Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Real Dirt on Face Washing

With new facial cleansers promising mild formulas that won't dry out the skin, experts say don't overscrub, overcleanse

Washing your face seems pretty simple, yet dermatologists and beauty companies think there's room for improvement.
Easy does it is the message experts have for consumers, as a new generation of facial cleansers promises mild formulas that won't dry out the skin. New devices offer deep-clean claims but with a lighter touch. Some doctors even say that people with good skin should wash their face just once a day—at night.
It's a tough sell for consumers familiar with strong formulas that can make skin feel tight and squeaky clean. Many people take that feeling as a sign of effectiveness, when actually it is a signal of overdrying or damage.
Face washing at night is most important, dermatologists say. It removes dirt, grime and pollutants that have gathered on the skin during the day, as well as makeup. Some doctors say people without a serious skin-care issue, such as acne, can skip the soap and just rinse in the morning.
"Your skin has just slept on a pillow, it is clean, it doesn't necessarily need to be washed," said Gervaise Gerstner, a Manhattan dermatologist and consultant for L'Oréal Paris. Dry skin from overcleansing is a problem for people as they age, she says.
For men, the biggest face washing issue is which product they use—or lack thereof. About half of men wash their face solely with water, says Rob Candelino, vice president of marketing for skin care at Unilever, maker of a Dove Men+Care brand. Of men who do use a cleanser, many use a bar of regular body soap, shampoo or whatever else they can find in the shower. Making matters worse, men generally don't moisturize or wear sunscreen every day and so tend to be more susceptible to drying and sun damage, Mr. Candelino says. Alcohol-based products like after-shave can also cause irritation, he says.

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