The golden Do’s and Don’ts of cleansing for acne-prone skin
Of all of the acne myths, one is particularly hard to shift: Acne is a hygiene problem and if you scrub hard enough, your skin will sparkle again. The truth is far more complex. Caring for acne-prone skin is all about respecting skin’s balance as well as the right powerful active ingredients.
Do cleanse your face twice daily
Though poor hygiene is not responsible for breakouts, cleansing your skin is still essential. It removes excess skin cells, dirt and oil which can all clog pores and create the perfect conditions for bacteria to breed.
Don’t use soap
When skin is oily and imperfection-prone, the temptation is to crave that “squeaky clean” effect. But the surfactants in some soaps and other rinse-off products strip skin’s surface barrier and have an alkaline pH which can cause irritation and rebound oil production. Exactly the opposite of what you want!
Do opt for gentle micellar waters
This non-rinse texture removes only excess oil and cells from skin’s surface, leaving the essential lipids it needs behind. Some micellar waters are even boosted with sebum-regulating actives like zinc. Certain wipes offer a similar effect, but make sure they are alcohol-free to avoid irritation.
When skin suffers from clogged pores, spots and blackheads, products containing abrasive exfoliants can seem attractive. The truth is that the beads and other rough particles in many products tend to irritate the skin and encourage the entry of bacteria.
Do seek out ingredients like zinc, salicylic acid or LHA
On the whole, the fewer ingredients your cleanser contains, the better. That way you are minimizing your chance of redness and reactivity. But a handful of ingredients are your aces when it comes to rebalancing your complexion. Zinc regulates sebum production, while salicylic acid and LHA help regulate cell turnover and unclog pores.