None of the product recommendations in this chapter include cleansers. I have excluded them for two reasons:
- In most cases, it doesn’t matter which cleanser you use. Compared to leave-on products, cleansers have little to no therapeutic effect. And for that reason, I don’t consider them to be an important part of any skincare routine – aside from cleansing your skin.
- And when they do matter, it’s impossible to make generalized recommendations. Cleansers are often the most problematic part of a skincare routine. Cleansers contain surfactants that dissolve and remove oils from the skin. Frequent contact with the skin can lead to an allergic sensitization, and if that happens, the specific surfactants in the cleanser provoke a reaction in your skin. However, other people who haven’t developed sensitivity can still use the surfactant without problems. The most problematic ingredients are surfactants, fragrances, and essential oils. Fortunately, such reactions are very rare.
With these points in mind, here are my recommendations concerning cleansers:
- Use what you’ve used until now. If your current cleanser doesn’t irritate your skin (and you have no other reason to change it), just keep using it.
- Try some affordable cleanser. Since cleansers have no real therapeutic purpose, I don’t see a point in buying expensive cleansers. Get something from your local supermarket, and, if it doesn’t irritate your skin, just use that.
- If your skin gets red, dry, tight, or irritated after you wash it, look for a cleanser formulated for sensitive skin.
Here are cleansers formulated for sensitive skin. All these are from companies with scientists on board who understand skin irritation far better than I do. Without knowing what your skin reacts to, it’s not possible to say in advance what does and doesn’t work for your skin, so I suggest you just try one.