fresh no ads
Choosing the right cleansers for your skin |

Health And Family

Choosing the right cleansers for your skin

UNDER YOUR SKIN - Grace Carole Beltran, MD - The Philippine Star

Male or female, young or old, showering and bathing are all part of one’s daily routine. Therefore, using cleansers (soaps, detergents) is inevitable. We use them to bathe, wash our hands, and clean our clothes, without ever really paying attention to how they work. 

Formulation is everything in beauty products.  From gels and creams to milks and lotions, the formulations of your beauty products will determine whether they will become your favorites or be the ones you will stay away from.  While we all have our preferences, it actually goes beyond what you’re partial to because each one has a specific benefit for select skin types and skin problems.   Most of us get confused as to which products to pick but once you consider their formulations, it will all make sense.

Milk and lotion are best for sensitive, combination, and normal skin types.  These two are the gentlest options. Both boast low amounts of oils and emollients, giving them a light moisturizing effect that doesn’t leave an oily residue on the skin.  They tend to be water-based and don’t contain many surfactants (chemicals that allow for a formula to foam), so they don’t foam much.  You won’t get a sudsy experience that you may get with other cleansers, but your skin will be left feeling soft.

Balm for extremely dry or dehydrated skin that is flaky or cracked and feels tight.  This is a new way to cleanse and is good for those who need moisture because it’s loaded with emollients (reduce water loss from the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin, by providing a protective film).  It’s essentially an oil-based cleanser but in a solid form, so it’s more nourishing.  It makes skin super silky, leaving it hydrated, refreshed, and clean.

Oil for minimally to moderately dry skin.   Oils are nonstripping and without detergents and surfactants which are common in cleansers that foam.  Oil cleansers follow the principle of like dissolving like, meaning that oil dissolves oil on the skin.  But some can leave behind a greasy residue and this is the biggest difference between a foaming or detergent-based cleanser and an oil-based one.  Oils do not have the typical sudsy action that a traditional cleanser provides, but rather an emulsification of the oil when it hits water that makes it turn white.  Using oil does not mean your skin will be left feeling oily — it will be smooth, clean, and hydrated.

Micellar waters are best for normal and sensitive skin types and those who wear minimal amounts of makeup.  Trending these days, micellar water follows a similar philosophy as an oil cleanser, but water is the main ingredient instead of oil.  Micellar water contains small micelles, which are tiny bundles of surfactants encased in water that trap dirt, oil, and makeup.  However, if your skin is oily or you wear a lot of makeup, micellar water may not leave your skin feeling clean enough and a second round of cleansing with something heavier may be necessary.  These are incredibly light (they feel like you’re just wiping water on your skin) and there’s no tingling effect or scent either, but rather more of a refreshing feeling.  You don’t have to wash micellar waters off, but if you do, just use a tissue or wipe.

• Clear water-based gel cleansers are best for oily and acne-prone skin. That is because they do not have many emollients or other ingredients in them that will add more oil to your skin.  Gels have just the right amount of moisture and are great for prepping skin in the morning.  Using them adds a clean and soft feel that can make your skin tingle and feel a bit dry.   That is why drier skin types may find gels to be too harsh.

Powders are excellent gentle exfoliators.  Dry powder makes use of anything, from grains to minerals, to cleanse skin.  When mixed with water in the palm of your hand, they instantly turn into a paste.  Adding more water makes the formula watery and runny so use less if you want it to be thicker.  These cleansers are usually free of preservatives, detergents, and surfactants. Applying it gives one a sensation of grittiness — that’s the exfoliating agent and you need to rinse it off really well to fully remove all of the product.  Your skin will feel super smooth.

Creams are thicker in nature and creamy to the touch. They contain oils, some even have butters that deposit moisture into the skin to offset dryness.  IIf you are acne prone, these thick creams instigate breakouts.  They leave oily skin types with a tight feeling.

Foams have a reputation of being very drying.  Unless you have extremely oily skin, you are better off not using this type of cleansers.  It gives an illusion that it cleanses really well, but it just dries up the outer layer, which causes congestion underneath.  Using this, you get a tight skin sensation and squeaky clean feel.  Foams can remove a greasy feel, but anything that makes your skin feel tight and squeaky clean may lead to congestion (clogging) problems. 

* * *

For questions or inquiries, call 0917-4976261, 0999-8834802 or 263-4094; email

vuukle comment
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with