How To Find Your Cleanser Soul Mate

Photo: Courtesy of SK-II. Photo: Courtesy of Sephora.
In the hierarchy of skin-care products, the lowly face wash often doesn’t get much thought. Maybe because, within seconds of applying the stuff, we end up washing it down the drain — so, we reason, why not just use body soap or whatever happens to be lying around?
According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, assistant professor in the dermatology department at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, we really should be choosing our face wash carefully. “The wrong cleanser can actually harm your skin, causing irritation and inflammation. In other cases, it may not clean you as effectively as you may need and leave you feeling oily.”
And, inflammation doesn’t just mean discomfort. Dr. Sandy Johnson, a Fort Smith, Arkansas-based dermatologist, points out that “inflammation will open your pores and leave them big. Then, they will fill with keratin and leave you with blackheads and whiteheads.”
That horrendous sound of a record scratch — the kind that silences rooms — just rang in our heads. Suddenly, we care about cleansers. But, how can we find the right one? To start, Johnson says we should all act as if we have sensitive skin: “Regardless of skin type, everyone should use a gentle cleanser."
Luckily, even smoothly textured formulas can pack regenerative and deep-cleaning properties (without the unpleasant result). In short: No matter how grimy or made-up your face, wash softly and carry a well-formulated cleanser. Ahead, see some non-abrasive selections for every type of skin condition.