Which Cleanser is Best for Your Skin Type?


For most of us, cleansing is the first part of our skincare routine (for some of us, it’s make up remover). We use our cleanser to remove dirt and impurities, and to prep our skin for all of the skincare products we use afterwards. For some of us, our cleanser also exfoliates, and for others it combines as a make up remover. It’s so important to choose a cleanser that is suitable for your skin type. Choosing the wrong cleanser may result in skin dryness, skin oiliness, impurities not being removed, and your skin not being prepped, so not getting the maximum benefits from your other skincare products (which is only wasting time and money, in addition to potentially ageing your skin). It used to be the case that certain types of cleanser suited one or two skin types, and as soon as your skin changed, you needed to change your cleanser type, however with advances in technology, this is not necessarily the case. For some types of cleanser, depending on your skin type, you can use them for most or all of your adult life, you just need to make sure it is suited to your skin type.


We love a good skin cleanse at Beauty Over 40, especially after a long, hot day – there is nothing better than that clean skin feeling. So what are our favourite cleansers, and what skin types do they suit? Read on to find out.

Cleansing Milks



Cleansing milks are extremely gentle, effective cleansers. The formulas are light, and tend to be made from an emulsion of water and fats. Cleansing milks cleanse without stripping your skin of its natural oils, leaving your skin hydrated and protected, so they are great for drier skin, and even combination skin types. Many sensitive skin cleansers are a cleansing milk (or a creme), as they are so gentle on your skin. There are so many great cleansing milks to choose from. We love the new Mavala Switzerland Clean & Comfort Caresse Cleansing Milk. Ophthalmologically and dermatologically tested, and rich in calming Aloe Vera, the light formula removes make-up, moisturises and soothes your skin in a single easy step. The gentle formula ideal for dry skin. 200ml RRP $23.95. Another great cleansing milk for drier skin types is the Ella Bache Lait à Démaquiller (Creamy-Rich Cleansing Milk). The rich, creamy cleanser gently removes make-up and impurities whilst reinforcing your skin’s natural hydrolipidic film. The instant lubrication you feel comforts even the driest skin leaving it feeling soft and protected. Your skin is gently and thoroughly cleansed, without feeling dry or taut. 210ml RRP $66.00. An old favourite of ours (we’ve used this on and off for many years) is the Clarins Cleansing Milk with Alpine Herbs (for Normal/Dry Skin). Formulated with plant extracts of St John’s wort, lemon balm and sweet almond, this gorgeously, delicately scented formula removes makeup and impurities, helping to restore balance to normal and dry skin. Your skin is left feeling comfortable, soft, supple and refreshed. 200ml RRP $45.00. For sensitive skin types, cleansing milks are a very gentle way to cleanse your skin. We love the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser. The exceptionally gentle, light milky lotion has been formulated to cleanse and remove makeup on all types of intolerant skin. The formula is enriched with moisturising glycerine, to gently nourish your skin. The formula is fragrance-free, and preservative free, and contains no tensio-active ingredients, to minimise the risk of intolerance. 200ml RRP $26.95.

