4 Types of Cleansers & When To Use Them

4 Types of Cleansers & When To Use Them

Skincare. It’s a vast and radiant world that can leave you dazzled—and, if you use it right, give you downright dazzling skin, too.

With the internet and its wealth of information just a click away, you have an opportunity that your ancestors couldn’t even dream of. You can build your perfect skincare routine, beginning with the best cleanser for your skin.

Knowledge is, of course, the first building block. Nail your routine by learning about four staple cleansers and how to use them for best results each and every time.  If we're one step ahead of you, read our intro to facial cleansers before you dive into the nitty gritty. 



Sweat, grease, grime: your skin gets dirty in more ways than you can count. No two people share the exact same skin type, either. You may lean towards dry skin or oily skin, and your skin type could change as easily as a tree through the seasons.

To provide your skin with the best possible cleanse, start by understanding the four basic types of cleansers: cream, gel, foaming, and oil.



If you have dry skin or sensitive skin, cream cleansers will be the best face wash option for you. These gentle cleansers don’t foam up, using natural emulsifiers to give your skin a luxuriously gentle wash. Because harsher emulsifiers like those found in foam cleansers can be tougher on sensitive skin, cream is your best bet if you're scared to incite irritation. The soothing formulas in a cream cleanser leave your skin ultra-soft, evenly toned, and smooth. Reach for our BALANCE Cream Cleanser to achieve that sweet spot between dry and clean skin.

Cleansing milk also lives in the cream cleanser family. Thinner than a traditional cream face wash, cleansing milk is a face cleanser option that takes the form of a smooth, milk-like substance that cleanses and cools your skin at the same time. 



Combination skin and oily skin types are primed to love a good gel cleanser. They’re thicker in consistency compared to foam cleansers but often have more potent ingredients than cream cleansers, making them a great in-between option. Stronger ingredients also make gel products optimal for removing makeup—but they do so without leaving excess oil, like some oil-based washes, or drying you out. 

Like cream cleansers, gel skin cleansers take a more gentle approach to cleaning, proving less likely to over-strip your face of its natural oils than a foam wash. Of these four skin cleanser types, cream and gel products will be the most hydrating facial cleansers on the market. Our aloe vera-based GENTLE Gel Cleanser is a soothing, low-suds option that tackles breakouts, dead skin cells, and dark spots at once. 



Oily and acne-prone skin types can enjoy a facial bubble bath with a foaming cleanser, which often has the strongest ingredients. The foam inducing cleansing agent in these products cut through excess sebum and oil, leaving your pores clean and refreshed.

For any skin type, sometimes a lack of lubrication can feed clogged pores and irritation. Because of a foaming cleanser's stripping strength, it is important to follow up with strong hydrating products, like a copper peptide moisturizer, to avoid the build up of dead skin that contribute to more clogged pores and irritation. 



More people are embracing the motto “fight fire with fire” with their oil cleansers. These products are notorious for clearing away any makeup, whether it’s oil-free, oil-based, or waterproof.

Oil cleansers can also clear out pollutants and dead skin cells, lifting excess sebum away before it can clog your pores. While other types of cleansers can over-dry the skin as they clean, oil cleansers wash without overdoing it. As a result, these products can tackle problems you might expect them to fuel, like sensitive skin and breakouts. A good oil cleanser can leave your skin feeling clean and looking dewy.



In the same way that knowing your season is crucial for picking your eyeshadow palettes, knowing your skin type is crucial for building the perfect skincare routine. Only then can you properly target your concerns.


Most skincare products are made for one of four specific skin types.

  • Oily – Your skin produces excessive sebum, which can lead to acne.
  • Normal – Your skin isn’t notably oily or dry.
  • Dry – Your skin tends to flake, dry, and get irritated easily.
  • Combination – Different areas of your face are dry and oily.
  •  Once you’ve identified yours, you can choose products designed for you and do research on ingredients and cleansing agents to avoid or incorporate.

    Note that skin types aren’t fixed, either. Yours may change based on your physical health, age, environment, the time of year, stress levels, diet, and more.



    Regardless of whether you have oily skin, combination skin, or fall anywhere else on the spectrum, your skin worries and woes often hinge on age, current trends, and your culture’s beauty standards. However, some concerns straddle generation gaps and continents alike, like dryness and fine lines.

    Fortunately, the right cleanser can help create bright, smooth, elastic-looking skin, restoring vitality and vibrancy to your appearance.



    Treat cleansers like an arsenal and keep what you need on hand. That way, you’ll never be caught off-guard by skin concerns. 

     Mix and match to find the best facial cleanser combination for your skin, and don’t be afraid to switch it up if your routine feels like it’s not working for you anymore. Again: skin types are flexible and your top concerns may change with time. 



    You won’t be arrested by the skincare police if you don’t adhere to a specific routine, but you can benefit from using certain products at different times of the day and night:

  • Morning – Since your face is usually fresh after a night of sleeping, you can use mild, gentle cream or gel cleansers.

  • Evening – Oil and foaming cleansers are better for removing the grease, grime, and makeup that adds up throughout the day.

    It’s also better to use harsher products at night since you can layer your evening moisturizer on thick and soothe your skin right away.



    Double cleansing may be the extra boost your routine is missing, and it’s easy to do. First, wash your face with an oil-based cleanser. Then, wash it a second time with a gentle cleanser, like our cream or gel options, or something water-based.

    Double cleansing scrubs away stubborn oil and impurities while locking in moisture, a hack for achieving the cleanest skin without drying yourself out. Just take care and double cleanse according to your skin type with the help of our step-by-step double cleansing guide.



    Each of these cleansers could have a home on your skincare shelf depending on what your skin needs to look its best. Once you decide what to look for, it’s time to decide who to trust with your skin’s health.

    Quality products can make a world of difference in skincare. At Seven:Thirty, we take pride in crafting our cleansers with carefully chosen ingredients, all designed to deliver a gentle, thorough clean.

    Our GENTLE Gel Cleanser is easy on the skin and tough on makeup and oil. If you’re looking for something a little more luxe, our BALANCE Cream Cleanser won’t strip or clog your pores, leaving your skin silky smooth and fresh. They’re phenomenal additions to your routine, especially if you’re looking to give double cleansing a try.

    Say goodbye to the woes of astringent makeup remover wipes and clogged pores. Let Seven:Thirty help you build the foundation for the soft, clean skin you’ve always wanted, starting with the best cleanser.




    Skincraft. The Good, Bad and Bubbly Of Surfactants In Skincare.


    The Klog. The Difference Between Foaming, Gel, and Cream Cleansers. https://theklog.co/difference-foaming-gel-cleansers/

     L’Oreal. The benefits of using cleansing milk and cleansing cream.


    Healthline. Everything You Need to Know About the Oil Cleansing Method. https://www.healthline.com/health/oil-cleansing-method#benefits

    InStyle. Women Across The U.S. Told Us All About Their Biggest Skin Concerns. https://www.instyle.com/beauty/biggest-skin-concerns-survey

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