Water-based Cleansers: Wash Away Your (Skincare) Worries!

How do you like to wash your face? Do you have a favorite face wash? Do you just splash water on your face and call it a day? (It’s okay if you do, but face washes will do an even better job at cleaning than humble H2O!)

Now, let’s talk about the second step in the double-cleansing process: the water-based or foaming cleanser. I like to think of these foaming cleansers as being very similar to, if not the same as, the daily face wash you thought of a few sentences ago!

Let’s break this down, the same way your cleanser breaks down dirt on your skin. What are water-based or foaming cleansers? They comprise the second cleansing step and ensure that your skin is clean. After your oil cleanser tackles (see my previous article) your skin’s surface oils, foaming cleansers help you get a deeper clean. Since they’re water-based, they like to handle the hydrophilic substances on your skin, like sweat; they will also clean up anything your oil cleanser might’ve missed or didn’t fully take care of. It’s like reading over an essay twice as you look for any mistakes – you’ll catch your errors the second time around, if you didn’t already catch them the first time!

            It’s important that your water-based cleanser isn’t too harsh. I went over this in the oil cleanser article, but it’s just as applicable (and more common of a problem) for water-based cleansers. If your skin is left feeling tight, then your cleanser is stripping your skin of its natural oils! There’s a balance to be had when it comes to cleaning your skin and maintaining its natural oils, which is why it’s necessary to use gentle cleansers. This is especially important for people with oily skin: If you strip your skin of its natural oils, your skin will overproduce oil to compensate, which will make you even oilier later.  

            Double-cleansing is critical, especially if you use sun protection daily (which you should – the sun’s rays are harmful!), wear makeup, or live in a place with a lot of pollution. Sunscreen and makeup products can be hard to break down, especially if they’re waterproof; using a two-step cleansing process will make sure that your skin is clean and free of any sunscreen or makeup! Oil cleansers will break them down and your foaming cleansers will catch any straggling product remnants. Pollution can and will damage your skin, so double-cleansing will also purge any unwanted pollutants left lingering on your skin after a long day.



I currently use Skinfood’s Egg White Pore Foam cleanser every day. Not only is it affordably priced with some adorable packaging, but it’s also gentle on the skin. That being said, I’m still trying out different cleansers in the hope that I can find The One™ – if you have any cleanser recommendations, just let me know!