Is any skin cleanser really good enough or is it worth it to splurge for the best? Ask your hairdresser if cheap shampoo is okay because you use a good conditioner and you will be met with raised eyebrows and a horrified expression! Why would you strip your hair or your skin of what it needs to be healthy, only to have to replenish it with another product?
Washing your face with bar soap or body wash is a serious ‘no no.’ Your skin’s job is to protect you from dirt, bacteria and pollutants in our environment. It does this with the help of oil produced by your sebaceous glands called sebum. Sebum also keeps in the good oils, which give you moisture. The sebum is also an important part of the skin’s ‘acid mantle’ which you can think of as a thin shield that neutralizes contaminants that come in contact with the skin.
A harsh cleanser will strip the sebum from your skin and disrupt the acid mantle leaving it tight, dry and vulnerable. The trick is to achieve a balance when cleansing, to clear away dirt, makeup, excess sebum and dead skin cells while leaving enough sebum and a proper PH balance behind to continue to protect your skin.
There are cleansers made for every skin type but if you aren’t sure which one is right for, play it safe and purchase a good quality, mild cleanser to start. If your skin is naturally dry, try a milky or creamy consistency as they are likely to be more moisturizing.
Are Good Skin Cleansers Expensive?
Not necessarily, however companies that specialize in high-quality-doctor’s-office-type skin care products have usually put a good amount of funding into proper research and testing of their products so chances are that their cleansers will be ones you can trust to do more good than harm. Check the shelves of your local health food store for creamy cleansers with natural ingredients like tea tree oil, colloidal oatmeal or Manuka honey, if you prefer.
Skin Cleansing for Acne and Problem Skin
Most people who suffer from acne are under the impression that they can scrub the acne away and the harsher cleanser they use, the better. This is actually the opposite of the truth. Acne prone skin needs the same care as sensitive skin. To over-cleanse or attempt to dry out the skin with strong cleansers and scrubs will only fool the skin into thinking it needs to produce more oil, making things worse.
- Cleanse your face once in the morning and once before bed, with lukewarm water. Hot water is drying and standing your face under a hot shower can also cause small capillaries to burst.
- Always check the ingredients on a cleanser. Avoid ones that contain alcohol, too many chemicals, dyes and perfumes.
- If you want to use a cleanser with Glycolic acid or salicylic acid, make sure your skin is not already dry and irritated. You will need to heal the skin with mild products before switching to active ones.
- Try not to let the shampoo run down your face when rinsing your hair.
- Avoid cleansers with scrubs or micro-beads, they can tear skin and create premature aging of the skin.
- When you find a cleanser you like, buy 2 and keep one in the shower so you aren’t tempted to get lazy and use body wash or soap on your delicate skin.
Remember, your face has different needs and keeping your skin mildly cleansed, moisturized and balanced will keep you glowing. So go ahead, get yourself a high quality cleanser, you deserve it!
by M. Wally
Age is state of mind. Aging is a treatable condition.