Many of us know what a basic skin care regimen should look like, but how much do we really know about picking the right cleanser for our skin. A cleanser plays an important role in skin care if you ask me, it plays the most important role. I mean, besides personal hygiene, proper cleansing will make sure to maximise the performance of other products in your regimen. For example, cleansing your skin will allow maximum penetration for products to follow since it will offer a bare skin pallet. We have spoken about comedogenic ratings in relation to moisturizers and pH balancing in relation to toners, now we can discuss cleansers.
It is not a secret that different skin types have different needs yet people still formulate their regimens based on what OTHER people use. I always say that people should cleanse their face no more than twice a day. The first cleanse is in the morning and this is to remove the pillow grime and oil and bacteria. The second cleanse is in the evening to remove your sunscreen, makeup and so on. Therefore, using the wrong cleanser can do a lot of damage to your skin.
So, How do we go about choosing the right cleanser for your skin?
The most important part (as we have established) is to figure out your skin type. Generally speaking, there is Dry, Sensitive, Combination and Oily skin but i did a whole post on 9 different skin types.
Dry Skin Types – If you have skin that tends to be on the drier side, you may want to look for a cleanser that will help your skin retain moisture. Look for a cleanser that has a creamy consistency or one that is oil-based. Ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid can be advantageous to this skin type as it draws in moisture and locks in it in. People with dry skin types should stay away from foaming cleansers as they tend to dry the skin out.
Sensitive Skin – If your skin is relatively sensitive, just like the dry skin type, you need to stick to creamy cleansers. make sure that you are not exposing your skin to irritants such as fragrance, alcohol and parabens. Cleansers which contain mild plant oils and glycerine are also best for this type of skin as they are mild and gentle. These plant oils can include sweet almond oil, jojoba oil.
Oily skin types – The best cleansers for oily skin are deep pore cleansers that come in gel form. My thing is that i hate these type of cleansers because even the mildest ones can just be a bit too drying. You do, however get creamy foaming cleansers which include oils and emollients which may not be too drying.
Acne-Prone skin types – This is probably one of the most difficult skin types to deal with. Here, you need to find something that will deep-clean your pores (getting rid of excess sebum) and something that will also treat your acne! For this skin type, it is best to use a cleanser that has been medicated. These products will include ingredients such as salicylic acid and lipo hydroxy acid. These ingredients will control oil-production whilst also fighting your acne breakouts. I still find that some medicated cleansers can be quite harsh on the skin to a point where some people can’t even use it every day.
Natural Skin Care is my primary most first love but i do realise that people still do need skin care advice but don;t necessarily have access to all-natural ingredients. So, the driving force behind this post is those who fall into that category. There are many non-toxic skin care ranges out there with skin care products which aren’t natural but still work to improve the skin. My only big problem about synthetic skin care is that the some of the ingredients used have been proved to be very harsh on the skin. This is why i have always been an advocate for natural Cleansers.
My favourite Natural Cleansers
Glycerine Soap – I am sure as kids most of us had experience with glycerine soap. It is currently my new found favourite since i have started making my own bars. I love this soap because it is made of natural ingredients; the main one being vegetable glycerine. It is very gentle and suitable for all skin types as well as baby skin. Glycerine is great because unlike other soaps, it does not strip your skin of moisture when cleaning. Instead, glycerine offers your skin some moisture and on top of that, acts as a humectant. I have dry skin and have tried countless types of soaps and face washes and glycerine is what i’m most impressed by.
Raw Honey – This is probably my favourite skin care product (Thank you, Gaia). Raw honey can be used as a mask after cleansing your face with your mild, irritant-free cleanser. Raw honey is a deep pore-cleanser which also has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory as well as anti-fungal properties. This means that honey is a great addition your regimen if you have oily and acne prone skin. Raw honey is also especially good for dry skin thanks to it humectant properties that keep your skin moist. What makes raw honey even greater, is the fact that it has a pH range similar to that of human skin.
Black Soap – There has been a lot of hype around black soap in 2015-2016 and it is understandable as to why this is so. Google black soap and you are bombarded by millions of success stories surrounding black soap and acne-prone skin. I love this soap because it is made from natural ingredients. The right black soap should be jam-packed with antioxidants and vitamins E, A and C, to name a few. Some people do find the soap quite drying so it is sometimes best to stay away if you have skin that is on the sensitive side. Great alternative is to get enriched liquid black soap. I usually enrich my liquid black soap with aloe vera gel, jojoba oil, vitamin E oil as well as sweet almond oil. I feel that this combats the drying and maximises the soap by providing moisturising properties.
If you are someone who is struggling with finding cleansers, faithfultonature.co.za, The Body Shop as well as LUSH seem to have products which have helped many people before!