What cleanser is suitable for my skin?

Cleansing is always the first step to any basic skin care routine. A good cleanser will be gentle, fragrance and irritant free and won’t leave your skin feeling tight or dry after rinsing. It is important that you choose a cleanser that is suitable for your skin type. The following information will help you to find the best cleanser whether you have oily skin, dry skin, combination skin, or acne and redness-prone skin.

Selection of cleansers for every skin type


Light foaming cleansers

Suitable for you: if you prefer light-foaming products that thoroughly cleanse your skin. A light foaming cleaner removes most types of makeup, cleanses the skin thoroughly and softens your skin. Cleansers don’t have to foam to work properly, but many prefer foamy textures for cleansing.
Skin type: combination or oily skin, which can be acne-sensitive.
Gentle foaming cleaners from Paula's Choice:

Gel cleansers

Suitable for you: if you prefer lightweight, hydrating products. A good cleansing gel easily removes light make-up, moisturises your skin and leaves your skin feeling fresh.
Skin type: normal, combination or oily skin and skin that is sensitive to redness and acne.
Gel cleansers from Paula's Choice:

Cream and lotion cleansers

Suitable for you: if you prefer cleansers that moisturise your skin. Cream and lotion cleansers have a silky texture and remove most types of makeup but if you use waterproof products you may need a separate makeup remover.
Skin type: normal, dry and sensitive skin.
Cream and lotion cleansers from Paula's Choice:

Oil-based cleansers

Suitable for you: if you prefer a thorough cleanser to remove heavy makeup or if you like to cleanse your skin twice. To double cleanse, first cleanse skin with an oil-based cleanser followed by a light foaming, gel, cream or lotion cleanser. An oil-based cleanser quickly removes makeup and leaves the skin supple and soft.
Skin type: all skin types.
Oil-based cleansers from Paula's Choice:

Micellar water, water-based cleansers and liquid make-up removers

Suitable for you: if you prefer to remove your makeup with cotton pads. Micellar water and cleansing water are different names for water- and surfactant-based makeup removers. You don’t necessarily have to rinse them off, but it is better to not leave cleansing agents on the skin for longer than necessary. There are also dual-phase makeup removers. These should be shaken before use and remove the most stubborn makeup without leaving a greasy layer on your skin.
Skin type: all skin types. Follow with a traditional facial cleanser to ensure that no leftover makeup stays on your skin.

Cleansing wipes

Suitable for you: if you prefer to quickly cleanse your skin without having to wash your face. These can be a great, efficient cleansing method especially when the wipes are soft and don’t leave a sticky layer on the skin. Take care to not pull on your skin which can cause damage.
Skin type: all skin types

Cleansing balms, cold creams and no-rinse cleansing creams

Suitable for you: if you prefer a rich, ultra-moisturising single or double cleansing experience that removes makeup and leaves a soft, replenished feeling on skin after removal with a washcloth, which is our preferred method for this type of cleanser. Note: We don’t recommend that you “tissue off” cleansers on dry skin because pulling and tugging can damage skin. A wet, soft washcloth reduces surface tension and gently glides over skin, whereas tissues can tug.
Skin type: normal, very dry, sensitive and eczema-prone skin. These types of balms and creams tend to be too heavy and emollient for breakout-prone skin. Paula's Choice option:

One-piece soaps and cleansers (cleansing bars)

Suitable for: nobody! It is undeniable that soaps and cleansing bars thoroughly cleanse your skin, but they cleanse so strongly that they disrupt the surface of the skin and leave your skin dry and taut. Some cleansing bars are less dehydrating, but the ingredients that give them their solid shape can clog your pores and dull your skin.
Skin type: none
Paula's Choice strongly recommends against this type of cleanser. Instead, choose a good water-soluble cleanser or makeup remover for beautiful and healthy skin!


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