What are facial cleansers?
Facial cleansers are specifically designed to remove makeup, dead skin cells, excess oil, dirt and other pollutants from the sensitive skin of the face. Facial cleansers help unclog the pores and help prevent acne, blackheads and other blemishes from forming. They are normally used together with a toner and moisturiser.
Why choose a facial cleanser over soap?
Using a bar of soap on the face may change the balance of the facial skin. This imbalance can then lead to overgrowth of some types of bacteria and increase acne production. This is because soap usually has a much higher pH level than that of facial skin.
Also, some soaps contain thickeners to help keep the shape of the bar. These thickeners can clog the pores, which may lead to acne production.
Bar soaps contain ingredients that are naturally drying and removes natural oils from the skin. These oils are necessary to form a skin barrier against water loss. If these natural oils are removed from the facial skin the sebaceous glands tends to overproduce oil that can eventually lead to clogging of the pores.
What are the different types of facial cleansers?
Facial cleansers are categorised by the skin type they are most useful for.
Normal Skin Cleansers - These are usually formulated with ingredients that allow the cleanser to lather when mixed with water. These come in the form of cleansers and soap gels. The use of a loofah type sponge may go well with this type of facial cleanser.
Dry Skin Cleansers - This type is usually a cream cleanser that helps moisturise as it cleans.
Oily Skin Cleansers - The purpose of this type of facial cleanser is to slow down the production of oil. Formulated as a water-based cleanser or deep cleanser, this comes in soap gel form or stronger liquid cleansers.
Combination Skin Cleansers - This come in either a foaming gel or lotion cleanser with the correct pH level.
Sensitive Skin Cleansers - These are normally formulated without fragrances and preservatives as these ingredients are usually what causes irritation.
Acne Skin Cleansers - These are specially formulated facial cleansers that help in removing accumulated oil, makeup, sweat and dirt on the surface of the skin. This type should not be overused as this can also cause dryness. Limit use to once or twice daily. The purpose of these products is to allow easier absorption of topical acne treatments.
Antibacterial Skin Cleansers - These are considered as medicated cleansers and the most common active ingredient is Triclosan.
Mild Skin Cleansers - These are specially formulated for irritated and overly dry skin that is usually associated with skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis or eczema. Look for non-comedogenic and oil-free products.
Functions and benefits of toners
A toner is simply an astringent liquid that you apply on your skin to help reduce the oiliness and improve its overall condition and appearance. It is considered as an important step in a daily skin care regimen, especially among younger women because it offers the following benefits:
It helps balance the pH level of the skin. By having a more balanced skin pH level, your skin is less prone to becoming oily and getting infected. The result is a more vibrant and smooth appearance.
It helps in detoxification of the skin. It helps remove environmental toxins such as smoke, smog and other chemical residues which results in brighter and healthier looking skin.
It helps make pores smaller and tighter. Having large facial pores means more dirt, oil and toxins are trapped in the skin. This can easily lead to irritation and infection. By using a toner, it helps tighten the facial pores for a fresher, cleaner and less oily face.
It helps reduce acne. By using a toner, it helps remove oily build up and makeup residue that contributes to skin breakouts.
It helps hydrate and nourish the skin. Many facial toners contain vitamins and other essential skin nutrients that help keep the skin healthy and balanced.
It's a great cleaner for the ears and other parts of the body that are prone to acne formation, such as the back, chest and arms.
What are the different types of facial toners?
Skin bracers or fresheners - these are formulated as the mildest toners and contain virtually no alcohol (0-10%). They are mainly made of water and a humectant such as glycerine. Humectants are responsible for keeping the moisture in the upper layer of the epidermis to prevent it from evaporating. A popular example is rosewater and this type can be used on all types of skin.
Skin Tonic - these are a bit stronger in formulation containing about 20% alcohol, water and humectant. Orange flower is a very popular example. This is suitable for normal to combination as well as oily skin.
Astringents - are the strongest form because they contain a high proportion of alcohol, about 20-60%. This type is commonly recommended for oily skin because its effect is drying. Witch hazel is an example of a natural astringent. It is recommended that astringents are only applied on problem areas of the skin, such as spots.
Who should use facial cleansers and toners?
Anyone who wants to maintain healthy and young looking skin can benefit from a facial care regimen that starts with a facial cleanser and toner. Men, women, young people and older people can all benefit. If your skin is prone to acne you will be especially helped by using these two products.
How do I choose the best facial cleanser and toner?
The most basic criteria in choosing the most suitable facial cleanser and toner is knowing your skin types. By being aware of what type of skin you have, you can easily narrow down your options. Check the label and the ingredients of the product you are considering so that you can further investigate if these will match your particular skin type. Page updated 06/04/18 12:47:36 p.m.