If your face feels dry after washing it, your cleanser may be to blame. Cleansers are formulated to remove dirt, pollutants, and make-up, but some ingredients might also be stripping your natural oils, leaving you with skin that feels dry or tight.
But doesn’t having “squeaky clean” skin keep me from getting pimples? No. In fact, the opposite can be true! Combined with proteins, lipids (fats) form the natural skin barrier which holds in moisture and keeps out dirt, and other impurities. When you remove all of the natural oils from your skin, your body wants to heal and protect itself so it produces more oils – sending you into a vicious circle of too-dry and too-oily skin.
Watch out for the following ingredients in cleansers to avoid compromising your lipid barrier and drying our your skin:
- Alcohols such as ethanol, ethyl, methanol, benzyl, isopropyl, sodium chloride and SD.
- Parabens listed as methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl.
- Surfactants listed as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, sodium sulfosuccinate, and willow bark.
- Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs)
- Glycolic acid
- PEG-6 Laurate
- FD&C dyes/Synthetic dyes
- Propylene Glycol
- Mineral oil
- Artificial fragrances
- Triclosan (also found in hand sanitizers)
A hydrating cleanser can help restore and maintain your lipid barrier. Hydrating cleansers contain ingredients that minimize water loss and drying of the skin. They gently and effectively wash away impurities, without removing critical natural oils skin needs to remain hydrated. Hydrating cleansers are recommended for all skin types and work effectively on skin conditions such as rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.
Look for these ingredients when searching for a hydrating cleanser:
- Hyaluronic acid
- Jojoba oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
- Grape Seed extract
- Shea butter
- Sodium Alpha Olefin Sulfonate
- Polysorbate containing ingredients
- Cocmidopropyl betaine (CAPB)
- Butylene glycol
- Caprylyl glycol
Now that you know what ingredients to look out for and which ones to avoid in cleansers, you can look forward to having clean, moisturized skin!