Cleansing Foams



Cleansing foams tend to get a bit of a bad rap. People tend to think the formulas are drying, and people with dry or sensitised skins have tended to avoid foaming cleansers, and this is a shame, as there are all types of cleansing foams on the market today, including those suitable for drier skins. The ingredient that tends to dry our skin is Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (or SLS). It has been present in many cleansing foams, as it is the ingredient that gives cleansers (and shampoos etc) their foaming ability. However many of the foaming cleansers now tend to avoid this ingredient. So if you love a good lathering cleanse, look for a SLS free cleanser, and go for it! Our favourite foaming cleansers are the Jurlique Radiant Skin Foaming Cleanser, which contains an exclusive blend of botanicals including Birch, Calendula, Spilanthes, Rosemary, Yarrow, Lemon Balm and Licorice to help hydrate and protect your skin, as the cleanser gently removes makeup and impurities. The soft, lush foam hydrating cleanser is suitable for all skin types. The addition of superfine natural-based exfoliating minerals gently smooth and polish your skin to help reveal a radiant-looking complexion. 80g RRP $35.00. Another Cleansing foam we love for drier skins is the Shiseido Benefiance Extra Creamy Cleansing Foam. Containing Bio-Hyaluronic Acid, the formula foams instantly into an ultra rich lather, to gently yet thoroughly remove impurities and dead skin cells, without stripping your skin of essential moisture. Your skin is left feeling smooth and hydrated. 125ml RRP $82.00. Of course if your skin is prone to oiliness, breakouts and acne, there are foaming cleansers to cleanse your skin too. We love the SkinB5 Acne Control Cleansing Mousse, a gentle, non-drying antioxidant rich foaming cleanser that works to cleanse your skin of excess oil and bacteria, without drying out your skin. The formula, with Vitaminn B5, Green Tea, and Aloe Vera, helps to unclog and tighten pores, refine skin texture, and aid in skin healing. 150ml RRP $34.60.

Cream Cleansers



Cream cleansers tend to have very similar characteristics to cleansing milks. Like a cleansing milk, cleansing creams gently cleanse without stripping your skin of its natural oils, leaving your skin hydrated and protected. Cleansing creams tend to be thicker and richer than cleansing milks, and they glide easily onto your skin, so they are especially suitable for dry and sensitive skins, and especially mature skin, which can crave moisture. We love the IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser. The formula is actually a hydrating cleansing serum, however it’s formula is a cream texture, so we’re calling it a cream for this article. The anti-aging formula gently cleanses your skin and melts away makeup – even waterproof makeup. The combination of Hyaluronic Acid, Collodial Oatmeal, Peptides, Collagen, and Super Ceramide Complex in the cleanser provide your skin with intense hydration that leaves your skin soft, smooth and nourished. The formula is paraben, sulfate, and soap free, so it can be used on sensitive skin too. 140ml RRP $48.00. Another brilliant cleansing cream is the Nutrimetics Comfort Plus Cleansing Creme, formulated as an anti-ageing, sensitive skin cleanser. Containing Defensil Complex (to help calm sensitive skin), Camellia Extract (to help reduce the appearance of dark spots and skin redness), and Banana Flower Extract (to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles), the cleanser is formulated to calm and soothe as it gently cleanses away make-up and impurities without irritating leaving your skin feeling nourished and soft. 150ml RRP $36.00.

Cleansing Oils



You may think cleansing your skin with a product your skin already produces in excess is a little odd. Cleansing oils contain mostly botanical oils, so they are good for your skin, and these good oils bind to surface impurities on your skin to remove dirt and impurities without clogging your pores. Think “like cleanses like”, so the cleansing oil cleanses oil and sebum from your face. Additionally, as the oil cleansers hydrate your skin, they can stop your skin producing more sebum, which can lead to breakouts and acne. Cleansing oils are suitable for most skin types, except acne prone skin, just make sure you look out for a cleansing oil suitable for your skin’s needs. We love the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil, which is formulated with Squalene, a plant derived lipid with a natural affinity for skin, evening primrose oil, rich in omega-6 fatty acids, and lavender essential oil, to gently cleanse, and leave your skin balanced, soothed, and prepared for night-time skincare. The lightweight cleanser emulsifies with water to a cleansing milk, gently yet effectively dissolving even the hardest to remove makeup and impurities without over-drying. Suitable for all skin types (except acne). 175ml RRP $48.00. Iconic Shu Uemura Ultime8∞ Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil is infused with 8 precious botanical oil essences, merged together to effortlessly remove makeup and impurities, leaving your skin soft and moisturised. The cashmere-like texture, helps to renew skin quality, leaving it moisturised and feeling soft and smooth with less visible pores, for a luxury cleansing experience that is the ultimate in skin care. Suitable for all skin types (except acne). 150ml RRP $68.00. Also available in 450ml size. Trilogy Rosehip Transformation Cleansing Oil is a luxurious cleanser blended with a powerful combination of high performance pure plant oils, including Rosehip Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, and Papaya Seed Oil. The silky formulation instantly transforms from an oil to a cleansing milk when mixed with water and, once applied to the skin, goes straight to work to gently melt away make-up and impurities to leave your complexion soothed, nourished and perfectly cleansed in seconds. Suitable for all skin types (except acne). 110ml RRP $28.95.

