Can skin cleansers be moisturizing?

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You've probably heard people compare their dry skin to that of a reptile -- an alligator, snake or lizard, maybe. Dry, scaly skin can be a problem, especially in winter months, when you go from the frigid outdoors into overheated buildings, two environments that take a toll on your skin.

Moisturizing skin cleansers may sound like a too-good-to-be-true solution to shed your scales and molt into spring-fresh skin, but rest assured -- some skin cleansers do contain moisturizing elements. Some cosmetics and sunscreens include moisturizers, too.

When used properly, moisturizing skin cleansers can be a great addition to your skin-care regimen. However, keep in mind tht different types of skin need different types of care. The products you use -- and how often you use them -- depend on whether your skin is extra sensitive, extra dry or oily with frequent breakouts.

If your skin is excessively dry, a moisturizing cleanser is for you. Wash your face before bed to clear away the day's grime, and follow up with a moisturizing cream. You can skip a morning wash to avoid agitating your skin. However, if you have oily skin, you can wash your face up to three times a day. Be sure to use a cleanser that will fight breakouts.

No matter which facial cleanser you use, any cleanser formulated for faces is better than your run-of-the-mill soap. Soap can wash away the natural oils on your face, leaving skin clean but dried-out. To learn about the elements in skin cleansers that make them different from basic soap, read on.