People with acne or wrinkles have an especially difficult time finding the ideal cleanser for their skin -- they must find a cleanser that battles their skin problem while also taking their skin type into account.
Acne occurs when excessive amounts of sebum mix with dead skin cells and clog hair follicles. Once hair follicles are clogged, bacteria can become trapped underneath the skin and cause inflammation, which results in a pimple, whitehead or blackhead [source: Mayo Clinic]. Acne cleansers work in a way similar to cleansers for oily skin -- they remove excessive amounts of oil and wash away the dead skin cells and dirt that clog hair follicles. These cleansers often contain harsher ingredients -- such as certain alcohols, menthol or peppermint -- that dry the skin and can sometimes cause irritation [source: Consumer Research]. If you have acne-prone skin, look for skin care products labeled noncomedogenic -- meaning they won't clog pores -- that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid [source: WebMD].
Wrinkles form because as you age, your skin thins, dries and loses its elasticity. Genetics are a major factor in wrinkle formation, but external factors, such as sun exposure and smoking can make wrinkles worse [source: Mayo Clinic]. Wrinkle-fighting cleansers work in a similar way to dry skin cleansers -- most include moisturizers that soften the skin and help it look younger. Some cleansers also have exfoliating properties to help remove dead cells on the skin's surface and reveal the younger, fresher skin underneath [source: Mayo Clinic]. If you have wrinkles, look for skin care products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, retinoids or vitamin C. Alpha-hydroxy acids help lift the top layer of dead skin cells to reduce the appearance of fine lines, and these acids may also stimulate collagen production. Retinoids reduce the appearance of wrinkles and repair sun damage, and vitamin C can increase collagen production and protect skin from ultraviolet rays [source: Bouchez].
To learn more about the different types of skin-cleansing formulas, see the links on the following page.