Facial Cleansers: How to Pick the Right One for You
It can be a little overwhelming and confusing when trying to decide which beauty products you should narrow down on and use – especially when it comes to cleansers as there are so many varieties and it just seems easier to use your bar of soap at home (but please don’t). What’s important to remember is that a good skincare regime should be implemented from a young age and that simplicity is key for optimal long-term results. So, what do you really need to invest in? It’s been proven time after time that this three-step programme is really the basis of what you need (1):
- Something to clean your skin – a facial cleanser
- Something to moisturise your skin – an emollient
- Something to protect your skin – UV and pollution protection
Now while moisturise and protect are vital parts of your skincare regime, their efficacy is determined by how well you clean your skin first. This is because a good cleanser is able to remove the any dirt, oils, and other unwanted debris from your skin’s pores and allows for any products you’re using afterwards to be properly absorbed. Unfortunately, having ‘dirty skin’ isn’t something you have much control over, especially if you live in the city. In fact, it may surprise you to know that the skin on your face is almost always carrying pollutants, dirt, dead skin cells, and even viruses as well as bacteria on it. What does this mean? Basically, if you don’t clean the skin on your face you put yourself at a much higher risk for skin inflammation, dryness, irritation, infection and ultimately, premature aging.
Keeping your skin cleansed with the right products, on the other hand, does quite the opposite. By removing dirt, excess oils and unwanted debris, you’re allowing your skin to keep properly hydrated, maintain steady pH levels, avoid excess sebum build up and promote its ability to produce stably, and of course – keep your skin glowing healthily. (2)
Five questions to ask yourself before choosing a facial cleanser
- What is my skin type?
Your facial cleanser needs to be designed for your specific skin concerns.
If you have oily skin, you want to stick to cleansers designed for deep cleansing and decongesting pores. Look for: gel-based cleansers; foam cleansers; clay cleansers; and powder cleansers.
If you have dry and sensitive skin on the other hand, you need cleansers designed to nourish your skin with moisturising ingredients (such as botanical oils) and clean it without stripping any natural oils. Look for: Cream cleansers; micellar cleansers; and oil cleansers.
- Do I have allergy-prone skin?
If your skin is highly reactive and prone to allergy breakouts after product application – then you need to stick to products that as free from synthetic ingredients as possible. Stick to simple formulas, that are fragrance-free and targeted at allergy-prone skin.
- How much do I sweat?
This may seem like a strange question, but it’s relevant and here’s why: If you are someone who works out regularly, it’s likely you sweat pretty regularly too. And if you’ve ever noticed breakouts around your nose and forehead after a gym session, it’s probably because you haven’t cleaned your skin properly. Sweat clogs up your skin’s pores fairly quickly and a stronger cleanser may be necessary after a workout. If you have dry and sensitive skin, stick to using an oil cleanser in this case with a gentle cleansing mitt.
- Do I wear makeup every day?
Makeup will block your skin’s pores very quickly, especially if you’re using formulas that don’t take skin health into consideration. If you’re dabbing your face with primer, concealer, foundation, blusher, or powders on a regular basis – you need to check that the facial cleanser targets makeup removal as well.
- Do I know how to check for harmful ingredients?
Last, but definitely not least, you need to know if the product you’re buying contains harmful ingredients that will infiltrate harsh chemicals into your body, create a product dependency as oppose to building your natural skin’s health and potentially be harmful to your overall wellbeing. You also want to know that the product you’re using has been created in a sustainable way that has taken our environment and ecology into account as well.
Choosing a cleanser really should be seen as an investment, not because it has to be exceptionally pricey as a product – but because it will most likely cost more than the bar of soap you use to wash the rest of your body. But just remember that if you want to proactively look after your complexion and prevent premature aging, just leave the bar of hand soap and invest in your skin’s health with a proper cleanser.