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How to choose the right cleanser for your skin type

Face wash is not ‘one-size-fits-all’, so understanding your skin type is key to choosing the most appropriate face wash for your needs. See different types of cleansers & how to choose between them below.

  • Oily skin needs a cleanser that cleanses excess sebum without disrupting the skin moisture barrier. We recommend Ceramides Foaming Oil-Free Cleanser.
  • Dry skin can benefit from a cleanser that supports lasting hydration. Formulated with squalene oil and triglyceride, our Hydrating Foaming Oil Cleanser. is an ideal cleanser for dry skin.
  • Combination skin tends to prefer gentle, hydrating cleaners We recommend Ceramides Hydrating Cream-to-Foam Cleanser to help lock in moisture.
  • Blemish-prone skin can be improved by regularly using cleansers with exfoliant properties, like salicylic acid-enriched Blemish Control Cleanser
  • Textured skin requires balancing cleansers to exfoliate dead skin cells - try SA Smoothing Cleanser with Ceramides.
  • Selecting face wash is only part of the process. Next, learn how to clean face pores, and the neck properly.

    How to cleanse your face correctly

    Learning how to wash your face properly and regularly is important for healthy-looking skin. Wondering ‘how often should I cleanse my face?’ For most people, twice a day is ideal, in the AM and PM.

    There are some differences to consider when it comes to how to wash your face in the morning vs at night. Typically, a single cleanse is enough in the morning, but when considering how to wash your face at night, we recommend double cleansing. This is because exposure to elements like pollution and makeup throughout the day can lead to excess build-up of impurities on the skin. The process of cleansing skin is as simple as massaging cleanser into your face before rinsing - but to cleanse like a derm there are some key do’s and don’ts.

    Do: Cleanse with clean hands

    ​Cleanser is designed to lift oil, dirt, sweat and dead skin cells from the skin’s surface - but these elements can sit on hands too. When understanding how to use face wash to properly cleanse your complexion, it is important to wash your hands before application to avoid transferring anything from your hands to your face.

    Don’t: Rinse too soon

    ​To cleanse like a derm, you need to give cleanser adequate time to do its job. It’s common to apply cleanser until it lathers and then rinse immediately. Instead, cleanser should be massaged into the face for at least 60 seconds to effectively dissolve grime. Thoroughly rinse and pat dry with a clean cloth.

    Cleanse like a derm
    Cleanse like a derm

    Do: Use lukewarm water

    Use lukewarm water to wash your face. Cleansing with water that’s too hot can rob the skin of its natural oils and cause excessive dryness. On the other hand, cold water may not adequately dissolve natural oils and could potentially leave residual dirt, sweat, dead skin cells and makeup on your face.

    Don’t: Forget neck and jaw

    When learning how to cleanse skin, remember to apply cleanser to the whole face, including the neck and jaw. Neglecting to apply your skincare to these areas can result in a difference of texture, tone, and appearance of the skinbetween your face and neck.

    The importance of body cleanser

    Understanding how to wash your face is important but so is properly cleansing the body. If you prefer a one size fits all approach, choose cleansers for the face and body, otherwise consider a specifically formulated body wash. These formulas can help to maintain the look and feel of the skin on the body and face.. It’s still important to keep skin type in mind, as the ideal cleanser for oily skin on the body may not be suited to dry or combination skin types.

    Now you know how to cleanse like a derm, learn to choose the best moisturiser for your skin and tips to get the most out of it.

    Do: Use lukewarm water

    Use lukewarm water to wash your face. Cleansing with water that’s too hot can rob the skin of its natural oils and cause excessive dryness. On the other hand, cold water may not adequately dissolve natural oils and could potentially leave residual dirt, sweat, dead skin cells and makeup on your face.

    Cleanse like a derm

    Step-By-Step Skincare Routine

    Find A CeraVe Cleanser for Your Skin Type

Frequently Asked Questions

  • ​A cleanser is a skincare product designed to gently lift oil, dirt, sweat, dead skin cells, and makeup from the skin’s surface. These impurities are then carried away with rinsing. A good cleanser will help prevent the accumulation of residue while leaving the skin’s barrier intact.
    All CeraVe cleansers are formulated with three essential ceramides to lock in moisture and help maintain your protective skin barrier. They also feature beneficial ingredients to help target specific concerns and support healthy-looking skin, such as niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and salicylic acid.
  • ​Ideally, you should wash your face twice daily, once in the morning and again in the evening. You might also consider cleansing after any activity where your face becomes visibly covered with sweat. However, it’s important to remember that every individual’s skin is unique and the right cleansing frequency may vary based on your skin’s needs. When in doubt, speak to your dermatologist about how often to cleanse.
  • This can vary from cleanser to cleanser. Always read the product's packaging carefully and apply per the instructions. ​​When washing your face, remember to ​apply your cleanser in a circular motion using your fingertips (without pulling or tugging too harshly on your face). Once finished, rinse the cleanser thoroughly with lukewarm water and lightly pat your skin dry using a clean, soft towel.
  • Some people wonder whether water alone is enough to properly cleanse their skin. However, ​​water typically isn’t enough to thoroughly cleanse your skin and adequately dissolve oils. ​This is because much of the “gunk” that can accumulate on your skin throughout the day is not water-soluble, meaning it can’t be broken down by water.
  • ​​It’s generally best to avoid extreme temperatures when cleansing. This includes washing with very hot or cold water. ​​Steaming hot water can strip beneficial oils from your skin and weaken your skin’s moisture barrier. This, in turn, can worsen dryness and leave your skin feeling uncomfortable after cleansing​​—especially for those with dry or sensitive skin types. ​A moderate, lukewarm temperature is recommended instead. ​​This can help keep your skin feeling calm and balanced.
  • ​​Washing your face in the shower is perfectly fine, as long as you’re using dermatologist-approved face cleansers, a gentle cleansing technique, and applying with clean hands and fingertips. ​Try to avoid taking excessively long, hot showers, as this may cause skin dryness.
  • ​​​Scrubbing or rubbing your skin aggressively won’t give your skin a deeper cleanse. ​On the contrary, it may actually cause redness or irritation. Harsh scrubbing also isn’t necessary to dry your skin off post-cleanse. Being rough or using scratchy fabrics can irritate your skin.
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