Let's face it, choosing the right skincare product for our faces is never easy. You'll never know if a product your friend swears by would yield the same results on your skin type. Still, we need to remove our makeup as well as all the effects of a long day because sleeping without cleansing the face is a big no-no. This is where cleansers come in, and one of the most popular types is foaming cleansers because of their gentle yet effective properties.
Gone are the days when foaming cleansers were meant for oily or combination skin types because of their "drying" reputation. Now, they come equipped with ingredients that nourish and moisturize while ensuring a deep clean. We've picked out Sephora's and Amazon's best foaming cleansers for each skin type. Our favorite is Korres' Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser as it's effective in clearing away daily grime while being gentle on the skin. We've also included a buying guide to help you choose a great foaming cleanser for your skin!
Dr. Levy is a board certified dermatologist practicing in NYC and Westport, Connecticut. She has expertise in treating inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. She has an interest in skincare and takes a personalized approach to all of her patients. You can follow her on Instagram!
Who are foaming cleansers best suited for? To get the answer, we asked board certified dermatologist Dr. Lauren Levy for the answer. She says, "Foaming cleansers are great for those with oily skin or acne-prone skin. They can gently strip the skin of excess oils and dirt while at the same time providing skin nourishment and hydration.
Many foaming cleansers are soothing on the skin. Most are non-medicated and can be used with a prescription or over-the-counter acne regimen. Ask for samples from the store or from your dermatologist before you buy the entire bottle.
If you become a little dry from using a foaming cleanser but still want the benefits of a deep clean and exfoliation, then cut down to two or three times a week and alternate with an oil- or cream-based cleanser. Using a good emollient or moisturizer after a foaming cleanser can help fight any dryness the foaming wash may cause."
We've read countless reviews and studied the product descriptions and ingredients list. Here are the popular foam cleansers readily available at leading online stores. There's one for every skin type. You can even choose based on the main ingredients such as something natural, fruity, or nutritious for the skin.
*Please note that these products were chosen after extensive research by mybest writers. The choices are not necessarily affiliated with or recommended by Dr. Lauren Levy.
|Best for||Normal, dry, combination and oily skin|
|Formulated with||Greek yogurt concentrate, honeysuckle, amaranth seed extract|
|Highlights||Free from sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde|
|Best for||Combination and oily skin|
|Formulated with||Jeju volcanic clusters, lactic acid|
|Highlights||Free from sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, mineral oil|
|Pre-foam consistency||Lightweight gel|
|Best for||Normal, sensitive and oily skin|
|Formulated with||Ceramides, glycerin, niacinamide|
|Highlights||Free from soap, sulfates, oils, fragrances, parabens|
|Best for||Oily, normal and combination skin|
|Formulated with||Glycerin, white lotus extract|
|Highlights||Free from parabens|
|Best for||All skin types|
|Formulated with||Glycerin, vitamin B5, vitamin E|
|Highlights||Free from fragrances|
|Best for||Normal, combination, and dry skin|
|Formulated with||Japanese rice bran, rice and papaya enzymes, green tea, pearl, algae|
|Highlights||Free from sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances|
|Best for||Normal and oily skin|
|Formulated with||Green tea, lauric acid|
|Highlights||Free from ethanol, talc, sulfates, mineral oils, salicylic acid|
|Best for||Normal, dry, combination and oily skin|
|Formulated with||Green tea, papaya enzymes|
|Highlights||Free from sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, mineral oil|
|Best for||All skin types|
|Formulated with||Natural amino acids, acerola, rooibos leaf, bamboo, angelica|
|Highlights||Free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, alcohol, artificial coloring|
|Best for||Normal, oily and combination skin|
|Formulated with||Glycerin, coconut, ubame white oak, and gray bamboo charcoal complex|
|Highlights||Free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates|
La Roche Posay
Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser
Pore Clearing Facial Foam With Volcanic Clusters
Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser
Gentle Foaming Cleanser
The Rice Polish Classic
Real Fresh Foam Green Tea
Treatment Enzyme Exfoliating Powder Cleanser
Clean It Zero Foam Cleanser
Supercleanse Clearing Cream-to-Foam Cleanser
Greek Yogurt to Soothe the Skin
Jeju Volcanic Ash to Absorb Oil and Minimize Pores
Dermatologist-Tested, pH-Balanced Formula
Pamper Your Skin With White Lotus and Rose
A Fragrance-Free Cleanser for Everyday Use
Revive Your Skin With This Antioxidant-Rich Cleanser
Effectively Improves Your Skin Complexion
