What Cleanser Works For Me?

What does a cleanser do (or should be doing)?

Cleansers are designed to remove environmental dirt and junk, as well as help balance our oil production.

How do you know which cleanser is right for you?

1. Determine your skin type:

Dry: Very small pores

Tightness (after cleansing or trough the day)

Dullness (your skin lacks glow)

Oily: Visible pores

Shine (it has to bother you trough the day)

Touchable oil (if you touch your face you will feel oil)

Combination: Comfortable skin that has a balanced oil production.

Sensitive skin: Has had an allergic reaction to a skin care product or allergen

in the past, this includes dermatitis, rashes, hives, swollen skin , sore skin , blisters etc…

2. Determine your cleanser type:


Dry skin tends to feel tight. It needs to keep the little bit of oil that it produces. Our naturally made sebum is the best substance to prevent premature aging and by using the wrong cleanser we cause that bit of sebum dry skin makes to be dissolved, causing that dreaded tightness and premature aging.

Choose a cream cleanser - cream cleansers will remove any environmental dirt and junk without striping away our precious naturally made sebum. Cream cleansers will give you comfortable skin that does not yell “MOISTURIZE ME” immediately after cleansing!

Cream cleansers in addition to exfoliants (I will write a post on exfoliants later on) will also help give your skin a healthy glow.

Use only cool to cold water to cleanse your skin and you will notice a huge difference!

My favorite: Aveda - Botanical Kinetics Purifying Cream Cleanser ($23)


Oily skin tends to look and feel oily, shiny, and have visibly larger pores (the amount of oil/sebum your skin produces naturally has to bother you trough out the day to qualify as oily skin type). This is the skin type most people think they have even when they don't!

Those with oilier skin will tend to break out more than other skin types, however your cleanser is not the product that will help prevent or control breakouts! We help prevent and control breakouts with exfoliants (I will write another post about exfoliants later on) and treatment products.

If we use a cleanser for oily skin and do not have oily skin we are striping away all that precious naturally produced sebum our skin has made, causing premature aging.

How do we know if our cleanser is too “oil striping” for us? If your face fells tight after cleansing you are over doing it!

Ok now to the cleanser type you should be choosing:

Foaming cleanser- one of those that comes out of the pump already foamed! Foam cleansers will remove environmental junk and dirt and strip away some of that over production of oil leaving your skin balanced trough the day.

My favorite: Aveda Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser ($28)


Combination skin tends to be balanced in oil production if proper products are being used! Your skin will not feel tight nor oily unless you do things out of your regular routine (travel, start a new workout routine or diet, experience high stress, expose your skin to extreme cold or hot temperatures, etc…) also, you could experience slight changes in your oil production depending on the season or weather.

If you experience tightness read and follow the dry skin part of this post.

If you experience shine or oiliness (that bothers you through out the day) read and follow the oily skin part of this post.

Now if you skin is a true and balanced combination choose between this cleansers:

Exfoliating cleanser- exfoliating cleansers will have beads or acids to help remove dead skin cells in addition to cleaning out any environmental junk leaving your skin perfectly balanced. People with touchable texture on their face should opt for this cleanser type. Always use with caution as they could cause redness which is a huge no no! I recommend removing exfoliating cleansers with cool water. If you experience any redness after using an exfoliating cleanser change it up!

My favorite: Aveda Botanical Kinetics exfoliating cream cleanser ($29)

Gel cleanser - gels that lightly foam will remove some of the oil your skin is producing and all the environmental junk and will leave your skin comfortable. More likely Combination skin types will choose this cleanser during the warmer months or if they live in a warmer weather area. You should never experience tightness after cleanser, if you do, use a cream cleanser.

My Favorite: Aveda Botanical Kinetics Purifying Gel Cleanser ($23)

Cream cleansers- creams will remove environmental dirt and junk without stripping your naturally made skin sebum leaving you skin comfortable. Combination skin types will more likely choose this cleanser during cooler months or if they live in a cooler weather area. I recommend always using cooler temperature water when using a cream cleanser since sebum dissolves in warm or hot temperatures and we want to keep the sebum our skin produced naturally.

My favorite: Aveda - Botanical Kinetics Purifying Cream Cleanser ($23)


Sensitive skin will have had a reaction in the past (dermatitis, rashes, hives, swollen skin , sore skin, blisters etc… ).

This skin type is all about trial and error when it comes to products, you need to try and try until you find what your skin likes. I recommend working with your dermatologist or esthetician to make this journey easier and find the right products for you!

**Skin that turns red easily is not sensitive skin, but reactive skin - If you deal with reactive skin you will get red easily. For this skin condition find your true skin type dry, oily, combination, or sensitive and follow the recommendations in addition to ONLY using cool-cold water on your face, patting dry your skin, avoiding any scrubbing or rubbing, massaging, scratching, basically any stimulation of circulation to the face, If you work out cool your skin immediately, by splashing cold water on your face, after woking out. **