Using a good cleanser is a very important first step. Yes, a cleanser should do a good job at cleaning the face, but not at the expense of stripping the skin of its natural oils. Try to avoid facial cleansers with detergents and try to use the ones that contain natural soap. So what’s the difference you ask?
Well, facial cleansers can include detergents or soaps—ingredients that mix with dirt and oils, allowing them to be washed off the skin. The difference between a detergent and a soap largely depends on the ingredients: detergents are synthetic cleansers, and natural soaps are natural cleansers.
"Cosmetics Unmasked" lists sodium lauryl sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, and ammonium laureth sulfate, as just a few of the common detergents found in facial cleansers. You don’t want these ingredients or any other artificial ingredients in your facial cleanser.
Natural soaps may be made from vegetable oil or animal fats (I prefer vegetable oils). Coconut oil, olive oil, safflower oil, and jojoba oil are ingredients used in creating natural soap-based facial cleansers. These ingredients are mixed with an alkaline substance, usually sodium hydroxide, or lye, to create a salt. When mixed, in a process called saponification, two byproducts are created—glycerin, which is a moisturizer, and salt. The salt is what's known as soap.
Maybe a little bit more information than you wanted, but the long and short of it is, find a natural facial cleanser that doesn’t contain detergents and won’t strip the skin of its natural oils. Your skin needs its natural oils to remain beautiful and healthy!
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