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You may already know how to cleanse your face but chances are you may or may not be using the wrong cleanser. Read along to find out.
In this post, you will get to know the dos and don’ts of choosing a facial cleanser based on your skin type. Some cleansers will give you that squeaky clean or tight finish that makes you feel your skin well cleaned but what it does is strip your skin of its natural lipids and that is definitely not the goal here.
Cleansers should be gentle, yet cleansing enough to not affect your skin’s acid mantle. The acid mantle is the protective quality of acid on the skin. The skin is slightly acidic, you should maintain it at that. However, the quality of some cleansers compromises the skin’s overall health causing more skin problems such as dryness, acne, and eczema.
Before we get into the dos and don’ts of choosing a facial cleanser, let us get to what cleansers are actually made of. If you notice, most cleansers are foamy. The main ingredients that make cleaners foamy are surfactants. Unfortunately, some surfactants attach to your skin’s stratum corneum, denaturing proteins and stripping lipids off your skin which ultimately leads to inflammation and dryness.
Now let’s get to why we are here, The dos and don’t of choosing a facial cleanser
The Dos Of Choosing A Facial Cleanser
1. Know Your Surfactants
Surfactants are not bad. In fact, they cleanse pretty well once the chemist gets the right concentration. The higher the concentration of surfactants, the more damaging it becomes to the skin. Choosing facial cleansers with just the right amount of concentration surfactants is the key. With the right concentration, the more gentle and effective the facial cleanser is. So don’t fret once you see surfactants in your ingredient lists of cleansers.
Here are lists of surfactants to look out for:
a. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).
An anionic surfactant. It has the best cleansing power, and lathers excellently. It is also very common in cleansers. If you check one of your cleansers right now, you might find it.
It is great for all skin types but can cause extreme dryness post-cleansing. So be on the lookout
b. Cocamidopropyl betaine.
An amphoteric surfactant. It got great cleansing power and lathers well and skin-friendly
It is great for all skin types. If you are looking for a gentle option, this is what you should go for.
c. Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Coco glucoside, lauryl glucoside and decyl glucoside
They are nonionic surfactants. Their cleansing power and lather are very weak making them the most gentle of them all.
This type is great for sensitive skin types or people with chronic dryness.
2. Consider the pH of your cleanser
Your skin’s PH is between 3-5 making it slightly acidic so you should consider using a cleanser with a PH close to the skin’s PH. In most cases, marketers put the PH of the products or you see something like “pH-friendly”.
Scientists carried out an experiment of 2 groups comprising 5 volunteers. One group was given an alkaline soap to bath with and the other group was given an acidic soap to bath with for 4 weeks. The result showed that the skin pH rose with alkaline soap and fell with acidic soap. Although the changes were insignificant but continuous usage of alkaline soap affects the bacteria flora of the skin.
Therefore it is important to consider the pH of cleansers especially if you have sensitive, chronic dryness, psoriasis or eczema. If you have normal skin, lucky you! you can use any type of cleanser you like.
3. Clarisonic Cleansers
If you want to take your cleansing to the next level, you should really consider getting a Clarisonic cleanser. Your cleansing will be much more thorough with a Clarisonic cleanser. But they are expensive! Alternatives are nonbattery brushes and silicon brushes.
The Don’ts of Choosing A Facial Cleanser
1. Expensive Cleansers
One of my pet peeves is ridiculously expensive cleansers. Fancy, nice packaging, ridiculous price tag, claims and promises to wash away wrinkles and your sins. Some cleansers are not just worth it. Remember, cleansers aim are to remove dirt, sebum, sweat, and microorganisms but not to add on. Regular cleansers can just get the job done.
2. Squeaky-Clean Finish
Stay away from cleansers that leave a squeaky-clean and tight finish, this is definitely not the goal of cleansers. Those types of cleansers strip your skin of its lipids and proteins leaving your skin bare and prone to oxidation and free radicals.
3. Fragrance In Cleansers
Fragrances are known to sensitize the skin and may even cause more harm than good. If you have really sensitive skin, please stay clear.
A very gentle cleanser for sensitive skin. It contains coco glucoside which is known mild on the skin. It is fragrance-free. If you have extreme dryness or sensitive skin, go for this one.
Great for dry skin. Very lightweight and removes dirt while keeping your skin hydrated.
If you go right to the ingredient list, it got really great cleansing surfactants mentioned above that would not irritate the skin. Fragrance-free and great for dry to normal skin
This is great for those with oily skin. It contains salicylic acid – an ingredient that works to unclog pores and exfoliate effectively.
A great choice if you got oily skin. It is fragrance-free as well
There is no one standard to know the best kind of cleansers based on your skin type. Skin changes, and so will the cleansers but knowing the basics will help you with the right choice of choosing the best cleansers for your skin. There are lots of choices out there but to decipher and not spend excess money on cleansers based on marketing claims is the goal. Hope this post helps you understand the dos and don’ts of choosing a facial cleanser.
Fadima Mooneira says
I agree! Perfume cleanser is not
Good for your skin. This is a good guide. Thank you for sharing.
Fransic verso says
Honestly, I don’t pay much attention to the pH but will definitely change that. I will keep in eye for these things.
Such an informative post! I’ve just started using a cleanser I absolutely love & it doesn’t impact my skin. Prior to that, it was a lot of trail & error though.
Belinda Bennett (@goldengirlnot) says
I’ve got an electronic facial cleaner. It’s good, but only if I use very light pressure. Like you say, they can be very expensive. There are some cheaper ones coming through. Your advice for cleansing products is spot on.
I love the Cerave hydrating cleanser. I’ve read good reviews about Vanicream and I want to try that one next.Clarisonic cleansers sounds like a great product to try too. Thanks for the tips and recommendations.