FAQ: Cleansers

FAQ: Cleansers

Recently I was asked a couple of questions about cleansers in clinic. Cleansers are so important to proper skincare that I thought I would post them here:

Why is it important to keep acne/ breakout prone skin clean with a suitable cleanser?

The correct cleanser will remove excess oil, dirt, excess bacteria, dead skin cells and other ‘unwanted’ things from the skin surface. The right cleanser can also cleanse the outer opening of the hair follicle (‘pore’), so that the pore doesn’t become clogged (which would lead to blackheads or whiteheads, which could then become infected with bacteria, i.a. a spot or pimple has developed).

The wrong cleanser (oily or creamy) would not cleanse well enough and could even clog pores itself.

What type of cleanser is best for teenagers, adult women and men suffering from acne?

Acne prone skin should use a foaming cleanser (not oily or creamy or emollient cleansers, this is extremely important!). For teenagers and/or men with quite oily skin, salicylic acid is a very good added ingredient, as it helps with preventing pores getting clogged.

Benzoylperoxide is also a good ingredient in cleansers for breakout prone skin.

All of these would also be suitable for women, unless their skin is dry. In that case, a good gel cleanser (oil-free!), possibly with a mild glycolic acid might work better.

I do not advise wet wipes or water-free cleansers for anybody with acne prone skin, as they don’t clean well enough.

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