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How to Choose the Right Facial Cleanser for Your Skin

[ 7 ] March 29, 2012 |

With winter over (or at least on its way out) and spring coming into full bloom, our poor skin is feeling the effects of the changing weather. But just because it is not as cold anymore does not mean our skin requires less hydration and TLC. And no skin on our body needs more moisture and hydration than our face.

Whenever I go to Walmart, I am always so perplexed about which facial cleanser is best suited for me. I am completely lost when I see the words “acne-prone,” “T-Zone,” “dry,” “oily,” “sensitive,” “normal” and “combination.” Is it possible to be all of them?

My face does not have acne, per say, but it can have the occasional breakout, so does that mean I am “acne-prone”? My forehead can be a little on the shiny side, so does that mean I need a facial cleanser that fixes my T-Zone? My face is dry during the winter, but do I still need to buy a cleanser for dry skin for spring? And because my skin can be shiny, should I buy a cleanser that focuses on oily skin? But my skin can also be sensitive, I suppose, since I broke out more when I used St. Ives that one time. But what if all those face issues are normal? Or do they all fall under the “combination” skin type?

See what I mean?

There are so many facial cleansers to choose from, it is impossible to choose the right one for your skin without a little bit of guidance. So after much research and talking to couple of dermatologists, I have narrowed down the tricks of learning our own individual skin type test. Here is the Skin Test you can do at home:

1)   Wash your face with warm water.
2)   Pat skin dry after waiting an hour (during this hour, just go about your usual business and try not to touch your face).
3)   Apply rice paper or lens-cleaning tissue paper to your face.

Results:
If the paper sticks to your face and becomes translucent on certain spots, your skin is oily.
If the paper doesn’t stick to any part of your face, your skin is dry.
If the paper only sticks to your T-Zone (forehead, nose and chin), your skin is considered to be “combination” — This is the most common skin type.

So now that you know what skin type you have (or have a vague idea), it is time to choose those wonderfully pricey-for-how-much-you-are-getting facial cleansers. But how do you know which one is right for you?

With the help from skin specialist Candace, from Vancouver Skin, we are able to break down facial cleansers to the basics, so you make a fast and informed decision the next time you go to Walmart or Shopper’s Drug Mart (or wherever you purchase your facial cleansers).

Oily or Acne-Prone Skin:

Gel-based cleansers that are free of oil and heavy emollients should be your go-to, says Candace. These types of cleansers moisturize your skin without clogging pores, which is important for those who suffer from acne outbreaks or glossy skin. You have to make sure your cleanser has a moisturizing agent, in order to stop your skin from hydrating itself (the result of lack of moisture is that oily skin you are trying to get rid of).
We recommend: Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Wash, Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Facial Cleanser and Burt’s Bees’ Anti-Blemish Purifying Gel Cleanser

 

 

 

Dry Skin:

Candace says to use cream cleansers because they will help restore lost moisture and keep your skin hydrated, which will seem like a God-sent if you notice your skin flaking. Non-foaming cleansers also do the trick.
We recommend: Neutrogena’s Fresh Foaming CleanserBurt’s Bees’ Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream and Nivea’s Gentle Cleansing Cream

 

 

 

Combination Skin:

Because this skin type is the most common, there are lots of facial cleansers to choose from. The best cleansers are ones that will not dry your skin out too much but will provide just enough moisture for that perfect balance.
We recommend: Olay’s Foaming Face Wash, Nivea’s Refreshing Cleansing Gel and Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Gentle Scrub.

 

 

 

 

 

Sensitive Skin:

If your skin is easily bugged and you often notice bumps or rashes, choosing the right facial cleanser can be tricky. When “oily” and “dry” cleansers get your skin down, it is time to turn to cleansers designed especially for sensitive skin. Candace says that choosing cleansers with a mild AHA (or glycolic acid) is key because if your skin becomes irritated with other acids like citric, lactic or salicylic, it is most likely that your skin will react to glycolic acid.
We recommend: Burt’s Bees’ Sensitive Facial Cleanser, Neutrogena’s Extra Gentle Cleanser and Olay’s Sensitive Foaming Face Wash.

 

 

If you are okay with splurging for the best skin care products for your face, Candace recommends trying Neo Strata’s facial cleansers for all skin types. “Young women under the age of 25 can start using Neo Strata, which is my number one pick for over the counter products; due to a) having an SPF inside of at least 15 and  b) a mild AHA which is glycolic acid.”

So which skin care brands should you try to avoid? Candace says to choose Neutrogena or Dove over Clean & Clear and St. Ives, as the latter two products can irritate and dry skin out.

Let’s face it: shopping for facial cleansers is never easy, but we hope that with our suggestions above, we can help you make your next shopping trip cheaper, easier and more successful. 

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Category: Beauty Box

Comments (7)

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