Fashion & Beauty

The best facial cleansers for your skin type

With so many cleansers making bold skincare claims, we asked the experts where to start

Hands up! Do you occasionally sleep in your make-up? Or skip a face wash once the day is done? No judgement here (we promise), but you should be cleansing your face as often as you brush your teeth – morning and night!

Choosing the best facial cleanser is a fundamental step in maintaining healthy skin. Let’s delve into why it’s crucial.  

Why cleansing your face is important 

The bottom line is this: Clear, healthy skin results from consistent cleansing. Throughout the day, your skin accumulates dirt, oil, bacteria, environmental aggressors, dead skin cells and more. Think of your pores as tiny highways – skipping cleansing is like blocking these highways with traffic jams (debris). Regular cleansing keeps the highways clear, preventing breakouts and allowing your skincare products, such as serums, moisturisers and treatments, to penetrate more deeply.

How to wash your face properly

Use your best facial cleanser as instructed, but be sure to use lukewarm water. Hot water can strip your skin of natural oils, while cold water might not effectively remove impurities. Don’t forget to extend your cleansing routine down your neck, then after cleansing, pat  your face dry with a soft towel – don’t rub – to avoid irritating the skin. For added benefits, exfoliate after cleansing one to two times a week to reveal a brighter complexion. Be gentle – there’s no need to scrub  like you’re sanding wood!

Which facial cleanser is best for every skin?

  • Oily skin: Opt for a gel or foaming cleanser, or one that has a bit of lactic acid to effectively remove excess oil without over-drying. 
  • Dry or sensitive skin: Choose a cream cleanser with a milky texture. Look for hydrating ingredients such as shea butter, hyaluronic acid and aloe vera gel.
  • Acne-prone skin: Consider a cleanser with retinol or salicylic acid.
  • Normal or combination skin: Opt for a gentle gel cleanser containing ceramides and peptides, which protect and nourish

How to double cleanse

Japan and Korea are the founding fathers of double cleansing. Japanese geishas used cleansing oils followed by a foamy cleanser to remove their make-up as early as the 14th century! Over the past decade, it has migrated into Western culture and gained popularity worldwide.  The technique involves using two different types of cleansers sequentially – typically an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser.

Oil-based ones are gentle and effective at removing make-up and sunscreen without stripping the skin, while water-based cleansers provide a deeper cleanse without causing irritation. Double cleansing provides a thorough deep clean to ensure that all traces of make-up, sunscreen, dirt, pollutants and excess oil  are effectively removed.  It can also help improve  the overall appearance of your skin. 

Our beauty editor’s top picks


Alpha-H Melting Moment Cleansing Balm

from $69.95 at Alpha-H

A waterless balm-to-oil cleanser formula that melts away makeup, sunscreen, dirt and excess oil. Formulated with native Australian Davidson plum for extra radiance, anti-inflammatory Grapeseed Oil and nourishing Vitamin E, the Alpha-H Melting Moment Cleansing Balm leaves skin looking and feeling soft, luminous and plump.


Illuminating Oil Cleanser

$79 at Emma Lewisham

This luxe facial oil cleanser will take off every last scrap off makeup, while leaving your skin feeling nourished and bouncy. Formulated with fatty acids and Vitamin E-rich ingredients like rosehip, macadamia and chia, the only thing it will leave behind is a dewy, fresh complexion.


Dr. Lewinn’s Daily Cleansing Balm

$59.99 at Adore Beauty

This is a balm-to-oil cleanser, ideal for removing waterproof makeup, sunscreen, dirt, and pollution without stripping the skin. Its nurturing formulation includes shea butter, squalane and hyaluronic acid, making it ideal for dryer skin types. It can be used with or without water, meaning it offers an extra-gentle yet thorough cleansing experience.


Go-To Properly Clean Cleanser

$33 at Go-To Skincare

If you don’t feel like you’ve cleaned your face until it’s had a big lather of suds, opt for this mousse-formulation from cult-favourite Aussie skincare brand Go-To. Unlike harsh foamy cleansers, it’s made from a gentle-but-effective formulation, which turns into bouncy bubbles through the pump dispenser. It also smells like a dream.


Trilogy Rosehip Cream Cleanser

$27.99 at Life Pharmacy

This skincare staple has been a fan favourite for a long time, thanks to its rich, creamy formulation suitable for all skin types. Now it’s boasting a brand-new and even more hydrating formula, packed with gentle emollients, and no harsh surfactants.

Related articles:

Get your favourite magazines home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.

Related stories