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The 10 best foam cleansers that can help you deal with oily and acne-prone skin

A facial cleanser, foam or gel-based, is an essential step in your skincare routine. As the first stage, it ensures the removal of dirt, impurities and excess oil from the pores. This allows the other steps, like moisturising and sun protection, to work better.

While gel- and cream-based cleansers are best suited for normal to dry skin, a foam cleanser is perfect for gentle but thorough cleaning. This works wonders for people with oily, acne-prone, or combination skin types. Considering one for yourself? Here’s all you need to know about them and some of the best products to buy.

What are foam cleansers?

Formulated with foaming agents, this class of face wash produces a layer of lather when used. Foam cleansers exhibit a luxurious consistency upon application in combination with water. This is because they contain surfactants or chemical compounds that emulsify excess oil and sebum and bind with impurities that can be rinsed away. Additionally, these face washes leave your skin feeling fresh and light.

Foam cleanser vs. gel cleanser

Gel cleansers are highly moisturising products designed to effectively remove impurities and dirt from the skin without causing dryness. Hence, gel-based cleansers are perfect for people with dry or combination skin.

Foam cleansers, on the other hand, work by thoroughly removing dirt and excess face oil. Thus, they are effective in avoiding acne and pimples and are recommended for those with oily skin.

How to choose the best foam cleanser

When picking a foam cleanser, choose products from a brand you’ve previously used or prefer. If you’re new to skincare, check for ingredients that suit your skin type.

Using the wrong cleanser can lead to dry skin and irritation and speed up skin ageing. One of the most hazardous ingredients you must avoid is sulphates. Sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium laureth sulphate, ammonium lauryl sulphate and ammonium laureth sulfate are some types to steer clear of. Artificial fragrances made from harmful chemicals are also discouraged.

Additionally, look out for parabens, commonly used to preserve skin products but considered harmful. Methylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben are some of the ingredients.

Lastly, alcohol, which is used in a cleanser to better pierce the skin, must also be avoided as it can be harsh and strip the skin of its natural oils. Cleansers containing chemical soaps can cause an imbalance in the skin’s pH, leading to irritation. It’s best to do a patch test before using a product.

Select foam cleansers with natural ingredients like coconut oil, citrus oil, fruit extracts, soapwort and natural AHAs.

How to use foam cleansers

  1. Wash your face with lukewarm water.
  2. Take about two to three pumps of the foam cleanser and apply it over your face.
  3. Gently massage with circular motions for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  4. Rinse off the lather with warm water.
  5. Use a clean towel and pat dry.
  6. Apply ample moisturiser to restore your skin’s natural oil and hydrate it well.

The best time to use a foam cleanser is at night. This face wash lets you get rid of the day’s worth of dust, dirt and even sunscreen and makeup before sleeping.

Know complete details on face washes In India

Check out these foam cleansers for the best results

INR 2133

A hydrating solution, the Cerave hydrating foam cleanser comes with 1, 3 and 6-II ceramides to gently clean without harming the skin barrier. It also includes hyaluronic acid to provide moisturisation, citric acid for brighter skin and niacinamide to calm any irritation. Furthermore, the Cerave product doesn’t clog pores and, hence, helps avoid acne. Use it to clean off dirt, makeup and excess oil.

Image: Courtesy Amazon

INR 638

Known for sourcing natural ingredients from Jeju Island, Innisfree is another popular South Korean brand. Its foaming face wash includes bija fruit oil extract, which has medicinal properties like curing skin imperfections. It creates a calming citrus-green herbal scent that is beneficial for both the skin and the mind. Additionally, the cleanser is formulated with salicylic acid to gently exfoliate the skin and remove dirt, excess oil and dead skin cells without stripping the skin of its natural oils.

Image: Courtesy Nykaa

INR 212

A clean beauty brand, Dot & Key is known for its thoughtfully curated skincare products. The milk foam cleanser is perfect for deep pore cleaning. The formula contains malic, tartaric, and lactic acids, which exfoliate the dermis and remove impurities and dead skin cells. The milky foam cleanser also contains extracts of seaweed to control sebum and hydrate the skin and lotus flower to unclog pores and reduce acne. Suitable for all skin types, it is a cruelty-free product, free of harmful chemicals.

Image: Courtesy Nykaa

INR 1647

If you have sensitive skin, Aveeno is the brand to go for. Their ultra-calming foaming cleanser can be used as a face wash and makeup remover. The fragrance-free face wash helps gently remove dirt, oil, and makeup without leaving the skin overly dry. If you have easily irritated skin, this solution will calm it and also reduce any redness.

Image: Courtesy Amazon

INR 288

Suitable for both women and men, the Neutrogena foaming cleanser is perfect for achieving clean and refreshing skin, gently. The formula produces a rich, creamy lather which lifts off impurities, dirt and micropollutants while keeping your skin’s natural oils intact. The facial cleanser also removes excess oil and makeup from the pores for healthier skin.

