The first step to choosing a facial cleanser is to determine your skin type with the help of a professional, advises Lauren Napier, celebrity makeup artist and founder of CLEANSE by Lauren Napier. “Once you know your skin type, you’ll know what your specific skincare needs are, whether that’s to balance and hydrate or reduce oil production,” says Napier.
“A gel cleanser is great for acne-prone or oily skin because it is very lightweight,” says Napier. “A creamy cleanser will be too heavy and might cause further congestion of the pores.”
Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser
“If you are acne-prone and need to remove makeup, this cleanser will really give you a nice lathering effect for clean, balanced skin,” says Napier.
“Women with dry skin types should search for a cream cleanser or a cleansing oil,” says Napier. “These formulas will add moisture while you cleanse to help combat excess dryness you would get from a gel cleanser.”
Shu Uemura Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil
“A cleansing oil helps retain moisture if your skin is really dry. This is one I absolutely love,” says Napier.
($90, Shu Uemura)
“When you have combination skin, you can use a combination of products,” says Napier. “You can use a cream cleanser on areas that are dry, or rub a dab of gel cleanser on your T-zone, which tends to be oilier. This way, your skin is reaping the benefits of both products and creating a personalized routine.”
Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream
“This is a great cream cleanser that will remove dirt without making the skin feel dry,” says Napier.
($29, Dr. Hauschka)
Women with normal skin types don’t have to worry about dry patches or oil-induced breakouts, but it’s still important to find an effective cleanser to remove buildup on the skin, morning and night. “Exfoliating cleansers help lift excess residue from the skin and also have brightening properties which are great for normal skin types,” says Napier.
Tata Harper Regnerating Cleanser
“I love this product as an exfoliating cleanser because it’s very gentle and a little goes a long way,” says Napier.
“No matter what your skin type, it’s a must that you remove makeup thoroughly and gently every night before bed,” says Napier. She warns that if you’re acne-prone, it’s important not to over-scrub your skin, which could cause further irritation, scarring or breakouts.
“The fabric is woven so it’s very gentle on the skin. Whether you have acne-prone or sensitive skin, these wipes won’t disrupt your complexion. If you have oily skin, the wipes can lift some of that oil and refine your skin overall,” says Napier.