Acne can truly cause a person to literally hate their own face. However, many fail to employ that which will bring them a lasting solution. Some tend to believe that regular washing of the face maybe in the morning or at night can solve their acne woes. If you are among such people let us tell you profoundly that you are wasting your time. You need an acne face wash and not just your regular soap or face wash.
It is true that certain acne can be so severe you need to consult a dermatologist or seek medical help. (We’re hoping that’s not your case). However, for common cases of acne, an acne face wash is the first step to a better-looking face. If you want a clear face, an acne face wash should be an integral part of your skincare routine. Therefore this buying guide will enable you in taking those first baby steps in actualizing your desire of an acne-free face. What do we mean? We are saying we will help you in selecting an acne face wash that will truly work for you.
Is an Acne Face Wash Really Important?
The face all through the day is assaulted with dirt and all sorts of materials. These materials, apart from the already dead cells on the skin, lead to the blocking of the skin’s pores. Furthermore, sebum which is an oily kind of substance is produced daily by your skin in a bid to keep your skin moisturized. All these and more contribute to the formation of acne on the face.
Getting rid of acne that has built up using just warm water and soaps does not exactly work. This is because soaps are only designed with the ability to eliminate surplus oil completely. You might think this is good but it is quite the opposite. In order for your skin to function optimally, this sebum is required by your skin.
Since soaps and warm water cannot balance its effect on the sebum or treat acne, you need something else. You need an acne face wash capable of treating acne and maintaining the amount of sebum your skin requires.
Do not apply an acne body wash for your face for any reason. There is a reason there are different types for the face and the body. You might just damage your facial skin in the process. Why is this so? First of all, your facial skin is more sensitive compared to other body parts and deserves special treatment. Secondly, the ingredients found in a conventional acne body wash are harsher than ones used in a face wash.
Characteristics of a Good Acne Face Wash
There are certain characteristics that a good acne face wash should possess. We’ll list a few so you can identify them for yourself. If you are already using of any acne face wash and it does not have these characteristics, we recommend you dump it in the trash:
- When placed in warm water, a good acne face wash will generate lather that’s soft and smooth in nature.
- A good acne face wash must be able to cleanse your face of impurities of any kind. It will not leave any residue of dirt.
- A good one will NOT foam or produce a layer of any kind on the skin.
Making Your Choice Based on Your Skin Type
Your skin type, to a large extent, will determine the kind of acne face wash you need. This is because each skin type has different characteristics and therefore, different needs. The method applied in combating acne on an oily skin can NOT be similar to one with a dry skin. So what kind of acne face wash does your skin need let’s find out? (By the way, we are assuming you know your skin type. If you do NOT, you’ll find a brief explanation in this buying guide: Skin Moisturizer.)
Dry skin does not require anything that would further dry it out. Thus your acne face wash must be gentle in exfoliating the skin and unclogging the skin pores without causing dehydration. Such dry skin will require an acne face wash that can moisturize the skin in addition to its fight against acne.
The natural state of an oily skin is, well, oily. So what kind of acne face wash does one with an oily skin need? Definitely one that will not add to the amount of oil it already possesses. It should also be capable of dealing effectively with production of surplus oil.
To effectively deal with the acne on a combination skin, extra attention is necessary. Your acne face wash must balance its ability of removing excess oil without leaving the skin overly dry.
Your acne face wash should possess natural ingredients and extracts to enable the skin cope with the effects.
The Big Guns Found in an Acne Face Wash
When it comes to ingredients that are readily employed in treating acne, two ingredients stand tall above the rest. They might seem to be competing for the top spot since they so far are yet to be used together in one acne face wash. It is either one is used while the other is NOT and vice versa. We present at the left corner of the ring Salicylic Acid and at the right corner Benzoyl Peroxide. So let’s see what these big guns have to offer.
If you desire a face rid of acne, then your acne face wash should contain salicylic acid (a beta-hydroxy acid). Salicylic acid can unclog your skin pores like a handy plumber and combat skin inflammation like a brave soldier. If it can NOT unclog those stubborn pores, it will shrink them which readily affect acne like blackheads. Overall after its work on your skin, you’ll be left with a skin that has little or no traces of acne.
Salicylic acid can get rid of acne in just a month. This is provided you use your acne face wash twice a day and your acne is NOT a severe case. Generally, salicylic acid does NOT cause excess dryness to skins. However, if your acne face wash has more concentration of salicylic acid, this might be a problem. So it is advisable you ensure you check the percentage of its content in the ingredient’s list.
For a sensitive skin, 0.5% of salicylic acid concentration should be adequate enough to achieve expected results. For an oily skin, 2% of salicylic acid concentration gets rid of excess oil by half; thereby reducing acne breakout.
This ingredient is necessary if you really want to be free from stubborn acne because it really packs a punch. This big gun is capable of eliminating acnes completely and prevents future breakouts. It does this by killing the propioni bacteria that is responsible for acne. It exfoliates the skin and frees it of dead cells that readily block the pores. Apart from that, benzoyl peroxide removes surplus oil that is continually being produced by your skin. It also possesses bleaching properties; it is advisable you protect your clothing from it. You have been warned.
