Cleanser

Skin Cleansers are primarily used to remove cosmetics, make-up, dirt, oil, dead skin, and can help with problem skin conditions such as acne. They unclog the pores and keep the skin from producing too much oil.

It’s particularly important to find a cleanser that works with the natural PH level of your skin, is not just a case of your face looking an off colour – as it would if you chose the wrong foundation, an unsuitable cleanser can dry out your face or make it really oily.

Similarly, cleansers are not something you can scrimp on, the low quality ones are going to be stuffed with cheap ingredients and usually have a strong fragrance, neither of which your skin is going to need.

Why use a cleanser?

If you can possible help it, don’t use soap to wash your face. The reason is simple, the skin on the face is far more sensitive than the rest of the body, so your everyday bar of soap is going to be much too harsh on it. Furthermore, soap has a high PH level, more or less twice that of human skin, this causes more problems than you would think. High PH levels mean if you’ve already got an acne problem, soap is only going to exacerbate it, so steer clear.

In addition, not only do soaps alter the skins PH levels, they can also remove any natural oils in the face, causing it to dry out initially, then become even more oily as the pores work harder to keep the skin moisturised.

Types of cleanser

Thanks to the countless different cosmetics companies, there are a wide array of cleansers available on the market today. In the past, having a difficult skin type could cause problems within a beauty regime, but now there are cleansers to suit every kind of skin.

Cleanser for dry skin – This is a common complaint, particularly in the UK, where the harsh winters can dry the face and hands. If you suffer from dry skin, look for a cleanser which has a lotion-like appearance, it will be more creamy and better suited to dealing with the problem. It will also be able to sooth the dry skin whilst cleaning it. Don’t pick one that contains alcohol either, this will dehydrate the skin further.

Cleanser for sensitive skin – Avoid products that have added fragrances or essential oils, they might irritate the skin, or even cause an allergic reaction. A PH balanced cleanser should do the trick here, they have far less ingredients and are suitable for different skin types.

Cleanser for oily skin – It might seem like you should use a strong cleanser to strip all the oil away from your skin, if you have this problem, but this could actually make it worse. Applying a product that’s far too strong will strip all the protective layers off the skin and cause the pores to produce more oil than is necessary. As with sensitive skin, stick to a PH balanced cleanser that won’t be to harsh. Gel cleansers are also good, as they don’t leave a heavy residue after use.

How to use cleanser

It seems obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s not the same as splashing on some face wash, then rinsing it off. Cleanser has to be in balance with your skin, and therefore there are a few different techniques that are worth remembering.

1.Use luke-warm water, not scalding, not freezing. Make sure your hands are clean and splash your face with the water.

2.Don’t use large amounts of cleanser. Unless you have an overly large face, you’re only going to need a small dollop of product.

3.Using your hands or a flannel, apply the cleanser to your face in a circular motion. This massages the skin and allows the product to do it’s job. Make sure you don’t miss any areas, include the neck and chest in your cleansing routine if you have problem skin there.

4.Rinse thoroughly after a few minutes, then sponge your face with some cotton pads to make sure it’s all been washed off.

5.Splash your face with cold water, this helps to close the pores – protecting the skin from oil and dirt – and helps to improve circulation.

Extra cleanser tips

It’s a good idea to get into a routine with your skin care, and cleansing is an important part of it. Here are a few useful pointers to remember when using facial cleansers:

1.Chose your product carefully, or you might irritate your skin.

2.For the best results, use your cleanser in the morning when you get up, and then again at night before you go to bed. This means your skin will be protected during the day, and will have daily dirt washed off for the nighttime.

3.Avoid the eye area when applying the cleanser. The skin around the eyes is much more delicate than the rest of the face, and it’s sensitive to rough treatment or harsh products.

4.Make sure your hands and face are clean before you reach for the cleanser. It’s no good purifying the skin if it’s still dirty or you’re doing so with grubby fingers. You don’t want to rub impurities further into the skin, so clean up first!