourishes while it cleanses, Fancy Face works hard to remove dirt, oil, makeup and SPF, leaving the skin feeling hydrated and refreshed.

Fresh Soy Face Cleanser: A much-beloved cleanser worldwide, Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser is a pH-balanced face wash that gently melts away dirt and makeup, finished off with its toning properties that leaves skin supple and soft. For those with combination skin, Messam says that a mixture of cleansers can be used depending on personal preference.

“I would suggest starting with an oil or balm cleanser to really break down dirt and makeup and then follow with a gel to leave the skin feeling fresh. Once again, any sign of tightness I would switch out my gel for something more hydrating or just double-cleanse with my oil or balm cleanser twice.”

“Keep your eye out for our upcoming launch, the Biossance Squalane + Amino Aloe Gel Cleanser, launching in October. It’s a gentle and soothing gel, with a non-stripping formulation to leave skin soft and hydrated.”

Hunter Lab Charcoal Cleansing Stick: Offering up a deep cleanse, Hunter Lab’s cleansing stick uses natural and vegan ingredients to both clean and purify the skin, leaving a bright and glowing complexion in its wake. 

The Ordinary Supersize Squalane Cleanser: For those looking for a gentle cleanse that doesn’t leave skin feeling tight, The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser provides a gentle, yet smoothing, formula that removes makeup and stubborn build-up.If your skin leans towards the oily side, Messam recommends using gel cleansers that will foam up and leave the skin feeling fresh and clean, also noting that just because you tend to have oily skin doesn’t mean you have to steer clear of oil cleansers. 

“Something worth noting, even if you have oily skin it doesn’t mean you need to stay away from oil cleansers, as oil acts to break down any excess oil on the skin surface. I would recommend looking for one that is lightweight and non-comedogenic (will not clog your pores) such as the Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil.” 

Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser: Working to refine pores, even skin texture and diminish fine lines, this powerful cleanser is formulated with glycolic acid and is perfect for giving skin that extra brightening boost. 

Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Cleansing Gelee/Refiner: A foaming, multi-action gel cleanser that’s infused with exfoliating beads, the Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Cleansing gel removes skin impurities without drying it out, leaving skin healthy, fresh and luminous.