The Best Cleanser for Your Skin Type: Gel, Milk or Oil?

The experts have spoken.

Fresh, cleansed skin is the key to keeping your complexion clear, but not all cleansers are created equal. With so many different forms on the market—gel, milk or oil—how are you supposed to know which will work best with your skin type and keep your face looking its best?

We spoke with celebrity estheticians Renée Rouleau and Joanna Vargas for their expert opinion on the subject, while also consulting NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman for her take on how to pair your skin type with the different cleansers. Read on to find your most effective cleansing method!

1Gel Cleansers

Art courtesy of Itzy Ramirez.

What is it?

According to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau, “a gel cleanser is beneficial for eliminating surface oil and acne-causing bacteria as well as giving the skin a deeper clean.” So, clogged pores beware: This cleanser will work to clear away impurities and prevent future breakouts.

How to use it?

If your skin lies on the oilier side, Rouleau believes gel cleansers are your best option. Remember that gel is activated by water, so dampen your skin before you apply and foam up a gel cleanser like the Renee Rouleau Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel onto your face for a thorough clean. Pro-tip: use it in the morning to start your day feeling extra fresh.

2Cleansing Milk

Art courtesy of Itzy Ramirez.

What is it?

“A cleansing milk is made from lightweight emollients and oils and are much less likely to leave a residue on the skin like oil cleansers can,” says Rouleau. The gentle formula is great for normal to combination skin.

How to use it?

Rouleau goes on to explain that “milk cleansers work well for dry skin and are beneficial for dissolving and digesting off emollients found in makeup,” thanks to the oils in the formula that cling to (and remove) the oils and grime on your face. Since milk cleansers aren’t harsh and easily take off makeup, opt to use them at night to ensure you go to sleep with a clean face.

3Oil Cleansers

Art courtesy of Itzy Ramirez.

What is it?

Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection, says “oil cleansers are for dry or sensitive skin. Lots of people opt for using coconut oil as their makeup remover instead of a cleanser because it’s anti-inflammatory.”

How to use it?

Be aware that this hydrating formula can be a bit tough to get off. Even if it’s been washed off thoroughly, the oil can have the tendency to linger on the surface of the skin, creating a barrier and inhibiting serums and moisturizers from penetrating through. Hence why some opt for a double cleansing, using a gel or cleansing milk after the oil to remove every last bit of residue.

On the other hand, the smooth formula is good for those looking to avoid tugging or pulling on their skin when removing makeup. If you feel like you’ve been rubbing too roughly on your delicate skin, try an oil cleanser like NYC-based dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman’s top pick (and one of our all-time faves), the boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil.

READ MORE: 13 Products Dermatologists Swear By

Share with your friends

leave a comment

  • http://ReneeRouleau.com Renee Rouleau

    Thanks for featuring my expert advice!

FROM OUR FRIENDS