Which Type of Face Wash is Best for You?

Nikia K. Vaughan

When it comes to skincare routines for any skin type or concern, cleansing your face is the first and most basic step. Although cleansing itself is pretty straightforward, deciding which cleanser or face wash is best for you may not be easy. NKVSKIN is here to help!


We understand that the choices can seem overwhelming. Whether you’re searching for the best face wash for oily skin, dry skin, combination skin, or acne- or redness-prone skin, the following information will help you understand the differences between cleansers so you’ll know which type is best for you.


Be advised, all cleansers must be gentle, cleanse thoroughly without drying skin, not feel greasy or tacky after rinsing and irritant free. Never straying from these important cleanser tips will make all the difference in the world.


Cleansing Balms

Best for: Those who want a rich, ultra-moisturizing cleansing experience that removes makeup and leaves a soft, replenished feeling on skin after removal with a washcloth, which is our preferred method for this type of cleanser. Note: Do not “tissue off” cleansers because pulling and tugging at skin is damaging. A wet washcloth gently glides over skin, whereas tissues tug at it. They key to effective cleansing with a cleansing balm is with clean dry hands and dry skin.

Ideal skin types: Normal to very dry or eczema-prone skin.

Foaming Cleansers (Cream-to-Foam and Liquid-to-Foam)

Best for: Those who want thorough cleansing that removes most types of makeup, rinses cleanly, and provides a cushion-like foaming action that still leaves skin soft. Cleansers don’t have to foam to clean skin, but lots of people prefer the feeling of lather.

Ideal skin types: Combination to oily and breakout-prone skin of any age.


Water-Rinseable Cream and Lotion Cleansers

Best for: Those who want their cleanser to have a moisturizing, silky texture that feels protective as you wash and that cleanses while leaving a weightless veil of hydration after rinsing. These types of cleansers are adept at removing most kinds of makeup, but you may need a separate makeup remover for more tenacious products.

Ideal skin types: Normal to dry skin, including sensitive or redness-prone skin. These formulas replenish lipids lost during the cleansing process, and dry skin needs lipids to look and feel better.

Cleansing Oils

Best for: Those who wear heavier makeup or want to “double cleanse,” which means you should cleanse with an oil cleanser and follow with a gel, foaming, or lotion cleanser. Cleansing oils work beautifully for those who want a thinner, easier-to-use version of a cleansing balm that still leaves skin feeling soft and smooth while quickly removing makeup.


Ideal skin types: All skin types—even those with oily, problem skin—can use most cleansing oils, especially when used as part of a double cleansing process.


Soaps and Bar Cleansers


Best for: No one! Although there is no question that bar cleansers and soap provide thorough cleansing, they cleanse too well, disrupting the skin’s surface. The result is skin that feels dry and tight, and that is never a good thing. Some bar cleansers (like Dove Beauty Bar) are relatively less drying, but the ingredients that keep them in bar form can clog pores and lead to a dull-looking complexion.


Ideal skin types: None.