The market is full of different cleansers! And they all claim to be for you! Which one should you use to keep your skin clean? How often and how vigorously you should cleanse? The answer actually depends on you skin type, daily activities, and the environment. While some people still use only water to remove dirt, using soap helps to remove surface oils, oil based make-up, cellular debris, sweat, and microorganisms. Here’s some tips for each skin type: For normal skin, you should wash your face no more than twice a day with gentle, low-foaming cleansers. Avoid very hot water, and use a low alcohol astringent or an alcohol free toner after each washing. Toners help restore the skin’s natural acid pH, which is necessary for healthy skin. You should exfoliate only one a week. For oily skin, wash three times a day, especially after exercise, and never use “gentle” or “rich” cleansers. If you also tend to break out, use a medicated cleanser with salicylic acid or zinc to help remove bacteria on the surface of the skin. Foaming cleansers or gel cleansers that foam are good because they tend to strip more oil. You can use hotter water than most, and use an astringent with a high alcohol content after each washing, and exfoliate twice a week. For combination skin, use the same regimen as those with normal skin, but use an astringent for oily skin just in the forehead, nose, and chin. For sensitive skin, limit washing to once a day and use a very gentle cleanser, one that does not foam or lather. Use lukewarm water and do not use abrasive scrubs, washcloths, puff-buff pads, or rub with a towel vigorously. Your skin type may change due to hormones, stress, weather, or just as you age, so don’t think one cleanser will work all the time. I personally have a summer time cleanser, an acne cleanser for when I’m stressed, and a gentle milky cleanser when my skin gets dried out from winter. So no matter what an advertisement might say, use what is right for YOUR skin! Believe me, your skin will thank you for it!