Cleansing Gels



Cleansing Gels are perfect for all skin types, except very dry, and sensitive. Gel cleansers tend to provide a gentle, deep clean for your skin. As gel cleansers deep clean, they are good for oilier skin types, and those prone to breakouts, as they also sweep away surface oil and bacteria, leaving your skin with a fresh, clean feeling. If you like the texture of a Gel cleanser, look for on that suits your skin type. We love the RAWW Purify-ME Gentle Cleanser, with 100% natural ingredients like Wildberry Harvest for hydration, Kakadu Plum and Avocado Oil to help protect and nourish, the gel-like formula gently yet thoroughly cleanses your skin removing dirt and impurities, leaving you with clean, hydrated skin. Suitable for most skin types. 100ml RRP $19.99. The Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel is a multi-tasking wonder. The cleanser helps to detoxify pores, dissolve makeup, and remove surface oil. Containing Glycolic and Salicylic acids, with extracts of Peach, White Oak Bark, Lemon, Lime, Linden, Grapefruit, and Arginine, the formula helps to brighten and clarify your skin. Natural cell turnover is supported, to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. Your skin feels revitalised and clean. Ideal for all skin types except sensitive skin, including dry, sun damaged, normal, combination, oily, and acne prone skin. 250ml RRP $55.00. NB, as this product contains AHA’s, you should wear sunscreen whilst using this cleanser and for a week afterwards. The vegan friendly, cruelty free Vida Glow Gentle Antioxidant Cleanser is a very light cleansing gel, which gently yet thoroughly removes makeup and impurities. The addition of Glycolic Acid helps to detoxify your skin, whilst Marine Collagen works to rejuvenate and renew skin. Green Tea, Aloe Vera, Calendula and Sandalwood help to sooth and calm your skin, leaving your skin feeling clean and nourished. The non-drying cleanser is suitable for all skin types – I’ve been using it on my dry, mature skin, and it really works. 95ml RRP $39.95. A wonderful gel cleanser for normal/combination is the A’kin Purifying Gel Cleanser, a pH balanced cleansing gel which removes excess sebum and makeup in a non-drying formula. Your skin is left feeling thoroughly refreshed, vibrant and smooth. 150ml RRP $24.95.

Cleansing Balms



Cleansing balms are creamy, rich cleansers that remove makeup, dirt and impurities from your skin. The richness of the formula also protects your skin’s moisture balance, so they are great for dry to very dry skin types. Cleansing balms are oil based, containing a solid oily ingredient, which combine with an emulsifier, which then allows the balm to rinse off in water. If you have dry to very dry skin, you will love cleansing balms. Some of our favourites include the Nutrimetics Nutri-Rich Cleansing Balm, which is enriched with botanical oils, and the signature blend of Apricot Kernel Oil. The clever gel to balm formula gently yet thoroughly cleanses your skin, leaving it soft, glowing, hydrated and nourished. My skin actually feels as nourished as if I’ve applied a light lotion after using this. 100ml RRP $39.00. The lightweight formula of the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm transforms from a solid balm into a silky oil upon contact with your skin. The hydrating formula removes makeup and impurities, leaving your skin thoroughly cleansed, oh-so-soft, and nourished. 125ml RRP $56.00.

