Facial Cleansers

Written by Serena Berger
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Facial cleansers are one of the most (second only to sunscreen) important aspects of your skin care regimen. They can do more harm than good, however, if you don't have the 411 on how to use them properly and make the most of their various attributes. You want to use a cleanser formulated for your skin type, and then make sure you don't make any critical cleansing mistakes.

For example, don't cleanse too often. Twice a day is the maximum you should consider. Any more than that and you will make dry skin drier and oily skin more oily. Don't overuse any product with alcohol, either. They may make you feel "more clean" than you do with other products, but they are stripping essential materials that your skin needs to protect itself long term. Do not scrub too much, and make sure everything is thoroughly rinsed. Residue left behind will clog your pores and give you whiteheads and blackheads. Last but not least, realize that every time you wash around your eyes, you are pulling on that delicate skin. Dark circles and wrinkles will result if you are not very careful.

Get the Most out of Cleansing

If you have dry skin, you can moisturize while cleansing (though you have to moisturize immediately afterward in order not to end up drier because you used water on your face). Ingredients like cocoa butter and glycerin are likely to be found in affordable cleansers which can help keep skin smooth and soft. Dry skin is particularly prone to whiteheads, which are formed when pores get clogged but dry skin covers the pore, keeping the unwanted oil and other material in. Good cleansing for dry skin will gently open whiteheads and will not combine with oil to make more.

Good cleansers for oily skin are likely to contain benzyl peroxide, citrus acids, or salicylic acids. These ingredients help to get rid of the oil which causes blackheads and pimples--the bane of the existence of people with oily skin. They also act as anti-bacterials to protect your skin against inflammation and break-outs. If you have sensitive skin, look for a cleanser with aloe vera or chamomile. Whatever your skin type, use a liquid cleanser, not a bar soap. This will minimize the chance of getting blemishes.

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