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.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
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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."
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!
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Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser
Greek Yogurt to Soothe the Skin
Pore Clearing Facial Foam With Volcanic Clusters
Jeju Volcanic Ash to Absorb Oil and Minimize Pores
La Roche Posay
Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser
Dermatologist-Tested, pH-Balanced Formula
Pamper Your Skin With White Lotus and Rose
Gentle Foaming Cleanser｜2 pack
A Fragrance-Free Cleanser for Everyday Use
The Rice Polish Classic
Revive Your Skin With This Antioxidant-Rich Cleanser
Real Fresh Foam Green Tea
Effectively Improves Your Skin Complexion
Treatment Enzyme Exfoliating Powder Cleanser
Your Next Daily Exfoliating Cleanser With Papaya
Clean It Zero Foam Cleanser
Draws Out Impurities for a Deep Cleansing Experience
Supercleanse Clearing Cream-to-Foam Cleanser
Detoxifying Foam Cleanser for Oil Control
This nourishing cream-to-foam cleanser can deeply clean your skin. It's made with Greek yogurt that contains pre and probiotics to soothe the skin and give it a boost of nutrients. Meanwhile, amaranth seed extract and honeysuckle provide a soothing and calming effect on the skin with every wash.
A few reviewers disliked the sticky consistency of the cleanser. Some others with sensitive skin experienced breakouts and felt like their skin was left tight and dry afterward. So do a patch test beforehand to make sure the product is suitable for your skin.
Still, fans loved the smell of the cleanser and that noticed a major improvement in their skin condition. Their skin was softer, healthier, and brighter. Most reviewers agreed that it's effectively and efficiently removed makeup and grime on the first wash.
This foam cleanser features volcanic ash, which can effectively absorb excess sebum without leaving the face dry and void of its natural oils. The ash is smaller than pores which means you get a deep clean.
The formula also has lactic acid, which exfoliates dead skin cells and makes those pores smaller. You can use it twice a day and only need a small amount which goes a long way. However, some buyers said the product contained microbeads that ended up drying their faces a little.
Meanwhile, most reviewers were pleased with how clean and refreshed their skin felt after using it. They loved the formula as it lathered well and further said their face felt soft and smooth after using it. The majority also found their pores looked significantly smaller.
This is a gentle gel-to-foam cleanser with La Roche-Posay's prebiotic thermal spring water to effectively clean the skin of dirt, makeup, and impurities. It may remove the grime but won't touch the skin's natural moisture and mess up the pH level. It's allergy-tested and approved by dermatologists. It can also be used on the eye area, too.
A few reviewers found the cleanser to be too drying and complained that it contained fragrance ingredients. So if you're sensitive to fragrance, you might be better off with some other products.
However, many reviewers with sensitive and combination skin raved at how great the product was in balancing their skin's pH while removing all dirt. They also loved that it removed makeup effectively and were pleased that their skin felt soothed and refreshed after using the cleanser.
With this gentle cream-to-foam cleanser containing white lotus and Rose de Franc extracts, you get a formulation that penetrates deep into the pores and removes even the most stubborn waterproof makeup. They are soothing to the skin, too. What's more, the formula has been tested by dermatologists and ophthalmologists.
Some reviewers mentioned that the cleanser left a residue on their faces after use and stripped the skin of moisture. So follow up with a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.
Nonetheless, most reviewers agreed that the cleanser left their skin feeling squeaky clean. After a cleanse, their skin felt more smooth and rejuvenated. A pea-sized amount was able to cleanse their entire face, said reviewers. Those who were struggling with acne problems found the product a must-have, too.
This cleanser instantly foams, so you don't need to spend time lathering the solution before a wash. It also removes dirt, oil, and makeup effortlessly while leaving your skin conditioned and nourished. Plus, it's fragrance-free, non-irritating, and great for everyday use.
