No one wants to worry about dry skin flaking off and landing on a black shirt -- and we all know how uncomfortable scaly patches of skin can be. Moisturizing cleansers are one of the first steps in creating a healthy, non-flaky appearance, and they have few side effects. However, moisturizing cleansers are only one part of a healthy skin care routine, and you need to choose carefully if you have extremely sensitive skin or a preexisting skin condition.
Using the wrong skin care products could actually increase dryness. Avoid cleansers that have added fragrances -- they might smell nice, but scents can irritate sensitive skin. Stay away from cleansers that contain certain alcohols (fatty alcohols like cetyl and stearyl acohol are OK) if your skin is easily susceptible to irritation. The rule of thumb here is that the more nonessential ingredients there are in a cleanser, the more likely it is to cause irritation. If you have sensitive skin and are concerned about how a certain skin cleanser could affect you, discuss the cleanser's ingredients with your doctor.
Contact with water during washing actually dries out your skin, so don't prolong rinsing time too much, even though it may feel relaxing to run water over your face. Drying your face the wrong way could also have a negative effect on your skin. Be sure to pat your skin dry gently with a towel rather than rubbing vigorously. After drying, follow up with a moisturizing cream.
Cleansers and moisturizers can vary in price from a few dollars at the drugstore to around $40 at a special retailer [source: CNN]. Just make sure you pick one that is right for your skin type.
Moisturizers help skin protect itself, so using the right moisturizing cleanser should only enhance your skin. Just make sure you're using the proper technique when washing -- this is actually more important to your skin's health than the products you use. To learn more about moisturizing facial cleansers, follow the links on the next page.