There are so many ways to wash your face, but which one is right for you? We’re breaking it down with a helpful guide on how to choose the best face cleanser for your skincare needs.

Consideration #1: Face Cleanser Formulas

Today’s facial cleansers come in a wide variety of formulas to best suit your preferences and needs. Here are some of the most popular options:

  • Oil Cleansers: Oil-based cleansers help moisturize your skin while removing makeup and impurities. Ideal for all skin types, they’re ideal for protecting your skin’s natural moisture barrier.

  • Face Wash: Face washes that lather and foam are particularly good at cleaning the skin and can be used in conjunction with oil-based cleansers to help balance your skin’s natural oils.

  • Facial Scrubs: Exfoliating facial scrubs help remove dead skin cells while unclogging pores and stimulating your skin for a radiant, healthy glow. 

  • Micellar Cleansing Water: Long used in France, micellar water is a rinseless makeup remover and cleanser in one. As for how to use micellar water, this one-step face wash can be applied directly to the skin with a cotton pad — no rinsing required.

  • Facial Cleansing Pads: Ideal for those on the go, facial cleansing pads are the perfect solution for clean skin on demand. Stash these convenient pads in your carry-on, tote or gym bag for a quick and easy refresh anytime you need it.

  • Toner: Purifying and clarifying, facial toner removes excess oil and tightens pores without overdrying your complexion —  a must for those with combination skin.

Cucumber & Aloe Facial Cleansing Pads

Consideration #2: Skin Type

While the formulation you choose will likely come down to your personal preferences and lifestyle needs, you’ll also want to make sure the facial cleanser you choose is suited for your specific skin type:

Dry Skin

Parched skin needs a surge of hydration, and that extends to your face wash. Moisturizing formulas made with pure oils and essential fatty acids help protect your skin’s natural moisture barrier, while soothing ingredients like cucumber and aloe can help calm irritation.

TryCreamy Oil Cleanser or Cucumber & Aloe Facial Cleansing Pads 

Oily Skin

The best face wash for oily skin is one that eliminates excess oil without overdrying the skin (which ultimately just makes the skin rev up its oil production in response). 

TryThoroughly Clean Face Wash or Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleansing Pads

Sensitive Skin

When choosing the best face wash for sensitive skin, it’s important to look for nutrient-rich cleansers with mild ingredients that are gentle yet effective. (Think aloe, chamomile and cucumber.) 

TryGentle Nourishing Organic Cleanser or Cannabis Sativa & White Ginger Facial Cleansing Pads

Normal/Combination Skin

Combination skin needs a multitasking facial cleanser, so choose formulas that address dryness and oiliess alike. Toner is also a good option, as it removes excess oil without stripping the skin. For normal skin, the goal is maintaining its natural balance using this same approach.

TryThoroughly Clean Face Wash with Sea Kelp or Cucumber & Aloe Facial Toner

Blemish-Prone Skin

Exfoliating face cleansers can help boost radiance and improve texture, making them perfect for those with blemish-prone skin. Our diluted Kinder to Skin AustralianTea Tree Oil is also ideal for soothing blemishes and is gentle enough to be applied without a carrier oil.

Try: Kinder to Skin Australian Tea Tree Oil or Pineapple Enzyme Facial Cleansing Pads

Castile Liquid Soap for Face and Body

Consideration #3: Skin Changes

Once you know your skin type, don’t assume it’s set in stone. It’s actually common to have multiple skin types at the same time (think dry and sensitive skin or oily and blemish-prone skin). Also, your skin type can change over time or even adjust in response to hormonal changes — and that can mean changing your favorite face wash, as well.

Consideration #4: Lifestyle Needs

If you’re always on the go, you may benefit more from keeping facial cleansing pads in your bag. Alternatively, cleansing wipes or micellar water may be your best choice if you have a tendency to get lazy about your nighttime skincare routine. It’s all about finding a facial cleanser that you’ll actually use.

TryCucumber & Aloe Micellar Cleansing Facial Water

Consideration #5: Skin Concerns

For many people, finding the perfect facial cleanser comes down to addressing specific skin concerns. Those with blemish-prone complexions will likely want a face wash that helps prevent future breakouts, while those with sensitive skin will want soothing, gentle ingredients that help calm irritation if and when it strikes. If you struggle with dryness, oiliness, blemishes or sensitivity, it’s important to make sure your face wash is formulated to help you manage those issues.

From creamy face washes to convenient cleansing pads, we carry a variety of plant-based skincare solutions for all skin types and concerns. Shop our complete collection of Desert Essence facial cleansers here