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How to Choose the Right Cleanser

If you follow me on social media you know I often preach that not every product is suitable for everyone. This is because we all have a unique skin type. As much as I would love to personally help you choose each and every product in your arsenal based on your skin; I want to arm you with the knowledge to make these choices for yourself and watch your skin reap the benefits.

Skin tip: your cleanser matters A LOT more than you may think. Not only can the right cleanser make a noticeable difference in your skin but it’s also crucial for prepping your skin for the next product.

Firstly, I always recommend to remove any makeup or sunscreen with a micellar water before cleansing. If you’ve ever cleansed and dried your face only to see a makeup crime scene on your white towel, you know why. No matter the cleanser, one wash rarely takes off all the product from the day, so better to remove first so you can really get the full benefit of the cleansing step. I like to use micellar water on a cotton pad to gently remove my SPF and makeup. The other option is to use your evening cleanser twice to ensure you’ve removed everything. Both of these methods are a form of “double cleansing”.

Now, without getting all science-y and boring, cleansers are supposed to remove dirt, oil, and grime from your face. But, your skin barrier is made of lipids, too and we need those to keep our skin healthy (especially dry types) so it’s important not to strip your skin completely. For more information on the skin barrier you can check out my IGTV video here!

Those with dry skin should choose cleansers with a milky or creamy base. These types of cleansers are ideal because, in general, they will not strip away your natural lipids and will help maintain your skin barrier. If you have dry skin you should avoid foaming and gel products. This is important to keep your skin hydrated, your barrier intact, and to avoid any irritants making their way in.

These are some of my favorite cleansers for dry skin. You can click the product directly to be taken to the link!

Dry Skin- gentle
Dry and Sensitive- gentle
Dry with pigmentation or acne.
Dry- gentle

Oily-er skin types love gel and foaming cleansers because they do a great job of removing excess oil (which they can spare unlike dry types). Here are a few that I like.

sensitive- gentle
not for sensitive skin
Gentle

Skin tip: Don’t know if you’re oily or dry? Here’s a test. Go wash your face and don’t apply anything after. Sit for about 15 minutes. How do you feel? Do you feel tight and a little dry like you want to put on some lotion? You’re likely a dry type. As you sit for 15-20 minutes does your face feel normal again? If so, you’re likely an oily type which means you make at least enough natural oil.

Another important note is that it may be necessary for you to have two cleansers, one for morning and one for night. One cleanser should be something targeting your main concern. I used to have some unwanted pigment and uneven skin tone so I love this glycolic acid cleanser. For oily and acne types your cleanser may have salicylic acid which can be a bit drying. Both of these hydroxyacids help with chemical exfoliation and ridding your skin of old dead cells which gives your skin a radiant glow and helps the next product penetrate better. I often get feedback that people notice their skin feeling smoother from this step in sometimes just a few days!

At night I opt for a gentle cleanser since my morning cleanser is more active. My favorite cleansers for nighttime are the ones labeled “gentle”.

For the body. Body acne (most commonly the chest and back) can be a real issue especially if you work out regularly. I also recommend a body wash in the shower that contains benzoyl peroxide to start (my favorites are linked below). Be sure to rinse off well. You’ll also want to be sure you aren’t consuming things like whey protein or high doses of Vitamins B6 and B12 which can lead to cystic truncal acne. *Always talk to your PCP before starting or stopping any supplements!

For those who don’t experience acne in these areas but are working to treat sun spots, dullness and overall skin texture, the Glycolix 10% Moisturizing cleanser is a great choice. I use it daily in the shower on my chest, shoulders and back!

There you have it! There are of course many factors that I consider when recommending a cleanser in the office, but this post is something you should keep in mind when shopping for yourself and creating your regimen!

*This post is opinion and is NOT medical or personalized advise.

*This post contains affiliate links.

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