Acne academy, part 4: The all-important cleanser and what to consider when choosing one

January 31, 2022

While the act of cleansing is somewhat forgettable (it’s instinct at this point, right?), it deserves recognition as quite possibly the holy-grail step for clearer skin. Here, some quick considerations to remember: 

But first, a brief reminder of why is facial cleansing so important 

Every day, dirt, dead skin cells, air pollution, makeup, sunscreen and oils collect on our skin, and the only way to really eliminate that debris is cleansing. Cleansers are packed with ingredients that literally lift away all the gunk. They also clear the way for toners, serums, treatments and moisturizers that would otherwise be blocked and thus unable to deliver their promised skin benefits. 

Finding the best face wash for acne-prone skin 

While ingredients are critical (see the other stories in this series for more info), don’t forget that feel and form can be just as important. Typically, the choice is between gel and cream. 

If you have drier skin, consider a cream-based acne cleanser. Dealing with both acne and dry skin simultaneously can be tricky, and cream-based cleansers are usually stacked with hydrating ingredients that infuse skin with hydration that can counter the potentially drying effects of acne-fighting salicylic acid. 

If you’re oilier, a gel-based acne cleanser can be your best bet. Gel cleansers tend to have a foaming action, which acne-prone types enjoy because it looks like it’s “working.” Look for gel cleansers that include soothing ingredients like green tea extract

Of course cleansers are just the beginning—a complete acne regimen that includes a face exfoliatortoner and moisturizer will help keep skin clear, healthy and balanced.  

More about acne here: 
Acne academy, part 1: The latest lowdown on acne, from new ingredients to basics you should never forget
Acne academy, part 2: The biggest acne myths—ditch them to take your skincare routine to the next level
Acne academy, part 3: The toner hacks you need to know if you have acne-prone skin

References for this information: 
American Academy of Dermatology Association Website, Everyday Care 
WebMD Website, Healthy Beauty 
Derm Collective Website, Beauty & Skin Care 

About the Author

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Jacki Marzano is SoCal-based storyteller and head copywriter at Murad Skincare. She's shaped the voice of some of the most recognized beauty brands in the business, has a penchant for sharing homemade cookies, and believes SPF is the secret to getting carded well into your 40s.