7 Types of Facial Cleansers and How to Use Them

Facial cleansers have components that facilitate deep cleansing of the skin. We'll tell you how to use each variety.
7 Types of Facial Cleansers and How to Use Them

Last update: 04 July, 2023

There are different types of facial cleansers on the market with formulas that adapt to each skin type. Knowing their characteristics and how to use them properly is crucial in order to make the most of their properties. In this way, your face will be hydrated, luminous, and radiant.

However, it must be taken into account that their main function is to remove makeup residues, sweat, oil, dead cells, and other impurities that accumulate on the surface of the skin. Hence the importance of knowing how they work and which one is best suited to individual needs. Read on!

Types of facial cleansers and their proper use

Regardless of the type, facial cleansers have characteristics that allow them to optimally remove traces of environmental pollution, makeup, sweat, oil, microorganisms, and traces of dead skin.

All this must be done without altering the skin pH and without dragging the hydrolipidic barrier. For this reason, their formulas usually have a pH that varies between 4.5 and 8. They also contain detergent active ingredients that dissolve oil residues.

Since water alone has no such function, these characteristics make them the best complements for deep cleansing. What are the types of cleansers and how to use them? Here’s how to use them.

1. Emulsions

Emulsions are one of the most recognized types of facial cleansers. They’re also identified as ‘cream cleansers’ or ‘makeup remover emulsions’. The main function of this product is to remove lipophilic (greasy) and hydrophilic (liquid) substances present on the skin. They’re available in two varieties:

  • Cold-cream: These have a high water content. Therefore, when applied on the skin, they evaporate and give a feeling of freshness.
  • Evanescents: These have a formula composed of an oil base, stearic acid, and mineral and vegetable oils. Its aqueous base has humectants and triethanolamine.

The proper way to use this cleanser is to apply it with a cotton pad or directly with the hands. Beforehand, the skin should be moistened with warm water, massaged very well, and then removed with warm water to eliminate grease residues. Due to this lipophilic base, it isn’t recommended for use on combination or oily skin.

2. Cleansing oils

Cleansing oils are composed of natural oils, waxes, butters, or other lipids that may be synthetic. Because they don’t have an aqueous phase, they’re ideal for dry skin because they add a good amount of oil. In this way, they support its hydration and recovery.

They aren’t recommended for combination and oily skin. It’s sufficient to apply a small amount on the face to obtain its effect. Afterwards, remove the residues with lukewarm water and a soft towel. If a greasy sensation remains, you can complement the cleansing with a neutral soap.

3. Foaming cleansers

Foaming cleansers are very light products whose composition is mostly aqueous. Its base can be distilled water or hydrolates. In smaller quantities, it contains fatty compounds such as vegetable glycerin, surfactants, and natural preservatives.

This product is very simple to use. The container is pumped to obtain the foam on your hands or on a cotton pad. It is then applied with gentle massages and rinsed with cold water. Because it’s so thin, it’s optimal for oily or combination skin.

4. Gel cleansers

Cleansing gels have a water base nourished with natural extracts, and hydrolates, among others. Likewise, they have an alcohol component that should never exceed 20% of the total formula. Its texture is soft, not very greasy, and very refreshing.

To use it, it’s necessary to moisten the face a little. Once this is done, rub the gel with your fingers on the skin. It’s advisable to massage it in a circular motion so that the product penetrates well. Finally, rinse with lukewarm or cold water to remove any residue.

5. Biphasic cleansers

Biphasic cleansers or make-up removers can be identified at a glance because they have two colors, each with different characteristics. You can see that one is on top of the other and, even if you mix them, they’ll separate again.

This is because the product is composed of two phases, one oily and the other aqueous; the latter is always on the bottom and contains the surfactant components. It’s an ideal product for all skin types, especially for combination skin.

Its popularity is due to the fact that it helps clean all types of makeup, even waterproof makeup.

Before use, it should be mixed well so that the two phases are completely united. Apply with a cotton pad and wipe over the entire face to ensure that all possible traces of dirt are removed. To remove oily residues, it can be supplemented with a cleansing foam or gel.

6. Micellar water

This product has gained popularity thanks to its benefits as a facial cleanser. It’s composed of micelles and surfactants that have a high capacity to remove dirt from the face. It can be liposoluble or hydrosoluble.

It also has astringent, moisturizing, and emollient agents. It’s available on the market in different formats and brands. You can choose the one with the characteristics that best suits the needs of your skin.

To apply it, place a sufficient amount on a cotton pad. After that, rub it with gentle touches all over your face. Let it act for a few seconds and massage with circular movements to remove impurities.

7. Make-up remover wipes

Make-up remover wipes also have a place in this list of facial cleansers. They’re a quick option to remove the makeup, grease, or dirt that accumulates on the face.

However, their use shouldn’t be primary, as they aren’t a product designed for deep cleansing. It’s even recommended that after cleansing with them, they should be complemented by cleansing with water or another light product.

Which of these types of facial cleansers do you prefer?

You now know seven types of facial cleansers and the correct way to apply them. You also know which ones are the most suitable for each skin type. So, choose the one that you think helps you the most to achieve a deep cleansing of your face.

Remember that the skin cleansing routine shouldn’t be overlooked. Leaving dirt and cosmetic residues on the skin can lead to breakouts, dryness, premature wrinkles, among other aesthetic problems.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.