The Best Face Washes for Different Skin Types in 2020

Just like no two people are the same, no two skin types are the same either. 

So all men using a universal bar of soap to wash their face is not what is going to make their skin look young, youthful and vibrant. 

But this goes further than just skin, this is how you feel, your confidence and the first thing someone looks at when they meet you, your face. 

When choosing the perfect skin cleanser there are a variety of things to think about so lets start with skin type… 

There are 5 main types of different skin types:

  • Normal
  • Dry
  • Oily
  • Sensitive 
  • Combination 

Finding out what category your skin is best described as is the first step, although this can be more difficult than what it may first appear as some skin types can be a mixture.  

The best way in which you can determine what skin  type you have is by purchasing ‘blotting paper’. You can pick these up from any drug store and most large supermarkets for as little as a 20 pence.

You should wash your face in the morning with your regular face wash and leave your skin all day with no additional moisturizers/creams/makeup etc. once it gets to around 5pm, take one of your new blotting sheets and dab gently in all areas on your face. 

If the blotting sheet has very little or nop oil on it, then you more than likely have dry skin. If the blotting sheet has a little oil around your ‘T zone’ (across your forehead and down your nose) then you more than likely have normal/combination skin, depending on the amount of oil produced around the other sections of your face. If the other sections are a little oily, then your skin is normal as your skin should produce oid through the day, this oil is called sebum and your pores produce this oil to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. 

Now, you have done the experiment and found out what category your skin falls into, lets talk a little bit about each skin type…

Normal skin 

Normal skin is not generally described as either oily or dry as people with normal skin fall right in the middle of the sale. People with normal skin have relatively small sized pores that don’t over or under produce sebum, and these pores are not very visible. 

Normal skin is usually clear in tone and it is rare that people with normal skin struggle with blemishes or fine lines. 

A misconception however, is the fact that when someone has a ‘normal skin’ type they can be a little bit more lazy with skin care. This is far from the truth. 

This is because if those people get lazy with how they are looking after their skin this can have a huge repercussion and actually send skin to either end of the spectrum, really oily or really dry. It is therefore vital that these people pick the best products that don’t cause excessive dryness or products that cause excessive amounts of sebum to be produced. A regular, effective and consistent skin care routine will ensure that normal skin stays normal. 

Dry Skin 

It is more than likely, if you have dry skin, that you will more often than not feel a slight tightness to your skin, mainly around your forehead , chin and cheeks. 

Extremely dry skin can often flake and/or cause patches of scaliness. If you do have dry skin, you are more than likely prone to premature ageing, fine lines and irritation to the skin as your skin is much more thinner than of someone with an oily skin type. 

Pores are hardly ever visible as there is little or no sebum production that is taking place under the surface of your skin, this is why an intense moisturiser is crucial for dry skin types as you have to artificially put back into your skin the moisture that is lost. 

Dry skin can be caused through a variety of factors, from hereditary all the way through to lifestyle choices. People with dry skin tend to assume that the water level of those with dry skin is much less than oily skin, however this is not the case and water should definitely not be used as a treatment for dry skin types. 

It is an essential that you find a good moisturiser that works for you in order to help cure dry skin. A regular skin care routine is also essential and you should aim to find a moisturiser that has a high level of oil. The higher the oil content, the more penetrating and deeper it can reach the skin’s epidermis barriers and hydrate the tissue. 

Tips for Dry Skin

Take short showers. Long, steamy showers can be counter productive when it comes to dry skin, soaking your skin for a long time can dry it out, whilst the steam can take away essential oils. 

Drinking excessive water is a myth, stick to the recommended amount of water consumption – 2 litres per day is enough. 

Humidifiers can tell you when the air is too dry and regulate. This can have huge benefits for your dry skin, especially if you are sleeping or spending a large amount of your day in a dry area.

Oily Skin

Oily skin is when your sebum levels are much higher than the average person and you may be able to see a layer of oil sitting on the surface of your skin, creating a shiny layer. 

But, what causes the overproduction of sebum? This can be caused by a multitude of factors including genetics, but is more commonly associated with hormones. Oil that is produced by glands, reaches the surface of your skin by seeking through the enlarged pores and hair that lies on the surface of your skin. 

If you do find that you suffer with oily skin, then you may also find yourself struggling with acne, blemishes and enlarged pores. Therefore finding a face wash ideal to you is an essential step to reduce these impurities for a much more smooth and even skin tone. 

