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The Best Cleanser for Your Skin Type

We all wash our faces... right? But questions abound as to what formulas will work the best for your skin.

Learn the best cleanser for your skin type

Seems like an easy question but there are many considerations one should make when you really want to find the best cleanser for your skin type.. Foremost among them is recognizing your skin type and appropriately matching it up with the right formula.

What to consider first:


The most important consideration should be a question of secretion. How oily is your skin? Oily skins should use a cleanser with a bit more surfactant in them. In skincare, surfactants are cleansing and foam-forming agents. They form the basis of many cleansers. They allow the water and lipids in your skin to mix thus reducing the surface tension that exists between water and oil. Any oil and dirt present can easily be rinsed away from your skin. A good way to judge how much surfactant is in your cleanser is by how much it foams up. For oily skin you may want your cleanser to foam just a bit. Too much surfactant can leave skin irritated and create a dulling soap scum. For dry skin types you want very gentle surfactants in the formula, which means the cleanser has no visible foaming. A very common surfactant in foaming cleansers is sodium laurel sulfate. Many household cleaners, detergents and even toothpastes commonly contain sodium lauryl sulfate. This surfactant is overly harsh on all skin types, leaving your skin feeling tight and dehydrated. That squeaky clean feeling is not really what you want for healthy skin. This happens when the surfactant does more than remove the water and oil on the skin's surface, but goes down into the barrier layer and removes precious lipids between the cells that keep skin hydrated and protected from environmental irritants. So, you may want to throw away that bar of soap and opt for cleanser that will make your skin happy.


The next thing one should look at when choosing a cleanser is hydration. We now know that some surfactants like sodium laurel sulfate will dehydrate your skin because they remove too much of the protective lipid barrier, causing TEWL (Trans Epidermal Water Loss). So, a good cleanser for dehydrated skin types should contain humectants. Humectants are ingredients that attract water to the skin. They include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, sodium PCA, various glycols, amino acids, glycolic acid, various plant sugars, honey, and the B vitamin panthenol. Even though your cleanser is rinsed off, during that brief moment of being placed on your skin these cleansers bind to water, temporarily rehydrating your skin. The key here, if you have tight, flaky dehydrated skin is to follow it up using your cleanser with a humectant rich toner and then seal it in with an emollient moisturizer. All these products should contain some of the humectants listed above. Otherwise the moisture you just introduced through the cleansing process just evaporates. The best cleansers for hydration are water soluble milky cleansing lotions or creams, ones that are chock full of humectants.


Your skin may be under-circulated or over-circulated.

Under-circulated skin means that your skin just isn't getting the blood flow it needs to look fresh and vibrant. Your skin may be under-circulated if it appears dull or gray. You may have lost proper blood flow to your skin over time from environmental damage to your skin cells via sun or pollution. Start your morning with a gentle boost to your circulation by using a cleanser containing ingredients like rosemary, ginseng, or rose floral water. Spend a little time massaging in your cleanser to boost circulation and remove waste products your skin is trying to purge after a good nights sleep. You can use light tapping motions or circular motions, be creative. I also like to wash with cold water in the morning with my cleanser to jump start skin metabolism and autophagy. Autophagy is a way of clearing away damaged cells.

Over-circulated: Your skin may also be over-circulated. Over circulated skin means you are getting too much blood flow to the surface of your skin. This often presents itself as sensitive or rosacea prone skin. This type of skin may feel hot to the touch and becomes reactive when products are applied. Sensitive skins that feel hot may benefit from lighter weight cleansers (especially in summer) because light weight cleansers are less likely to hold in heat. On the other hand, sensitive skins that are reactive (especially in winter) need an occlusive cleanser to calm irritation. Many reactive skin types suffer from an impaired barrier and need a soothing, emollient formula. Emollients like avocado oil and olive oil both protect dry, sensitive, reactive skin. Ceramides are the natural lipids found in the outermost layer of the skin. Together with cholesteral and fatty acids they form a protective barrier helps keep skin hydrated and protects against skin irritation. Choosing the right cleanser for over-circulated skin can be tricky. Talk to your esthetician to help you decide. Remember your skin is unique. Communication with your esthetician is so important. Cleansers should not sting when you apply them. You shouldn't get uncomfortably red either.


