Face Cleansers: Ingredients to Avoid and Look for

face cleansers washing

Have you ever noticed how the ingredient list in quite a few of our skin care products keeps getting longer along with smaller print on the labels?  Sometimes, I need to bring out my glasses or use a magnifying glass just to decipher the label to check that I’m buying the best cleansing product ingredients.  After all, I want to help my complexion flourish, not hinder its beauty by randomly trusting my skin to just anything.  If you think that ingredients in face cleansers are your least important skin care concern and are not satisfied with your complexion, then you are doing your skin a disservice by neglecting to be informed.  Therefore, let me share just the basics of what you should be looking for on those face cleansers to keep your skin at its best by sorting through skin cleanser ingredients.

Determining which face cleansers are the best, you need to take into consideration ingredients and the skin care benefits they claim to offer.  Besides beneficial anti-aging ingredients like antioxidants and vitamins or alpha hydroxy acids for exfoliation, the first ingredient on that cleanser that you want to see is water, preferably purified water having the largest concentration in the formula.  Since ingredients are ranked on the label from the largest amount and descending to the least of an ingredient, purified water in the number one spot means the more pure, gentle hydration this cleanser provides.

Make sure that the cleanser has an oil-free humectant like propylene glycol to attract water from the surface to the skin cell itself.  This type of humectant hydrates without leaving that slick, greasy feeling behind.   How those face cleansers deliver their hydration is also important in making the best selection.

beautiful skin from face cleansers
This beauty knows her time was well spent checking her label to keep skin this radiant.


Look for ingredients that are considered anti-irritants like chamomile or aloe just to name a few.  Their purpose is mainly to calm and heal to make the task of cleansing as gentle to the skin possible.

You also need to make sure you are selecting the gentlest cleansing agent like sodium cocoyl isothionate. Otherwise, you could risk stripping the natural face oils enough to irritate and dry out your complexion. Check baby skin care products and you’ll probably notice this ingredient that is derived from fatty acids in coconut oil and isoethionic acid.

What you need to avoid are ingredients like mineral oil that is hard to rinse off and can clog pores when in the market for new face cleansers.  Another you can do without in your cleansing product is soap and harsh detergent agents like cocamide DEA and TEA lauryl sulfate or any ammonium-based surfactant.

For more valuable information on skin care, you may want to read a few of my earlier posts on the subject discussing the difference between humectants, occulsives, and emollients, how to buy the right skin care ingredients for your concerns, knowing the facts about natural and organic certified skin care seals, and a more detailed post on how to make a more informed decision on skin care selection as a whole.  Those posts are a good starting point, but you also may find it helpful checking my label section for even more.

Being a bit more aware of informed of a consumer on what to look for in those face cleansers can be the best thing you can do for your skin–-and wallet!



1 Comment

  1. Ana B
    March 29, 2016 / 10:26 am

    Great post! I have really learned a lot here on what to look for in a product. Thanks for sharing this.

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