Choosing the Right Cleanser

women shopping for cleanser.

You are choosing your new facial cleanser. This is a big deal for you.  You’ ve had some very good experiences and some very bad ones. The good ones have been positively life changing and confidence boosting.  The bad ones have made you want to stay home and cry.

You decide to look at reviews.  Oh, the cleanser looks good.  It got 4.5 stars and 3070 customer reviews.  You look at the breakdown. 73% gave it five stars, that’s pretty good, but 5% gave it one star and 4% gave it two stars.  What if you’re in the 5%? Unfortunately, you really won’t know until you buy it and use it, but here are a few helpful guidelines.

The Right Cleanser For Your Skin Type
Bar soaps are generally considered bad for skin because they contain harsh detergents that strip everything from your skin, even things you don’t want to be stripped.  However, if bar soaps are the way you want to roll, gentle bar soaps like Dove Beauty Bar is fine for your skin, although it is not really a soap.  Since they do tend to be drying,  bar soaps would be a better choice for people with oily skin.

Foaming
Foaming cleansers also have a drying effect and are better for people with oily skin.  Since you only need a small amount to work up a good lather, foaming cleansers last the longest.  You may want to avoid a foaming cleanser if you have dry or irritated skin, as they may be too drying for you. However, foaming cleansers are available in gel or cream  and the cream forms may contain oils and emollients that may be less harsh.

Non-Foaming
Nonfoaming cleansers are usually recommended for people with sensitive skin or eczema.  These cleansers are available in lotion and gel forms and are known to be a little gentler; some say too gentle.  Nonfoaming cleansers have often been blamed for being unable to remove sunscreen and makeup.  However, many people swear by gels like Cetaphil, which is known for its suitability to sensitive skin.  It is also good for dry skin and in the morning.

Ingredients
When you do buy a new cleanser, you should definitely check the ingredient list.  Sodium lauryl sulfate can be quite drying, whereas sodium Laureth sulfate is milder and gentler, although it may irritate some people.  However, keep in mind that if the ingredients are listed toward the bottom of the list, the amount may be negligible.

Keep in mind that some people use two different cleansers. They may use lighter cleansers during the winter when skin is dry, and stronger cleansers in the humid summer months.  Some use Lighter cleansers in the morning and stronger cleansers in the evening, when they need to bring in the heavy duty.

In parting, Yancy Lael, author of Glowing:  Soulful Skincare says, “don’t rely on labels to give you the information you need.  Trust only the ingredient list in your gut.”  This may be the soundest advice of all.

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