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why you shouldnt use an acne medicated cleanser

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for the longest time, i tried many acne cleansers and i never quite understood why they didnt work. i guess i knew all along, but i didnt wanna except it. lol for those that are trying acne cleansers, ditch them becaus they dont work. heres a good article i came across.


The Importance of a Good Non-Medicated Cleanser

Jun 22 '01

The Bottom Line A non-medicated cleanser can be highly effective, preparing your skin for any topical anti-acne treatments you want to apply after your skin is clean.

Several years ago, I began seeing a dermatologist because I was suffering from persistent acne. Before I starting going to her, I had abused my skin quite terribly -- in my relentless pursuit of clear skin, I had been using incredibly harsh cleansers in a misguided attempt to thoroughly clean my skin. I equated the tight, dry feeling these cleansers produced with "clean." How wrong I was! My weapons of choice were always from the well-known anti-acne brands and formulated with very strong drying agents. Needless to say, they didn't work and my skin only got worse, not better. My dermatologist pointed out that I was over-drying my skin and therefore, my oil glands were going into overdrive in order to make up for the oil that had been stripped by my cleanser. And so I perpetuated the cycle. She completely revamped my skin regime, and the first things to go were all my medicated skin cleansers.

Why Use a Non-Medicated Cleanser?

Unless you have extremely oily skin that is quite hardy, it is quite likely that you don't need a medicated cleanser. Soap is also generally not a good idea either -- it's just too easy to dry out even the oiliest skin. I know, I can hear the howls of protest from here. Just hear me out -- many medicated cleansers do contain salicylic acid (a Beta Hydroxy Acid) which is excellent for exfoliating inside the pore. However, a potentially helpful ingredient can be rendered ineffective by the fact that it has an inappropriate pH level. In addition, think about how long your cleanser is on your face. Thirty seconds? One minute? Assuming that you've got a salicylic acid in a cleanser with an appropriate pH, it's certainly not going to have much time to act because you're going to wash it down the drain. Therefore, it ends up being a waste of money and it may potentially irritate your skin to boot. Instead, I would like to suggest that a good non-medicated is the foundation of a good anti-acne regime.

So What Should I Do Then?

Find yourself a good non-medicated cleanser to use twice daily, with topical anti-acne treatments following your cleansing routine. Traditional Cetaphil is a good choice for those who have a tendency towards dry skin. But for those of you who are blessed with oilier skin, Cetaphil also has an oily-skin version. It smells a bit like baby shampoo, but let me assure you that it is dynamite for removing practically every trace of makeup without leaving your skin tight and dry.

But my personal favorite is a result of my dermatologist's influence. She gave me a sample of Spectro Jel 609, which I believe is marketed in the United States as Spectro Derm. I have been a faithful user ever since -- it removes makeup yet it never overdries your skin even with frequent usage. You can use it on wet or dry skin and it is so gentle, it will not irritate eyes or other mucous tissue. It is available in both scented and fragrance-free versions and does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens or propylene glycol. Basically, it's an ideal non-medicated cleanser. But ultimately, you have to find one that you really like and then, use it consistently -- treat your beleaguered skin right!

Now that you've got your non-medicated cleanser, you can wash your face effectively without irritation. Once your skin is clean and patted dry, you can then apply topical treatments to combat pimples. By applying products containing a good salicylic acid and/or benzoyl peroxide *after* you cleanse, you can reap the maximum rewards because the product has a chance to be absorbed by your skin. Acne prone skin does not appreciate overzealous cleansing or excessive use of treatments, so a moderate approach is best. For most people, you risk doing more harm than good by applying too many products with medicinal ingredients -- so save the salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide for post-cleansing and rely on a good non-medicated cleanser.

Thanks for reading!

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you're so right.......................I also found what you said to be true.............your post should help a lot of people.................btw, do you use a moisturizer? Thanks

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Guest max_powers585

well its intersting what that article says buttt ive been using salycilic acid as a cleanser for a while now and i havent seen any negative results..... ihave oily skin and most of the time i dont moisturize after cleansing i do however drink a lot of water .

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I think you could ask 50 people what they use and you'll get 50 different answers, that just goes to show that everyones chemistry is different, what works for one won't for another. There is such a range for people, one will rave about different products,and have wonderful results, while the next person may be allergic to the very same product. I also didn't break out from SA but I also didn't really use too much BP at the same time, it's still a good concept to keep your routine down to a minimum.

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My dermatologist pointed out that I was over-drying my skin and therefore, my oil glands were going into overdrive in order to make up for the oil that had been stripped by my cleanser. And so I perpetuated the cycle.

Solid post with good advice, except this bit of misinformation from the dermatologist. Overdrying makes acne worse through the irritation it causes, not because your skin actually produces more sebum to compensate.

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