If you are looking for a face wash that helps reduce blemishes you should consider looking for a product that contains either salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. Salicylic acid is often recommended by dermatologists for those who suffer with mild to moderate acne, whereas products that contain benzoyl peroxide are for a much harsher treatment and should not be used really as a long term solution. 

Oily skin is not all that bad as oily skin actually means a delay in the aging process. Due to genetics, people that suffer with oily skin, usually have much thicker skin, which means there is less chance of fine lines appearing on the face. Access oils also means that the skin is always highly moisturized and therefore this reduces the chances of wrinkles appearing as hydration doesn’t allow wrinkles to mark the face as quickly. 

Tips for Oily Skin

Use a moisturiser! Although you may think you need to dry your skin out as much as possible if you have really oily skin, this can actually be counterproductive, as the more you aim to dry your skin out, the more sebum is produced and as a result, your skin gets oilier. Use a gel or water based oil free moisturizer so you are only adding moisture and not additional oils to the skin. 

Don’t touch your face! The surface of your palm and fingertips pick up lots of harmful germs throughout the day and so if you are touching your face, you are transferring this bacteria onto the affected area. If you are touching your face and you do have enlarged pores, these pours will engulf the dirt and this will just cause more pimples to spruce up.

Sensitive skin

Sensitive skin can fall into either of the four categories, oily, dry combination or normal. However sensitive skin will also suffer with a great amount or irritation which, in some cases will be painful, sore to the touch and red in places. 

For sensitive skin, you’re best off sticking to natural and plant derived products if possible to do so. Try and avoid any harsh chemicals or products that lie in things like a bar of soap for example. If you find that your skin can become really inflamed, due to allergies, certain ingredients or certain weather conditions you more than likely have a sensitive skin type. 

Some will be more treatable than others and some cases of sensitive skin will be more severe than others. If your case is severe it is best to contact a dermatologist for professional advice but the following advice when we talk about suitable facial washes for you may be of use to you. 

If you do have sensitive skin, the type of sensitivity can be tested using the ‘Fitzpatrick scale’ which determines how skin reacts to sunlight and how therefore sensitive it is in normal day life.  

Combination skin 

Combination skin usually means that different sections of your face produce more or less oil than others. You may find that your forehead is quite an oily section however your cheek can be really dry and flaky. As read above, different skin types require different products in order to resort them back to a normal PH balance. 

Combination skin is the most popular type of skin, however it can be hard to identify and treat as even if you have really oily skin for most of the surface area, but a slight patch of dry skin in the odd area, this is classified as combination. 

Treating combination skin can also be a difficult task as different products for different areas of the face may be required to even out the balance of oils and dryness. 

Tips for Combination Skin

Use two different face washes! If you are using the same face wash to treat both an oily and dry area, then the product is either not going to offer enough moisture to the dry skin or too much oil for the oily skin. Therefore you should try and use two different types of face washes to counterbalance this issue.

We recommend that you use a cleanser for the dry areas (which has a high oil content) and a face wash (which is soap based) for the parts of your face which are oily. 

Use an exfoliation product frequently. Using an exfoliation will lift the debris, dirt and bacteria which block pores, often sat in enlarged pores which you find in the oliy areas of skin. 

Avoid strongly fragranced products. These can be fairly irritating to dry skin and may irritate and inflame the skin even more.

The Perfect Facial Wash For Your Skin Type

You now know what skin type you have, you have a little bit of knowledge on how to look after, treat and care for that particular skin type, so read on to find out what the best face wash is to suit your skin and optimise your skin’s look, feel and overall health.  

Best Face Washes/Cleansers for Oily skin 

As previously discussed, facial cleansers have a higher oil content, to avoid too much oil, a facial wash is a better option, as long as it is followed by a suitable moisturiser. See our blog on ‘best moisturisers for a bald head” by clicking here. 

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser

Since oily skin is more than likely linked with blemishes and troubled skin, this clearing foam cleanser is perfect for helping fight imperfections whilst also lifting additional oil from the skin. This cleanser will improve skin texture as well as smell and feel amazing on the skin. An absolute staple must have in any man’s grooming kit that struggles with oily skin. 

It is available to buy in-store and online and is one of The Body Shop’s best sellers. Reasonably priced at £6.50 for a 150ML bottle, this cleanser will last at least a month if used once daily as required. 

