Picking a Good Cleanser

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated August 18, 2017)

Especially in today's commercialized, million-brand names, countless-variety world, finding the perfect facial products can be overwhelming and discouraging. We've all had that face wash we find that instead of clearing and cleaning up your skin, dries out or aggravates it. Then you have to find something else to return your skin to normal and keep it that way.

Skin dilemmas are some of the most frustrating because 1) they are the most obvious and 2) they take at least a few days to remedy. Being able to buy a good cleanser and moisturizer is the key to soft and healthy skin but usually has to happen through trial and error. However, there are a few tips to remember that will lead you in the right direction before diving into the beauty aisle.

The first thing you must do—the step that is paramount—is to discover what your skin type is. Once you do that, you can eliminate over half the choices marketed and narrow down your search. Does your skin break out easily? Does it get really oily toward the end of the day? If so, then your skin produces more oil which allows more dirt and contaminants to enter the skin, resulting in frequent breakouts. The kind of cleanser you want is a product that contains little to no oils; your skin has enough of that and you want to keep it to a minimum. Complement your light, oil-free cleanser with a light, oil-free moisturizer. Usually washing your face with a harder scrub wash once a day (or once every other day) helps to clear up your oily skin and rid your complexion of excess oil. Specialty lines like BeautiControl and Mary Kay, as well as brands like Neutrogena all carry products for this particular skin type. (Makeup also follows this rule—don't buy something that will add oil to your skin.)

If your skin is drier, then avoid drying products. Drying products work on oily complexions because it dries up the oil rather than the skin. You want a heavier cleanser and moisturizer and may want to use a different one for nighttime. I know a girl whose skin is really dry and she has a strict skin regimen she follows—complete with a couple different cleansers and moisturizers. Depending on how fickle your complexion is, you might need different products for morning and night. You usually apply the heavier products at night and use the lighter cleansers in the morning. Again, makeup follows the same rules—buy makeup for your skin type.

While finding a good cleanser can be exasperating, it is not impossible. The key thing to do is to keep your skin type in mind and accommodate it. Once you can narrow it down, the selection process is so much more simplified and comes down more to preference rather than what works.

Author Bio

Charlotte Wood

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