How to Pick the Right Facial Cleanser for Your Skin Type

Cleansing is one of the most important parts of a skincare routine. It can unfortunately also be one of the harshest and damaging parts of your skincare routine, so it is essential to pick a cleanser that is gentle and non-stripping regardless of your skin type. It's also important to note that your skin changes all the time. You might have combination skin during the hot summer months, which might change into more of a normal/dry skin type in the winter. 

Our philosophy when it comes to skincare at Smood is to "listen to your skin's mood." This means really looking at your skin's current condition and tailoring your skincare routine accordingly with the appropriate products. For example, if your skin is feeling a little extra dry during the winter months, perhaps try switching to a more hydrating cleanser or a more occlusive moisturizer with hydrating oils in it.

With that being said, here are some suggestions for you based on your skin type and how your skin is currently feeling: 

Combo/Oily Skin

This is the most common type of skin for those who tend to be acne-prone. Be very careful when using cleansers that specifically target acne or oily skin. A lot of the times they can be overly drying, which disrupts the skin barrier and may strip your skin of essential oils - causing your skin to produce sebum in overdrive! 

What to look for: a gentle, foaming gel-cleanser or foam cleanser. Consider looking for formulas with gentle AHA's (alpha hydroxy acids) or BHA's (Beta Hydroxy acids). These help exfoliate but also hydrate the skin. 

Acne-Prone Skin

For those with acne-prone skin, it is absolutely essential to find a gentle formula (as always!) that doesn't strip your skin. If you are already using topical products such as retinoids, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid that tend to be drying and irritating to the skin - your best bet is to use a very mild cleanser with hydrating ingredients. Most people fall into the trap of using harsh acne-fighting cleansers on top of using drying spot treatments, which really irritate the skin and disrupt the skin barrier. Alternatively, if you do not use any other acne-medicated skincare product, you may opt for a benzoyl peroxide face wash. A 4% benzoyl peroxide concentration is sufficient, any higher of a % isn't necessarily more effective and will just cause more irritation. 

Dry Skin / Sensitive Skin

Dry skin and sensitive skin are not the same skin types, but they both require similar needs. You really need to focus on using gentle cleansers. There is a myth that using a cleanser that foams a lot is too harsh and drying for people with dry or sensitive skin. There are many cleansers with gentle surfactants nowadays that are able to produce a thick, generous lather without overly drying the skin. Many formulations also include oils and hydrating humectants, which help offset the drying effects of cleansing. With dry skin, you may want to opt for a milky cleanser that is oil-rich and doesn't foam as much. Cream cleansers and cream to foam cleansers are also a great option. 

What to look for: a gentle, milky/cream cleanser, cream to foam cleanser, oil cleansers 

Normal Skin 

You're very lucky if you have normal skin! Ultimately you can use any type of cleanser, but ideally look for a gentle one that doesn't strip your skin. Ideally find a cleanser that contains hydrating ingredients like glycerin and beneficial oils to ensure your skin stays moisturized. 

What to look for: gel cleansers, foaming cleansers, cream to foam cleansers

Cleansing oils and Cleansing Balms

For those of you who wear makeup and sunscreen, you may find it very beneficial to double cleanse. This usually involves using a cleansing oil or a cleansing balm to initially remove and "melt" the makeup/sunscreen off, followed by a second cleanser which tends to be water based to fully cleanse the skin. ALL skin types can benefit from using these types of cleansers and for those of you who are oily and/or acne prone, do NOT be scared of using cleansing oils and balms on your skin! They simply help breakdown the makeup and oil on your face. For those of you who have very, very dry skin - you may find that using a cleansing oil twice is enough and more gentle on your skin than following up with a cleansing foam. 

Cleansing wipes 

While cleansing wipes can be super convenient to use (especially after a long night, we get it!), cleansing wipes are problematic for several reasons. Firstly, they don't tend to remove makeup and sunscreen very well. Secondly, people tend to tug at their skin too much while using it, in an effort to remove everything on their skin. Tugging and pulling on the skin leads to redness, irritation and overtime - wrinkles! Thirdly, makeup cleansing wipes are very environmentally unfriendly and lead to so much trash in the landfill. So we definitely recommend using a cleansing balm or cleansing oil instead. It's better for your skin and the environment!  

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