Image: Courtesy Amazon

INR 2055

The usage of scientifically proven ingredients is one of the main reasons behind Paula’s Choice’s popularity. Hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, which help regulate moisture while removing makeup debris, impurities and excess oil, are included in this perfectly balanced foamy cleanser. The formula also helps with anti-ageing, courtesy of its skin-restoring ingredients.. You can use this pearlescent cream-to-foam formula in the morning or at night as the first step of your skincare routine.

Image: Courtesy Amazon

INR 950

A favourite among people with sensitive skin, Cetaphil offers gentle cleansing with this self-foaming facial cleanser. It is formulated with coconut fruit extract, vitamin B5, vitamin E, and hydrating glycerin to soothe the skin after softly removing dirt, and excess oil. It doesn’t leave your skin dry by maintaining its moisture balance. Suitable for all skin types, the Cetaphil gentle foaming cleanser is hypoallergenic and noncomedogenic, which means its usage won’t clog pores.

Image: Courtesy Amazon

INR 2600

Kiehl’s is a high-end skincare brand known for skincare products with natural ingredients. Pick the brand’s deep cleansing foaming face wash for thorough removal of dirt, impurities, and excess sebum. The formula includes calendula flower extract and glycerin, which give you soft, supple skin after usage. Kiehl’s products are known to provide the best results for both men and women, so you can add them to your skincare regime without further ado.

Image: Courtesy Nykaa

INR 789

A Korean skincare brand, The Face Shop uses natural elements to make its products. Their bright cleansing foam is formulated with rice water, a natural cleanser, moringa oil to rejuvenate the skin, and soapwort to hydrate it. This Korean foam cleanser will help you get rid of dead cells and makeup residue as well. Cleanse your skin gently with the rich foam to discard impurities and dirt.

Image: Courtesy Amazon

INR 449

This is a specially formulated gel-based foam cleanser designed for oily skin. Also suitable for acne-prone and combination skin, the cleanser transforms into a rich lather when the gel consistency comes into contact with water. Use it to gently purify the skin, reduce blemishes, and get a natural glow. It contains zinc and copper sulphate, ginkgo biloba extract, lactic acid, and other ingredients for healthier and brighter skin. Using this foam cleanser can also be effective in reducing sebum and leaving the skin fresh and supple.

Image: Courtesy Amazon

(Prices of the products mentioned in the story are subject to change.)

(Hero Image: Courtesy Aveeno/ Amazon; Featured Image: Courtesy Paula’s Choice/ Amazon)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– How does a foam cleanser work?

Perfect for gentle yet deep cleansing, foam cleansers are lathery face washes. They are used to get rid of dirt, pollutants, impurities and excess oils from the pores of the skin.

– Which skin types are foam cleansers best suited for?

Typically, foaming cleansers are suitable for oily and acne-prone skin. Since they are quite effective at removing extra oil or sebum, they may leave the skin dry if it is not hydrated properly afterwards.

– How do I use a foam cleanser?

Wet your face with lukewarm water and take two to three pumps of the family cleaners on your hand. Apply it on your face until a rich, dense lather is formed. Using circular motions, cleanse off the dirt and impurities. Then, rinse off the formula with lukewarm water and pat your face dry with a clean towel. Use a moisturiser to hydrate the skin.

– Can I use a foam cleanser to remove makeup?

Yes, foam cleansers are effective in removing makeup from your face.

– How often should I use a foam cleanser?

Use a foam cleanser as the first step of your skincare routine for best results. Ideally, you should use it twice daily — once in the morning and once at night before bed.

– Are foam cleansers suitable for acne-prone skin?

Yes, foam cleansers are suitable for acne-prone skin. Make sure to select products with non-comedogenic formulations that do not clog pores.

– Do foam cleansers strip the skin of natural oils?

As foam cleansers are highly effective at getting rid of sebum or excess oil, there are chances of the skin getting dry. Use a moisturiser after cleansing with a foam face wash to restore the skin’s moisture.

– Can I use a foam cleanser in my skincare routine with other products?

Moisturiser and sunscreen are two of the essential skincare products you can use after using a foam cleanser.

– Can I use a foam cleanser on my body?

Foam cleansers could be used on the body. However, they might not be effective, as most products are gentle and suitable for soft facial skin.

– Are there any ingredients to avoid in foam cleansers?

Parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), propylene glycol and harmful alcohols are some of the ingredients to avoid in a cleanser.

– Can I use a foam cleanser if I have sensitive skin?

Aveeno Active Naturals Ultra Calming Foaming Cleanser and Cetaphil Gentle Foaming Cleanser are some of the foam cleansers that are specially formulated for sensitive skin.

The 10 best foam cleansers that can help you deal with oily and acne-prone skin

An interior design graduate, Dinal is a writer by passion and profession. She is an avid traveller and has worked with lifestyle brands and publications like Nykaa Fashion and Little Black Book. When she's not recommending the coolest things to do, she explores offbeat villages, writes poems, and goes stargazing! She is an enthusiast of all things handmade.

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