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zzzboy

How important are cleansers with topicals?

so i just started using a topical after about a year of using a medicated cleansing cloths, and i was wondering how important it is to use a cleanser before applying the medicine. is it really necessary to use a cleanser? im just using water right now to cleanse and it seems like my face is "clean" before applying the medicine, but everyone on this forum seems to be using some sort of cleanser with their topicals. the topical (finacea) is the only thing thats on my face throughout the day (no moisturizer).

can anyone explain why it is important to use a cleanser, what advantages it has over just water, and if i should use one? thanks.

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Some people have found that using a cleanser helps get extra dirt off the skin so the medication can penetrate through the pores better.

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my dermatologist's advice was to wash and clean my face less to avoid irritation. when using topicals, it's more important to keep your face moisturized and free of irritation than to keep it clean. i was actually told it was ok to stop washing my face entirely, which i did in spite of a lot of skepticism, and my skin is finally clearing up after years of acne thanks to my topical treatment. i just rinse my face once a day in the shower.

using water is the best thing you can do. don't scrub, just rinse.

this notion of removing dirt to allow medication to penetrate is a myth made up to sell skin care products. if there was enough dirt on your face to block your pores, your face would be the color of the dirt. you would have a layer of clay over your skin. but even that can be rinsed off with water, so you're better off keeping it simple and avoiding the extra irritation that comes with cleansers.

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my cleanser is the most important thing in my regimen. it is what cleared me of acne. i tried some of everything and nothing worked until i started using the sulfur soap. also, i have oily skin and wear make up daily so i wouldnt dare go without washing my face without a cleanser.

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my dermatologist's advice was to wash and clean my face less to avoid irritation. when using topicals, it's more important to keep your face moisturized and free of irritation than to keep it clean. i was actually told it was ok to stop washing my face entirely, which i did in spite of a lot of skepticism, and my skin is finally clearing up after years of acne thanks to my topical treatment. i just rinse my face once a day in the shower.

using water is the best thing you can do. don't scrub, just rinse.

this notion of removing dirt to allow medication to penetrate is a myth made up to sell skin care products. if there was enough dirt on your face to block your pores, your face would be the color of the dirt. you would have a layer of clay over your skin. but even that can be rinsed off with water, so you're better off keeping it simple and avoiding the extra irritation that comes with cleansers.

so you don't use anything? i only wash with water as well, but i still shave my face. I'm trying to find something to use on shave areas. what do you do?

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While there are occasional exceptions, I think for the most part medicated cleansers are completely unnecessary. They're harsh and drying, and the medication is getting washed off too quickly to be effective. Cleansers are to cleanse; treatments are to treat. I have to use the most gentle cleanser possible in conjunction with topical treatments; if I used a medicated cleanser my skin would be peeling off my face. Excessive irritation can definitely do more harm than good.

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While there are occasional exceptions, I think for the most part medicated cleansers are completely unnecessary. They're harsh and drying, and the medication is getting washed off too quickly to be effective. Cleansers are to cleanse; treatments are to treat. I have to use the most gentle cleanser possible in conjunction with topical treatments; if I used a medicated cleanser my skin would be peeling off my face. