The path to a healthy-looking, glowing complexion starts with the choices you make at the sink, because cleansing twice daily plays a pivotal role in helping skin function best. Using a face wash at night is essential to remove the residue of skincare and cosmetics, not to mention microscopic traces of dirt, pollution, sweat and oil. It also preps skin to better absorb any nighttime skincare treatments, such as a retinol serum. And incorporating a face wash into your morning routine is just as important for a couple of other reasons. For starters, if you’re using active ingredients like vitamin C at night as well as in the morning, a clean slate is ideal; reducing the interaction from residual layering will help minimize potential irritation. Second, the environment you sleep in can impact your skin. Being exposed to dry indoor air (ideally for eight hours of beauty rest) can dehydrate normal skin, leading to a drier, oilier or more inflamed complexion. In both the a.m. and p.m., cleansing will help to refresh and rebalance skin—but only if you choose the right formula for your skin type.
For dry skin
When it comes to cleansing dry skin, the goal is to remove dirt and debris without stripping away precious lipids from the skin barrier, all while giving a hydrating boost. The best cleanser for dry skin has a creamy or milky texture and is packed with nurturing ingredients, like La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser. Designed to be nourishing and soothing, it contains glycerin, which relieves dryness and flaking, plus thermal spring water, which helps to calm irritation. The formula is also free of soap, which can be overly drying for dry skin. And there are two comforting ways to use it: You can gently massage it into your skin with your fingertips and rinse it off with water, or you can use a soft cotton pad to apply and remove it. You’ll also find that cleansing and rinsing with lukewarm or cool water will be kinder to your dry skin—steamy-hot temps can be too harsh.
For sensitive skin
If you have sensitive skin, the act of removing makeup, oil and dirt can be uncomfortable from start to finish due to the mechanical action of rubbing and the use of traditional cleansing ingredients. However, a micellar water cleanser is a game-changer that lets you skip all that and still get blissfully clean results. The liquid formula is similar in texture to a toner and meant to be gently swiped over the face with a cotton pad. But the exciting news is what’s happening inside the formula: Micelles are molecules that latch on to dirt and oil in order to cleanse the skin. With no rinsing required, Micellar Water for Sensitive Skin offers an extra-calming ritual that’s also alcohol- and fragrance-free. And for the best results, don’t rush your micellar water application! Simply saturate a cotton pad, hold it to your face for a few seconds to let the micelles get to work and then gently swipe it away.
For oily skin
The right cleanser for oily skin must strike a delicate balance. A suitable formula needs to remove sebum that can clog pores but not leave skin overly dried out because that can kick oil glands into hyper-production mode. Try a gel or foaming cleanser that contains ingredients tailored to the needs of oily skin. Look for La Roche-Posay Gel Effaclar; it’s made with zinc pidolate and helps to purify skin while removing excess oil and shine. Or consider the micro-exfoliating benefits of La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micro-Peeling Purifying Gel. This cleanser for acne-prone skin contains 2% salicylic acid, a trusted chemical exfoliator that deeply unclogs pores, and can be used to treat acne-prone skin on the face and body. And if your blemish-prone skin also veers to the sensitive side, you could benefit from the gentle touch of a micellar water for oily skin. La Roche-Posay Effaclar Micellar Cleansing Water for Ultra Oily Skin is a non-comedogenic, alcohol-free formula that removes dirt, grime and sebum with no rinsing needed.