The right cleanser can effectively remove dirt and pollutants, excess oils and dead skin, as well as create an optimal environment to protect the skin.
The wrong cleanser, however, can have the potential to damage the skin barrier, causing irritation and compromise the skin's defence mechanism.
Read on to discover your skin type and how to choose the right facial cleanser.
Individuals with oily skin tend to produce excess sebum so you want to avoid cleansers which have moisturisers added to them such petrolatum. It is typically presented with a film of oil or shine to the face by midday.
If acne is also presented with oily skin, choose cleansers with actives such as benzyl peroxide to help kill the bacteria causing acne. Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid and Lactic Acid also help keep the skin clear and dry.
Foaming cleansers are best for oily skin and opt for oil-free formulations. If there is an acne flare-up, best to avoid foaming cleansers and switch to oil-free gel cleanser until the inflammation subsides.
This is also where individuals with acne-prone skin can benefit from two different types of cleansers - you just need to listen to your skin and make appropriate changes.
Dry skin is lacking oil and should not be confused with skin that is lacking in water. Dry skin is usually presented with a feeling of tightness after washing your face, red flaky patches and invisible pores.
Individuals with dry skin should ideally go for oil or cream-based formulas that will hydrate the skin while it cleanses.
Ingredients which will help to restore moisture are honey, shea butter, glycerin and ceramides.
Do try to avoid strong acids and strong foaming cleansers as this can strip away your natural moisture. A gentle acid and oil cleanser can effectively remove dry, flaky skin without over-drying.
Individuals with sensitive skin will benefit from cream cleansers with lots of moisturisers such as ceramides, glycerin and soothing agents such as aloe. opt for fragrance free products and avoid strong acids such as glycolic acid.
Combination skin typically defined as having both oily and dry zones. Individuals of this type can benefit from a gel cleanser or gentle foaming cleanser. When formulated correctly, foaming cleansers can give a deep clean without over stripping the moisture from your skin.
Spot treating the oily zones with a different type of cleanser or using a clay mask in this area can help reduce sebum production.
Author: Helen Lam, Pharmacist and Editor for ellé derm