The Inside Scoop on Cleansers

Your Guide to Choosing the Best Cleanser for YOUR Skin

Picture of Caleb Lee | April, 2021
Caleb Lee | April, 2021

Cleansers. Every skincare brand has one (or many) and the differences between them can be vast. Some are designed to be gentle and used twice daily while others are formulated to exfoliate and even strip skin of oil and debris…

So – how to choose a cleanser for your skin? It’s best to start with your skin-type.

There are seven basic skin-types (with some overlap between them):


• Dry to Normal
• Normal to Oily
• Combination
• Sensitive
• Hyperpigmented
• Blemish-Prone
• Photoaged

By starting with your skin type, you can effectively eliminate what cleansers aren’t meant for your skin, and come closer to a product that will help you meet your goals – whether that’s reducing acne, dark spots or just keeping your skin fresh and healthy as you age.

Don’t know your skin type? Take our Skin Type Quiz and discover a regimen built for YOUR skin! 

It gets a bit deeper than that though…

With so many cleaners on the market boasting claims to help common skin concerns, it’s easy to find yourself scratching your head when standing in front of the plethora of brands you’ll find on a retail shelf.

Should you choose a Face Wash or a Facial Cleanser?

The difference between facial washes and cleansers is fairly simple. You can expect cleaners to be more gentle — cream-based, gel-like or even watery in some cases. They’re meant to purify, hydrate and even provide moisture while removing dirt and debris. Those unfamiliar with cleaners are usually surprised by their texture because they are so used to using washes.

Facial washes are basically soap — and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Facial washes tend to lather and give you that “squeaky” clean feeling due to the deeply penetrating nature of most washes. Those with oily skin tend to lean towards facial washes while those with sensitive skin will benefit most from a gentle cleanser.

Make sure your cleanser (or facial wash) is Sodium-Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) FREE

Sodium-Laurly Sulfate (SLS) is a common ingredient found in many cosmetic facial cleansers. It acts as a foaming agent by lowering the surface tension between ingredients and can also be found in many detergents and household cleaners – this is where SLS gets its bad reputation. A cleanser or facial wash containing SLS can cause unnecessary irritation to skin — even stripping it of vital oils and nutrients.

Let’s break it down further…

The A Method offers three unique (SLS-free) cleaners formulated for different skin types and concerns.

Cleanse Gentle Daily Wash

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Key Ingredients:
Hyaluronic Acid
Avocado Oil
Best For:


Cleanse Glycolic Gel

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Key Ingredients:
Glycolic Acid
Lactic Acid
Salicylic Acid
Best For:

Cleanse Silky Vitamin C

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Key Ingredients
Potassium Cocoate
Ascorbic Acid
Best For:

Choosing a cleanser an be deceptively tricky. It’s an overlooked aspect of many skin routines, falling wayside in our minds to sexier products like antioxidant serums, retinol-based creams and the trendiest new ways to look younger — but the basis of your routine is (and always will be) your cleanser.

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Questions and Answers! 

Q: Should I use a cleanser brush?

A: There’s evidence that cleansing brushes can help if you suffer from acne and breakouts. More expensive cleansing brushes will actually suck debris out of the skin while improving circulation. I recommend large cleansing pads for those who don’t have a cleansing brush readily available.

Q: What’s the difference between cleansers and toners?

A: The biggest difference is in how they affect the pores. Cleansers will remove dirt, debris and excess oil to leave pores clear while a toner cleanses skin while contracting pores and minimizing their visibility.

Q: Which cleanser is best for acne?

A: I recommend cleaners featuring glycolic and salicylic acid for acne patients. The A Method Cleanse Glycolic Gel is an excellent choice for those suffering from acne. Check out our MASKNE Kit here.

Q: Which cleanser is best for dry skin?

A: A gentle daily cleanser will be best for dryer skin types. It’s important to avoid excess scrubbing and to always moisturize following cleansing.

Q: Do cleaners expire?

A: Yes! Generally most skincare products have a 2-3 year shelf life but I recommend patients throw out any unused cleansers after six months of being exposed to air. This simply helps you avoid introducing harmful bacteria to the skin.

Q: How often should I use a cleanser?

A: Twice daily (once in the morning, and once in the evening) is the general recommendation but depending on your skin could be more or less.


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