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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Tips and Tricks for Avoiding a Face Washing Faux Pas

'Mental Moment?' photo (c) 2011, S.Hart Photography - license:

Washing your face is essential to ensure it stays healthy and free of major breakouts. Unfortunately, I see a lot of people washing their faces with harsh bars of soap, a common brand that is not working for their skin types, scrubbing too hard or a host of other face washing faux pas.

There are lots of articles out there extolling the value of various brands of facial soaps and washes. I’ll spare you the commercials and focus on how to choose the best washes for your skin type – and any issues you may have. If you take away one thing from this blog post, make sure it’s this: Never wash your face with a bar of soap or the same soap you use on the rest of your body. That’s just asking for trouble.

If you still have questions after reading this, feel free to ask away in the comments. I’ll be happy to answer you there.

For Oily Skin

If you have oily skin, don’t worry. It may cause a few more breakouts, but it also leads to fewer wrinkles and other signs of aging later on. Elasticity is the true fountain of youth, so don’t despair, oily skinned friend. Just manage your oily skin with the right facial soap. Consider the following:
  •  Gel cleansers – Gel-based cleansers absorb excess oil without drying out the skin too much.
  • Oil-free washes – If your skin is oily, don’t make it worse by using an oil-based cleanser that could clog your pores! Oil-free washes will help remove the excess oil and, like gel cleasners, will prevent your skin from drying out too much.
  • “Foamy” or “soapy” cleansers – These types of soaps tend to be gentle and, like the oil-free and gel washes, will remove excess oil without drying out too much.

For Dry Skin

Dry skin is a tough type to deal with. If your goal is anti-aging, it’s important to maintain moisture. However, too much moisture or the wrong kind of moisture can result in breakouts. With that in mind, consider these points when choosing a facial soap to care for your dry skin:
  • Creamy cleansers – Unlike your oily skinned friends, you should be on the lookout for a cream-based cleanser that will both moisturize your skin and remove the excess oil and dirt that clog pores. Creamy cleansers will do just that.
  • Non-foaming liquid cleansers – While people with oily skin may consider foaming cleansers, those with dry skin should look for exactly the opposite. Check your drugstore for a liquid-based soap that won’t foam, but that will employ natural oils to both remove makeup and other pore-cloggers while moisturizing.
  •  Soap-free – Did you just read that correctly? Yes, soap-free cleansers exist and can be a lifesaver for people with dry skin. Things like cold creams (not just for Grandma anymore!) and creamy cleansers with micro beads are a great alternative. 

For Sensitive Skin

Sensitive skin comes in all types – dry, oily, old, young – you name it. Caring for it is quite a task, and it really boils down to knowing your own skin. Before you dive into this list, consider whether your skin is dry or oily, if you have any allergies or if you know of any specific ingredients that will irritate your skin. With that in mind, consider these options when seeking out an effective facial soap:
  • Organic soaps – Although not everything marked “organic” is a cure-all for sensitive skin, it’s a good place to start. Most of these products are made from natural ingredients and don’t use some of the more irritating ingredients other soaps do.
  •  “Calming” products – Again, it’s important to pay attention to the label in its entirety when choosing a product for your face. Still, most facial washes labeled “calming” are made for sensitive skin care.
  • Glycerin – This is a key ingredient in many facial cleansers marketed to people with sensitive skin. It helps build an even skin structure, and has no side effects for most people.

For Combination Skin

People with combination skin fall right in the middle of the skin care spectrum. Their skin is neither too oily nor too dry, and there are a huge variety of products marketed to them. As with sensitive skin, it’s important to know whether you fall a little closer to the oily or dry end of that spectrum before you decide on a cleanser. That said, here’s what I recommend:
  • Light foaming cleansers – Normally recommended for people with oily skin, light foaming cleansers can be very effective in maintaining healthy combination skin. If you find yourself a little on the dry side of combination, consider skipping the foam.
  • Water-soluble cleansers – Unlike the creams often recommended for dry skin, combination skin calls for something a little gentler, but that won’t leave the skin feeling tight or dry.
  • Gentle cleansers – Most cleansers marked as “gentle” contain little or no harsh ingredients that tend to irritate the skin. This is especially valuable to those people in the middle of the skin care spectrum!
As always, if I missed anything or if you have a question, leave it in the comments below and I'll answer it there!


  1. interesting blog. It would be great if you can provide more details about it. Thanks you

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