Your Next Daily Exfoliating Cleanser With Papaya
Draws Out Impurities for a Deep Cleansing Experience
Detoxifying Foam Cleanser for Oil Control
|Best for||Normal, dry, combination and oily skin||Combination and oily skin||Normal, sensitive and oily skin||Oily, normal and combination skin||All skin types||Normal, combination, and dry skin||Normal and oily skin||Normal, dry, combination and oily skin||All skin types||Normal, oily and combination skin|
|Amount||2.54 oz.||5.07 oz.||13.52 oz.||4.2 oz.||8 oz.||2.1 oz.||5.6 oz.||1.76 oz.||5.07 oz.||5 oz.|
|Formulated with||Greek yogurt concentrate, honeysuckle, amaranth seed extract||Jeju volcanic clusters, lactic acid||Ceramides, glycerin, niacinamide||Glycerin, white lotus extract||Glycerin, vitamin B5, vitamin E||Japanese rice bran, rice and papaya enzymes, green tea, pearl, algae||Green tea, lauric acid||Green tea, papaya enzymes||Natural amino acids, acerola, rooibos leaf, bamboo, angelica||Glycerin, coconut, ubame white oak, and gray bamboo charcoal complex|
|Highlights||Free from sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde||Free from sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, mineral oil||Free from soap, sulfates, oils, fragrances, parabens||Free from parabens||Free from fragrances||Free from sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances||Free from ethanol, talc, sulfates, mineral oils, salicylic acid||Free from sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, mineral oil||Free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oil, alcohol, artificial coloring||Free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates|
|Pre-foam consistency||Cream||Lightweight gel||Gel||Cream||Liquid||Powder||Liquid||Powder||Cream||Cream|
So how do we pick a foaming cleanser without being able to try it first? We do it based on science, research, and reviews. From the best foaming cleanser for each skin type to the ingredients you need to watch out for, we'll empower you with the confidence and knowledge to take a step closer to discovering your holy grail cleanser.
Many of us know that there are five main skin types: oily, dry, normal, combination, and sensitive. But since skin types don't stay permanent, one can never be lax when it comes to cleansing. Some people also have a mix of one or two. With that in mind, let's take a look at what foam cleanser would best suit your skin.
Foam cleansers work great on oily and acne-prone skin because they can thoroughly clean and soften the face. A common issue with this skin type is hyperactive sebum production; therefore, having a cleanser that can pull up the excess oil and pacify the sebaceous glands is crucial.
When it comes to oily skin, a lightweight foaming cleanser is a great choice. The foaming consistency can penetrate deeply into your pores to eliminate dirt and excess oil, leaving your skin feeling squeaky clean afterward.
It's also recommended to go for a cleanser that doesn't contain any comedogenic ingredients such as coconut oil, capric acid, or almond oil. They're ultra-hydrating to the skin and are great for dry skin but are not the best choices for acne-prone and oily skin. In fact, they can clog your pores and lead to breakouts.
While it is logical to get a foam cleanser with alcohol, too much of it can actually trick the sebaceous glands into entering survival mode and compensating with more oil. So, if you're worried about extra oil production, you might want to consider avoiding products that contain alcohol.
Foaming cleansers work very well for acne-prone or oily skin. They can remove excess dirt and oil by cleaning out the pores. They leave the skin feeling clean and refreshed without a heavy residue. Most foaming cleansers are not medicated and therefore can be used with prescription or OTC acne products like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
It may be unheard of in the skincare world to use foam cleansers on dry skin because it can leave the surface taut and stripped of natural oils, but this type of cleanser has gone a long way in becoming all-inclusive.
For dry skin types, emollients are your best friend. These are substances that work by sealing in whatever moisture the skin produces. Plant oils, mineral oil, shea butter, and cocoa butter are examples of emollients that complement dry skin.
Then we have humectants such as hyaluronic acid, which draw moisture from the environment and lock it in the skin. Dry skin needs emollients and humectants to work hand in hand to ensure the face stays moisturized and hydrated.
Sulfates such as sodium laurel sulfate and sodium hydroxypropyl sulfonate are used in cleansers and shampoos to give it that foamy lather. However, sulfates have gotten a bad rap for the allergic reactions they can induce. They can strip the skin of its natural oils as well, so you might want to avoid these ingredients if you're worried about the above.
Some foaming cleansers are more creamy, and these can be used for those with dryer skin. Dry skin requires cleansers with emollients and humectants to trap moisture. Cleansers that have dimethicone or glycerin as ingredients can be very moisturizing and provide relief for dry or irritated skin.
