GREAT SKIN IN ONE STEP
Ahealthy, radiant complexion starts with a clean base, yet 12% of women don’t regularly use any facial cleanser, a survey of more than 5,000 women by Prevention’s sister publication Good Housekeeping found. That can lead to clogged pores, discoloration, dullness, and breakouts, dermatologists say. Follow this advice from skin doctors and scientists to make getting fresh-faced a breeze.
PICK THE RIGHT PRODUCT
The key to effective cleansing is choosing the best face wash for your complexion. ID your skin type here to find your perfect formula.
NORMAL: Your skin has few imperfections and is neither too oily nor too dry. Maintain a balanced complexion by using a mild foaming cleanser that effectively removes debris and impurities but won’t dehydrate skin.
Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, $10, drugstores
DRY: Your face tends to feel tight, especially after cleansing, and may appear dull.
Ironically, the number one thing that can make your complexion even more parched is water, so cut it out of the process entirely with a micellar cleanser. The ultra-gentle liquid goes on like makeup remover and requires no rinsing.
PREVENTION PICK: Olay Sensitive Calming Cleansing Water, $7, drugstores
COMBINATION: Your T-zone— chin, nose, and forehead—is oily, but your cheeks tend to be dry.
“Try a foam formula with ingredients like baking soda and salicylic acid,” says Alicia Barba, M.D., dermatologist and the founder of Barba Dermatology in Miami. “Baking soda clears away oil but doesn’t strip the other areas of your face, and salicylic acid lightly exfoliates.”
PREVENTION PICK: Bioré Blue Agave + Baking Soda Balancing Pore Cleanser, $6, drugstores
OILY: Your skin gets shiny, and your makeup may wear off within hours of application.
Resist the urge to use acne-treatment cleansers, as their medicinal properties can be too dehydrating for your skin; instead, reach for a purifying gel
that contains tea tree oil, a natural antimicrobial that dissolves excess sebum but won’t cause dryness.
Biossance Squalane +
Tea Tree Cleansing Gel, $29, Sephora
ACNE-PRONE: You get frequent breakouts, blackheads, or whiteheads.
“Your main goal is to remove impurities and unclog pores so that acne treatments you apply afterward can work,” Dr. Barba explains. Try an oil-free gel wash with salicylic or glycolic acid to help dislodge and clear oil and buildup.
PREVENTION PICK: Neutrogena
Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Facial Cleanser, $8, drugstores
SENSITIVE: You tend to experience skin redness, stinging, or burning. Steer clear of cleansers with potential irritants like sulfates, dyes, and fragrances and choose an oil-based formula, which soothes and helps restore skin’s compromised outer layer.
Oil Cleanser, $28, Sephora