Top 5 Tips for Choosing a Daily Facial Cleanser


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Standing in a retail store and facing an endless aisle of facial cleansers can be daunting, if not outright terrifying. It's hard to know where to start.

But what are friends for? Ask around and see what is being used by the people you know. You can get a head start in your selection process by seeing which facial cleansers are liked and disliked by those around you. You might as well take advantage of all the "field research" that has already been doggedly conducted by your peers. Remember that different people have different skin types, so what works for your dry, itchy friend may not work for your oily or sensitive skin.

Talk to those who work in the skin care field (this doesn't necessarily mean a chemist; a salesperson will do). What products seem to gain loyal customers? Which ones do they personally favor? The same goes for aestheticians and dermatologists. These professionals will be more than happy to help you in your search for the perfect facial cleanser.

With a little luck, a little more research, and even more trial and error, you'll be able to choose a facial cleanser that meets all your needs. See the next page for more articles on skin care.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Bouchez, Colette. "Oily Skin: Solutions That Work -- No Matter What Your Age." (Aug. 5, 2009)
  • Consumer Reports. "Facial cleansers: Choices abound." Sept. 2007.
  • GreenYour. "Body Cleansers." (Aug. 4, 2009)
  • Griffin, Morgan R. "What's Causing Your Dry Skin Problem?" (Aug. 5, 2009)
  • Jacknin, Jeanette, M.D. "Body Scrubs: Which One Should You Use?" Jan. 16, 2009. (Aug. 5, 2009)
  • KidsHealth. "Your Skin." March 2007. (Aug. 6, 2009)
  • McKeever, Kevin. "Chemical Used in Plastics May Affect Newborn Size." June 25, 2009. HealthDay News.
  • MedlinePlus. "Skin Layers." Aug. 22, 2008. (Aug. 5, 2009)
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  • New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. "The Structure of Normal Skin." June 15, 2009. (Aug. 6, 2009)
  • Organic Consumers Association. "Consumer Alert: Cancer-Causing 1,4-Dioxane Found in Personal Care Products Misleadingly Branded as Natural and Organic." 2008.
  • Organic Consumers Association. "EPA Report: Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products as Pollutants." July 12, 2004.
  • Pure Zing. "List of the More Widely Known Dangerous Ingredients in Body & Food Products." (Aug. 5, 2009)
  • Shapley, Dan. "How to Avoid Phthalates In 3 Steps." Jan. 4, 2008.
  • Snowdrift Farm. "Emollients & Humectants." (Aug. 5, 2009)
  • Stahlhut, Richard, MD; Hessler, Wendy. "Exposure to the phthalate DEHP may alter thyroid hormone levels in men." Environmental Health News. June 11, 2007.
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "Carcinogenic Effects of Benzene: An Update." April 1998.
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Parabens." Oct. 21, 2007.
  • WebMD. "Anatomy of a Skin Cleanser." (Aug. 5, 2009)
  • WebMD. "Sensitive Skin: Causes and Treatments." (Aug. 5, 2009)


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