How to Pick a Face Wash Based on Your Skin Type

Cleansing constitutes the very first step in your beauty routine—so; narrowing down on the right face wash for your skin can make a world of difference.

If you’re battling varied skin concerns, and notice your skin acting out every chance that it gets, consider it a wake-up call to customise your skincare. And the first step in doing so is identifying your skin type correctly—oily, dry, combination, or sensitive—and going from there.

With the staggering number of products available in the market today, it can be daunting, to say the least, scaling down on the perfect pick for you. Should you splurge on the highly recommended, exorbitantly-priced potion or go for the homegrown label that promises spotless, blemish-free skin? We’ve got Mumbai-based cosmetic dermatologist, Dr Jaishree Sharad, to lead the way.

First things first; how often should you use a face wash?

'A face wash, essentially, helps maintain skin hygiene and works to remove dead skin cells, dirt, grime, and makeup, from the surface of your skin. You should cleanse your face twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, using a face wash that caters to your existing skin concerns whether it be acne, rosacea or the impact of the weather,' explains Dr Jaishree.  

What face wash should the dry skin type use? 

'If you possess dry, flaky skin, opt for a gentle face wash with added moisturisers and super fatty acids, including petrolatum, lanolin, mineral oil, cocoa butter, glycerine, shea butter, and ceramides,' she adds. Products that contain natural ingredients such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, aloe vera, soybean oil, and olive oil also work well for dry skin. In addition, she advises against using soaps that contain a high pH value and have anti-bacterial or exfoliating properties, as they have the potential to irritate your skin.

What face wash should the oily skin type use? 

Those with oily, acne-prone skin should opt for a face wash that gently foams. 'Scan the product for exfoliating ingredients such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid, or botanicals including aloe vera, tea-tree oil, and grape seed oil, as they help balance excessive oil production,' explains Dr Jaishree. Although, if you tend to break out easily—or are consuming acne-specific drugs—choose a gentle, non-soapy cleanser for your skin.

What face wash should the combination skin type use? 

The combination skin type, with an oily T-zone and dry skin, must pick a face wash that is neither too drying nor too moisturising. Ideally,  those with combination skin should go for a drying cleanser that tackles your T-zone and a moisturising one for the rest of the face. 

What face wash should the sensitive skin type use? 

If you’re likely to develop a rash with most products that you pick off the shelf, you fall under this category. For sensitive skin types, Dr Jaishree advises that you stay away from medicated face washes, as well as those containing fragrance or alcohol, as they tend to irritate the skin. 'Pick a face wash with neutral to acidic pH, which has moisturising properties. Micellar water works best for sensitive skin and absorbs dust and impurities, cleansing the skin thoroughly,' she says.
 

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