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Best cleanser for acne

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For those living with acne prone skin, a good cleanser is essential part of an everyday skin care routine. Without the right skin care products, acne can become worse, resulting in the increased visibility of spots, increased soreness, and a worsening of all of the associated problems linked with confidence and overall self-esteem. For the best results, it is recommended that you use a soothing, gentle cleanser twice a day, in order to remove dirt and bacteria. Here, we take a closer look at acne as a condition, give an acne overview, explain the best cleanser for acne treatment and explain what you should look out for and avoid when buying skin care products.

what is acne

Acne is a long-term skin condition, resulting from clogged pores or hair follicles, which is believed to affect more than 600 million people worldwide. The causes are primarily genetic and the disease presents as whiteheads, blackheads or pimples, often combined with oily skin and, in some instances, scarring.In most cases, excess oil production or excess keratin deposition serve to clog pores or follicles, causing outbreaks of spots. The severity of acne can vary significantly from person to person, and can be triggered or worsened by stress and hormonal changes, such as those experienced during menstrual cycles, or the onset of puberty.

what sort of cleanser is best for acne?

For people with acne, it is usually best to opt for a gentle cleanser. The best cream cleansers contain ingredients like chamomile and marigold, as these both calm, rather than inflame or irritate the skin. The Sönd Clean Slate Cream Cleanser, for example, combines these ingredients with shea and cocoa butter, for a pleasant, soothing experience.

In most cases, you should opt for a foaming face wash, which removes dirt and other impurities, without causing damage to the skin, drying the skin out, or stripping the skin of its natural protection. It is also best to find a product that is alkaline based, rather than one that is overly acidic.

Most skincare products will provide the pH level, which tells you whether they are acidic, alkaline or neutral. A pH of seven is considered neutral, with higher numbers representing alkaline and lower numbers representing acidic substances. Most industry products are in the region of 5.5, but a pH score of just over seven is preferable.

Things to avoid and stay away from

Acne sufferers benefit from anti inflammatory treatments and so, generally, are better off avoiding harsher facial scrubs or moisturisers. Some of the more abrasive spot treatment products are likely to cause damage to existing spots, which can increase the chances of acne scars and might also lead to further irritation. Choosing the best spot cream is crucial! 

Similarly, it is important to stay away from products which are designed for people with a different skin type. For example, if you have sensitive skin, you should steer clear of many harsher, more acidic products. In particular, salicylic acid is an ingredient to try and avoid, as it can irritate acne prone skin.

If you are unsure what your skin type is, it is usually best to speak to either a dermatologist or a cosmetologist, as they will be able to confirm it for you and make recommendations that will be suitable for you.

The ideal acne fighting regime

In order to combat acne effectively, you need to develop an acne treatment regime and your cleanser should form a significant part of this. Indeed, you should use your cleanser first thing in the morning, and last thing at night before you go to bed, in order to remove dirt, bacteria and other impurities, and rebalance your skin.

Cleansing in the morning with an acne face wash can help to remove some of the excess oil and dead skin cells that build up during the night, while cleansing at night will remove the impurities that build up over the course of a typical day. When using the cleanser, be sure to pay attention to both the face and neck, using warm water.

Aside from the use of a cleanser, many people benefit from utilising a day cream, in order to restore moisture to the skin. A good day cream, containing ingredients like Shea Butter, will help to soothe some of the irritation that occurs from dry skin and can be applied several times a day, as needed. Moreover, a serum with silica as the active ingredient can also help to keep the skin oil free and offer an extra layer of protection.

Tea tree oil can also be a useful ally in the fight against acne, although it should be used sparingly, as it can also dry out the skin, which can cause further irritation and soreness.

While the link between diet and acne remains controversial, some studies have suggested a low-glycemic diet as a means of aiding acne treatment. Medications, such as anti inflammatory retinoids can also help. Nevertheless, the first-line treatment is a good skin care plan and that begins with the use of an effective daily cleanser.

Hannah de Gruchy BSc(Hons)

About Author

Hannah de Gruchy is a freelancer writer who specialises in health and wellness. She has a keen interest in the biology of skin and loves using her words to help separate the real science of skincare from the pseudoscience of some skincare brands. Hannah has a degree in Human Biology and many years’ experience working in laboratories around London. Using this experience, Hannah enjoys turning complex science into interesting, engaging and easy to digest pieces to read. In her spare time, Hannah runs, practices yoga and loves cooking plant based foods.

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