Skin cleansers are an important part of your facial skin care routine and can help to reduce acne and other types of bacteria on the skin surface. There are many different types of cleansers which cater to different skin types. In general, you should choose your facial cleanser based on your skin type. Foaming agents are amongst the strongest cleansers because they remove oil from the skin’s surface, ensuring that makeup and debris are removed. Non-foaming agents are less irritating and are a good option for dry or sensitive skin types. Antibacterial cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide, silver, hypochlorous acid, sodium hypochlorite, are a good option for acne-prone skin.
If you have Oily Skin
Patients with oily skin can use products that contain salicylic acid. Salicylic acid cleansers are able to penetrate into the pores and are effective at unclogging them. Salicylic acid also helps to reduce inflammation. Patients with oily skin can better tolerate acne medications so in the morning they should use salicylic acid and a foaming cleanser at night to remove dirt and debris that can worsen acne.
If you have Dry Skin
Patients with dry skin can use products that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). AHA have high absorptive capabilities and help to exfoliate the skin. AHAs have low pH levels which make it harder for the bacteria that causes acne to thrive. Dry skinned patients often need two types of cleansers. A typical cleansing routine could include an AHA cleanser, to prevent clogged pores and exfoliate dead skin in the morning, and a creamy cleanser at night to help moisturize. Individuals with dry skin SHOULD NOT use foaming cleansers; they should also avoid using loofahs, scrubs, and other forms of mechanical exfoliation.
If you have Rosacea
If you have rosacea and dry skin, skip the morning cleanse and apply a morning anti-redness product followed by an appropriate sunscreen. In the evening apply a soothing non-foaming cleanser with anti-inflammatory ingredients (such as argan oil, green tea, feverfew, chamomile, licorice extract, and/or aloe)
If you have rosacea and oily skin, cleanse twice a day to remove excess oil. Use a foaming cleanser with anti-inflammatory ingredients. Avoid mechanical exfoliation including scrubs, chemical exfoliants, and abrasive loofahs or cloths
If you have Eczema
Patients with eczema should choose the same non-foaming cleansers as those with dry skin. Cleansers with hypochlorite or silver are helpful for patients with frequent skin infections because they decrease skin bacteria and prevent infections. You should avoid foaming cleansers if you have been diagnosed with eczema.
If you have questions about facial skin cleansers or are in need of a dermatologist, please call Dr. Valerie Harvey’s office at 757-232-8856.
About Dr. Valerie M. Harvey, MD, MPH
Dr. Harvey is located in Newport News at the TPMG Hampton Roads Center for Dermatology.