Gel cleanser Vs cream cleanser: Know which one is best for your skin type


Cleansers are an essential part of the skincare routine. There are so many cleansing options available, it can be quite difficult to find the best cleanser that can feel a little overwhelming. If you have been looking for the best cleanser for your skin type, fret not! This is a quick guide to knowing about cleansers allows you to understand how each one works, which will help you narrow down your search!

What are cleansers?

Before we jump into the different types of cleansers, let’s learn about the functions of cleansers.

cleanser for skin
Foaming cleanser for your skin. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

The name says it all! Cleansers are formulated to purify skin, which includes clearing out pores. Unlike regular soap and water, which dries out the skin and strips away protective lubricant, sebum well-formulated cleansers have the following benefits:

  • Clean out superficial and deep-seated impurities
  • Remove excess sebum without over-drying the skin
  • Exfoliate dead skin cells, which collect over time
  • Locks in moisture while cleaning

Not all cleansers are created equal, and knowing what kind of cleanser is best suited to your skin is essential.

Foaming Cleansers

These are traditional cleansers with foaming, sudsy quality that do not have a milky or creamy texture. When mixed with water, they turn into a rich lather, which helps get rid of impurities, excess oil, and makeup, leaving skin clean and refreshed. Foaming cleansers are usually suggested for oily and acne-prone skin types because they are meant to deep clean the skin. These cleansers often get a bad rep since most formulas contain SLES and SLS, which tend to irritate the skin.

Also Read: Here’s how to cleanse your face the right way as per your skin type

Gel Cleanser Vs Cream Cleanser

Here are the difference between these two types of popular cleansers:

Gel Cleansers

Gel cleansers reform the idea that people believe that you need lather or need bubbles to clean the skin properly. These cleansers differ in texture and appearance from the light and airy traditional foaming cleansers. They are completely transparent, translucent, or lightly coloured and have a thick gel consistency that provides a small amount of foam (if any) and a mild cleansing experience.

cleansers for skin
Are gel cleansers good for your skin? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Although gel cleansers give a lighter cleanse, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are less effective. Gel cleansers clean out the deeper layers without stripping (as foaming cleansers do), leaving you feel refreshed post-cleanse. Plus, it’s easy to find gel cleansers to help balance the skin’s pH.

Best for:  As you can imagine, gel cleansers are recommended for sensitive, irritative or itchy skin types and skin that tends to dry easily after being cleaned. Although they do not clean as deeply as foaming cleansers, gel cleansers can still be effective at cleaning out oily or acne-prone skin. Antiseptic and anti-acne ingredients can be easily added to gel-based formulas. The best part of gel cleansers is that they suit most skin types.

Cream Cleansers

Cream cleansers, sometimes called cleansing lotions or cleansing milk, have a thicker, creamy texture and are formulated with ingredients to help the skin retain moisture, like plant-based oils. They avoid the suds altogether and deliver a mild cleanse to the skin. Creamy cleansers remove dirt and makeup effectively but may not feel as ‘squeaky clean’ as foaming cleansers.

cleansers for skin
Are cream cleansers for your skin? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Best for: Cream cleansers are gentler and more moisturising than other cleansers, making them best for dry skin. Most creamy cleansers are calming, soothing, and moisturising formulas that are even suitable for mature and sensitive skin types.

Worst for: Oily and teenage skin types will succeed better with other cleansers.

In addition, there are other forms of cleansers available in the market, which dermatologists hardly approve of. Ex. oil cleanser, micellar water, and clay cleanser. Check with your doctor to know your skin type and what suits you best.


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