Kheils Facial Fuel Energizing Face Wash

A tremendous mix of caffeine, vitamins and citrus extracts, this face wash will be sure to leave you invigorated and ready for the day ahead. A non-oily formula, this face wash should be used once daily. A little bit more pricey than the body shop cleanser however, the natural and raw ingredients that it is created to make it’s price worth that little extra push. It is marketed at £19.29 for 250ml. 

A great choice for oil/combination skin as it is also not too drying on normal skin types. 

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash 

Produced in a pump-like bottle, this Neutrogena wash is perfect for oily skin and is priced to suit all budgets, being just £6 for 177ml. It is not only a refreshing cleanser it also targets acne and diminishes blemishes just from the first application as it soothes them with Salicylic Acid as well as giving a deep clean. However it is slightly more drying, hence when it’s 3rd on our list so not suitable for combination skin. This cleanser should only be used on oily skin and should be followed by an oil free moisturizer always. 

Best Facial Washes/Cleasners for Dry Skin

For dry skin you should be focusing more towards the ‘cleansers’ with their higher oil content and think lather, they do not strip the skin of oils, but aim to add additional moisture to the skin. You should then follow your skin washing routine with an oil based moisturizer for optimal results. 

Mantl Men Cleanser

We can’t recommend this product enough! It is suitable for dry, sensitive and normal skin. A great all round face and scalp wash. It is a natural PH balanced formula that means your skin will be felt leaving conditioned and not stripped of its natural oils. This product contains Aloe, a naturally soothing product for sensitive and dry skin, especially those that have eczema, redness, dry patches and acne. 

An extremely reasonable price too for a miracle in a bottle, just £17 for 163ml. 

The Body Shop’s Vitamin Cleansing Facial Polish 

This product is a breeze of fresh air! If you really need a wake up call in the morning this vitamin C cleanser is for you! Containing microbeads, you can feel this cleanser getting to work on your face, a light exfoliant that instantly washes away debris and dirt from the face and it moisturizing at the same time! Only containing natural ingredients and 100% recyclable packaging you really cannot go wrong with this cleanser for just £11 for 125ml. 

CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash

A dermatological approved wash, this is great for dry/normal skin. Hydrating and creamy formula, it is a cleanser and a moisturiser all in one great for those of you who don’t like to wear too much product on your face and want to avoid a detailed and extensively long grooming regime. 

At an amazing price of £26.99 for a 16 oz bottle you cant go wrong with this affordable but high quality cleanser. 

Best Facial Washes/Cleansers for Sensitive Skin

For best results on sensitive skin you should concentrate on products that have minimal additives. By this we mean that you should buy products that are heavily plant based/ organic product focused. Additional additives can really irritate sensitive skin and add to skin’s sensitivity. 

CLn Facial Cleanser

This cleanser is specially formulated for sensitive skin, particularly skin that is prone to eczema (being approved by the National Eczema Association), rosacea, acne, redness and dryness.

This face wash is very gentle, yet still very effective. It is a little pricey however we feel that the quality of this product is well worth the price you pay for it, £30. They also run a continuous money saving offer that you can buy 2 and get the third completely free of charge. A product certainly worth the investment. 

Haeckles Marine Facial Cleanser

Perfect for sensitive skin, this facial cleanser is made only out of the top quality ingredients. Seaweed (broth), Glycerin, Rosemary, Leaf Oil, Clary Oil, Lavender Oil make up this beautifully scented cleanser that gives a rich lather and leaves skin feeling fresh all day long. 

If you haven’t tried this cleanser, then this is a must have and is suitable for both sensitive and normal skin. It is priced at £25 for a 100ml bottle. 

La-Roche-Posay Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

Enriched with Probiotic Thermal water, this facial cleanser will be sure to leave your skin feeling smooth, silky and irritant free. It gives a deep cleanse without removing essential oils and stripping the skin. This product is Non-comedogenic and contains no soap, parabens, sulphates, oil and fragrances. Allergy and dermatologist tested. Meaning it is perfect for sensitive to normal skin. 

It is also reasonably priced at £14.99 per 400ml!

Final word

To conclude, we recommend that you do some additional reading to find out what skin type you have to be able to cater the best you can for that skin type. You can then look and try the ones we recommend here for a fresher, more vibrant and over all healthier skin type. 






Paul Inman

Paul Inman is the founder of The Bald Gent. As the main contributor to TBG, Paul has years of knowledge, experience and stories to share with our users. His insights, advice and blogs form the backbone to everything we do and what makes being a true gent so important to the ethos of TBG.

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