A few reviewers commented that it was difficult to rinse off the solution and complained about the pump dispenser. Some others felt like it left their skin dry and followed it up with a moisturizer.
Many reviewers loved the gentle formula that didn't contain fragrance ingredients. They loved that it was able to clean off makeup and make their skin feel smooth. Some others with sensitive skin said it's great at controlling acne breakouts.
This exfoliant is formulated with Japanese rice bran and can reduce fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, and uneven texture of the skin. It also minimizes pores! The formulation includes antioxidant-rich ingredients such as green tea, algae, and pearls to rejuvenate your skin.
You lather up the powder into a creamy foam then gently remove debris on the skin, making it radiant, soft, and ready for the day. However, a few reviewers mentioned that the exfoliating effect wasn't particularly strong. Some found the formula a bit drying as well.
The cleanser pleased many users, as they saw visible results such as smaller pores and clearer skin. Many buyers further added that the cleanser left their skin feeling smooth and glowy while not causing any irritation. Reviewers also shared that the product lathered up easily.
This foam cleanser gently cleans your face. It uses green tea, an ingredient packed with antioxidants, to keep your skin nourished. The formula also contains moringa seed extract and olive oil to leave your skin feeling supple and plump. You get a completely clean face with just two small pumps of the product.
However, some reviewers had allergic reactions to the product and mentioned that this product wasn't suitable for sensitive skin.
On the other hand, many fell in love with the subtle natural smell and felt like the complexion of their skin improved and became more even with continued use. They also said it washed clean and didn't leave any blotchy residue on the skin.
If you have dull, uneven skin with visible pores, then this cleanser might be a great choice for you. Formulated with papaya and green tea-derived enzymes, it cleans and exfoliates the skin gently and can be used daily.
Specifically, the green tea works at removing dead skin cells during exfoliation while the papaya enzymes support the process by soothing the skin, revealing a radiant finish. A few buyers complained about the strong scent and further added that the product could irritate sensitive acne-prone skin and lead to a breakout.
Those with oily skin, however, use the cleanser twice a day with no adverse effects. The velvety feel of the foam and the calming scent was also a hit among users. They commented that it's not abrasive and was actually gentle on the skin. Buyers mentioned that they only needed a tiny bit of powder for every wash as well.
This product features silky microfoam cleansing agents that get into each pore and pull out impurities, dirt, and makeup from the skin, giving you an effective clean. What's more, it's filled with nourishing ingredients such as Panax Noto Ginseng root extract to invigorate the skin and brighten up the complexion.
The sherbet texture transforms into a silky foam when lathered so you get a gentle wash. A few users, especially those with dry skin, commented that the formulation was quite drying and they had to follow up with a moisturizer.
Many, though, felt refreshed and hydrated after using the cleanser. Reviewers reiterated that they only needed a tiny bit to get a deep and thorough clean. Even those with sensitive skin were surprised that a foam cleanser was gentle enough for their type.
This detoxifying cleanser contains a powerful blend of three charcoals: coconut, ubame white oak, and gray bamboo, all of which remove pore-clogging impurities, excess sebum, and makeup. It is a go-to solution for acne and blemishes, oil control, and enlarged pores.
When your skin is rid of all the gunk and detoxed, the white botanical ingredients like eucalyptus leaf, cumin seed, and licorice root step in to purify, refine and nourish the bare skin. But some reviewers weren't too happy with the strong, pungent smell. A few people reported that it caused them breakouts, too.
However, many others found it effective in cleaning their skin without stripping it of moisture. Those with oily skin were also glad that their pores looked visibly smaller and their face felt clearer. It left their skin with a cooling sensation as well.
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!
No. 1: Korres｜Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser
No. 2: Innisfree｜Pore Clearing Facial Foam With Volcanic Clusters
No. 3: La Roche Posay｜Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser
No. 4: Lancôme｜Crème Radiance
No. 5: Cetaphil｜Gentle Foaming Cleanser｜2 pack
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