Facial Cleansers: Why They Are Better Than Your Ordinary Soap

Medically CitedMedically Cited Fact Check Fact Checkedby Reviewed by CHD TeamUpdated: Nov-30-2023
Learn more about facial cleansers and why picking the right one for you is important.
Facial Cleansers

A good face cleanser is the most important for your skin health. Shutterstock Images

The health and appearance of your skin reflects how well you take care of it. And what better way to start your skincare routine than by proper cleansing. Cleansing not only gets rid of all the impurities, but also preps your skin for the next steps in your skincare routine. It may seem straightforward, but proper cleansing requires the use of an appropriate facial cleanser.

What are Facial Cleansers?

Facial cleansers, as the name suggests, pertain to skincare products that cleans and purifies the skin by getting rid of makeup, dead cells, dirt, oil, and other kinds of pollutants from the face. They are used as part of daily skincare regimen alongside toners and moisturizers.

Different types of facial cleansers are available, with each one formulated to address a specific skincare need. They also come in a wide variety of forms which include creams, gels, foams, clay, and even bars.

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Why Is A Facial Cleanser So Important?

Facial cleansers are preferred more than ordinary bar soaps because their formula tend to be more gentle and less irritating to the skin. Other reasons for choosing them over bar soaps include:

  • Bar soaps have high pH levels[1] - Bar soaps have a pH of around 9 to 10, which is much higher than the facial skin's natural pH of around 4.7-5.7, meaning it's mildly acidic. Altering the pH levels could lead to growth of bacteria[2] which, in turn, may result in breakouts.
  • Bar soaps strips off natural oils - These natural oils form a barrier that prevents the skin from losing moisture[3]. When these oils are gone, the sebaceous glands compensate by overproducing oil. Excess oils clog the pores which, again, leads to breakouts. Facial cleansers are often formulated with moisturizers to prevent the skin from drying out.

Key Ingredients to Look for in Face Cleansers

A good facial cleanser is made up not only of soap, but of other beneficial ingredients as well. This includes moisturizing and nourishing ingredients that will help counter the drying effects of soap. Among the most popular ones include:

Glycerin - An emollient that helps attract and retain moisture to the skin[4], making it effective in fading away fine lines and wrinkles. It is recommended for all skin types - even oily[5], sensitive, and acne-prone skin[6].

Dimethicone - This compound is proven to enhance the skin's protective barrier, making it more resistant from irritants and therefore at low risk for conditions such as dermatitis and eczema. It is also used to treat dry skin by preventing moisture loss.

Hyaluronic Acid - A naturally occurring substance in the body, it provides intense hydration to the skin, thus making fine lines and wrinkles less visible (source).

Olive Oil - Offers a lot of skincare benefits, owing to its antioxidant, antibacterial[7], and moisturizing effects. It helps prevent and reduce the signs of aging and premature aging on the skin.

Do Facial Cleansers Work?

Facial cleansers are generally effective in what they promise to do, as long as you pick the right one based on your skincare needs.

They work well in removing deep seated impurities and preserving the skin's natural barrier, both of which help a lot in preventing and managing acne and other skin problems.

How to Choose the Best Facial Cleansers?

Choosing the best facial cleansers for your skin can be quite challenging, given the many types, forms, and brands available. To know more about your skin type, consult your dermatologist so he/she can make a proper assessment and recommend products that are most appropriate for you.

For instance, alcohol-free gel cleansers are recommended for oily and sensitive skin while dry flaky skin could benefit from luxurious cream or lotion type cleansers.

The Bottom Line

The skin, most especially the skin of the face, is exposed to many pollutants and contaminating agents on a daily basis. To address this, cleansing is a very important part of any skincare routine and picking the right facial cleanser is a must.

If you're confused about which products to try, you can always consult with your dermatologist for some valuable suggestions. To promote and maintain skin health, it is also imperative to live a healthy lifestyle.

**This is a subjective assessment based on the strength of the available informations and our estimation of efficacy.

*Result may vary. The information contained in this website is provided for general informational purpose. No medical claims are implied in this content, and the information herein is not intended to be used for self diagnosis or self treatment of any condition.

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