It can be a bit harsh on the skin if NOT used with caution. Its powerful properties of tackling acne are NOT without side effects. It can lead to dryness, burning, redness and scaling of the skin.
Nevertheless this does NOT make it a monster you should run away from. To enjoy the awesome ability of benzoyl peroxide in combating acne, you need to pay close attention to its percentage content. Most over-the-counter acne face wash contain benzoyl peroxide in percentages ranging from 2.5 percent to 10 percent. Remember this carefully: higher percentage is bad, lower percentage is good. That should be clear enough. What do we recommend? Benzoyl peroxide of about 3% concentration is alright to give your skin freedom from the tyranny of acne on your face. However, those with sensitive skin should stick with a 2.5% concentration to be on the safe side.
Which of Them Is Better?
Both of them fulfill the same purpose however we recommend if you have a sensitive skin choose salicylic acid. Then for those with tougher skin, benzoyl peroxide would be your best bet.
Nevertheless, a more concentrated salicylic face wash could be harmful to the skin than a benzoyl peroxide of lower concentration. The concentration matters a huge deal so stick to the percentages we recommended.
Other Ingredients Your Acne Face Wash Can Contain
Obviously salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide can NOT be the only ingredient that would be contained in your acne face wash. So let’s look at those other ingredients that make your acne face wash what it truly ought to be.
Sulfur has the ability to get rid of acne without the drying effect other ingredients have. (However excess can be harmful like all things in excess). It unblocks pores, gets rid of discoloration, brings out skin impurities and curtails surplus production of sebum by the skin. Apart from that, it stops potential acne breakouts as well as severe breakouts. The downside of sulfur is its rotten-egg smell. This however can be countered with the addition of certain ingredients that mask this smell.
Obtained from the sugar found in certain fruits; these man-made acids serve as exfoliators and anti-inflammatory agents. They can readily shrink the pores of your skin and enhance the look of your acne scars giving your skin an overall healthy appearance. Typical examples of alpha-hydroxy acids commonly used in acne face wash are lactic acid and glycolic acid.
Tea Tree Oil
One of the causes of acne is the Propioni bacterium. This makes tea tree oil (an anti-bacterial agent) well suited to battle the propioni bacterium and by extension acne. It is even recommended by most dermatologists as being on par even with the great benzoyl peroxide based on effectiveness. Just that its results are not as fast as benzoyl peroxide
This ingredient is a molecule extracted from an extract called licorice root. Laced with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, it controls the population of sebum production like a birth-control pill would. Its soothing qualities would endear it to the hearts of those who have sensitive skin. Also those who have combination skin can also benefit greatly from it.
Resorcinol is used in treating several skin-related conditions including seborrhea which is a serious type of acne. It is capable of breaking dry hard skin to allow oil pass through freely. The concentration recommended is 2% and NOT more. Resorcinol is mostly found being paired with sulfur.
This is NOT found in the acne face wash sold in your local beauty shop. It is one of those ingredients that are called upon when others have failed. Meaning it is only used for the most extreme of acne cases. Like every other ingredient that combats acne, retinoids can free pore clogging and prevent future acne breakout.
Ingredients your Acne Face Wash Must NOT Contain
Just like there are certain ingredients your acne face wash can NOT do without, there are those it should NOT have.
These ingredients are employed in some products to serve as preservatives by preventing the development of bacteria and mold. Yet they seriously cause skin irritations to nearly all skin types. Examples include sulfates, triclosan, parabens and phthalates.
We listed a certain type of oil as one important ingredient that can be found in your product. Oil from tea tree is the only oil that your acne face wash should contain. All others are a big no. This is common sense because one of the jobs of an acne face wash is to get rid of surplus oil. Adding extra oil is counter-productive.
This will dry your skin out as well as murder the cells of your skin. And you are already trying to get rid of the ones that died before remember? Alcohol actually does more harm than good. Stay away from it.
Tips on Using your Acne Face Wash
- Use your acne face wash was twice a day; in the morning and at night.
- If you experience skin tightness or dryness while using your acne face wash, reduce usage to once a day.
- Ensure you clean your face after use with moderately warm water. NOT too cold NOT too hot just in between.
- Dry your face by patting with a clean towel. Do NOT scrub or any of such violent methods you employ in drying your face. Patting it gently will reduce irritation.
- Do NOT forget to employ the use of a moisturizer. If your skin is well hydrated, the tendency for an acne breakout becomes less.
Important Notice: It is important to note that acne can also be caused by hormonal changes in seasons of life. The teenage season, menstrual period, pregnancy period and even during the season when one steps into menopause. Such acne may NOT necessarily go away via acne face wash use or any form of acne treatment. They usually tend to disappear naturally when that seasonal period of life is over. Nevertheless using an acne face wash can reduce the acne breakout a great deal but might NOT eradicate it completely.
Has this guide been helpful? We would like to know. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.