Skin Cleansers

Good Skin Care Element #1 And First Step To Great Skin...

Soap, foaming mousse, lotion, name just a few of the formats skin cleansers come in. How do you choose an appropriate cleanser for your skin type? Getting this first step right is THE key to successfully setting the tone for ideal results in your complexion (no pun intended).

You could be doing everything else right, BUT, if you get this first step wrong, it doesn't matter.  You likely already know whether you have the first step right by how your skin is expressing itself right now.

Is your skin reflecting healthy results OR are you struggling with break outs and/or skin irritations?

Using an inappropriate skin cleanser is one of the most common culprits behind skin problems and the inevitable cycle of demise in your skin's health and appearance.

If you have been using harsh cleansers or even worse, soap (not to be confused with "cleansing bars"), you are likely in the frustrating cycle of treating symptoms of a skin type and not necessarily your actual skin type.  If you are using the wrong type of products for your skin type, you can experience results that are not only NOT IDEAL, they will mask the true nature of your skin and actually complicate an effective skin care program that pursues your best complexion outcome.


Skin Cleansers Guide

Cleansing the skin...:

The objective of cleansing the skin is to remove all makeup, dead cells, oil and dirt, and to do so without irritating the skin. Use the right type of skin wash product that will thoroughly cleanse without stripping the skin of it natural pH balance.

Choosing the right cleanser...:

All skin cleansers share the following ingredients; detergent, cleansing agents, and thickeners. Often the very ingredient designed to deal with the skin type issue, will exasperate the problem. 

A good illustration of this?

Cleansers, apparently designed for oily skin, may use detergents that are so harsh, they strip the skin, leaving it dry and tight. This status will be received by the oil glands and the oil glands will respond by increasing production. In this example, you actually make your skin oilier... Not exactly, the goal.

Luckily, skin cleanser formula advancements, not only feature gentle effective cleansing, geared to all skin types, they can also act to protect and nurture the skin with ingredients such as vitamins, antioxidants, emollients and exfoliants.

Best Skin Cleanser Choice Check List:

check mark graphic#1 Choose a cleanser that is gentle yet effective for your skin type.

check mark graphic#2 Make sure that the cleanser you choose is water soluble, and does not contain *irritating ingredients.

*This list is huge, but generally includes ingredients like acetone, alcohol, and many sorts of "natural" ingredients i.e.. balm mint, lavender, wintergreen, etc.  You would be amazed at how many wonderful sounding "natural" ingredients are actually quite irritating and responsible for sensitizing the skin to allergies.

For an in-depth list of irritating ingredients used in cosmetics including skin cleansers, this book comes highly recommended A Consumer Dictionary to Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter.

One of the best skin cleansers of the past, and still is today, is Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. It is excellent for all skin types, it is a skin cleanser that is gentle yet effective, it is water soluble, it will not strip the skin or leave it feeling greasy, it comes recommended by many doctors, and is a very inexpensive skin cleanser. Some other recommended skin cleansers are Dr. Brandt Anti-Irritant Cleanser for very sensitive, highly reactive skin or skin that has undergone treatment.

How to Cleanse...

  • Thoroughly wet the skin with warm water (not hot, not cold; both are irritating to the skin) splashing with hands.
  • Take the advised amount of cleanser and gently massage over your entire face.
  • Rinse thoroughly with warm water by splashing your face.
  • Although, wash cloths are considered rough and irritating to the skin by some experts, I consider them a helpful tool and great manual exfoliator(there is something very thorough about them... but don't be too obsessive). If you have more sensitive skin and like wash cloths, try the softer textured kind designed for children.
  • Note*: If you are removing eye makeup, I would advise using a gentle specially formulated eye makeup remover/ lotion (especially if you are wearing waterproof mascara).  Although, cleansers can remove makeup, they are still often too harsh for the very delicate eye area. If you have discovered one that removes all your makeup without wear and tear on the eye area, by all means skip this.

    Ideally, the less wear and tear on your very delicate eye area skin the better, as repetition of pulling etc. will take its toll over time.  I once again emphasize the word gently. Saturate a cotton ball, gentle place on the closed eye lid at the eye lashes for some soaking to occur, and then slowly and carefully dab over the areas of the eye, followed by light short strokes (apply light pressure that does not involve pulling the skin).

    I highly recommend this gentle, inexpensive eye makeup remover L'Oreal Plenitude Refreshing Eye Makeup Remover, Oil-Free. This formula does not sting the eyes and is effective.  If you would like to take a step up in performance, try the award winning Lancome Bifacil Gentle Eye Makeup Remover.

    Dealing With Acne

    When dealing with problem acne, even an effective skin cleanser may not be enough.

    Acne is a result usually of a combination of things like increased oil production, plugged sebaceous glands from improper skin shedding, and trapped bacteria. In addition, factors like hormonal shifts, and genetics can add to the difficulty in resolving your skin problems.

    When it comes to successfully dealing with acne, there are a number of effective programs that have been developed.

    The first one that comes to mind is considered one of the best and you likely have heard of it, Proactiv. It is endorsed by many celebrities including Justin Beiber and Katy Perry. It has also been reviewed well by users and has received beauty awards as best acne system, from a number of magazines including In Style and Teen Vogue. Proactiv is considered very effective for those who deal with mild to moderate acne. It was developed by two Stanford trained dermatologists harnessing the active ingredients salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide in their treatment approach.  The website offers an incredibly helpful and thorough amount of information including lots of FAQ to refer to.

    For more severe acne, it is best to consult with a dermatologist who will likely suggest formulations that require a prescription.

    For spot treatment of the odd pimple, there are many options.  One great little treatment is Mario Badescu Drying Lotion (Pimple Healer).   Another option, which is medicine and makeup in one is Murad Acne Treatment Concealer.

    apple contour graphicLast word on cleaning your skin....

    Choosing an effective gentle skin cleanser is always the first choice.  Should you give this time and find it is not meeting your skin's needs, then consider a stronger approach.  Most of you will be pleasantly surprised at how well a gentle approach works.

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