Facial Cleansers

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Clean skin is a must. If you have sensitive or problem skin, finding the right facial cleanser can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Hereís some information we learned to help you get on the right track.


The Basics

  • Facial cleansers are available in lotions, gels, foaming liquids, creams and traditional soap bars.

  • Try to find ingredients suitable for your particular skin type:

    • Normal: you can use almost any product.

    • Oily: you need a product that removes excess oils. Look for humectants such as glycerin can do the job.

    • Dry: Avoid anything harsh, which will exacerbate the problem. Look for gentle formulations and plant oils like jojoba or sweet almond oil.

  • Don’t be sold on products with exfoliants. They probably won’t be on your skin long enough to have lasting effects anyway.

  • All-natural doesn’t always mean all-good. Some ingredients like mint for example can be irritating to your skin.

  • Fragrance is another ingredient you don’t necessarily need, and it can also be irritating to sensitive skin.

  • Like many cosmetic products, paying more for a facial cleanser is quite often not necessary.

Other Considerations

  • If you’re not sure what skin type you have, try our skin type test. Wash your face using a gentle soap like shampoo – rinse off, pat it dry and wait 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, look at your skin:

    • If it’s shiny, you have oily skin

    • If it feels tight especially when you smile, you have dry skin

    • If you feel nothing out of the ordinary, you have normal skin.


We recruited testers with normal skin to try these different cleansers for one week each.

Cleansing Test

  • The Dove was slightly drying, but considered a good bath or shower bar for the body.

  • Cetaphil was baby-mild.

  • The Clairins left one tester’s skin feeling fresh.

  • L’Occitane had a softening effect on one tester, but others found the fragrance too strong.


We think the affordable and gentle nature of Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser is a good choice. It’s also a favourite of many dermatologists.



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