After a long and exhausting day, the temptation to skip your nightly cleanse is real. But cleansing, especially with a formula that’s compatible with your skin type, is one of the most important steps to achieving healthy-looking skin. “Cleansing is the foundation of your entire skincare regimen,” says Elizabeth Starr, Origins Executive Director, Global Product Development. “Beyond their immediate cleansing effect, they set the stage for the efficacy of the subsequent skincare products you apply, allowing them to penetrate and therefore work more effectively,” Starr adds. What’s more, your skin responds to the feel of your cleanser and its ingredients. This is why it's essential to use one that's tailor-made for your skin. So, how do you find the best facial cleanser for your skin type? We’ve got your guide right here.

Why You Need to Wash Your Face Everyday

Before we dive into the details about the best facial cleanser for your skin type, it’s important to understand why cleansing is essential in your daily skincare routine. Think about what your skin is exposed to daily. When you are outside, environmental pollutants can accumulate on your skin. Throw on some makeup, oil, sweat, and sunscreen, and you have a recipe for dull skin. Your nightly cleanse is the most critical because it helps (quite literally) wash the day away. A morning cleanse can help you wake up and prep your skin for the day’s skincare.

How do you know what face wash is right for you?

The first step in your skincare routine should be identifying your skin type. This way you’re better able to choose products that will be most effective for your skin and your concerns. Sometimes, skin type is glaringly obvious (hello, shine), while other times you may have to self-assess with a few questions: Do you have oily tendencies or are you dealing with dryness? Are you the sensitive type? If you need help determining your skin type, here's a breakdown of the four skin types (oily, dry, combo, normal), plus sensitive skin:


Oily Skin: Skin that’s considered oily is slick and shiny all over and pores can appear enlarged. This skin type may be prone to blackheads and blemishes in the T-zone (the T-shaped area on your face that includes your forehead, nose, and chin).

Dry Skin: If your skin feels like it's two sizes too small, it's probably dry. Dry skin feels tight and may even peel or flake. It can also appear dull, and lines and wrinkles may look more pronounced.


Combination Skin: This skin type is somewhat of a hybrid: it’s both dry and oily. You tend to be oilier around the T-zone and dry along the cheeks. You may even have visible pores and be more prone to blackheads.

Normal Skin: If your skin strikes the perfect balance—not too oily and not too dry—your skin type is considered “normal.”


Sensitive Skin: The telltale signs your skin is sensitive: it's prone to reacting to new situations and products. That can mean visible redness and irritation, breakouts, or even abnormal discomfort.  And get this, you can have sensitive skin whether your skin is dry, normal, oily or combination.

What are the best facial cleansers for different skin types?

Just as there are different skin types, there are different types of cleansers. Oily skin typically does better with a gel-like cleanser, while sensitive skin loves a comforting, cream-based cleansing formula. Once you’ve identified your skin type, read on to discover the best cleanser for your type.


Myth Bust! Did you know how much a cleanser lathers is an aesthetic feature, not a functional one? Back in the day, the two were linked.  But now, formulators can make high-lather cleansers great for any skin type and low-lather formulas with great cleaning power! So just go with your personal preference the lather-front.

Cleanser for Oily Skin

Oily skin generally does well with gel cleansers. “Gel cleansers are excellent at breaking down makeup and removing dirt and oil without stripping the skin. Many of them create a nice lather, too,” says Starr.  Oily skin can benefit from ingredients like Beta-Hydroxy Acids (BHA’s), or Salicylic Acid, that help to decongest pores and can be a great option for acne-prone skin. Salicylic Acid prevent new blemishes from forming and act as a great exfoliator, resurfacing skin’s texture to soften skin and kick dullness to the curb.


Our Favorite Cleanser for Oily Skin:

Clear Improvement™ Zero Oil Active Charcoal Detoxifying Cleanser is a gel-to-foam formula—with Salicylic Acid and Bamboo Charcoal—that helps wash away pore-clogging oil, skin-damaging environmental aggressors, and makeup. Skin looks and feels comfortably clean with noticeably less-visible pores.

Cleanser for Dry Skin

For dry skin types, cream or oil-based cleansers that replenish moisture and comfort the complexion are your best choice. “Oil-based cleansers are great for dry skin because they usually include emollient ingredients which can help hydrate without disrupting your skin barrier,” explains Starr. And don’t let the moisturizing properties fool you—oil-based cleansers are stellar at dissolving dirt, oil, and makeup.


Our Top Pick for Dry Skin:

Checks And Balances™ Milky Oil Cleanser + Makeup Melter is our transformative, oil-to-milk cleanser that helps remove makeup, oil, and other impurities without stripping or drying skin. Ingredients like Rice Oil and Almond Oil help dissolve impurities and makeup while Squalane and Glycerin help soften skin for a comfortable cleanse.

Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin types should steer clear of cleansers that can be too drying or too emollient. Look for mild, even soothing, cleansers that don’t strip your skin of its natural oils.


Our Bestselling Cleanser for Sensitive Skin:

Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Face Cleanser is an ultra-gentle, milky face wash formulated with Cordyceps and Reishi Mushrooms, Ginger, Turmeric, Holy Basil, and skin-soothing Licorice Extract. It quickly rinses away dirt, debris, and impurities without upsetting skin. Even sensitive skin remains calm as you cleanse.

Cleanser for Combination Skin

The ideal cleanser for combination skin is a gentle, foaming cleanser. “With this skin type, you want to make sure your cleanser isn’t going to create problems,” says Starr. This kind of cleanser helps remove excess oil and impurities that can clog pores, but it should not be drying.


Our Favorite Cleanser for Combination Skin:

A Perfect World ™ Antioxidant Cleanser with White Tea is a gentle, foaming-face wash with White Tea, as well as ingredients like conditioning Glycerin reach deep into pores to help detoxify skin.

Cleanser for Normal Skin

The best facial cleanser for normal skin will help remove impurities and maintain a feeling of balance. A good choice is a gentle foaming cleanser that delivers a full-faced cleanse without stripping or drying. “With this skin type, you want it to refresh the skin and preserve its barrier, so your skin stays in a harmonious state,” says Starr.


Our #1 Cleanser for Normal Skin Types:

Checks And Balances™ Frothy Face Wash effortlessly rinses away makeup, impurities, and surface oils. The formula addresses both dry and oily zones so skin is feels balanced and comfortably clean.

What’s the best way to wash your face

There’s no right or wrong way to wash your face, but there are a few steps to help make the process more effective. Here are a few tips from our Skin Experts to help you maximize your daily cleanse.


1. Use lukewarm water

A splash of warm water feels great, but when it’s too hot it can dry skin out.


2. Cleanse for 60 seconds

It takes more than 10 seconds to fully remove dirt, oil, and makeup. Try cleansing for up to one minute to ensure a thorough cleanse when you feel like you need it.


3. Pat your skin dry
Try patting skin dry for a much gentler end to your cleansing routine.


4. Try a Double Cleanse
If you wear makeup and sunscreen regularly, Double Cleansing is a technique you may want to try. The first cleanse melts away makeup, oil, sweat and sunscreen, while the second whisks away loose or leftover residue.

Final Thoughts on Cleansing

It may be tempting to skip washing your face—especially after a long day—but it's one of the most important steps in your skincare routine. Cleansing helps ensure the removal of dirt, oil, and other impurities that can lead to breakouts, and a twice daily cleanse can help you take a moment to pause and feel refreshed. All-in-all, when you use a cleanser that’s specific to your skin type, you’re setting yourself up for a great skin day ahead.