How to Pick the Right Facial Cleanser for Your Skin Type

Every man's face has its own unique quirks, and the same can be said for cleansers. Here's a helpful guide to identifying your skin type—and choosing a matching formula.

Oily Skin

Indicators: Large, visible pores and a greasy sheen that develops quickly after you’ve cleansed.
What to Look for: An oil-control face wash that digs deep to purify pores (ones with charcoal are highly effective), and helps regulate oil production without leaving your face feeling dry. A formula that balances pH will also slow the growth of bacteria and help prevent breakouts.
Products to Try:
Clinique for Men Charcoal Face Wash
Kiehl's Since 1851 Men's Oil Eliminator Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Face Wash
Lab Series Oil Control Face Wash

Dry Skin

Indicators: Your skin is often itchy, flaky, or generally tight.
What to Look for: A cleanser that clears away grime and impurities without stripping skin of its natural oils. A hydrating face wash (especially those made with glycerin or essential oils) should do the trick, and look for soap-free formulas wherever possible.
Products to Try:
Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash
ERNEST SUPPLIES Soap-Free Gel Face Wash
CONTEXT SKIN Daily Facial Cleanser

Sensitive Skin

Indicators: Your skin is often red—especially after shaving or cleansing—and prone to irritation.
What to Look for: Cleansers with dense, creamy foams and soothing ingredients like aloe vera, willow bark, and witch hazel. Balancing pH is also important, as skin can get dry or irritated when its pH is out of whack. If possible, avoid heavily sudsy products (less creamy, more bubbly).
Products to Try:
DTRT Face to Face Foam Cleanser
(MALIN+GOETZ) grapefruit face cleanser
PLANT Rice & Clean Gentle Facial Cleanser

Normal Skin

Indicators: An even skin tone with no flaking, redness, or sheen, and only the occasional breakout.
What to Look for: Honestly, just about anything—your skin isn't picky. We recommend potent (yet non-drying) cleansers with a range of bonus perks: antiaging, toning, and hydrating ingredients are all a major plus.
Products to Try:
Baxter of California Daily Face Wash
Jack Black Pure Clean Daily Facial Cleanser
Anthony Algae Facial Cleanser

Combination Skin

Indicators: An oily T-Zone (your forehead, nose, and chin) alongside drier skin on your cheeks.
What to Look for: A formula that balances a thorough clean with a healthy dose of hydration. Like a cleanser for dry skin, it should clear away oil and grime without stripping skin of moisture. The ideal is a face wash that protects skin's lipid barrier, locking in natural moisture while cleansing surface oil. Products to Try:
Billy Jealousy White Knight Gentle Daily Facial Cleanser
Montez Renault Facial Cleanser
CW BEGGS AND SONS Face Wash

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