3 min read

Wash Your Acne Away: How to Wash Your Face According to Your Skin Type

Young woman in front of a bathroom mirror checking her face

Cleansing is the most vital step in our skincare routine. A deep cleanse every morning and night will not only calm and hydrate our skin barrier, but it will also rid your skin of excess oils, makeup and dirt that accumulates on your face throughout the day. Not only that but washing your face will allow your skin to properly absorb all the skincare products that you layer on afterwards. That is why cleansing is essential. The right face wash can help to alleviate several concerns from a damaged barrier to acne. 

Dry skin

If you have dry skin, a face cleanser will better keep your skin barrier moisturized and healthy. A face cleanser is made to purify, hydrate, and soothe your skin. The texture will be creamy, milky, gel-like, or even watery.  Look for formulas with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin. It is not about finding something that is full of ingredients but rather using a simple and effective formula. Avoid cleansers with fragrance, foaming agents and essential oils which can all trigger irritation and sensitivity in those with dry skin. Three types of cleansers textures are particularly good for this skin type:

  • Oil cleanser. A gentle way to clean your skin and maintain the skin’s balance. Oil cleansers are effective because they are filled with oil particles that attract and break down makeup, sebum, oil, sweat and dirt on your face without interfering with your skin’s barrier function. Oil attracts other oils and breaks them down by dissolving them without drying your skin.
  • Micellar water. By pouring the water onto a cotton round you can cleanse your entire face and remove all traces of makeup, without rinsing. Micellar water contains micelles that absorb and remove makeup, sweat, oil and dirt like a magnet without drying out your skin.
  • Cleansing milk. It dissolves makeup and will restore moisture and balance back to your skin. Use a small amount on a cotton pad and gently wipe your face to remove any makeup, oil or sweat from your face.

Combination skin

People with combination skin have to get products that walk a fine line between not stripping moisture from the dry parts of the face while controlling sebum on oilier areas. Experts recommend a mild, water-soluble and balancing cleanser that doesn’t have overly harsh ingredients. Gel-based and mild foaming cleansers work well for combination skin. Cleansers for this type of skin will frequently specify this on their packaging. Avoid products that are too emollient a.k.a. creamy or greasy as this may lead to clogged pores. At the same time, you don’t want to use products that can increase oil production or further dry out your dry areas. It’s helpful to steer clear of alcohol and fragrance, which can dry out the skin and activate even more oil production. A few on the off-limits list include salicylic acid, alcohol, and benzoyl peroxide.

Oily skin

Excessive oil production may be caused by external factors such as stress and diet. This is important to fight acne from the root instead of finding temporal solutions.  Avoid cleansers with fragrance, foaming agents and essential oils which can all trigger irritation and sensitivity in those with dry skin.[/caption] If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you’ll likely want to use a foaming face wash. It’s what your skin needs to keep pores clear and remove the oil, dirt, and impurities that can exacerbate sebum production (which is what makes your face oily). A face wash is made to clean your pores more deeply. The texture is often foamy or will lather into foam when applied to your damp skin. Cleansing oils help to balance your skin’s sebum production while keeping your skin moisturized. This balancing act makes oil cleansing a great option for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin. Some ingredients you will want to look for are salicylic acid, niacinamide and glycolic acid. On the other hand, avoid fragrances and sulfates since these will likely clog your pores and induce acne.

Double cleansing

Double-cleansing is a technique in which you use two different cleansers back to back. To do it correctly, you need to pick a combination that balances itself out, instead of giving too much of one thing. For instance, two deep-cleaning cleansers might strip your skin, but using a hydrating cleanser or cleansing balm before finishing with a deep-cleaning foam cleanser creates balance. The order is key. The first cleanser should be gentle, and hydrating, and is used to remove makeup, oil, and dirt. Now that most pollutants are gone, it’s time to focus on deep cleansing. You don’t necessarily need anything harsh, like benzoyl peroxide or Bentonite clay, but make sure to pick a foaming face wash. It will clean and prep your skin effectively for the rest of your routine. Double-cleansing is more time-consuming, but it’s worth it for all skin types.



MYSA user avatar
Davina B. 16/05/2023

This was so important for me to learn! I have acne, but my skin is dry and I used to treat it like it was oily. When I started treating it as dry, my acne calmed down as well. Everyone should take the time to learn their skin's needs to understand the best way to treat it. Thanks for the brilliant article!

MYSA user avatar
Ivana 16/05/2023

I remove my make-up with micellar water and then clean my face again with cleanser and my Luna brush. Since I've been doing this every night, my skin is much clearer and looks healthy

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Andriana L. 26/05/2023

A must-read for everyone. Thank you!

MYSA user avatar
erika 31/05/2023

In reply to by Andriana L.


Hi Andriana,

We are so happy to hear that this was helpful and interesting for you.

Stay tuned for more great content! <3


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