Are you using the correct cleanser for your skin type?

You will be after this…

Digital Beauty Editor / January 31 2021

We all know by now that we should definitely be washing our faces on the daily. What we may not be as crystal clear on, though, is what we should be washing our faces with, as well as when and why.

Cleansers have come a long way lately, and we’d be daft not to embrace the fact that there’s now an option for every scenario and skin type. They can do way more than simply wash away the grime – if you let them.

So how do you set yourself up for success? It all comes down to using the right cleansers at the right times. Allow us to elaborate: in an ideal world (AKA one where you want your skin to live its best, glowiest life), you’d start out with an oil, milk or micellar water, then follow up with a foam and toning lotion. Let’s make triple cleansing a thing in 2021, okay? That iffy far-too-clean feeling won’t be an issue as long as you choose your formulas wisely.

That’s where the other major factor comes in. While some formulas do suit all skin types (micellar water, we love you), there are others that allow you to hone in on your individual skin type and all the concerns you want to address according to it. Basically, cleansing has gone from the pre-treatment canvas-clearing process it once was to a treatment step in itself, and we’re ready to take full advantage of it.

So, here’s our guide to finding your perfect cleanser line-up. Think of it almost like a flowchart for your face…

Cleanse Round 1

First up? An initial cleanse to rid your face of residue and impurities. All you have to do is pick your player…


Micellar waters have been the MVPs of our fast-acting facial cleansing routines for a hot minute now, and honestly, we can’t rave about them enough. This one, for example, is packed with plant extracts that preserve and balance the skin’s microbiota and gently remove makeup and impurities, all without even calling for a rinse. Lazy girls, can we get an amen? It suits skin types across the board, too, so go for your life.


You know how the remedy for overly spicy food is a big old glass of milk? Its soothing abilities extend to skin care too, especially in the cleansing department. So, if it’s a comfortable, gentle first cleanse you’re after (sensitive or dry skin types, that’s you), milk is your prime candidate. This non-greasy formula from Clarins features softening and smoothing lemon balm, sourced from the brand’s own ‘Domaine Clarins’ (AKA their own farm in the French Alps, where they cultivate the alpine herbs for their cleansers). Chic, huh? They clearly take cleansing très seriously.


If you’re as big a fan of flawless foundation as you are of long-wear liner, chances are you’ll need something specific to melt away that makeup: an oil. This one offers the best of both worlds, starting off as a super silky alpine herb-infused oil and morphing into a moisturising milk as it meets water. It’s also safe for all skin types, but hey, it’ll feel a real treat on the stressed kind.

Clarins Cleansing Micellar Water

Clarins Velvet Cleansing Milk

Clarins Total Cleansing Oil

Cleanse Round 2

Done with round one? Great. Onto the next step: a foaming face wash to make sure your canvas is truly clean. Now that the initial residue is gone, this is the part where you can tailor things more to your specific skin type.

Once you’ve sorted yourself into your skin concern lane (and found your foam fit), grabbing a corresponding toning lotion (for a final touch of non-irritating freshness) will round out your routine perfectly. And with that, your three-step cleanse is complete. Here’s what to look for...

If you’re combination to oily…

If excess oil is the issue, a balancing blend is the solution. Look for a formula featuring ingredients that address excess oil (especially the grease lurking deep down in your pores) but don’t overdo it in the drying department. A purifying but calming concoction (like this salicylic acid and meadowsweet combo) will definitely do the trick. It’s also a cream-gel texture, so it’s not too heavy, either. Meadowsweet is invited to the toning party, too, teaming up this time with soothing witch hazel to take the purifying and pore-tightening action a step further.

Clarins Purifying Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Clarins Purifying Toning Lotion

If you’re normal to dry…

Normal to dry skin types generally have two standout goals: dial up the moisture levels ASAP, and correct the roughness that dehydration brought as its buddy. Look for a formula that heroes an all-star hydrator with impurity-flushing antibacterial properties (like organic aloe vera extract in the case of this velvety cream-to-foam cleanser). It’ll sweep away the bad stuff without taking the good, so you can ditch debris but keep dewiness intact. Its toning lotion sidekick also centres on aloe, but teams it with fig (another soothing, smoothing hydrator) to provide optimal levels of freshness, softness and moisture.

Clarins Hydrating Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Clarins Hydrating Toning Lotion

If you’re very dry or sensitive…

Sensitive skin types know that cleansing can be the opposite of fun if you’re dealing with a flare-up, so it’s crucial to be confident that whatever you’re washing with will ease irritation, not exacerbate it. Luckily, this option features the creamy complexion-comforting dream team of chamomile and shea butter, so it’ll keep skin clean and calm. FYI, there’s actually no need to be terrified of toners, either, as long as yours features the right ingredients. This sensitivity-friendly mix calls chamomile up again, as well as purple coneflower, for a last purifying step that won’t disrupt your face’s inner peace. Blessings.

Clarins Soothing Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Clarins Soothing Toning Lotion

If you’re… more of a mousse person…

Try: Clarins Gentle Renewing Cleansing Mousse
Followed by: Whichever toning lotion best suits your skin type

If you’ve got an affinity for classic foam we understand – those things are damn velvety. The trick is to make sure you’re reaching for one that’s either still tailored to your skin type, or suitable across the board. An example of the latter? This multi-talented mousse, which highlights tamarind pulp extract as its standout ingredient – with AHAs loaded in, it’ll take your skin from lacklustre to luminous real fast. Follow it with the toning lotion that suits your skin best, and you’ll be good to glow.

Clarins Gentle Renewing Cleansing Mousse

Offer alert

Ready to refresh your cleansing crew? We have some stellar news. Clarins is cementing its commitment to cleansing (and responsible beauty) with a clever recycling initiative. For all of February, you’ll receive a trial size new Clarins Cleanser or Toning Lotion when you bring any full-sized cleanser or toner (that you’ve already emptied) to participating locations. The empties will be recycled responsibly, and you’ll have a fresh new formula to try out – it might even be the very one you’ve been searching for…*

Interested? Of course you are. FYI, the participating locations are Myer Sydney City, Myer Melbourne, Myer Brisbane City, Myer Perth and Myer Adelaide as well as David Jones Elizabeth Street, David Jones Bourke Street, David Jones Queen Street, David Jones Adelaide and David Jones Perth. So, if you’re ready to raise your cleansing game, you know where to go...

* Limited time only, while stocks last, one trial size item per customer.

Image credits: Clarins

Searching for something moisturising to follow up with? Give one of these hydrating hyaluronic acid serums a go...