Foam cleansers are highly recommended for those with combination skin types because they provide the double effect of removing excess oil and gently exfoliating. Combination skin types typically have a dry cheek area and an oily T-zone, which is why foam cleansers that are lightweight and gentle on the skin are sought after.
Go for a cleanser with lightweight humectants, such as one containing glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or aloe vera. Those ingredients can keep your dry area moisturized while not making your oily area feel greasy.
Sensitive skin can easily get irritated by a product, resulting in breakouts, redness, and other reactions. Application technique is crucial to sensitive skin: the less scrubbing, the better. It's best to ensure the foam cleanser can be activated beforehand with a sponge or net and not on the face to avoid aggravating the skin.
For sensitivity that causes redness, you can go for ingredients that offer antioxidant protection such as vitamins C and E, niacinamide, and chamomile extract. These also have anti-inflammatory properties to keep any adverse reactions to the product at bay.
It's equally important that a foam cleanser for sensitive skin is soap-free so that it won't strip the skin of its natural oils. And before applying a product, always do a patch test to make sure it truly works for your skin.
You can also choose a foam cleanser based on its consistency because these don't always come in foam form. There are foam cleansers with a particular scent for that added pleasing effect, or what about one that comes with a dispenser?
The beauty (and fun) of foaming cleansers is that they don't usually come in a frothy state. It takes some lathering before you get that nice sudsy consistency. This also means that they can be very economical because you need only a drop or two to get a bubble the size of your face.
Foaming cleansers can come in liquid, cream, gel, or even powder state. With some whipping action, you'll be able to transform a gel and liquid cleanser into a light foam that's great for oily skin.
A cream cleanser tends to contain heavier moisturizers and forms a creamy lather. Those with dry skin will benefit from a cream cleanser as it gives them extra moisture.
With a powder cleanser, you'll need to mix the formula with some water. This type of cleanser usually has exfoliating properties to get rid of dead skin cells and renew the skin's surfaces. So go for a powder cleanser if you need a deep clean!
You can also get a net specifically designed to turn the liquid, cream, or gel into a nice fluff for added efficiency. You'll likely use less product with a net, so it can be a money-saver overall!
If you have drier skin, choose a foaming cleanser that is cream base. For acne-prone or oily skin, a gel base is recommended as these tend to be more effective at helping with sebum control and removing debris from the pores.
Powder foaming cleansers also tend to be slightly drying because they exfoliate at the same time. You may only want to use this type of cleanser a few times a week instead of nightly.
Because skincare products come into direct contact with our noses, the scent is another thing people consider. Some foam cleansers have a strong smell that might annoy a user, while others have a more subtle, natural scent that calms and soothes while you scrub away.
And if you know fragrance ingredients don't react well with your skin or you just want to avoid the smell altogether, you can also get foaming cleansers without any fragrance at all. The choice is highly subjective according to preferences.
Fragrance is one of the most common causes of skin allergy or contact dermatitis. Additionally, people with atopic dermatitis or eczema can be very sensitive to fragrance and may get a flare of eczema after using a product with fragrance. Check the ingredient list prior to use if you are sensitive to fragrance.
If you're someone who doesn't have the time to lather, there are foam cleansers that come in a dispenser with a push-pump which ejects foam into your hand. You might need a few more pumps to get the needed amount for a full wash, but it does save you the effort of having to create the foam yourself.
They can also be more hygienic since your hand is only touching the top of the pump instead of the hole where the cleanser is dispensed. With other cleansers, your hand may touch the opening as you dispense it onto your hand. If you're a germophobe, push-pumps can be your savior!
A net isn't something that everyone has used before, especially when referring to washing your face! For those new to the process, here's a simple video prepared by midsummer3v3 on how to use a net to properly foam up your cleanser to assure a clean, gentle wash.
They may not consist of 10 grueling steps of layering and double-cleansing, but you might be interested in these other skincare products guaranteed to be gentle and beneficial for the skin. We do want great skin and to delay aging for as long as possible, after all!
There you have it: foaming cleansers debunked. Whether we're dealing with dry or sensitive skin, foam cleansers can rise to the challenge of gently washing away impurities without aggravating the skin.
Since cleansing is a crucial step in any skincare ritual as it preps the face for all the goodies that come next, we must have only the best products lying on the counter. We hope we've found your perfect match for you or at least gotten you started on your way!
Author: Hana Otsuka
If your skin feels a bit dry after using a foaming cleanser, you should follow up with a moisturizer to keep your skin healthy and hydrated. This moisturizing cream, recommended by beauty blogger Nikki Lopez, feature hyaluronic acid and ceramides to leave your skin feeling plump and soft.
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