How to Select the Best Face Wash?

What is a Face Wash?

A face wash is a particular type of cleansing agent which is designed to help people to clean their skin more thoroughly than just soap and water.  It is considered one of the best ways to remove dead skin cells, dirt and oil, and other impurities from the skin, thereby helping to clean out pores, and prevent acne and other related skin conditions. In addition to being used as a general cleanser, face washes can also be used to ensure that the skin is free from particular irritants, such as make up, which can provoke skin conditions such as eczema.


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Variety of styles

Face washes can come in a variety of styles, and everyone has their own personal preference. These styles include:

  • Bar soaps. Some gentle soaps are available, but can dry the skin

  • Foaming. Drying too, they can irritate the skin

  • Non-Foaming. Gentle, they might not cleanse as effectively as others

  • Soap-free. They are cleaning without containing sodium Lauryl.

  • Cleansing Balms. Generally used to remove makeup, they appear like petroleum jelly

  • Mi-cellar. These are very watery, and need cotton wool or pads to apply and remove

  • Oil. Used to remove make up, not suitable for greasy skin

  • Medicated. Generally prescribed, these cleansers are harsh on the skin.


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Why You need a Face Wash?

Cleansers are supposed to be better for the skin than ordinary bars of soap, or other cheap soaps which are not manufactured for the face. While a bar of soap may be suitable for washing the body, there are reasons why it should not be used on the face:

  • bar soap tends to have a much higher pH, or acidity level, than the surface of the skin, making the bar soaps alkaline while the skin has an acidic base.

  • With a higher pH level, bar soaps can encourage the increase of bacteria, particularly those which cause spots, blackheads and acne.

  • The soaps will remove oils from the face which can dry out the skin, or lead to increased oil production

  • Most bar soaps are held together with substances known as thickeners, which will clog pores when applied to the skin, resulting in acne and spots.


Most users of face washes have a preference for the type of cleanser they choose, but there are several different types, and the variety that someone uses is often related to the type of skin they have, the style of cleanser (creamy, alcohol free, etc). Choosing the right face wash will help someone with a particular type of skin to get rashes, spots or flaky skin under control. Understanding the differences between these types of skin cleanser can help someone using them for the first time to decide which the best face wash is for them.

Face Washes for Different Skin Types

When they are seen on a shelf together, side by side, it can be hard for the average person to tell the difference between the types of face wash available. The majority of washes are perfumed and colored, and this can be a negative for those who have dry or sensitive skin. Therefore, being able to tell the difference between each type can help to avoid dryness and irritation.

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There are several different types of face washes available:

  • Washes for oily skins, designed to reduce acne and blackheads

  • Washes for dry skins, designed to soften skin and remove dead skin cells

  • Washes for sensitive skin, with less perfume and color

  • Washes for combination skin, featuring moisturizer and cleanser

For oily skins

The largest variety of face washes are those designed for oily or greasy skins. They are often free of the moisturizers and may be medicated, too. These facial cleansers can also contain scrubs, which will help to remove dried skin from the face, clearing off dirt and other similar debris which would otherwise be clogging the pores. It is also important that these products leave no residue on the skin which could cause build-up in pores. This is a complicated list of requirements for a simple bottle of face wash.

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For dry skin

Someone with dry skin has the opposite problem, in that they are not able to produce enough oil to wash dead skin cells away from their pores. They are likely to suffer from flaky skin, and may even have patches of eczema or irritation. Using an unsuitable skin cleanser can result in burning, irritation and stinging sensations on the face, and may even lead to red patches where the skin is most inflamed.

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For combination skin

Combination face washes are designed for people who have oily skin in some areas, particularly the center of the face such as the nose and chin, but have dry areas too. These cleansers combine moisturizer with a harsher removal system to get rid of the oils.

For sensitive skin

For people with sensitive skin, it is necessary to remove dirt and oils, but also keep the face moisturized with products which don’t cause a reaction. The best face wash for someone in this position will rely upon products which are gentle, and which are not mixed with other products to create perfumes or colors. These will often be ‘natural’, that is made from products such as coconut oil or plant extracts, as these are considered to be less provoking to a skin which is already irritated.

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There are also washes available for those who suffer from skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. These two conditions can cause patches of red skin, overlaid with dead skin, and may appear on the face as well as on other parts of the body. For people with conditions like this, it is important to use a face wash which does not strip the skin of natural oils.

How to Select the Best Face Wash for Your Skin

Choosing the best face wash for your skin type will mean finding a cleanser which not only meets your needs in terms of treatment for the face, but one which also suits you in terms of the appearance such as foaming or non-foaming.

Those with oily skin are likely to need cleansers which wash away the oil naturally produced by the skin, as well as drying out pores. Foaming cleansers can be good for this, as can scrubs which help to extract dirt from pores. Acne sufferers may be prescribed a face wash, which will contain peroxide and salicylic acid. However, it may be advisable to use another cleanser alongside, including moisturizer, in order to prevent the skin from becoming too dry.

People with dry skin are more likely to need oil cleansers or moisturizers in order to add more moisture to the skin. Creamy varieties which are without chemicals are likely to make the best face wash for this skin type.

Those with combination skins will need to find a variety which is able to treat the greasy center panel without drying out the cheeks. Organic blends which mix chamomile and calendula, perhaps with an exfoliating scrub, might help the user, but can also add oil to the skin, preventing drying which also keeping pores clear.

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Sufferers of sensitive skin will need to make sure that the face washes they use are free of chemicals, perfumes and colours which might irritate the skin. They may also benefit from a creamer wash, but should avoid foaming or bar soaps, as both of these varieties are likely to dry out sensitive skin, resulting in irritation.

Those suffering from skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema will need to look at finding a face wash which will not irritate their conditions. They might also want to look at cleansers which are lighter on the skin, including micellar and cleaning balms which will be able to remove make-up, oils and dead skin, but will also cover the irritated areas in a protective layer, rather like the medicated creams which are used with these conditions.

Finding the right cleanser can be a matter of time and practice, with users trying out different styles of face wash to find the one which suits them best.

Face Washes for Men

Although the majority of face washes and cleansers are used by women, some men have become interested in this morning ritual. It is estimated that more than half of the male population use only water to wash their face each day. Of the half who does use soap, the majority rely upon bar soap to clean their skin, and some even use shampoo or hair conditioner. Dermatologists wince at this report, because it is more likely to result in irritation of the skin.

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Water alone will not remove the dirt and pollution of the day from the face, and so men are advised to use a natural cleanser to wash the face before bed. The best face wash varieties for men are likely to be those which are non-perfumed and colored, and which help to moisturize their skin without leaving oily residue. Younger men may require an alcohol-based face wash in order to remove oils and treat acne or spots.