Left: Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care
By: Sheetal Rawal
The right acne cleanser can make a world of difference in winning the battle against acne. Many people suffering from acne do not put adequate thought into choosing the right cleanser, and thus the skin care routine downstream does not result in the most optimal outcome.
While cleansers can clean our skin of dirt, grime, impurities, and excess oils that can clog the pores and worsen an acne situation, choosing the wrong can very easily worsen the condition of your skin, and make it so that the skin finds it very easy to breakout!
Unfortunately, most acne cleansers on the market are loaded with harsh chemicals, preservatives, fake fragrance, etc. All these ingredients can compromise the integrity of skin, and this is especially true of acne-prone skin that is already quite inflamed. In my opinion, one of the worst ingredients in an acne cleanser is a group of detergents called sulfates.
"I’m using [the cleanser], the moisturizing cream, and other products for my hair. It’s beautiful, and it’s been working on my skin."
Sulfates make the cleanser foam excessively. Our skin does not need nearly that amount of foam to cleanse it. It is an industry practice that has remained largely unchallenged. While cleansing the skin, sulfates also rob our skin of the beneficial oils that are a must to keep it healthy. Especially skin that is acne-prone, perceives this loss of oils as a challenge and kicks back by producing massive amounts of oils, that (for obvious reasons) can worsen acne! So skin is caught in this vicious cycle that is very hard to get out of.
Lesson #1: Choose a cleanser that has “sulfate free” written clearly on the label. There are many natural foaming agents that are gentle and skin friendly; so look for a cleanser that has (for instance) decyl glucoside in it instead of sulfates.
Lesson #2: Choose an acne cleanser that has “pH-Balanced” clearly written on its label. Another thing to check in you acne cleanser is whether it says “pH-Balanced” on its label. This is quite important. pH is a number that indicates the acidity of a product. The outer layers of our skin are naturally a little acidic to keep it safe from bacterial infections etc. Therefore, we must cleanse our skin with a product that matches the acidity of our skin. This will help with preserving our skin’s natural defense and also will prevent the skin from becoming overly dry.
In this video, you will learn a banana & sugar scrub you can use to exfoliate your skin. Enjoy and please subscribe to my YouTube channel!
Lesson #3: Look for a cleanser with natural ingredients that are known to have antibacterial and skin soothing properties. Avoid ones with chemical ingredients like benzoyl peroxide. In higher concentration, benzoyl peroxide is notorious for overdrying and irritating the skin. This can undoubtedly worsen acne. Natural ingredients like neem have been used for centuries for naturally disinfecting and soothing the skin. Turmeric (another natural ingredient) is also an antibiotic and a well-known antioxidant and thus can repair and prevent any free radical damage.
Lesson #4: My biggest recommendation is to carefully look at the ingredient label of an acne cleanser that you are considering to use. If the label is too long and filled with hard-to-pronounce chemical names, the cleanser is really not a good choice.
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Go natural. It is good karma!