How to Pick a Cleanser for Your Skin Type

Why is picking the right cleanser for your skin so important?

Our cleansers are the backbone of our skincare regime. A good cleanser will remove dirt and impurities, hydrate and nourish, and provide a beautiful blank canvas for our active products to penetrate, without disrupting the lipid barrier of our skin.

Incorrect cleanser choice can lead to barrier disruption, trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), sensitisation and redness. 

When we are choosing a cleanser that is right for our skin, we need to think about our skin TYPE. Skin types are categorised by:

  • Lipid Dry (Very little if any free oil flow)
  • Oily (Skin has the ability to produce oil)
  • Sensitive (Prone to tingling, redness, irritation, hives, stinging etc from chemicals, fragrances, pollutants and dyes)

The skin type spectrum is just that - a spectrum. Some dry skin types may be more severe than others, along with oily and sensitive. We diagnose skin types based on what the majority of the face presents with. This is what you were genetically predisposed to have. We cannot change our skin type, but we can manage it.


Dry skin presents with very little if any oil flow. Due to the lack of oil, the lipid barrier is often depleted so the skin is more susceptible to sun damage, premature ageing, sensitisation and skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis etc. Our goal when choosing a cleanser is to protect and nourish the skin as much as possible. There is no need to exfoliate a dry skin as part of the at home skin care routine.

Ideal cleansers for Lipid Dry Skins:

  • Should not contain astringent/exfoliating ingredients
  • Cream/Oil based are best, Gel cleansers are fine as long as they do not include high levels of Hydroxy Acids.
  • Low levels of AHA’s such as Lactic Acid can be beneficial for improving hydration.
  • Should not contain artificial foaming ingredients such as Sodium Laurel/Laureth Sulphate

Recommended Cosmedix cleansers for dry skins:


Oily skin is any skin that has the ability to produce moderate oil flow. This skin type category includes what some people may classify as “normal” or “combination”. The spectrum for oily skin is large and there is no “one size fits all”. The skin can present with oil flow in some or all sections of the face and at different levels of intensity. For the majority of people, this oil flow is present through the centre of the face (T-Zone), and the outer portion of the face will generally feel neither oily nor dry.

Oily skin is often misunderstood, and can be incorrectly treated through the misuse of stripping, and over exfoliating products/treatments. 

Naturally, an oily skin will have a well functioning barrier, reduced chance of water loss, and slowed down ageing. HOWEVER - internal factors such as hormones, diet and lifestyle can cause the oil to change in viscosity, increase in volume and harbour pollutants and bacteria.

When cleansing an oily skin, we want to protect the barrier, infuse anti oxidants to keep the oil flow healthy and free of harmful bacteria, as well as providing a clean base for our treatment serums to penetrate. Due to oil giving the skin a natural layer of protection, these skins can tend to be slightly more resilient and can withstand more than a lipid dry or sensitive skin.

Ideal cleansers for Oily Skins:

  • Can contain exfoliating ingredients such as lactic acid
  • When undergoing professional treatment journeys and/or using retinol, always opt for a more gentle or acid free cleanser.
  • BHA (such as salicylic acid) cleansers can be beneficial, however use must be limited to maximum 3x weekly
  • Oil and Gel based cleansers are best suited
  • Should not contain artificial foaming ingredients such as Sodium Laurel Sulphate

Recommended Cosmedix Cleansers for Oily Skin:


Sensitive skin is categorised by having an increased sensitivity to chemicals, dyes, fragrances and pollutants. When coming into contact with products that contain these ingredients, the skin can flare up in erythema (redness), hives, rashes, and can often experience stinging and itching. 

In most cases sensitive skin is genetically predisposed - meaning you were born with the sensitive skin gene. There are many cases where people have caused sensitivity to their skin due to products/lifestyle/diet etc however we label this as “sensitised”. Sensitive skins can often present with redness, rosacea, broken capillaries/telangiectasia. 

When cleansing a sensitive skin, we want to ensure we are avoiding over sensitisation, and keeping the barrier in tact as much as possible.

Ideal cleansers for Sensitive Skins:

  • Do not contain artificial fragrance
  • Do not contain exfoliating and astringent ingredients
  • Contain antioxidants, and anti inflammatory properties
  • Should not contain artificial foaming ingredients such as Sodium Laurel Sulphate

Recommended Cosmedix Cleansers for Sensitive Skins:


Have you been using the right cleanser for your skin type? Or is it time to change things up! If you are still unsure of which cleanser you should be using, get in touch and we can guide you in the right direction!

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