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Why should we use a cleanser?

A cleanser is used to remove all traces of makeup and grease from the skin’s surface. It is important that the cleanser does not cause any irritation (stop use immediately if this happens). A cleanser should feel nice on your skin with a smooth consistency and easily moved over the skin’s surface. Likewise, it should be easy to remove and cleanse efficiently. Try not to use highly scented cleansers and make sure you choose the right cleanser for you.


Cleansers come in several different forms:

  • Milks
  • Creams
  • Lotions
  • Bars
  • Foaming facial cleansers
  • Cleansing wipes
  • Eye makeup removers


Water and oil are included in some of the ingredients in cleansers. As these two substances together will separate when mixing, an emulsifier is added. This helps to stabilise the mix to form an emulsion. Some products have higher oil-to-water ratios and vice-versa. So which to use? It is important to choose the right one, so we will cover a little on each of the above forms of cleansers.


Milk Cleansers

These have a higher water-to-oil ratio that makes them more liquefied. Good for:

  • Sensitive skin
  • Dry skin (which can be easily irritated)
  • Younger skin, as it contains less oil

>> Not so good for mature skin, as the water content is more drying


Cleansing Creams

These have a higher percentage of oil-to-water, which makes creams thicker and richer. With more oil, it makes it easier to smooth over the skin surface and causes less drag on the tissue. Best used on:

  • Mature and/or dry skin
  • Useful for deep cleansing massage



Cleansing Lotions

These do not contain oil. Cleansing lotions are normally unsuitable for removal of make-up because of the reduced oil content. Good for people with:

  • Combination/normal skin types
  • Some cleansers are medicated, therefore useful on oily, acne and congested skin


Cleansing Bars

These are milder than normal soaps (which can upset the pH balance of the skin). A cleansing bar would be best used on a person with:

  • Combination skin
  • Normal to greasy skin (that is not sensitive)
  • Blemished skin (medicated cleansing bars)
  • If you are hooked on your soap and water routine and don’t like to change


Eye Makeup Removers

These come in oily and non-oily substances and in lotion or gel form. Oily substances are much better for the removal of oil-based eye shadows and mascara. Non-oily would be more suitable for sensitive skin (especially around the eye area and if you wear contact lenses).


Facial Foaming Cleansers

These are ideal if you like to wash your face with water. They contain mild detergents and when mixed with water, it will foam. They are good on:

  • Dry and sensitive skin
  • Congested, acne or blemished skin (medicated foaming cleansers)


Cleansing Wipes

They are quick and convenient. Not recommended for everyday use as they can be drying and will leave a residue on the face.


Confused? Unclear? If you are not sure what is best for your skin, then pop down to your local chemist and try out some testers. It’s the cheapest way of finding out what is best for you before spending any money, and I am sure they will be more than happy and ready to assist you and choosing the right cleanser for your skin type and condition. Check out the texture of the product. Does it feel greasy? Does it smell? Does it contain lanolin? (There are some people who are allergic). Does it absorb into your skin well? There may be a chance for you to obtain some testers to take home and try out. It is important to choose the right cleanser for you, so make sure you take your time and listen to what your skin is telling you.



Words: Donna Malneek