By Anna Powell, Licensed Paramedical Esthetician
The first step in choosing the right acne wash is to diagnose your skin type. There are different factors that control our skin such as hereditary background, age and environment. Your skin may be oily or oil deficient “dry”, normal or water deficient “dehydrated”, or a combination of these factors.
You never want your skin be deficient in hydration or oil. This will cause the function of the skin to be impaired which can lead to irritation and more acne problems. A good balance of hydration and the addition of oil products is ideal for skin health.
Once you have established your skin type, then it is time to identify what type of acne you are experiencing. Do you have painful red bumps that linger under the skin? Do you have blackheads and white heads that seem to come and go? Do you have a combination of these acne problems?
You must choose an acne wash that will clean your skin without over drying or stripping your skin of its valuable oils.
If you have hydrated oily skin, use a product that contains higher concentrations of active ingredients such as salicylic acid and tea tree oil. These are ingredients that clean the skin, help remove unwanted build up, and help heal acne lesions.
If you have dehydrated oily skin, use a cleanser with slightly less concentrations of salicylic acid and tea tree oil. Again these active ingredients will clean the skin, remove unwanted build up, and heal acne lesions, but most importantly, will not over dry the skin in low concentrations. Application of lite moisturizer would also be beneficial for this skin type.
If you have dry skin, most washes will be too harsh, so balance is important. It is best to use a gentle soap free cleanser that will clean your skin leaving it refreshed and hydrated. Acne medications can be applied under a light moisturizer. This combination is very effective against acne and will help balance the difficulties between dry skin and active acne breakouts. If you do experience breakouts and want to remove blackheads, please visit a skincare professional so this procedure is performed correctly. If removal of blackheads is done incorrectly, acne marks may be experienced.
It is important to also remember when cleansing your skin, more is not always better. I recommend that you rarely wash your face with cleanser more that twice daily and always choose a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type.
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