What is a Cleanser and What Does a Cleanser do?
Types of Cleansers
There are many types of cleansers in different forms and for varying skin types:
- Lotion cleanser works best for dry skin and may not foam much.
- Non-foaming cleanser are gentle and often lotion cleansers. May be a gel or lotion.
- Foaming cleansers contain surfactants such as sodium lauryl sulfate as a foaming agent. With this ingredients, the cleanser can be very drying and irritating.
- Soap-free cleansers are free of sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). These are non-drying and preferred over those with SLS.
- Liquid face wash is best for oily skin types. It's best to choose one that is a SLS-free face wash for sensitive skin.
- Balm cleansers are best to remove heavy or waterproof makeup or for very dry skin.
- Bar soap can be very harsh, unless they specify they are a soap-free bar.
- Medicated cleansers are prescribed by dermatologists or found over-the-counter for acne. Most contain salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to control bacteria. They can be harsh and are often used as a temporary bases only.
How to Choose a Cleanser
In your effort to find just the right sensitive skin facial cleanser, it's easy to understand why you may try several based on what the label or advertisement promises. Dermatologists advise to be careful of the latest quick fix ingredient or product found to be the cure-all for your skin type, especially if you have a sensitive skin condition. For example, the word 'natural' is a common marketing term that may make you envision earthy plant extracts and remedies to clean and clear your skin in a flash. Even plant ingredients have side effects and can cause symptoms.
Among the list of harsh ingredients added to most facial cleansers or soaps is sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Sodium lauryl sulfate is added to many products and you'll find it by checking the label of just about any shampoo, toothpaste, cleansers or soaps, among others. Not only can it be irritating to your sensitive skin, but you may even be allergic to it. SLS has many potential health risks, but the main problem is that it's drying and harsh. SLS has several functions, including surfactant, emulsifier, foaming agent, detergent and solvent. You may already be aware that what you spread, place or rub on your skin is also absorbed into the body. This is specially important if you have sensitive skin, since it gets easily irritated.
The following are some ingredients you should avoid in your facial cleansers, no matter your skin type:
- Beta hydroxy acids
- Witch hazel
- Propylene glycol
- Quaternary ammonium sulfate
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)
- Salicylic acid
- Herbal ingredients, plant extracts, essential oils, including lavender, peppermint, menthol, eucalyptus, camphor
Start with a sensitive skin facial cleanser suited for your skin type, that is soap and sulfate free and free of the ingredients listed above.
Sensitive skin is very temperamental. Scrubbing too hard, washing your face with very hot or cold water and using cleansers with harsh irritating ingredients will all not feel good to your skin. Dermatitis refers to a wide range of skin conditions with inflammation that appear as red, dry, scaly, and itching reactions on your skin. Usually, these signs and symptoms appear when your skin comes into contact with a particular substance. The result will either be an allergic reaction or a localized irritation. This is why using gentle skin care products along with a simple daily skincare routine is best for sensitive skin.
Often, if you have sensitive skin, you may think your skin needs a potent cleanser to remove dirt, bacteria or whatever you think may be causing skin problems. In fact, you may have opted for an antimicrobial cleanser thinking the problem is germs. You may have even thought a gentle facial cleanser doesn't feel like it's cleaning your face. Although it's important to remove makeup, dirt, environmental pollution and dead cells, a gentle cleanser may accomplish this very effectively and just what your sensitive skin needs.
How Often to Wash Your Face
How often you wash your face depends on your skin type.
For oily skin, wash once in the morning with a gentle soap-free cleanser for oily skin, follow with an oil-free moisturizer and then apply makeup, if you use any. At night time, wash with a gentle soap-free cleanser and follow with an alcohol-free toner. This helps complete the cleaning process and helps close pores. Once a week use a gentle facial exfoliator to remove dead skin cells.
For dry skin, moisture is hard to come by and you don't want to deplete any from your skin by washing too frequently. Wash at night time with a gentle lotion cleanser for dry skin and follow with a moisturizer. In the morning only rinse, since cleansing may dry your skin more. Once a day cleansing is sufficient for dry skin.
Acne prone skin can be either dry or oily. For either, follow the information based on your skin type. Moisturizer is important for acne prone and oily skin, but make sure to use an oil-free lotion instead of heavy cream.
Combination skin is tricky since you have dry areas as well as oily sections on your face. Be practical and cleanse dry and oily areas appropriately.
Best Cleanser for Sensitive Skin
The first step for an effective sensitive skin care program, is a gentle facial cleanser for sensitive skin. If your skin is not clean, and you pile on makeup, you're asking for trouble. Your skin will look dull as dead cells, pollutants and oil clog the pores. The right soap-free gentle facial cleanser for sensitive skin will make a world of difference between a beautiful, radiant clean and fresh skin versus a dull complexion. It's important to note that soap-free cleansers will not give you that rich lather you're used to that contain SLS. Although the lather may feel good, it can ultimately hurt your skin.
Statistics estimate one in five people suffers from sensitive skin. Unfortunately, many people are not aware they are the cause of their sensitive skin with the harsh irritating products they have been using for years.
With the many brands of sensitive skin facial cleansers available, it makes it difficult choosing the right one for you. Especially since most come with a pretty package claiming in so many words to clean away aging or problem skin.
At Cleure, our focus is simple, safe, effective and non-irritating ingredients. We formulate our products for healthy skin, no matter the type of skin it's being applied to. Cleure offers the best soap free gentle cleansers for sensitive skin. They're great for use on all skin types, including sensitive, oily or dry skin. With years of experience and a team of physicians, we are able to offer effective products free of common irritating ingredients for youthful radiant skin.
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