Skin Deep

Are you using the wrong skin cleanser? Here’s how to pick the right product.


Regularly cleansing your skin is one of the most important parts of any skin care routine. However, if you’re using the wrong cleanser for your skin type, you could run into all sorts of problems, including dryness, flaking, and acne. Not sure if you have the right cleanser or not? Take a look at these general cleansing tips based on your skin’s natural qualities.

Cleansing for Dry Skin

Choosing the right cleanser doesn’t have to mean going out and spending a fortune on a top-of-the-line product. If you have dry skin, the Dove bar soap can work very well. For extremely dry skin, try Ponds cold cream. If you would like a more luxurious option for very dry skin, you can try PCA Creamy Cleanser, NIA 24 Gentle Cleansing Cream or IS Clinical Cleansing Complex.

If you are dry and allergic, choose VMV Hypoallergenics Creammmy Cleanser. When dealing with particularly red, irritated skin, though, VMV Hypoallergenics Red Better is a good option.

If you are dry skin type and do not like creamy, heavy cleansers, SkinCeuticals LHA Cleansing Gel is a good option unless you have sensitive stinging skin.

A few general cleansing tips for dry skin include:

  • Avoid foaming cleansers that can dry the skin even more.
  • Do not over-exfoliate, especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • Try to cleanse twice per day

Cleansing for Oily Skin

Oily skin types will need to look for different cleansing products than dry skin types. If you’re oily, choose a foaming cleansing product like La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser, SkinMedica Facial Cleanser, Olay Deeply Clean Mineral Face Cleanser, or Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash.

If the appearance of enlarged pores are a concern, try NoLIO Gly/Sal Pore Minimizing Cleanser. For oily, acne-prone skin, try Obagi CLENZIderm.

Follow these general tips for cleansing oily skin:

  • Avoid creamy or oil-based cleansers that can worsen oiliness and shininess.
  • Rinse skin with cold water after cleansing to help reduce the appearance of pores.
  • Resist the urge to moisturize directly after cleansing, even if skin feels tight. It can take up to 45 minutes for your oil glands to get going again.

Cleansing with Eyelash Extensions

Eyelash extensions are becoming more and more popular, but using the wrong type of cleanser could mean frequent visits to your lash studio. If you have lash extensions, avoid using oil-based cleansers near your eyes. The oil in these products can loosen the adhesive that bonds the lash extensions to your skin.

SkinMedica Facial Cleanser is typically a good choice for women with eyelash extensions and oily skin, or Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser.

If you get frequent sties, eyelid redness due to rosacea, or blepharitis (inflammation of the eye area), use OCuSOFT Lid Scrub Original wipes to remove eye makeup prior to using your facial cleanser.

Please visit us at to share your favorite cleansers for your skin type.

Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist, New York Times best-selling author and CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami.