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A great skin care routine is essential for healthy, radiant skin and flawless foundation and the first step in your skin-care routine is cleansing. There are so many cleansers available ranging in formulas for oils to foams and it can be a bit overwhelming to decipher what ingredients and formulations will be the most effective for your skin. While everybody’s skin is different and results will vary, we discovered some basic guidelines on how you can choose the perfect cleanser.
Acne-prone skin and oily skin are often considered to be the same, but you can have acne-prone skin that is dry and sensitive rather than oily. When choosing a cleanser for acne-prone skin, look for formulas that contain ingredients specifically designed to target acne. Salicylic acid is incredible for acne-prone skin because it not only fights acne, it also gently exfoliates your skin to reveal newer, healthier skin. Another commonly used ingredient in acne washes is benzoyl peroxide. This ingredient can be a bit harsh on your skin, so be sure to patch test if you are particularly prone to irritation. If both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are too much for your skin daily, use the medicated cleanser two to three times a week and select a mild cleanser for everyday use. Most people with acne-prone skin respond well to gel cleansers, but if your skin is on the drier side, you may want to look for a cream formula to be sure that you don’t strip your skin of all moisture.
Combination skin is both oily and dry. Commonly, the T-zone area of your face (forehead, nose and chin) is oily while the cheeks may be dry. Using two separate cleansers on your face is a hassle and can get expensive. What you want to look for in a cleanser for combination skin is something meant to balance your skin. Two excellent ingredients that help to balance the pH levels of your skin are alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids. Frequently used alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are glycolic, lactic and malic acids. Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) refer to salicylic acid. When selecting your cleanser you don’t want to choose something too harsh, nor do you want to pick a cleanser that is too hydrating. Gel and foaming facial cleansers are typically very effective if you have combination skin.
If you have dry skin, you want your cleanser to help your skin retain as much moisture as possible. One of the absolute best ingredients to look for in a cleanser if you have dry skin is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means that as it adds moisture to your skin, it also helps your skin to retain moisture and attract water molecules. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it incredibly effective at keeping dry skin at bay. While you’re probably used to using cleansing products that lather, you want to steer clear of these types of cleansers if you have dry skin. Foaming washes can actually strip your skin of moisture and may be irritating as well. Instead, look for cream or oil facial cleansers to nourish your skin as you cleanse it.
If your skin is oily, you want a cleanser that is going to combat excessive sebum production. At the same time, you want to avoid anything that is too harsh on your skin because if you irritate it and strip it of moisture, your face may respond with increased oil production to make up for a lack of moisture. Cleansers with ingredients designed to deeply penetrate pores are ideal for oily skin types. Glycolic acid and clay are two ingredients that help draw impurities out of your pores, and they also help to absorb excess oil on your face. Deep-cleaning gels or foams tend to work very well for those with oily skin, just be sure to avoid anything too harsh so you don’t end up causing your pores to produce even more sebum.
Remember that your oily skin may not act exactly as your best friend’s oily skin does to the same products, so finding the perfect cleanser for you will probably take a bit of trial and error before getting it right. Use these guidelines as a place to start choosing your perfect cleanser and be on your way to the best, healthiest skin of your life.