How to Choose the Right Cleanser

Cleansing is the first step and the most important step in your skincare routine. Nothing feels better than cleanse your face at the end of a long day. We know that cleansers remove every trace of makeup, dirt, sebum, pollution and sweat which makes your skin breathable, allow your skin to repair itself and allow your skincare products to penetrate more effectively. Thus, choosing the right cleanser based on your skin types and skin conditions, the texture and ingredients of the cleanser is crucial.


Micellar Cleansing Water

Micellar water is originated in France. Micellar water contains “micelles” or tiny oil molecules suspended in soft water that acts like a magnet to attract oil, dirt and makeup. Micellar water is gentle, soap-free and alcohol-free and it doesn’t require any rinsing. It is suitable for dry, sensitive and acne-prone skin.

Cleansing Milk

Cleansing milk is the combination of water and oil. They are soft, creamy and milky liquid that gently lift away impurities and makeup while preserving your skin natural moisture. Compare to micellar water, cleansing milk need to rinse off with water. Cleansing milk is more suitable for normal, dry and sensitive skin.

Cleansing Balm

Cleansing balm is in a solid state and it has a thicker texture. It melts away makeup, dirt and impurities without stripping your skin moisture barrier. Cleansing balm is extremely moisturising and it is suitable for dry and sensitive skin. You may need to warm up the product between your hands or fingers to soften the product before applying on your face. Water is needed too to emulsify the balm to rinse away your makeup.

Cleansing Oil

Cleansing oil is oil-based formula designed to remove makeup, oil and other impurities without disrupting your skin natural oil. There are many different formulas of cleansing oil, primarily composed of argan oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil or rice bran oil. Oil-based cleansers have lipophilic properties, which mean they can dissolve other types of oils, including the natural sebum produced by our skin, the oils found in skincare and makeup products, even the stubborn makeup. Cleansing oil is suitable for all skin types, especially oily and acne prone skin.

Gel Cleanser 

Gel cleansers tend to have gel-like consistency and they are generally designed for deep cleansing. Gel cleansers are good for removing excess oil and unclogged pores thus they are better for oily and acne-prone and normal skin.

Foam Cleanser 

Foam cleansers are as effective as gel cleanser in removing excess sebum. Foam cleansers are pretty much in between gel and cream cleanser and they will burst into rich lather when combined with water. Foam cleansers are more suitable for combination, oily and acne-prone skin.

Clay Cleanser

Clay cleansers are renowned for their absorbing power by drawing out excess sebum and dirt from your pores. Clay cleanser usually contains absorbent like kaolin, bentonite, charcoal and French clay. Clay cleansers are good options for oily or combination skin.

Powder Cleanser 

Powder cleansers are the dehydrated version of liquid cleanser. Powder cleansers normally contain oat or rice powder which has exfoliating properties. Many powder cleansers are added with enzymes like papaya enzyme which give additional level of cleansing and exfoliation. Powder cleansers are perfect for those with sensitive skin.


There’s a tendency that people looking for cleanser with a lot of foams which gives you the squeaky-clean feeling and people believe that skin should feel tight after cleansing. Should your skin feel tight after cleansing? Absolutely not. Feeling squeaky-clean and tight is a sign that your cleanser is too harsh for your skin and your skin PH balance and skin barrier are disrupted. There are two main harsh surfactants in cleansers are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate. These harsh surfactants strip away skin natural oil, disrupting skin acid mantle and weaken skin barrier causing skin susceptible to irritants and bacteria. Choose cleanser with mild cleansing agents derived from coconut or palm.


Nowadays, most of the cleansers are infused with some skin boosting ingredients. You should look for a cleanser with added ingredients that target and suitable for your skin types. For example, if you are oily and acne prone skin, look for cleanser added with salicylic acid to unclog your pores and reduce excess sebum. If your skin is dry, choose a cleanser added with emollients like ceramides and plant oils. If you are sensitive skin, you may want to look for a cleanser with soothing aloe vera, bisabolol and allantoin.

Emollients: propanediol, ceramides. Sunflower oil, jojoba oil

Humectants: glycerine, hyaluronic acid, propylene glycol

Exfoliants: salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid

Soothing: Aloe Vera, Bisabolol, Allantoin 

Antioxidants: Vitamin C, Vitamin E

Not All Cleansers Are Created Equally 

If you are looking for cleanser that is PH balance, with gentle surfactants and added skin benefit ingredients, you may try Gilda Cleansing Oil or Gilda Micellar Cleansing Water. Gilda Cleansing oil transforms into soft and fine bubbles when added with water, which is quite different from other brands of cleansing oil that will turn into milky texture instead of bubbles.

Not all bubbles are bad. Bubbles created from plant-based surfactants help lift dirt and oil from the skin to be washed off. The bubbles also act like a cushion so you don’t pull your skin too much when you massage your skin.


Double cleansing means using two different cleansers in your skincare routine. Firstly, using an oil-based cleanser or micellar water to melt away all traces of makeup, sunscreen, pollution and sebum on the surface. Then, follow by a water-based cleanser for a deeper cleansing while addressing some skin benefits.  Everyone needed to double cleanse their skin even if not wearing any makeup because our skin is exposing to pollution, dust and toxins from the environment. Thus, double cleanse makes sure your skin is perfectly clean by getting rid of any traces of impurities  

Double cleansing also will improve the efficacy of skincare products that you apply later on. A clean skin surface will ensure your serums and moisturizers are able to penetrate deeper to do their jobs. Your skin is able to repair and regenerate. Double cleanse prevents the built up of residue, oil, dirt and cosmetic products left on the skin that causes skin dullness and clogged pores. Double cleanse aims to help you restore skin radiance and reduce blackheads, whiteheads and breakouts.  

In general, we should cleanse our skin twice daily. Wash your face in the morning to get rid of sweat and oil that accumulated throughout the night and eliminate bacteria from your pillowcase. In the evening, double cleanse your skin to remove your makeup, sunscreen, dust and residue from pollution.

The ideal face washing temperature is cold to lukewarm water. Too hot will irritate and dry out your skin while too cold will break the capillaries under your skin. Washing your face for one minute is recommended. Wash your face for 60 seconds to let the ingredients of your cleansers to work. Avoid over washing or scrubbing your face for too long as this will strip your skin and leave it dry and irritated.