Micellar Waters



Micellar water burst onto the beauty scene with a bang, and now it seems we can’t live without it. It is such a time saver, and the no-rinse formula means it’s brilliant if you’re travelling. Micellar Water is made up of micelles, which are tiny balls of cleansing oil molecules, suspended in a soft water. These micelles are attracted to dirt and oil, so they draw out impurities without drying out your skin. Not only does Micellar Water work as a non-drying cleanser, it also removes makeup (stay in place or water proof makeup may need a second cleanse), and is very effective as a gentle eye make up remover too. As there are so many different types of Micellar waters available, they are suitable for all skin types – just look for one that meets your skin’s needs. We love the Bioderma Sensibo H2O, which is formulated for sensitive skin. The gentle formula cleanses and removes makeup from your face and eyes. The micelles in the formula ensure impurities are removed, whilst respecting your skins natural balance. 250ml RRP $21.99. Also available in 100ml and 500ml sizes, and as disposable wipes, and in formulas for dehydrated and oily skin types. The bi-phase NIVEA MicellAIR Expert Micellar Water lets you remove makeup like a pro, with 0% residue left on your skin. The MicellAIR Expert Waterproof Makeup Remover, is formulated with Black Tea, draws dirt and makeup away from your skin like a magnet, leaving it cleansed and moisturised. The formula even works on long-lasting makeup, and is gentle enough to use on your eyes and lips. 400ml RRP $13.99. Also available in disposable wipes, for cleansing on the go. Paraben & sulphate free, and suitable for all skin types, the Sukin Micellar Cleansing Water is a gentle Micellar Cleansing Water, infused with aloe vera to soothe and hydrate skin, and chamomile and cucumber to calm. Your skin is gently yet thoroughly cleansed and makeup removed, leaving your skin without the tight, dry feeling. 250ml RRP $10.95. Olay Luminous Micellar Water is a gentle micellar water that removes impurities and makeup, while effortlessly cleansing, hydrating and brightening your skin in one simple step. It is formulated with key ingredients to soothe, moisturise, hydrate and help renew skin cells, while fortifying your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Skin is left clean with an illuminated, youthful glow. 237ml RRP $12.99. From our organic, vegan, cruelty-free friends at Inika, we love the INIKA Organic Micellar Cleansing Rosewater. The naturally rose scented micellar water removes dirt and even the most stubborn makeup without drying your skin. Skin is left glowing, hydrated and nourished. The 100ml size is perfect for travel. 100ml RRP $29.00

Men’s Cleansers



Do men really need to use different skincare to women, or is this simply a marketing ploy. After all, isn’t skin just skin? Yes and no. Skin is defnitely just skin, however men’s hormones (think extra testosterone) tend to produce extra sebum and oil, and shaving your face daily can dry it out, so ideally, men should use skincare products specially formulated for their skin, and so it is with cleansers. The best cleanser for a man to use does depend on his skin type, and there are many good products available to care for his skin concerns. Some of out favourites are the Lab Series Multi Action Face Wash, with a special multi-action foaming cream that cleanses, exfoliates and conditions men’s skin. The lathering system helps to dissolve excess oil and unclogs pores. Purifying beads remove dead skin cells and impurities, whilst the vitamin enriched formula nourishes and re-conditions skin, prepping it for a close shave. Suitable for most skin types. 100ml RRP $32.00. The Natio for Men Daily Face Wash is a gentle gel to foam cleanser that sweeps away daily dirt, grime and pollution that cause breakouts and blackheads, so it’s great for oilier to combination skins. The cleanser gently yet effectively removes daily grime and impurities with nourishing aromatherapy protection. 150g RRP $11.95. The Clinique for Men Charcoal Face Wash is a gel cleanser that delivers a deep-pore clean for men’s skin. Formulated with Natural Charcoal, to help draw out the dirt and excess oil that can clog pores, the soothing, non-drying lather gently foams away impurities. The face wash leaves all skin types feeling fresh and comfortable. 200ml RRP $35.00.


So, there you have it – with so many different types of cleansers on the market, you now know which cleanser(s) suit which skin types, and as you can see, whatever your skin type, you have plenty to choose from. What is your favourite cleanser? What type is it? Why do you love it? Let us know in the comments below.


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