Often in a consultation I hear, “oh I wash my face with water” or “I use my body soap to wash my face.” If one were to view the face like a canvas, the cleansing step is like priming the canvas. In order for the subsequent steps to do their role and part in your routine using the appropriate cleanser for your skin type is absolutely crucial. Certain ingredients in cleansers such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate are very stripping in nature and end up doing more damage than good. A cleanser’s main job is to thoroughly clean the skin and create a clean palate for the skin so that the next steps of toning, exfoliating, correcting via serums, moisturizing, and protecting can all be readily accepted by the tissue for optimum efficacy and delivery.
If you suffer from inflammatory conditions such as rosacea with persistent sensitivity and redness the right cleanser choice for you should be an emollient one with lipids and anti-inflammatories in it. The soothing cleanser by Mark Lees or the Creamy cleanser by PCA are both excellent choices. If your concern is aggravated Rosacea or Eczema or Psoriasis, the Dry Relief Bar from PCA is a great option.
If you are suffering from active acne with pustular lesions the right cleansing choice for you should have a combination of benzoyl peroxide (BPO), salicylic acid, and anti-inflammatories. The combination is solely dependent on the severity of the condition, if you are extremely pustular BPO Wash by Mark Lees twice a day is an excellent option. Other good choices are the BPO 5% wash or Blemish Control bar by PCA; Outer Peace by Aveda, Daily Purifying Cleanser by Mark Lees.
For anti-aging/pigmentation make sure that your cleanser has ingredients like lactic acid, kojic acid, malic acid, mandelic acid, bisabalol, fruit enzymes. Good options in this category are Pigment Bar and Facial Wash by PCA; Gentle Gel Cleanser by Mark Lees, BK Crème Cleanser by Aveda.