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A cleanser is a facial care product that is used to remove make-up, dead skin cells, oil, dirt and other types of pollutants from the skin of the face. This helps to unclog pores and prevent skin conditions such as acne.

Many people use a cleanser once or more times a day as part of their skin care regimen together with a toner and moisturiser.

Using a cleanser to remove dirt is considered to be a better alternative to bar soap or another form of skin cleanser not specifically formulated for the face for the following reasons:

  • Bar soap has a high pH (in the area of 9 to 10), and skin's natural pH is 5.5. This means that soap can change the balance present in the skin to favor the overgrowth of some types of bacteria, exacerbating acne.
  • Bar cleansers in general, soap or not, have thickeners that allow them to assume a bar shape can clog pores, leading (once again) to acne.
  • Using bar soap on the face can remove natural oils from the skin that form a barrier against water loss. This causes the sebaceous glands to subsequently overproduce oil, a condition known as reactive seborrhoea, which will lead to clogged pores. Conversely, in order to prevent drying out the skin, many cleansers incorporate moisturisers. It is important to remember to always wash your face in luke warm water, use a milky cleanser and a hydrating toner, such as a spritz which should be applied before moisturising, try not to leave the skin un-moisturised for too long after cleansing. It is imperative not to de-hydrate the skin. Cleanse, tone and moisturise twice a day, once at night and once in the morning.

Types of cleansers

Different types of cleansers have been developed for people with different skin types. Strong cleansers are more suitable for oily skins to prevent breakouts, but they may overdry and irritate dry skin. Very dry skin may require a creamy lotion-type cleanser, as long as it doesn't make skin feel oily afterward. These are too gentle to be effective on oily (or even normal) skin, but dry skin requires much less cleansing power, always select a cleanser that is alcohol free if you have dry or dehydrated skin.

Some cleansers may incorporate fragrance or essential oils. However, for some people these cleansers may irritate the skin and often provoking allergic responses.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Cleanser". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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