Skin Care Products Facial Cleansers

Face cleansers are skin care products that remove dirt, oil and other debris from the face. In most skin care regimens, cleaning the face with a face wash is the first step towards improving the condition of the skin. Because this initial cleaning is essential to appropriately restoring the pH levels of the face and then adequately re-hydrating it with moisturizer, using a facial cleanser is an important part of any skin care routine.

Types of Cleansers

One of the primary factors that distinguishes various types of face washes is the form in which it comes. Facial cleansers can be:

  • bars
  • creams
  • foams
  • gels
  • liquids.

The form of your face wash is purely individual: It won’t affect its effectiveness.

Along with the form, the skin type it treats is the other factor that categorizes different facial cleansers. Here are the three basic categories that divide the many different types of faces washes on the market:

  • Cleansers for combination skin: As the most moderate type of face washes, these cleansers usually contain a minimal amount of salicylic acid, just enough to rid the T-zone (the bridge of the nose and the middle of the forehead) and other oily areas of excess oil and dirt while still allowing overly dry areas to retain natural oils.
  • Cleansers for dry or sensitive skin: As the gentlest types of skin cleansers, face washes for dry and/or sensitive skin are typically perfume-free. These cleansers lightly wash the skin while still leaving behind some essential natural facial oils to avoid over-drying the skin.
  • Cleansers for oily skin: As the strongest, harshest types of face washes, these cleansers typically have significant amounts of salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to ensure that excess oil and dirt is sufficiently stripped from the face and that the pores are thoroughly cleaned.

How to Choose a Face Wash

Choosing the right facial cleanser is an essential part of ensuring the health of your skin. However, with so many different kinds of face washes on the market, finding the right one for your skin type and skin condition can be a daunting task.

Whether you are just starting a skin care regimen or you are merely looking for one that is more effective, follow these tips on how to choose the proper face wash to maintain the health and vitality of your facial skin:

  1. Be aware of your skin type. Face washes are typically made for either dry, combination, oily or sensitive skin to treat the specific symptoms and associated problems of each.
  2. Choose what else you want your facial cleanser to do, besides merely clean your face. Depending on the cleanser you get, your face wash can exfoliate, moisturize or refine fine lines.
  3. Decide whether you will be most comfortable with a cream cleanser, a gel cleanser, a foaming face wash or a liquid face wash. While the form of your face wash doesn’t play a role in its effectiveness, it can make the experience more pleasant.
  4. Begin with gentler cleansers and slowly work your way into using stronger face washes until you find the right strength. Starting out with a harsher facial cleanser will likely over-dry your skin, putting it at risk for acne breakouts.
  5. Stick to brands that you know and like at first. Once you understand the strength of face wash you need, slowly branch out to other new brands until you find the face wash that is most effective for you.
  6. Use cleansers that include either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. These anti-bacterial ingredients will effectively clean the skin.
  7. Use fragrant-free, perfume-free cleansers. Face washes that contain perfumes are more likely to irritate the face skin.

Tips for Properly Using Face Wash

Cleansing your face in the proper manner is just as important as choosing the right face wash as you work at keeping your skin clean and healthy. Here are some tips that will help you wash your face correctly:

  1. Don’t over-wash your face. Frequent face cleansings will irritate and dry out your skin, which may lead to acne breakouts. Dermatologists recommend washing your face two times per day, once in the morning and again in the evening.
  2. Before you begin washing your face, pull your hair back so that you can effectively clean more areas of your face.
  3. Dampen your face with warm water before adding cleanser.
  4. Squeeze out some cleanser onto your palm, about a dime-sized amount of soap.
  5. Gently rub the face wash all over your face. Make sure that the soap is spread evenly on all parts of the face.
  6. Once the face has been covered with cleanser, rinse off the soap with warm water.
  7. Dry the face with a soft towel. Instead of vigorously rubbing the face, gently pat it dry.
  8. Follow the wash with an appropriate toner and moisturizer.


SkinTerra (n.d.). Solutions to Acne and Pimples. Retrieved November 4, 2007, from the SkinTerra Web site: