Out of all the cleanser kinds, my collection currently consists of five different sorts - three of which are applied, kneaded in and washed away on a daily basis. Like anything within my beauty stash, I enjoy having a good selection, even if it means some options get a whole lot more love than any others, but since I have, at one point, had every kind of cleanser going, with them all getting well circulated, I thought I'd go through each type with a brief run-down, skin types they're best suited to and my favourite picks of the bunch (note: I've skipped on 'waters' - I can't justify them as a proper cleanser), for those new to cleansing or if you're wanting to expand the contents of your bathroom cupboards - ain't nothing wrong with that...
Balm. As my most used kind of cleanser, balms are by far my fave - one comes into play once a day, usually in the evening as a second and final step for makeup removal and a deep clean. Thick in texture, they're best slathered on to dry skin before massaging in to cover all areas including the neck. Here's where they transform into a more oilier consistency, making them easier to work with as they break down every scrap of makeup going.
Good for: All skin types.Favourite: Sarah Chapman Ultimate Cleanse.
Cream/Milk. Though very similar, in texture they're quite different with a cream being a lot thicker than a milk. Both are great for a first step cleanse in terms of breaking down makeup whilst nourishing the skin at the same time.
Good for: Sensitive, dry skin types.Favourite: Aurelia Miracle Cream Cleanser.
Clay. I've only recently delved into the world of clay-based cleansers having previously only reserved the stuff for blackhead extraction purposes in a face mask, but I'm in lurve. Refreshing, cooling with a slight tingle post removal, they're pretty thick to massage in but do the best deep-cleaning job without leaving things feeling dried out. Blemishes and breakouts be gone, say hello to a brighter, clearer complexion.Good for: Oily/combination skin types.
Favourite: Sarah Chapman Rapid Radiance Cleanse.
Foaming Wash. The one sort I stay well away from - side note: 'foam' does not mean you'll achieve a deeper clean. Unfortunately, the cleansers of this kind are laden with sulphates and alcohol which strip the skin of its natural oils, causing it to turn into panic mode and produce more as a protection barrier, all in all equalling a vicious circle. They're pushed at oily/blemish prone skin types promising to clear up breakouts but everyone and anyone should stay away, however, there are very few exceptions, one of those noted below, as it doesn't leave things feeling tight, my skin in fact loves the stuff and it even comes with a Caroline Hirons stamp of approval.
Good for: Nobody really - steer clear (although the below is an exception).Favourite: Perricone MD Nutritive Cleanser
Gel. The feeling of a gel on my face isn't one I tend to favour, but there is one that I will happily make the time for (see below). Gels can come in foaming or non-foaming form - and I highly recommend the latter if it's going to be your option of choice. I personally don't find them amazing for makeup breaking-down, but more of a refreshing, wakeup call as a morning step.
Good for: All skin types.
Favourite: Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel
Oil. My routine just wouldn't be without this sort for my cleansing step and I use it for the first time round to melt away makeup before I go in with a balm. A few drops massaged in feels incredibly dreamy and hydrating too - though don't opt for anything other than a plant-oil based option and oily skin gals fear not, oils are in fact one of the best ways to cleanse as it works with your skins sebum to pick up anything that's settled on the surface throughout the day.Good for: All skin types.
Favourite: Una Brennan Renew Cleansing Oil