Firstly, in the morning, your skin should still be clean from the night before, all that needs to be done is to refresh your skin, remove any sweat of oils that may have accumulated (those in very hot or humid environments will know what I’m talking about here!) and to prepare and protect your skin for the day. In the morning, things need to be simple and basic - you really don’t need anything more than a splash of warm water and a lovely clean washcloth. However, if you do feel the need to use a cleanser, please use something very gentle. There are a lot of cream cleansers on the market now (Gaia Skin Naturals and Sukin do lovely ones, Sukin is much more creamy depending on the texture you prefer) but I really recommend the Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion used as a cleanser, it’s cheap, accessible, great for sensitive skin and completely dissolves always excess oil and dirt without stripping the skin.
Cleansing can be a lot tricker than people realise, because you want to give your skin a good cleanse and remove anything ‘extra’ that it’s accumulated over the night, but you don’t want to strip the skin of any of its natural oils and mess up its natural balance. Thats why, I think that unless you really need it, warm water is the safest option!
In terms of the actual cleansing process, I would recommend with both the water and the creamy cleanser, spend at least 30-60 seconds cleansing your skin. Either really massaging your face and working the cleanser in, or splashing warm water all over your skin and giving it a bit of a gentle massage.