Entering a supermarket or a pharmacy to purchase skin care products has never been harder than it is today. Not because of unavailability of products, but rather the opposite, where we are simply spoilt for choice.
While just a few decades ago the trend had been the efficiency of products, “One soap to solve all your problems!” was probably the most attractive of campaigns. But mention that today and it would receive shocked reactions from beauty gurus and users alike.
Today’s trend seems to be that of specialization. In particular, this means specific products to address specific regions or issues that promise to work. This, combined with great advancements in research and development sectors of the skin care industry has led to products like face wash and body wash becoming household names.
This is mainly because washing your face is much more of an important task than we would think. It performs a trifecta of actions: it removes the build-up of dirt and debris, it helps boost skin hydration levels and also helps maintain clear skin (1).
Face wash goes by the more technical term of “Cleansers” under which exists a range of products. Sometimes cleansers are more directed and intense than normal over-the-counter face washes that are readily available. In general, most experts advise people to keep bar soaps off the facial skin at all costs. This is because of three reasons:
– pH Balance: our skin naturally has an acidic content that is a barrier layer of the skin that protects it. However, regular bar soaps aimed to kill bacteria and ‘clean’ the skin is most often alkaline. This neutralizes the basic properties of skin, leaving it exposed to possible harm.
– Skin type: bar soaps are not always prepared for a specific skin type in mind, but rather a common aim. So when special skin types like dry skin come in contact with such soap, they tend to get dangerously dried out (2)
– Harshness: sometimes the ingredients in a bar soap tend to be too harsh for the skin as sensitive as our facial skin. This often leads to extreme drying out of the skin and even allergic reactions.
These are just some of the reasons why the industry has diversified into creating products more suited for the face, namely face washes and cleansers.
On finding the best way to use such products, you should first be aware of what skin type you have. The most widely known types of skin are normal, oily, dry and combination (3).
– Normal: this type of skin needs a simple and balanced face wash that helps balance the pH of the skin. Being an ideal type of skin, it normally needs no further benefits from the face wash other than the removal of dirt and dead skin cells.
– Oily: for this kind of skin, you are always better off with using a water-based face wash and cleanser before any skincare routine. This ensures that the excess oily secretion is removed, hence reducing the risk of pores getting clogged and infected. This also needs a balancing of the pH levels to ensure a healthy looking skin.
– Dry: as for this skin type, an oil-based cleanser would do great, as it replenishes the oil on the skin, helping it balance out the natural dryness. It should usually address skin sensitivity since most dry skins suffer from this.
The next confusion that most people face is the frequency of washes that they must follow for healthy-looking, clear skin. Most dermatologists would suggest that this is quite a personal choice since it changes from person to person and how sensitive their skin is.
But as a rule of thumb, it is often recommended that we wash our face twice a day at the least, in the morning and once in the evening. This ensures that we keep the skin clear of the dirt and dead skin cells that accumulate through the night, as well as remove the oils secreted in the night-time.
With this knowledge in your arsenal, you would find it much easier addressing the issue of maintaining a clear skin. The face wash is the first step in most skin care routines, without which, not much of the desired effect can be reached. So the best choice for you would be to choose face wash as your partner for good skin.
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