Do certain cleansers cause redness?

Cleansers and Skin Irritation

Clean shouldn't equal red, but some harsh ingredients in skin cleansers can lead to irritation. This may be especially true if you have sensitive skin overall, but some specific ingredients can cause more trouble than they're worth.

In general, avoid strong soaps, which can strip natural oils from your skin and leave it too dry. Additives like perfumes and dyes can also have an irritating effect on your skin. If you think this might be your problem, look for products labeled as being free of dyes and perfumes.

First and foremost, check the label -- some ingredients can spell trouble. Many skin care products contain alcohol, which can dry skin abnormally fast and could even cause added wrinkles after extensive use. Exceptions to this include cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol, which are used as thickening agents and are nonirritating. Would you ever use nail polish remover on your face? Check the label of the product you use because acetone, a harsh chemical commonly found in nail polish remover, is sometimes used in skin care products that are intended to treat acne or oily skin. Redness and irritation are possible side effects for some people who use products with acetone. Other potentially irritating ingredients range from menthol to citrus oils.

Overall, if the product you use causes redness or even tingling, it may be too harsh. Stop using a cleanser that causes irritation.

In addition to the type of cleanser you use, other factors may influence whether you experience redness or irritation when you wash your face. To find out how to know if your skin is clean, or if it's simply irritated, read the next page.