In the morning you need a cleanser to wash away the oil and impurities your skin has purged while you slept. You also need to remove the remnants of the moisturizer and treatment products you applied the night before. It is so important to apply your Vitamin C and other antioxidants serums to fresh skin in the morning as this will maximize their benefit. However, your morning cleanser can be a lighter version of what you used the night before. For younger or oily skins that may mean choosing a gentle (detergent free) gel cleanser or light cleansing milk. Always follow up with a non-alcoholic toner to swipe away the residue from tap water that dulls and clogs your skin.

At night it depends on whether or not you are wearing makeup. You might need to double cleanse to remove your makeup effectively. Cleansers that are a little heavier or contain more oil will work better at dissolving makeup. The second cleanse can be with the same oil rich cleanser if you are very dry. But, you may want to choose a lighter followup cleanser, with less oil so to not leave an oily residue on your skin that prevents your night time treatment products from getting in effectively. A good test to see if you are actually removing all your makeup is to see if your toner wipes clean when following the cleansing step. You may need to tone twice or spend a little more time massaging in the cleanser before you remove it with warm water and a soft face cloth. Oh, and don't forget, sunscreen also needs to be removed at night, so don't skip this step.



Gel cleansers are clear and have a gel-like consistency. Generally designed for deeper cleansing, they are effective at decongesting clogged pores, removing excess oil and killing acne-causing bacteria, thanks to their antiseptic properties.

Gel Cleanser for oily or combination skin

Gentle Gel skips the harsh surfactants and replaces them with a low foaming, coconut derived cleansing ingredient. Great as a refreshing morning cleanser for oily or combination skin types.

Hybrid Gel Cleanser for younger, oily combination skin

Orange Essence is a great smelling hybrid gel cleanser (meaning its somewhere between a gel and a milk). It cuts a little more oil than our milky cleansers. It was expressly created for younger, oily combination skin types.


These popular cleansing emulsions simply glide over the skin and rinse off clean without feeling tight or greasy.

rich Milky Cleanser for sensitive, dry, dehydrated skin

Calming Chamomile Cleanser

is the richest cleanser in this class. Based on the soothing properties of Blue Egyptian Chamomile Oil it serves as a favorite for sensitive, dry or dehydrated skin types.

medium milky cleanser for normal skin

Aloeclens is a medium weight gentle milky cleanser using skin balancing, nourishing and healing cold pressed aloe vera extracts to calm, hydrate and cleanse normal to oily, sensitive skin types.

light weight milky Cleanser

Refresh is a gently stimulating, light weight milky cleanser to help perk up tired, devitalized skin. Especially great for an exhilarating morning cleanse to refresh your skin and ready it for the day ahead.

medium weight cleansing milk

Melt is a medium weight cleansing milk for dehydrated skin which is also perfect for nightly makeup removal when used alone or combined with another light cleansing milk or gel.

light weight balancing cleansing milk

Rosemary Cleanser is a very light weight balancing cleanser to help detoxify as it normalizes circulation for both sensitive oily skin and even devitalized normal or combination skin types.


Cleansing Souffle especially for removing makeup

Crème-Fraîche is a lush creamy cleansing souffle with a profound ability for effective makeup removal as well as initiating repair for a damaged barrier. Promoting better health for dry or sensitive skins. Often used in a double cleanse - paired with Refresh or Melt.


Exfoliating Cleanser for cleaning pores and eliminating bacteria

Jojoba Beads Exfoliating Cleanser was created to treat thicker, blemish prone skin and clogged pores via a deeper cleaning formula with pore clearing, anti-bacterial, salicylic acid plus exfoliating beads.

Elizabeth of Longevity Skincare

Elizabeth believes in "Longevity Skincare", the idea that beautiful skin can endure throughout one's lifetime when utilizing the best that science and nature has to offer. LONGEVITY is a science-based skincare line that appreciates skin of all ages. LONGEVITY by Elizabeth Renee provides hydration, nutrition and protection from environmental aging. Your skin will receive high performance ingredients to help energize and repair its cells, resulting in a healthy skin with an enduring, vital glow.

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