Thursday, August 16, 2018

Facial Cleansers : Question and Answer

 

Q:

What is the best facial cleanser?

A:

The best facial cleanser will depend completely on its ingredients and your skin type, but the good news is that you don't need to spend a fortune to find a great one. The most important thing to keep in mind when shopping for a facial cleanser is to avoid products that contain irritating ingredients (ex. fragrance, dyes, alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, etc.). Irritants weaken the surface of your skin because they damage its natural ability to repair itself and break down collagen levels. Furthermore, if you have oily skin, irritants in your skincare products can actually increase oil production and cause enlarged pores. The only way to really determine whether a cleanser has irritants is to read its ingredient list. The closer an irritant is to the top of the list, the more prominent that ingredient is in the product and the more damage it could do to your skin. If an irritant is located at the bottom of the list, it usually means that there is only a minimal amount of it in the product and likely isn't enough to harm your skin unless it is very sensitive.

For all skin types, we recommend looking for a gentle water-soluble cleanser that doesn't leave behind any noticeable residue when rinsed away and that contains minimal or (ideally) no fragrance or other irritants. As a general rule, cleansers in bar form should be immediately eliminated from consideration because they all contain ingredients that are generally too drying and irritating for any skin type and will clog your pores. If you have particularly dry skin, you can also consider a lotion-based cleanser for additional hydration, but, either way, we would just encourage you to check the ingredients list to make sure your cleanser doesn't contain drying ingredients such as alcohol or sodium lauryl sulfate. If you have acne-prone skin, you want to be particularly wary of irritants because most acne-fighting cleansers are too harsh on skin. Moreover, most of the acne-fighting ingredients (ex. salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide) in a cleanser are just washed away, and so it is usually more effective to use a gentle cleanser and apply an acne medication topically afterwards. If you have aging skin, you may want to alternate between a gentle cleanser and one that contains anti-aging ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids, glycolic acid, or retinol, which will help to speed up skin's natural renewal process.

Some examples of our favorite cleansers include the SkinCeuticals' Purifying Cleanser (all skin types), Fresh's Soy Cleanser (normal to dry skin), Clinque's Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm (very dry skin), Neutrogena's Oil-Free Removing Cleanser for Acne-Prone Skin (normal to oily skin), CeraVe's Hydrating Cleanser (normal to dry skin, sensitive), Purpose's Gentle Cleansing Wash (all skin types except very dry), etc.

General Questions