There are various sorts of cleanser on the market, so which one may be right for you. Here is a short and unscientific guide which may help you decide.
Bar soaps you use on your body should not really be used to clean your face, as the harsh ingredients in many soaps can cause dryness. Instead, find ones that are specially made to be used on your face. Foaming cleansers last the longer as a small amount will lather up. However, like bar soaps, many foaming cleansers can also cause dryness and so, are mainly suitable for oily skin types.
Gel type cleansers, specifically sulfate-free gel is best for your morning routine. Gel Cleansers are designed to remove excess surface oils on the skin. This can be helpful for oily or acneic skin, as long as it is not stripping your skin of natural oil, but rather cleansing the skin of excess oil
Exfoliating cleansers contain exfoliating beads, making it a great choice for people who like to put on makeup. Beads from exfoliating cleansers can clean and exfoliate your face thoroughly. These can be a bit harsh and depending on the type of beads used, there is a move against certainly plastic beads, due to the environmental issues.
Milk cleansers are made from lightweight emollients and oils and are much less likely to leave a residue on the skin like oil cleansers; great at removing makeup while moisturising your skin at the same time. Best to use if you have normal to dry skin. Milk cleansers work well for dry skin and go a long way to dissolving emollients found in makeup, mainly due 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. These are best used at night to ensure you can sleep with a clean face.
Oil cleansers are excellent for removing makeup. The idea is that oil dissolves oils, (the Romans used to use Olive Oil to clean themselves) so for those with oily skin or who wear lots of medium-to-full-coverage makeup, this is a really easy way to emulsify any residue and rinse it away without having to resort to harsh scrubbing.
Hydroxy Acid Cleansers help reduce discoloration, improve acne and the appearance of fine lines, and give the skin a healthy, radiant glow. There are two basic types: Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids.
AHAs - Drier skin types. Unsticks dead skin. Glycolic, lactic, mandelic. Humectant properties. Causes photo-sensitivity -- use only PM and wear a stable sunscreen AM. Helps to repair photo damaged and aged skin.
BHAs - Oilier skin types. Helps clear pores and use Salicylic acid. These can be drying. BHA's do not cause photo-sensitivity, so can be used in the mornings.
Hydroxy Acid cleansers are not for everyone. Proper use of AHAs and BHAs is based on an individual’s skin type. Most skin types (even those with rosacea or very sensitive skin), can benefit from some form of AHA. However, depending on sensitivity, perhaps only a once or twice a week. Take care to note the % of AHA - Cleansers range from 2% to 15% - a lot will depend on your skin's tolerance and professional advice really should be sought before embarking on an AHA skin care routine.
Whatever cleanser you use, using warm soft water and plenty of it, makes a big difference.