Image courtesy: from Care2 website
Chose cleanser for your skin type: Knowing your skin type is moat important in skin care. Chose cleanser which suits your skin type. There are separate formulas of cleanser for oily and dry skin. If you have oily skin, look for foaming facial cleanser while dry skin people should look for cream cleanser. People with normal skin can use creamy cleanser because foaming can be too drying for them.
Look at the label: Spend a little more time in reading labels of cleanser. If you have normal or dry skin(usually dry skin is sensitive too), look for the words gentle, creamy, anti-aging, hydrating, milky, sensitive, moisturising. If you have oily skin ( mostly oily skin have problem of breakouts) , look for the words like, oil balancing, oil controlling, skin clearing, deep cleansing, anti bacterial, anti blemish. It is hard to find cleanser for combination skin, but their are still some cleanser that claim to be for combination skin. Look for the words like skin balancing. If you can not find cleanser for combination skin, you can try cleansers for dry skin because it will not over dry your skin.
Avoid harsh cleanser: Many cleanser have very harsh formula, they claim to be suitable for oily skin but they actually strip your skin. Avoid using them. There is a simple test for your cleanser, when you wash your face, feel that it does irritates your eyes, if it does then discontinue using it. Just think, if it is harsh to your eyes then how it can be suitable for your entire face. Our facial skin is so gentle and sensitive, it should not be treated by harsh chemicals.
Look for the Ingredients: Always read the ingredient list. If you have oily skin and pimples, you should use cleanser with Salicylic Acid or Glycolic Acid or both. If cleanser have irritant like Alcohol Denate on the top of list, then do not use it. People with sensitive skin avoid cleanser which contain fragrances.
Avoid Exfoliating Cleanser: There are so many cleanser in the market which claim to perform as cleanser and as scrub. Avoid using them as cleanser, because if you use it on daily bases, it will damage your skin. Too much exfoliation is bad for your skin. You can use them twice or thrice a week as scrub.
Men and women both can use same facial cleanser: You do not need to buy separate cleanser for your partner, if both of you have same skin type.
Tape test: There is an other test which can tell you weather your cleanser strip your skin or not. Before washing your face put a small piece of scotch tap to corner of your face and then put it off. You will find some stuff from your skin on the tap. Repeat the test after washing your face, if you find more stuff on the tape after washing, it means your cleanser is stripping your skin. If its same or less then your cleanser is doing good with your skin.
Sulphate free cleanser: The hype about Sulphate free skin care products is increasing. There are a number of sulphate free cleanser in the market. I personally feel that sulphate free cleanser are gentle and non drying. But it depends on your personal choice, usually sulphate free cleanser are pricey but still affordable.
Never use beauty bars or soaps on your face: Washing face with beauty bars and soap strips your skin. Do not be impressed by the fancy claims of beauty bars. They are still soap with too many harsh chemicals. Even do not use them on your kids. You can buy a gentle face wash for your kids.
I can recommend to try cleanser from different drugstore brands like Neutrogena, Nivea, Clean and Clear, Biore, Clearsil, Olay, Sukin, Trilogy, people for plants, Aveeno etc.