Just like any other skincare product category, it can be stressful trying to find the right cleanser for you and your skin. It’s also important to keep in mind that there's a whole abundance of different ways you can choose to cleanse your face. For example, some might double-cleanse, some might only wash their face at night and rinse with water in the A.M, and some might cleanse twice a day. It's all very individual, and you should go with what feels right for your skin. But why is choosing the right cleanser so important, when it's such a simple step in your routine?
Simply put, the main purpose of cleansing is to remove all the surface dirt, bacteria, sweat, oil, SPF, and makeup from your skin. Pretty straightforward, right? Cleansing also gives your skin a boost of hydration and helps maintain a healthy level of hydration by managing the pH levels of your skin.
Did you know, it can also be the most damaging step in your routine? If you over-cleanse your skin, it can strip it of its natural oils. And if you rarely wash your face, then it will be prone to breakouts and can start feeling and looking very dull and textured. So that’s why it’s important to choose the right cleanser - one that’s gentle, and non-stripping.
Things to Consider and Remember
- Look out for the pH of your cleansers! The pH levels in your skincare products indicate how alkaline or how acidic the formula is. And cleansers leaning too much in either direction can be damaging to one's skin barrier. Since the natural pH of your skin is around 5, you (particularly those with sensitive and acne-prone skin) should look for cleansers with a pH level of 4.5-7.
- Keep it simple. Your cleanser doesn't necessarily need all those fancy ingredients or actives because it's not staying on your skin long enough to have a significant effect on the health of your skin. Try using something that will simply do what it was made for - cleansing.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right cleanser, based on your skin concern:
This point may go for lots of people, but specifically for those with dry and dehydrated skin, make sure to wash your face with lukewarm water, since hot water can further dry out your skin. Also, try to avoid washing your face in the shower, as most people tend o shower in hot water, which can then strip your skin of its natural oils.
A pH balancing cleanser is helpful for those with oily and acne-prone skin since a cleanser that is too acidic or too alkaline can weaken the skin barrier. Since your skin thrives at its natural pH level, once it goes outside of that, it can't repair itself as well and can cause irritation. Sticking with a balanced cleanser can slow the growth of bacteria and help prevent breakouts.
Those with fungal acne should perhaps avoid using anything with a lot of oil, such as cleansing balms and cleansing oils. Instead, try to use cleansing waters as your first cleanse. For your second cleanse, you can be a lot more lenient, since it doesn't stay on your skin for a long time and is not likely to exacerbate your fungal acne.
If your skin is sensitive, look for something super simple. You may even want to opt-out of a cleansing balm or oil and instead go for micellar water, since it's a more lightweight formula and will be less likely to irritate your skin (make sure to rinse it off though so that it doesn’t dry out your skin!).
Those were just some tips to help you along the process of finding the right cleanser for you, but remember just something works for someone, doesn't mean it's going to work for you. Always listen to your skin and try things out for yourself.