The best cleanser for every skin type

The best cleanser for every skin type

Looking for the perfect cleanser or face wash but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. There are countless cleansers our there to choose from, and it can get confusing with so many different claims, ingredients and buzzwords. The best solution is to strip it right back to basics with a cleanser tailored to your skin type – and Clinique has something for everyone.


From no-frills soaps to nourishing creams and our new luxurious foam cleanser, upgrade your first skincare step with our guide to facial cleansers for every skin type.


All Skin Types. 

Best Cleanser For All Skin Types: Our NEW Take The Day Off™ Facial Cleansing Mousse is a luxurious, comforting option with benefits for all skin types.

Texture: Our latest cleansing innovation has a luxe silky mousse texture that lathers into a soft, comfortable foam.

Key Ingredients: This dermatologist-tested cleansing mousse is formulated with 10% glycerin – a hydrating powerhouse – and hyaluronic acid, alongside a naturally-derived cleansing system with coconut.

Benefits: Our silky, oil-free mousse removes long-wearing makeup, sunscreen, oil and impurities for clean, refreshed, hydrated skin. It cleanses thoroughly without stripping the skin, perfect for keeping your skin balanced. If you’re wondering where Take The Day Off™ Facial Cleansing Mousse fits in your routine, you can use it morning and night as a standalone cleanse or, if you’re wearing makeup or sunscreen, use it after Take The Day Off™ Cleansing Balm for the ultimate double cleanse.

More Clinique Cleansers for all skin types: If you prefer a liquid or gel face wash, try Liquid Facial Soap Mild – a no-frills, non-drying cleanser which effectively cleanses and protects skin’s natural moisture balance.

Shop NEW Take The Day Off™ Facial Cleansing Mousse


Dry & Dry Combination Skin. 

Best Cleanser For Dry Skin: All About Clean Foaming Facial Soap is ideal for dry, dehydrated skin types.

Texture: All About Clean Foaming Facial Soap has a soothing, cream-to-foam texture.

Key Ingredients: A triple threat of hydrating heroes: glycerin, hyaluronic acid and urea. Read more about the benefits of urea and glycerin here.

Benefits: Our foaming facial cleanser gently yet thoroughly removes pollution, dirt, excess oil and makeup to remove smoother, clearer, nourished skin. It helps to maintain skin’s moisture barrier, leaving dry skin feeling soft and comfortable, never tight. It’s thorough and effective, without stripping the skin.

More Clinique Cleansers For Dry Skin: Our Take The Day Off™ range is also great for dry skin – we highly recommend the safflower oil-infused cleansing balm to gently dissolve makeup before cleansing or the Take The Day Off™ Cleansing Oil if you prefer and oil-based cleanser, followed by the luxe new cleansing mousse.

Shop All About Clean Foaming Facial Soap

Oily & Oily Combination Skin. 

Best Cleanser For Oily Skin: An effective cleanser is particularly important for oily skin, as it helps to restore balance in the skin and control excess oil. Our pick? Liquid Facial Soap Oily Skin Formula.

Texture: Liquid Facial Soap has a lightweight, liquid gel texture, which is ideal for oily skin. It lathers into a soft, non-drying foam on application and rinses easily without any residue.

Key Ingredients: It’s a water-based, oil-free cleanser, plus it contains aloe vera, known for its soothing, hydrating properties.

Benefits: This is a pretty no-frills cleanser, but that’s exactly what oily skin needs. It helps keep the moisture and oil levels balanced in the skin, removing surface dirt, debris and excess oil without stripping the skin of essential oils, which can cause the skin to produce even more oil.

More Clinique Cleansers For Oily Skin: If you’d rather a cream or foam cleanser, try our All About Clean™ Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser, a purifying cleanser with glycerin and hyaluronic acid that leaves oily skin feeling fresh and clean. Looking for a makeup remover for oily skin? Try our detoxifying charcoal-infused Take The Day Off™ Charcoal Cleansing Balm.

Shop Liquid Facial Soap

Blemish-Prone Skin. 

Best Cleanser For Blemish-Prone Skin: Our dedicated Anti-Blemish Solutions range offers two clarifying cleansing options: Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam and Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Gel.

