The cleanser you use can exacerbate whatever skin issues you have. Example? If you have dry skin and acne, using a cleanser with benzoyl peroxide will only dry and irritate your skin more, says Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas.
The fix: Use a cleanser specifically designed for your skin type (oily, dry, combo or normal), not your skin problems. Kinda obvious, right? But do you actually know your skin type? Here's how to figure it out, once and for all: examine your skin in the morning, midday and at night. If you look in the mirror midday and your entire face is shiny, you have oily skin. If the oiliness is only on your T-zone (your chin, forehead, and between your cheeks), you've got combination skin. Dry skin will feel tight even after moisturizing. And if you find that taking your makeup off at night irritates your skin and makes it sensitive to the touch -- do we need to spell it out for you? (S-E-N-S-I-T-I-V-E.) If none of these apply to you, you have normal skin.
So which kind of cleanser should you choose? Dr. Marina Peredo, associate clinical professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, says that a gentle cleansing cream works well for all skin types. If you have dry skin, avoid products containing alcohol, which can further dry you out. Sensitive skin ladies should steer clear of products with fragrances and look for soothing ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile, says aesthetician Gary Dickman.
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