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By Sam Fricano

Finding the perfect cleanser is a hunt all of us teenagers go on at one point or another. Cleansers are necessary to remove both makeup and other oils and dirt that have accumulated on your face throughout the day. However, finding the perfect cleanser is nearly impossible to do because there is no universal cleanser. Everyone’s skin is different, therefore everyone is in need of a different cleanser.
That is why the first step in finding the right cleanser is knowing your skin type. For example: if you have dry, more sensitive, skin you do not want a cleanser that is meant for oily skin because it will cause your face to become dry and irritated. Some people will buy two cleansers: one for the winter when their skin is more dry, and one for the humid, summer months.
Ultimately what you’re looking for is a gentle cleanser that can still get the job done. Sometimes, in an effort to quickly remove acne and oil, companies will put harsh chemicals in their cleansers. While these chemicals may remove acne for some people, for others they are extremely irritating to the skin.
One of these ingredients is sodium lauryl sulfate. Large amounts of this ingredient can be extremely drying to the skin and can cause eczema. Other ingredients like this are menthol and alcohol. Though these ingredients might not seem harmful right away, putting harsh chemicals on your skin is never good for your body in the long run. The best thing to do before buying a cleanser is looking up reviews about the product on different websites. This can help you get a better idea of what other people with the same skin type as you think about the product.
There are two basic types of cleanser: foaming and non-foaming. Foaming cleansers tend to be softer, yet more drying. People with more oily skin tend to do better with foaming cleansers. Foaming cleansers also tend to last longer because you only need a small amount when using them. Non-foaming cleansers are generally marketed for people with sensitive or eczema prone skin. There are several types of non-foaming cleansers. Some types include gels or lotions. Unlike foaming cleansers, non-foaming cleansers will not remove all the oils from your skin which is why they are better for people with dry skin. Non-foaming cleansers are also not known for removing makeup very well.
The two main types of acid that are put into cleansers are salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. In order to find the right cleanser, you should know which one is better for your type of acne. Salicylic acid is the more sensitive option. It removes dead skin cells from inside your pores and prevents the clogging of pores by exfoliating the skin. This makes salicylic acid the best option for blackheads. Benzoyl peroxide actually gets inside the pores and kills P. acnes which is the bacteria that causes acne and inflammation. Because it actually dries up and kills existing blemishes it is the more harsh option and works best on whiteheads. When using any form of these acids, whether in the form of a cleanser or a spot treatment, you should always start using them in the lowest concentration. Most cleansers use them in 2 percent concentration which is a great starting point.
Once you have examined your skin and determined your skin type and what is best for it, you can go out and purchase a new cleanser. Most cleansers can be easily found and purchased for a reasonable price at any local drugstore. If you are interested in purchasing a more high-end cleanser they are usually available at Ulta or Sephora. I recommend starting out with trying cleansers from the drugstore before going to purchase a cleanser that is far too overpriced. If your cleanser is not clearing up your skin and your acne continues, I recommend making an appointment with a dermatologist.

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