At Paula’s Choice Skincare, we know from the scientific research that irritation hurts skin, so a gentle cleanser is a vital step in your daily skincare routine. That’s why we’ve formulated several cleansers to meet the needs of different skin types, concerns, and preferences. We’ll walk you through the benefits of each Paula’s Choice Skincare cleanser—and point out the differences between them—so you can quickly determine the best face wash just for you. We guarantee you will love the cleanser you choose!
Paula’s Choice Skincare Cleansers
Every Paula’s Choice Skincare cleanser is fragrance free and formulated to:
- Be effective, but amazingly gentle; in fact, they’re so gentle you can even use them over the eye area.
- Be suitable for sensitive skin (our CALM cleansers are for extra-sensitive skin).
- Be appropriate for your specific skin concern and skin type.
- Remove most types of makeup, except extremely waterproof or heavy makeup.
- Preserve and maintain skin’s delicate surface.
- Rinse without leaving a skin-dulling residue.
- Never cause dryness or dull-looking skin.
You might find that more than one face wash is suitable for your skin type and concerns. How do you choose? Experiment and see which one you prefer, and know that it’s fine to alternate between two cleansers if you find that method works best.
Skin Type: Dry to Very Dry Skin (and mature skin if it’s also dry)
Concerns: Signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, dullness
Best for: Those who want a gentle face wash whose lotion texture softens skin, prevents moisture loss, and easily removes makeup without leaving a residue.
Skin Type: Normal to Oily/Combination Skin (including mature skin that’s also oily with large pores)
Concerns: Signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores, rough texture
Best for: Those who want a non-stripping face wash for oily skin that’s also showing signs of aging. The luxurious foaming formula cushions during cleansing, yet rinses clean. Adept at removing makeup, oil, and surface impurities without making skin feel dry or tight. Also great for those struggling with breakouts and signs of aging at the same time.
Skin Type: Normal to Oily/Combination Skin
Concerns: Enlarged pores, clogged pores, excess oil
Best for: Those who want a face wash whose pearlescent, cream-to-foam texture rinses clean, removing makeup, excess oil, and surface impurities without making skin feel dry or tight.
Skin Type: Dry to Very Dry Sensitive Skin
Concerns: Dryness, dehydration, sensitivity
Best for: Those whose dry skin needs extra care. This cleanser provides a creamy-rich texture that feels indulgent, yet still washes away impurities without depleting the essential substances dry skin needs to improve. Your skin will feel wonderfully smooth and soft!
Skin Type: Normal to Oily Extra-Sensitive Skin
Concerns: Redness, excess oil, sensitivity
Best for: Those who have oily yet sensitive, redness-prone skin and need an ultra-mild, yet highly effective, silky gel cleanser. Our best clenser for this skin type, it gently removes excess oil and makeup while its soothing ingredients help visibly reduce redness.
Skin Type: Normal to Dry, Extra-Sensitive Skin
Concerns: Redness, dryness, sensitivity
Best for: Those struggling with normal to dry, yet sensitive, redness-prone skin; this ultra-mild, yet highly effective, mildly lathering lotion cleanser is ideal. Surface debris and makeup are gently removed while soothing ingredients visibly reduce redness.
Skin Type: Normal to Dry
Concerns: Slightly dry to dry skin
Best for: Those who want a silky lotion cleanser that glides over skin, washing away makeup and impurities while infusing skin with weightless hydration—this is a perennial favorite. Skin is left perfectly prepped for the rest of your routine.
Skin Type: Normal to Oily/Combination Skin
Concerns: Excess oil, clogged pores
Best for: Those who want a super-mild, slightly lathering gel face wash that rinses without a trace. Great for removing light makeup and leaving oily skin soft and fresh, never tight or dry.
Skin Type: All Skin Types
Concerns: Acne, blackheads, clogged pores
Best for: Whether your skin is oily, dry, or combination, this soothing, conditioning gel cleanser begins the fight against acne. It gently removes excess oil, pore-clogging debris, and makeup, setting the stage for the CLEAR acne treatments that follow. Many of our customers think this is the best acne face wash they’ve ever used!
Skin Type: All
Best for: Those who want a predominantly natural cleanser that is non-irritating and does not contain fragrant plant oils or extracts. (Note: None of our products contain such ingredients.) Instead, skin is treated to mild, coconut-derived cleansing agents in a soothing gel formula whose soft lather rinses clean, taking the day’s grime and makeup with it so skin feels naturally refreshed.
Skin Type: All
Best for: Men of all ages and all skin types who want a simple yet hard-working formula that doesn’t make skin feel greasy, dry, or pulled tight. The gel texture morphs into a soft, bubbling lather that rinses completely, leaving skin fresh and prepped for shaving.
See our article How to Wash Your Face for tips on using each of the different types of cleansers listed above.
What about removing eye makeup? Most of our cleansers do a great job of removing light eye makeup (powders, eyeshadow, pencil liner, regular mascara), but if you use long-wearing or waterproof formulas, a product like our GENTLE TOUCH Makeup Remover is a must to ensure every last trace of makeup is off. Check out our tips for removing eye makeup here.
References for this information:
Dermatologic Clinics, April 2016, pages 133–145
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2013, pages 314–321
Dermatology Research and Practice, August 2012, ePublication
Indian Journal of Dermatology, January-February 2011, pages 2–6
Dermatologic Therapy, Supplement 1, 2004, pages 26–34; and pages 63–68