Sure, you know that washing your face daily is important for avoiding things like clogged pores and pimples. But before you reach for that facial wash, know also this: There are different kinds of facial wash made for different types of skin, from normal to dry and sensitive to oily.
Let this be your guide:
1) Normal skin
Everything is pretty consistent—never too dry, never too greasy. This skin type also has a nice amount of moisture and rarely experiences pimple breakouts.
Your kind of facial wash: In order to maintain that healthy, glowing skin, you need to remove old, dead skin cells. Use a facial wash that has microbeads for better but gentler scrubbing.
Dr. Franklin Lipman, founder of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City, explains that "exfoliating removes the old dead skin cells and speeds up cell renewal, enabling new healthy skin cells to grow."
"Avoid any products that contain exfoliates with jagged sharp edges that do not dissolve such as pit fruit seeds and nutshells," he adds.
2) Sensitive skin
This is the most delicate skin type and requires special care. It reacts to more irritants, from dust particles to various types of liquids and even to gentle poking.
Your kind of facial wash: If your skin is sensitive, you should be especially careful when selecting a facial wash. Even those labeled as "hypoallergenic" can still have potentially irritating ingredients.
According to a study led by Clinical Science Specialist Staci Brandt and Dr. Peter Lio, Cetaphil facial cleansers are your best bet. The duo tested 10 different Cetaphil products on over 2,000 men and women. The products were applied on their skin for 24 to 48 hours, three times a week for three weeks. This procedure tested for irritations on the test subjects' skin.
"The results from these trials demonstrated that all ten products were well tolerated, showed no sensitization or allergic reactions, and support claims of hypoallergenicity," a statement from the study reads.
3) Dry skin
This type of skin is often flaky, and feels tight and dry because it lacks moisture. It's also prone to wrinkles and irritation.
Your kind of facial wash: Dermatologist Andrea Lynn Cambio tells Webmd.com that "gentle soaps that are free of fragrance are a great option" for dry skin. She further explains that products with deodorizing agents or antibacterial additives can do harm on dry skin.
Meanwhile, dermatologist Carolyn Jacob recommends products with ceramides (a type of waxy lipid) to help the skin retain moisture.
Dr. Jacob reminds us to "go easy on toners, peels, and other astringents made with alcohol, which is drying. When you exfoliate, don't scrub too much or too hard. It can irritate and thicken skin."
4) Oily skin
This skin type is not beso-friendly for obvious, glossy reasons. It feels smooth to the touch because of the presence of more oil.
Your kind of facial wash: Use products that are oil-free. Also, beware of ingredients such as glycel tirbehenate, lard, lanolin, carnauba, ozokerite, petrolatum, squalene, and diglycerides. The book How To Wash Your Face by Dermatologic Surgeon Barney Kennet says that these ingredients can worsen your skin's condition.
Usually, your cheeks are dry, but your T-zone is oily.
Your kind of face wash: For combination skin, stick to gentle cleansers. Dr. Linda Franks, director of Gramercy Park Dermatology, recommends: "Do not use a medicated cleanser at all—keep it mild." She says washing your face once a day is enough "unless you have significant oil in some parts of your face."
You can also opt for an exfoliator that contains salicylic acid. Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, the co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, however warned that this might cause skin irritation because of its acidic properties. So she suggests washing your face with salicylic acid every other day for two weeks. If you experience no irritation, daily use is fine.