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Executive Summary

This article explores the many factors which can impact the selection of a cleanser, as well as the impact that these picks can have on the overall health, suppleness of your skin.


Cleansers, when used daily as part of your skincare routine, can clear away dirt, oil, and makeup from your face. The type of cleanser you use, as well as how often you cleanse your face and the way in which you do it, can greatly influence the health of your skin’s crucial moisture barrier. This barrier, comprised of skin cells, oils, and helpful bacteria, helps keep moisture in and irritants out. But careful cleansing can also help guard this barrier, preventing it from becoming stripped, which can lead to dryness and specific skin conditions like eczema. On the other hand, deep cleansing once or twice weekly can reveal fresh, healthy skin by clearing pores of dirt, oil, and makeup residue.

Types of Cleansing

There are four general categories of cleansing —- oil-based, water-based, clay-based, and gel-based. The type you find will depend on your skin type, goals, and preferences.

Oil-Based Cleansing

This type of cleanser, sometimes referred to as the oil cleansing method, helps to clean your face with oil, then finish with a warm cloth to wipe away the oil — along with all the makeup, dust, oil, and debris that has built up. Repeat this step again using a water-based cleanser. It’s important to again follow with a warm cloth to essure all residue is cleared away.

  • Oil-based cleansing helps eliminate waterproof makeup, ease eczema, and guards the skin’s moisture barrier.
  • It can also help melt away dirt and oil, and minimize pores.
  • It can be a good selection for people with dry skin.

Water-Based Cleansing

Water-based cleansing products are liquid-based and usually sold in a bottle with a pump. These can be quite gentle on the skin, and with the addition of mild cleansing agents, help clear oil, dirt, and makeup from the skin.

  • Water-based cleansing provides more lather than oil-based cleansing, which some find more enjoyable and refreshing.
  • It can also be an excellent choice for people with oily skin that is prone to breakouts.
  • It can also help improve skin texture and can help fade hyperpigmentation.

Clay-Based Cleansing

Clay-based cleansing products are more thick and mask like, featuring a paste-like consistency that needs to be applied evenly on the face before it can be wiped away. After removal, a light coating of cleanser residue leaves the skin slight tacky as it continues working deeper to extract oils and dirt from pores, absorb excess sweat, and treat acne.

  • Clay-based cleansing is less drying than other types of cleansing and has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
  • It can also help ease inflammation and prevent breakouts.
  • It can also help treat sunburns and reduce signs of aging.

Gel-Based Cleansing

Gel-based cleansing products resemble a thick gel and come in a bottle with a pump. This type of cleanser is especially known to help absorb excess oil and dead skin cells, and can also help fade hyperpigmentation.

  • Gel-based cleansing can help reduce pore size and treat mild acne.
  • It can also aid in reducing shine and can minimize lines and wrinkles.
  • It can also help treat skin conditions such as eczema and sunburns.


There, then, is not “best” type of cleanser. The ideal cleansing method for you will depend on your skin type, skin goals, and preferences. Clay-based and oil-based cleansing strategies help with deep pores cleansing and diminishing the risk of disease. All cleansing methods can help remove makeup, dirt, and oil from the skin’s surface. No matter what type of cleanser you plan to use, remember to be gentle and avoid scrubbing your face with a cleansing brush. This can damage skin cells and strip away beneficial oils, which then leads to your skin overdrying and compensating by overproducing oil. Gentle cleansing, in the other hand, helps keep skin calm, comfortable, and healthy.


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