The following recommendations are usually made about cleansers:
Use of bar soap or another form of skin cleanser not specifically formulated for the face is not recommended because bar soap has a high pH (in the area of 9 to 10), and skin’s natural pH is 5.5. This means that soap can change the balance present in the skin to favor the overgrowth of some types of bacteria, exacerbating acne. Bar cleansers in general, soap or not, have thickeners that allow them to assume a bar shape can clog pores, leading (once again) to acne. In fact, some scientific studies claim that even specially-formulated facial soaps can encourage acne.
A cleanser is considered to be a good one if it is gentle, non-irritating, and thoroughly cleanses skin.
Skin type is important in selecting a cleanser. Strong cleansers are more suitable for oily skins to prevent breakouts, but they may overdry and irritate dry skin. Very dry skin may require a creamy lotion-type cleanser, as long as it doesn’t make skin feel oily afterward. These are too gentle to be effective on oily (or even normal) skin, but dry skin requires much less cleansing power.
Water-soluble cleansers that splashes away without the use of a washcloth are recommended as cloths can harbor bacteria, causing acne. Skin should not feel oily, dry, or filmy afterward, as this is an indication that the cleanser is too drying. Applying a moisturizer to fix this problem is not the recommended solution.
A properly-formulated cleanser allows you to eyelids to be washed without hurting.
Fragrance in cleansers (including essential oils) tends to be highly sensitizing to the skin, irritating it and often provoking allergic responses.
Ideal Use of a Cleanser
The face is first washed with tepid water, as hot and cold water do not open and close your pores, contrary to popular belief. Instead, they irritate the skin, potentially drying it or causing capillaries to become visible.
Cleanser is rubbed on the face, ideally all the way to the hairline. This includes the throat and eyelids, especially for people who wear eye makeup (this may be the only step necessary to clean it off).
The face is again washed with tepid water, using hands to rinse away the cleanser.
The face is pat (not rubbed) dry.