Cleansing is one of the most important skin hygiene habits, and contributes to one's general well being. The surface of the skin accumulates bacteria, sweat, oil, and accumulated dirt, debris, and a variety of microorganisms.
Proper cleansing helps to reduce the chance of infection, oil build-up, and acne. Hand washing is important, but only removes about half of the oil and dirt from the skin, and is not very effective at removing makeup. Cleansers are critical for removing the rest of the hard to remove dirt from the top layers of the skin.
What do cleansers do?
Cleansers help to emulsify dirt and oil so that it can be removed easily with water. It is the essential component that allows for efficient cleaning of the skin. They are an essential part of personal hygiene is also very important for health reasons, as they keep bacteria at bay, and your skin clean.
As your skin is the first and very important layer of protection that your body has against infection, it is critical that the skin be treated properly with cleansers.
What do I look for in a cleanser?
Look for a cleanser that works for your skin type. If you have dry or sensitive skin, it is important that you avoid drying soaps. Harsh soaps can remove the protective natural oil from your skin, leaving it exposed to drying. This is especially important if you have dry skin or eczema. For most people, mild cleansers are recommended as they are gentle for your skin, leaving your skin's chemical balance intact.
Common Cleanser Types:
The common bar soap is a powerful cleanser that cleans dirt and oil from the skin. It is very effective, but can dry and irritate the skin, and can leave residue from the soap fat on the skin.
Emollient added soap that reduces drying. Some products contain anti-acne ingredients.
Strictly speaking, they are not soap, and are generally milder. They are effective for retaining skin moisture.
Anti-acne products are often anti-bacterial cleansers. Effective at reducing acne, but the ingredients can be irritating to the skin.