Many spend a lot of time researching which moisturiser, eye cream or anti-aging serum we should use on our skin, but often neglect putting in the same amount of effort when choosing a cleanser. Choosing the correct cleanser is a vital step in your skincare regime.
There are numerous benefits to cleansing our skin, but this is dependent on choosing the correct facial cleanser and using it correctly. Renowned specialist in aesthetic medicine and owner of SkinMiles, Dr Alek Nikolic, shares some of his tips on how to choose the best skin cleanser for your skin type.
“The best way to view the benefits of a cleanser is to look at the three R’s which include; remove, replenish and rejuvenate,” says Dr Nikolic.
Throughout the day and as we sleep our skin tends to collect dirt, bacteria, environmental pollutants, and even dead skin cells that are constantly being shed. These over time lead to changing our natural pH balance, clogging up of pores, increasing sebum production and leading to a sallow skin complexion.
Using a facial cleanser twice daily will help to remove dirt, excess sebum, unwanted dead skin cells, and provide a degree of protection against free radical damage.
When we use the correct facial cleanser for our skin types we will actually reap the benefit of increased skin hydration. Cleansers will normalise our pH levels which in turn maintains the health of the vital outer skin barrier. The skin barrier is the important outer skin mantle that regulates moisture intake and helps to prevent its loss. In turn this will also help maintain our skin pores and help reduce their size and appearance.
Environmental assaults through free radicals damage and visible light from screens, monitors and TV’s all pay a role in ageing process of the skin. Cleansers contain antioxidants that will start the process of removing these free radicals.
Following the above it is vital to choose the correct facial cleanser, and this is very simply achieved by using one specific for your skin type:
Normal to combination skin:
“I would recommend an exfoliating skin wash that contains alphahydroxy or betahydroxy acids. Considering your skin type the concentration of the acids don’t have to be high so look for a 5% glycolic acid or a 2% salicylic acid concentration,” suggests Dr Nikolic.
Oily to acne skin:
This skin type needs to look at a facial cleanser that not only exfoliates but also has the ability to clean deep within pores, reduce sebum production, and remove unwanted bacteria and porphyrins. Exfoliating cleansers with higher glycolic acid and salicylic acid concentrations should be used.
“It is important that the chosen cleanser doesn’t strip or overly dry your skin and even if you are tempted do not cleanse the skin more than twice daily. Overcleaning will damage the skin barrier and this will lead to rebound sebum production, breakouts and blockage of pores,” adds Dr Nikolic.
Sensitive and dry skin:
If you suffer from either sensitive or dry skin it is best to consider cream cleansers that not only gently cleanse the skin, but also hydrate the skin at the same time. These cleansers have been formulated specifically to not overly strip the skin barrier or to dehydrate. Furthermore, these cleansers typically do not foam when added with water and feel more like a moisturiser when applied to the skin.
In summary, this is your quick breakdown on how to best use your cleanser:
- Use your cleanser only twice daily.
- Choose the correct cleanser for your skin type
- Oil and acne prone skin need a cleanser that cleans deep within the pores
- Dry and sensitive skin need creamy cleansers that calm, soothe and hydrate
- Normal and combination skin need a mildly exfoliating cleanser.
- Cleansers are responsible for the three R’s: remove, replenish and rejuvenate.