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Begin at the Beginning: Healthy Skin Starts With the Right Cleanser

Facial cleansers play a critical role in treating sensitive skin. Every day, your skin suffers damage from countless irritants that wreak havoc on your face from outside and within. Even acne treatment products can cause skin to become overly sensitive (more on that later!). A good cleanser is the first step in caring for sensitive skin.

Daily Life: Sensitive Skins Worst Enemy?

Life is not perfect. At times, everything seems to conspire against your happiness, success and skin. On the outside, your face must run the gauntlet of exposure to the sun UV rays and pollutants in the air. Ironically, the water you use for cleansing may contain irritants that harm the skin. As if that weren t enough, the makeup you use to look your best can also cause damage, clogging pores and aggravating your face with parabens, fragrances, dyes, sulfates, and all those other ates. As for makeup remover, its frequently harsh chemicals may only exacerbate the trouble caused by makeup.

Your skin does not fare much better when battling the enemies within. Stress is a constant companion in a non-stop world, and comfort foods that offer momentary relief are full of the fats, sugars, and chemicals that make them taste oh so good but can make skin feel (and look) oh so bad. Together, these factors create a lifestyle that can lead to sensitivity and its telltale signs: redness, itchiness, flakiness and full-blown acne.

Acne Treatment Products and Sensitive Skin

Acne and sensitive skin tend to be viewed as separate conditions, but they are more connected than people realize. One especially troublesome class of bacteria is called P. Acnes, and it causes you guessed it acne.

Traditional blemish treatments often nuke your face, killing not just P. Acnes but good bacteria as well.

Many treatment products contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and retinol, all of which may do more harm than good. Their scorched-earth approach to blemish control kills off not just the bad but the good bacteria that fights bad bacteria and protects your skin.

The result? Acne-prone skin turns into sensitive skin more prone to breakouts, and your face may become more difficult to treat than before your products declared nuclear war. If thats not a vicious cycle, nothing is. Its time to break the cycle.

Cleanser to the Rescue: Ending the Cycle of Sensitive Skin

Whether you are dealing with acne-prone, post-acne, sensitive skin or a combination of these, a good cleanser is essential.I believe a cleanser should thoroughly cleanse (okay, duh) but also do the following:

Remove excess oil without leaving skin dry and tight Gently unclog pores (P. Acnes favorite hideout) Cleanse without stripping moisture or good bacteria.