And what exactly is a foaming face cleanser? Well, it’s pretty much as its name suggests. “A foam face cleanser is a facial cleanser that foams as soon as it’s pumped out,” says dermatological nurse and celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar. “However, some are called foaming cleansers because they foam really nicely when mixed with water. Foam face cleansers contain more water than oil, gel, or cream cleansers.”
They’re not just for oily, acne-prone, or combination skin types. Others can use this kind of cleanser, but you’ll want to proceed with caution if you have dry skin. “If you have dry or sensitive skin, foaming cleansers may not be for you,” Evans says. “Cream-based cleansers are often best for sensitive or dry skin, which has a higher need to maintain the oil and hydration of the skin. Cream cleansers emulsify dirt and are less drying than foaming cleansers.”
But if you love that foaming action and have dry skin, Aguilar says that there are new formulas that are made specifically for sensitive, dehydrated, or dry skin. And SkinSpirit lead aesthetician Karen Fernandez recommends looking for a very neutral, gentle foaming cleanser with no “extras” (like vitamin C, alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid) and with hydrating properties or fine oils.