Getting rid of all that dirt and oil right before you go to bed is such a great feeling. But with thousands of cleansers to choose from, you might be wondering, “Which one?” Don’t worry! We’ve got your back with this beginner’s guide so you can start your nighttime routine with ease. Here are the best facial cleansers and product types to remove makeup and residue for a clean finish.

1. Liquid Cleansers

Before you try anything fancy, pick out the simple liquid cleansers. These are the ones you can always go back to whenever you’re just not sure. Formulated with different textures and pH levels, the main types include: gel, cream, and foam.

GEL CLEANSERS are designed for deep cleansing, usually with a light, bouncy consistency. Depending on the brand, the texture may change when massaged onto the face. This option is suitable for ALL skin types.

CREAM/MILK CLEANSERS are hydrating and very nourishing due to their use of natural ingredients, like plant oils (jojoba, macadamia, etc.). They usually come in milky, whipped textures that froth up once emulsified. Those with dry skin types will love these cleansers the most!

FOAM CLEANSERS typically help to control sebum production on the skin while creating that wonderful lather. They might be too harsh or drying because of the higher pH. So we recommend this only to oily, acne-prone and combo skin types.

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2. Exfoliating Cleansers

Time to get that glow on! Up until now, you’ve probably just relied on serums to get that exfoliating power. It’s true that serums offer many great benefits, but you can also check out scrub and enzyme cleansers that do just the same — maybe more!

SCRUB CLEANSERS work to polish and buff the skin with micro-granules. Including a variety of different physical exfoliants, from sugar crystals to finely powdered rice. To minimize irritation, select formulas with dissolving granules and be sure to massage gently.

ENZYME CLEANSERS help to brighten your complexion while sloughing off those dead skin cells. Choose ones that contain fruit enzymes, such as papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin. Perfect for sensitive skin, this type of cleanser is a much gentler alternative to chemical exfoliants.

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3. French vs. K-Beauty Cleansers

There are many well-kept secrets from around the world that can help boost your cleansing routine. Two of them being micellar water and cleansing water. These multi-functional cleansers may seem the same, but they’re formulated quite differently.

MICELLAR WATER originated from France to help remove makeup, cleanse, and moisturize in one go. On top of purified water and other hydrating ingredients, the micelles (surfactant molecules) work to draw out impurities like a magnet.

CLEANSING WATER is a K-beauty wonder! Purified H2O is infused with specific properties and surfactants to cleanse and get rid of stubborn makeup. It also helps to balance the skin like a toner with essential oils, fruit extracts, and trace minerals. Similar to micellar water, it’s great for all skin, even sensitive types.

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4. Double Cleanse

It’s no secret that a good double cleanse can do wonders for your skin. Even if you’re not an avid makeup wearer, following these two steps will get you grime-free in no time. The two popular oil-based formulas are cleansing oils and balms.

CLEANSING OILS are super gentle on the skin. Plus, they’re formulated with a blend of essential fatty acids and antioxidants that help to protect and improve texture post-cleanse. You can easily pump out the oil with the user-friendly container.

CLEANSING BALMS are thick, sorbet-like cleansers that remove makeup and moisturize without stripping. Made with minerals and plant oils, these balms are ideal for dry, sensitive skin. Most are packaged in tubs with spatulas to make application easier.

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