Texture: Choose between a lightweight, soothing foam cleanser and a refreshing foaming cleansing gel.

Key Ingredients: Both formulas are powered by anti-blemish and exfoliating ingredients like salicylic acid and acetyl glucosamine, which help to clear cells build-up that can clog pores. They also contain oil-controlling ingredients like laminaria saccharina and anti-irritants like caffeine to reduce inflammation.

Benefits: Specifically formulated for blemish-prone skins, these cleansers help to remove dirt and excess oil, soothe and calm redness and keep pores clear to prevent future breakouts. Skin feels fresh, soft, calm and smooth.

More Clinique Cleansers For Blemish-Prone Skin: If you’re noticing a lot of blackheads popping up, which can lead to more blemishes and congestion, try Blackhead Solutions 7 Day Deep Pore Cleanse & Scrub, a multitasking cleanser/scrub/mask that reduces the look of visible pores and blackheads. It's a great one to alternate in once or twice a week, either as an exfoliating cleanse or a separate mask step.

Shop Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam


Sensitive & Redness-Prone Skin.

Best Cleanser For Sensitive Skin: If your skin is particulary sensitive or prone to redness flare-ups, a super gentle cleanser is essential. Try our Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser.

Texture: This gentle, non-drying cream cleanser feels soft and soothing on the skin.

Key Ingredients: Enriched with hydrating glycerin, squalene and calming cucumber extract.

Benefits: Formulated for any skin with occasional or persistent redness and sensitivity, this cream cleanser gently melts away makeup and impurities without stripping the skin or disrupting the skin barrier.

More Clinique Cleansers For Sensitive Skin: Another great Clinique cleanser for sensitive skin is our Extra Gentle Cleansing Foam. It’s a plush, velvety-soft foam with glycerin and algae extract to thoroughly cleanse sensitive skin with care.

Shop Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser


Best cleansers FAQs

What is the difference between a cleanser and a face wash?

Cleansers and face washes both work to thoroughly cleanse the skin – the main difference lies in the texture. Face washes are usually water-based formulas like gels, soap bars or foams that form a soapy lather when massaged with water, ensuring a deep pore cleanse. Facial cleansers typically have richer textures like creams, balms and oils, and are often formulated with nourishing, barrier-strengthening ingredients to help boost moisture levels and rebalance the complexion.


How often should you use a cleanser?

It’s best to use a cleanser twice daily, morning and night. Even if you have very oily skin, try to stick to twice daily, as over-cleansing can strip the skin of essential oils and damage the skin barrier. It can also cause the skin to produce more oil to counteract dryness or sensitivity caused by over-cleansing.


Do you need to wash your face in the morning?

It’s completely up to you, however our experts recommend that twice-daily cleansing will help keep your skin healthy and happy. Firstly, cleansing in the morning is a great way to wake up, prep and refresh your skin – it also helps your next skincare steps to sink in and get to work. A morning cleanse also sweeps away excess oil and debris that may have accumulated overnight, as well as removing any remnants of heavier skincare from the night before (for example, overnight masks or night creams). The trick is to ensure you are using the right cleanser for your skin type, avoiding anything that will strip your skin or damage the skin barrier.


When do you need to double cleanse?

Double cleansing is a two-step cleansing regimen, starting with an oil or balm-based cleanse to remove makeup, sunscreen and direct, followed by a cream, gel or mousse-based cleanser to ensure a thorough cleanse for radiant skin. Learn more about The Power Of Double Cleansing in our expert guide.


Our derm-trained experts, at your service. 

Need more help creating your Clinique skincare routine? Trained in partnership with our guiding dermatologists, our in-house experts are here to help you achieve your skin goals with our complimentary Clinical Consultations service. Equipped with pioneering diagnostic tools and education backed by dermatological science, our Clinical Consultants will help you create a skincare routine to deliver instant wins and results over time. Offering a bespoke, tailored service, they'll act as your personal skin coach, tracking your progress with regular check-ins over the course of 12 weeks and providing advice and tips to help you make the most of your new routine. Book an appointment today to start your journey to great skin.


Words by Shona Wallace, January 2024. 


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