Types of Facial Cleanser & When to Use Each One

No matter how busy you are and how packed your schedule gets, a few habits in life should remain consistent. Trying to catch your eight hours of sleep each night and spending time outdoors are important ones. Another habit that should remain regular? Washing your face! No matter how busy you are, starting and ending your day with clean skin is an absolute essential to keeping skin glowing. And no, plain soap doesn’t cut it. Proper cleansing requires a facial cleanser—and not just any cleanser. You need to put thought into what you use to wash your face, and when you should switch it up. Not all facial cleanser are created equal! Whilst clay, gel and cream facial cleansers all help to remove dirt and oil, each one caters to separate skincare concerns. Read on to learn about the various types of face wash, when to add them to your skin care routine, and how to use those products correctly.

Gel Cleanser

Seeking a deep clean? Gel cleansers are the best facial cleanser for removing dirt and impurities off the surface of your skin without drying out your complexion. Our Pure Clay Charcoal Detoxifying Gel Face Wash uses a foaming gel formula –  in addition to three pure clays – to visibly detoxify the skin for a brighter complexion.

When to use it: Foaming gel cleansers are best for humid and hot climates. These cleansers lather when in contact with water and rinse off easily, revealing smooth, purified skin. Foaming facial cleansers cut through grease and oil that can build up whilst in sweaty situations. Opt for a gel cleanser if you’re constantly hitting the gym or exercising.

How to use it: Wet your face and hands with lukewarm water. Work a small amount of gel into a foamy lather and massage onto your face with a gentle, circular motion. Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a towel.


Clay Cleanser

We’ve all heard of the clay mask trend, but clay facial cleansers are having a major moment. Clay masks shouldn’t be used daily, but you can use a face wash formulated with pure clays every day of the week! The Pure Clay Eucalyptus Purifying Cream Face Wash contains three pure clays plus eucalyptus to absorb impurities and oil, rebalance the skin, and mattify your complexion.

When to use it: Clay mask cleansers are most effective when used in your night time routine. Use a clay cleanser to remove all the impurities that build up on the surface of your skin over the course of the day. Clay cleansers are meant to be used only once a day, so adding them to your nightly routine is a great option.

How to use it: Once daily, squeeze your clay cleanser into your hands and add water to transform it from clay to mousse. Gently massage the facial cleanser onto your face in circular motions, then rinse and pat dry.


Micellar Water

Micellar water is powered by tiny micelles that act as a magnet to lift dirt, oil and makeup up and away from the surface of your skin. Besides their cleansing abilities, micellar waters are a dream come true for the lazy girl within, due to the fact that they don’t require rinsing or rubbing.

When to use it: Micellar water doesn’t need to be rinsed off. It’s ideal for getting your face clean when you may not be around running water. So if you’re travelling, stock up on micellar water!

How to use it: Saturate a cotton pad with micellar water, then wipe the pad across your face. Micellar water is free from soap and alcohol, and can be used on your lips, eyes and face.

Cream Cleanser

If you’re looking to hydrate dry skin, we’ve got you covered. Those with dry skin are familiar with the feeling of washing your face, only to be left with skin that feels tight and even more uncomfortable. Avoid this by trying a cream cleanser. This type of face wash gently cleanses the skin and removes excess oils—without stripping your skin of its essential moisture. If you have dry skin, consider using the Classic Milky Cleansing Foam. It’s formulated with Magnesium and Vitamin C to re-energise and replenish the skin for a soft, youthful appearance.

When to use it: We recommend using a cream cleanser especially during winter or in cold climates. 

How to use it: Lather onto wet hands and gently massage onto skin. Rinse, then pat dry. Always remember to follow up with moisturiser.

Cleansing Wipes

Facial cleansers don’t always come in a tube or bottle. Cleansing wipes are towelettes packaged in small, convenient packs that fit perfectly into a handbag or athletic bag. The wipes are saturated with a cleansing formula that removes makeup and doesn’t require rinsing afterwards. Store a pack of the Revitalift Classic Makeup Removing Wipes in your bag, in your vanity and anywhere else convenient.

When to use it: When you’re on the go or extra tired, applying your night time skincare routine can be hard. If you struggle with taking your makeup off before bed, try leaving a pack of wipes on your bedside table.

How to use it: Gently wipe your face with the towelette to remove all makeup and impurities. That’s basically it!

Scrub Cleanser

If you are looking for smoother more radiant looking skin, the scrub cleanser is your perfect option. This facial cleanser exfoliates and cleanses skin at the same time. Try our Pure Clay Red Algae Exfoliating Face Scrub, which contains three pure clays plus the cleansing properties of red algae. The combination creates a scrub cleanser that exfoliates, refines pores, purifies the skin and absorbs oil and impurities.

When to use it: If your complexion looks dull, reach for a scrub cleanser formulated with an AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid), like glycolic acid. Two to three times per week swap a scrub cleanser into your cleansing routine.

How to use it: Lather onto wet hands and gently massage into skin using a circular motion. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Follow up by applying broad-spectrum sunscreen. Always remember to take additional sun protection measures while outside for long periods. Seek shade when possible, limit your time in the sun and wear additional clothing to cover up your skin.

What comes after cleansing? Moisturising! Read up on moisturising and hydration next. Check out How to Hydrate Your Skin Type (and Keep it That Way!).