Gel, foam, or cream cleanser?


Do you know what type of cleanser you’re using? And is it the right one? 

It’s always good practice to assess your cleansing routine and make sure you are using the best possible skincare solutions. Our skin can change due to hormones, environmental issues and a whole myriad of other factors – so if something has worked for you previously it may not be as effective if your skin has changed since starting it.

Depending on your skin type, certain cleanser formulations may work better for you. The three most common cleanser types are gel, foam and cream. 


Do you have dry, sensitive skin? A cream cleanser is possibly the right fit. Cream cleansers provide a mild and gentle cleanse that soothes and cleans skin without causing irritation or disruption to your moisture barrier. They are non-sudsy, and often work best when applied to your skin using just a small amount of water, followed by a toner. Cream cleansers are particularly good for soothing the skin and helping to retain moisture. If you have sensitive skin and tend to experience redness, tightness or flakiness, it’s possible that this formulation is the way to go! However if you’re more concerned with targeting oiliness and/or skin impurities, a gel or foaming formulation may work better. 


Typically, gel cleansers are recommended for normal and combination skin as they tend to work well at removing impurities while still being relatively gentle for non-sensitive skin. They tend to have a thick, gel-like consistency that will still provide some foam while maintaining a mild cleansing experience. While not foaming as much as a regular foaming cleanser, gel cleansers are still highly efficient and tend to work well for the majority of people. They usually have mild ingredients that provide a cleansing experience without disturbing your natural skin oils or PH balance. 


Foaming cleansers are usually geared towards people with oily or acne prone skin, as they provide a very deep cleanse and help to remove excess oil and impurities. They can be super helpful for issues relating to acne, blackheads and clogged pores. Foaming cleansers are intended to slightly dry out the skin to assist with keeping excess oil at bay, so they can sometimes cause irritation to people sensitive to the common ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate. It can be drying and can leave your skin feeling tight, although some foam cleanser formulations do include oils and emollients which can help to abate this. If dryness or irritation occurs then a foam cleanser is probably not what your skin needs! If your skin doesn’t have any issues with sodium lauryl sulfate then it’s absolutely fine to continue using cleansers that include it. Just make sure to assess how your skin feels while using the product, if you notice any discomfort then you will probably be better suited to a cream or gel formulation.

Cleansers are excellent for cleaning your skin and re-balancing your skin’s PH. They can assist with makeup removal but we always recommend using a micellar water in addition to your cleanser to ensure your skin is completely clean at the end of each day! 

See some of our favorite cleansers of each formulation below. 

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