What is a Cleanser?
A cleanser is a skin care product specifically designed for the delicate skin in the facial area. It helps remove make-up, oil, dirt, dead skin cells and other pollutants from the skin in the face. It helps unclog pores and prevent conditions of the skin particularly acne. It can be used with other skin care products like a toner and moisturizer as a part of a skin care regimen. It is not recommended to use bar soap or other skin cleansers not designed for the face because these can have negative effects on the skin due to high pH, thickener content and their harsh nature.
Does Choosing a Cleanser Depend on Skin Type?
There are different types of cleansers and choosing one depends on your particular skin type. For oily skin that are prone to breakouts, active cleansers are more suitable. However, they can cause dryness and in some cases irritate the skin making it appear and feel worse. For very dry skin, a creamy lotion-type cleanse is the best choice because these are very gentle. For sensitive, dry or dehydrated skin, it is best to use a cleanser that is free of alcohol.
There are cleansers that contain fragrance or essential oils which can irritate the skin of some people. For these individuals, it is best to use cleansers that are pH-balanced and less irritants. It is equally as important to use cleansers that are designed for specific skin types. There are some formulations that contain moisturizing ingredients to prevent dryness after cleansing. In finding the best cleanser, some trial-and-error may be in order.
Why Should You Use a Cleanser?
The main reason using a cleanser is important is because it is an essential part of any acne treatment regimen. As long as the right cleanser is chosen, patients are usually satisfied with the effects. However, some formulations contain dyes, perfumes and other chemicals that can trigger a breakout. Thus, you need to check the ingredients carefully before buying. Avoid harsh cleansers which can also trigger acne and/or cause other skin conditions. This is because they tend to dry out the skin making the oil glands overcompensate and produce more oil on the skin’s surface. As a general rule, it is better to use a cleanser that it too gentle than something that is too harsh.
Choosing the Right Facial Cleanser
Facial cleansers have evolved from formulations that not merely cleansed the skin but also provide mildness and moisturizing benefits. There are ingredients that can potentially cause adverse effects like damage to skin proteins and lipids. These products can cause tightness, irritation, damage and dryness. Therefore, it is very important to choose a cleanser carefully. Now we will be taking a look at the things you need to consider when you’re in the market for a cleanser.
1. The Cleanser Must Provide Mildness and Moisturizing Benefits
Ba careful of cleansing formulations that is harsh because they can cause adverse effects on the skin including dryness, tightness and irritation. Also, always remember that it is better to use something that is not harsh enough than something that it too harsh. Look for products that also offer moisturizing benefits but remember to check for potentially harmful ingredients. There are hypoallergenic formulations for those with sensitive skin.
2. The Cleanser Must Deposit and Deliver Beneficial Agents to Improve Skin Condition
The formulation should contain beneficial agents like skin lipids, occlusive and humectants which work to improve the hydration of the skin. At the same time, they can also have mechanical and visual benefits. All surfactants have a tendency to interact to some degree with certain lipids and the interaction with proteins can vary from one case to another depending on the nature of the functional head group. Several types of researches have shown that surfactants which cause skin irritation can have a strong interaction with skin proteins. Based on this, there are certain surfactants and surfactant mixtures that are known to be less irritating due to diminished interactions with skin proteins. Remember that surfactants which have a minimal interaction with both types of skin lipids and proteins are particularly mild.
3. The Cleanser Should Have an Ideal pH Value
Another very important factor in choosing a cleanser is its pH value. High or low pH values can cause dryness and irritation. Studies have found that high pH (pH10) or more can cause the swelling of the stratum corneum and change the lipid rigidity therefore suggesting that it is ideal to choose cleansers that are of neutral or slightly acidic pH close to pH 5.5. This is less damaging to the skin.
Here are the important things you need to consider when shopping for cleansers:
- Look for a gentle and non-abrasive cleanser that is alcohol-free.
- Consult your dermatologist about the best acne cleanser for your treatment program. It should match your skin type whether it is oily, dry or combination.
- If you want to fight acne, look for medicated cleansers with benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and sodium sulfacetamide. This will help clear up the skin and at the same time clean it.
- If you have dry skin, look for a cleanser that contains emollients or humectants in order to hold moisture in the skin.
- After cleansing, a toner can be used to restore the natural pH balance of the skin.
- Regular exfoliation can help keep the pores unclogged so that the skin’s natural oil is drained before it clogs hair follicles.
- After washing, you can use a non-comedogenic moisturizer which simply means it doesn’t clog pores. This will prevent dehydration which is a side effect of most acne treatments.
- Check for potentially harmful ingredients like lauryl sulfate and alcohol.
- Read product reviews about the cleanser you’re planning to purchase.
Cleansers are very useful in keeping the skin clean and it is actually an important part of acne treatment and prevention. However, it is critical to choose a cleanser carefully and this may involve some trial and error with a couple of formulations. Just remember the tips mentioned in this article for choosing the right cleanser and you will most likely have no problem. If you have highly sensitive skin, finding a cleanser is more difficult so it would be best to consult a skin care professional.