Cream, foam or oil? Which cleanser you should actually use, according to your skin type.

Ahh, cleansing. It's the first step in your skincare routine and absolutely one of the most important. As the name suggests, it cleanses the skin of all the nasties that have built up throughout the day, while also making sure your skin is prepped and primed for the steps to follow.

Here are seven ways to improve your skin while sleeping. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

When it comes to choosing the right cleanser, you need to consider your skin type, what consistency you like, and any other skin concerns. It's a lot.

To make it simple, we've broken down the main types of cleansers, what they do and which skin type should be using them. We've also included two examples: one slightly more expensive 'spendy' choice, alongside an affordable 'savey' option. But you'll want to do your product research to find the one that suits you best.

Micellar water.

Micellar water (also known as cleansing water) is a perfect product to remove makeup. It's made up of 'micelles', which are tiny drops of cleansing oil molecules that are suspended in water.

You pour the water-like substance onto a cotton pad, swipe it across your face and makeup comes off easily. Many women, including You Beauty's Leigh Campbell and Amy Clark, have replaced their cleanser in the morning with just micellar water.


“If you’re using the right products for your skin at night, there is really no need to cleanse in the morning. Simply splash the face with water to freshen up, and go straight in with your morning serums, moisturiser and SPF,” Skin therapist and Botanicals by Luxe founder Bec Connolly told Mamamia.

What skin type should use it: almost every skin type can use micellar water. But if you're sensitive, you'll want to do a patch test first.

GARNIER Micellar Cleansing Water, $13.99.


Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micelle Solution, $29.99.

Oil cleanser.

Oil cleansers are having a moment in 2020, and that's because they're objectively great. They remove makeup, sunscreen, dirt and grime that's built up throughout the day before you go in with your cleanser of choice. 

That's right, before another cleanser.

If you haven't heard of double cleansing, it's a really great way to ensure your skin is squeaky clean. The trick is to start off with an oil-based cleanser to remove all your makeup, sunscreen etc, followed by your water-based cleanser to ensure your skin is truly clear of everything (including the oil cleanser) and ready for your next skincare steps.


If you're already using micellar water and cotton pads or makeup remover wipes to remove your makeup, consider going a little more eco-friendly and ditch them for an oil cleanser. 

What skin type should use it: again, almost every skin type can use oil cleansers. But if you are sensitive, patch test first.

Natural Instinct Skin Refining Cleansing Oil, $21.99.


GO-TO Fancy Face Oil Cleanser, $45.

Foam cleanser.

Typically, we've been taught to combat oily skin with foaming or gel cleansers to reduce the amount of oil on our skin. However, as Leigh Campbell explains, we're kinda doing it wrong.

"I prefer oils, milks and creams, because they are generally less stripping on the skin," she shared.

"As an oily/combo girl I used to reach for a foaming gel cleanser in a bid to wash away the oil, but that process 'told' my skin that the oil was gone and it needed to produce more. Thus, a vicious cycle was started. I prefer to wash really gently, leaving my skin feeling hydrated and subtle, avoiding that squeaky clean feeling," she said.


Gel cleanser.

Again, despite gel cleansers being marketed towards people with oily and combination skin, they can be quite harsh and stripping of the skin's natural oils. But if you like using a gel cleanser because you're into the consistency, we suggest looking for one that's on the creamy side. 

What skin type should use it: Oily and combination skin types, if gel's more your jam.

Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel, $22.


FRESH Soy Face Cleanser, $56.

Cream cleanser.

If you're looking for hydrated skin that feels moisturised before you've even applied your moisturiser, then we highly recommend a cream cleanser. They not only feel divine on the skin, but they also lock in all that moisture that makes your skin ultra-dewy.


And you're in luck, there are plenty of great options to choose from.

What skin type should use it: oily, combination and dry skin types.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, $12.99.

Lanolips Face Base GelCream Cleanser, $23.99.


Milk cleanser.

Milk cleansers are another great, moisturising cleanser. They are much lighter on the skin than cream cleansers, so if you find those a little heavy, you might prefer these. And if you tend to be sensitive to ingredients, these work a treat.

They apply like micellar water does, just with a little more creaminess (think about water compared to milk.)

What skin type should use it: oily, combination and dry skin types.

Dr LeWinn's Sensitive Cleansing Milk, $24.95.


Edible Beauty Cleansing Milk, $54.


Lastly, if you have sensitive skin don't worry - you can still vibe with all the cleansers above. Just consider what skin type you have besides being sensitive (whether you get oily or are more the dry type), figure out which cleanser is best and then choose something that won't irritate your skin. Generally, look for products that are fragrance-free (fragrances can be a massive aggravator).

Here are two popular options for sensitive types:

QV Face Gentle Cleanser, $12.95.


La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser, $27.95.

What's your favourite cleanser? Let us know in the comments.

Feature image: Instagram/@lanolips @biodermaaustralia