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  • Writer's pictureJPS


Updated: Jan 5, 2021

Not Another Skincare Routine aims to bring back fresh faces for the unfiltered with the help of clean beauty products and tutorials. We've done all the research, so you don't have to. 

Breaking down Step One

Nothing feels better after a long day than to cleanse and let our skin breathe. Removing dirt, sweat and makeup allows the skin to repair and renew itself. With so many cleansing options, it can be challenging to figure out which is the right product for you. As the first step in Not another Skincare Routine, it's crucial to get this right if we are to truly receive the benefits of the products we apply afterwards. Never purchase the wrong product again!

In this article, you will learn:

  • Break down of each type of cleanser 

  • Who should try them

  • Pros and Cons

  • The right way to apply them

  • The right way to remove them

  • Which products I recommend the most!

Cleansing Milk

This product has a milky non-lathering texture and contains moisturizing oils and emulsifiers.

Dry/ Sensitive/ Normal Skin

Pro: A gentle cleanser that won't leave your skin feeling dry or tight after. 

Con: May leave behind some residue if not properly removed and will become a barrier that prevents topical products from penetrating.

Apply the product over dry skin and massage all over face and neck in a circular motion for at least 30 seconds. The oil in the product will attach to the oils in your skin and lift the grime.

*Removal is imperative using a cotton/ muslin face cloth soaked and wrung in hand-hot water or cotton pad. 

*Not for acne-prone skin

Ren Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk Caudalie Gentle Cleansing Milk 

Cleansing Cream

This product is thick and creamy in texture and contains moisturizing oils, emulsifiers, and waxes.

Dry/ Eczema Sensitive/ Normal/ Mature skin

Pro: Similar to Cleansing milk, will cleanse skin without stripping natural oils. Good for redness and inflammation.

Con: May leave behind some residue and if not properly removed, will become a barrier that prevents topical products from penetrating.

Apply the product over dry skin and massage all over face and neck in a circular motion for at least 30 seconds. Remove with a cotton/ muslin face cloth soaked in hand-hot water or rinse with warm water. 

*Great for dry/ sensitive skin

Try Cera Ve Hydrating Cleanser

Try Paula's Choice Hydrating Gel-to-cream Cleanser

Cleansing Oil

This product is typically a plant-based oil. 

All Skin Types

Pro: Gentle way of removing pore-clogging debris, waterproof makeup, and excess oil.

Con: Must be properly removed to prevent buildup 

Put 2 to 3 pumps of cleansing oil into the palm of your hand. Spread between your palms and then apply to your face and neck. Take a clean muslin/ cotton cloth, Soak it in hand-hot water, wring it out, and put it over your face. Then, gently wipe everything away.

*Not all oils are good for your skin. Stay away from comedogenic oils (those that clog pores) Coconut oil, Cocoa butter 

Try Votary Rose Geranium and Apricot Cleansing Oil

Malin + Goetz Facial Cleansing Oil

Cleansing Gel

This product is of thick gel consistency that provides a smaller amount of foam and is designed for deep cleansing.

Oily/ Combination/ Normal/ Acne-prone Skin 

Pro: Good for unclogging pores while removing excess oil and acne-causing bacteria from the surface of your face. 

Con: Can strip the skin of natural oils. May leave skin feeling dry and tight.

Splash the face and eyes generously with warm water. Apply a small amount of cleanser to your face using vigorous yet gentle circular motions for 30 seconds. Rinse clean with lukewarm water.

Aesop Fabulous Facial Cleanser

Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Cleanser

Cleansing Foam

This product is light and airy. Creates a foamy lather.

Oily/ Acne/ Combination/ Normal skin.

Pro: Removes excess oil and sebum but can also provide gentle exfoliation if it contains the right ingredients

Con: May leave skin feeling tight or dry and strip natural oils 

Apply a pearl-sized amount to damp face. Massage well for 30 seconds then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.

*Must be sulfate-free to avoid irritation

Omorovicza Cleansing Foam

Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cleanser

Cleansing Micellar Water

This product features "micelles"—or tiny oil molecules suspended in purified water. 

All skin types

Pro: Gently removes oil, makeup, and dirt

Con: Does not replace your cleanser but can be used as part of a cleansing routine.

Saturate a cotton pad with the cleanser. Swipe across your face until you see no residual dirt or makeup on the pad—no need to rinse but follow up with a cleanser.

Caudalie Micellar Cleansing Water

Cleansing Powder 

This product is powdery soft when dry—dissolves into a creamy lather upon contact with water.

All Skin Type

Pro:  Water-activated exfoliant for a deep clean and safe enough for sensitive skin. Great for travel as you don't need to add it to your liquids case.

Con: Can strip natural oils 

Begin with wet hands and face. Pour ½ teaspoon of powder into hands and rub together to create a creamy foam. Gently massage onto face for 30 seconds, avoiding the eye area. Rinse with warm water. Need a gentler cleanse? Simply add more water to create a softer, smoother lather. On the other hand, if you have oilier skin that needs a deeper exfoliation, using less water will help you create a thicker, paste-like cleanse.

*May not be suitable for rosacea or eczema skin as there is a high chance of irritation.

Try Tatcha The Rice Polish

Dr Barbra Sturm Enzyme Cleanser

Cleansing Bar

This product is a cleansing bar that can be just as skin-friendly as their liquid counterparts. 

Oily/ Combination/ Normal/ Sensitive Skin

Pro: Nutrient-rich and highly moisturizing 

Con: Clarifies but can be drying

Dampen the bar and gently massage the wet bar over your face using the rounded corners to stimulate circulation. Rinse with warm water.

*Do not use your body bar on your face; it could make a bad situation worse.

Joanna Vargas Miracle Bar

Cleansing Tools

Konjac Sponge

A gentle cleansing exfoliator made from the konjac root used to remove dead skin cells.


A range of silicone face brushes that vibrate to cleanse the skin.

Muslin Cloths

Type of woven cotton that is lightweight and more gentle than cotton face cloths. More expensive/ tends not to last as long. 

100% Cotton Cloths

All-natural, highly absorbent, and durable. 

*If you do decide to add a cleansing tool into your routine: clean it properly!

Still Don't know which is the best product for you?

Bare-Faced Method

Cleanse your face thoroughly with a mild cleanser and gently pat dry. Leave skin bare (and do not apply any additional moisturizers, serums or treatments). After 30 minutes, examine your cheeks, chin, nose and forehead for any shine. After another 30 minutes, evaluate whether your skin feels parched, especially if you smile or make any other facial expressions. If your skin feels tight, your skin is likely dry. If there is noticeable shine on your nose and forehead, your skin is most likely normal/combination. If there is shine on your cheeks in addition to your forehead and nose, you most likely have oily skin. If your skin becomes dry with flaky patches or itchy, your skin is most likely sensitive. 

The Notes:

  • Double cleanse (oil-based cleanser first followed by gel or foam) to remove makeup and grime in the evening. 

  • Splashing water in the morning (provided you completed the evening double-cleanse) is fine so long as you don't have oily skin. 

  • If your skin is sensitive stick to cleansing milk and creams.

  • If your skin is oily stick to gels and foams.

  • Micellar water, Cleansing powder, and Cleansing oil are for all skin types.

The Verdict:

Hope you have found this cheat sheet informative. Next time you go to cleanse, take a photograph of the ingredient list or copy and paste to the INCI Decoder. This website will decode your product, letting you know if it contains any harsh chemicals. 

Very Important: For the love of the skin gods, never forget, under any circumstance to go to bed without cleansing your face! Never!!


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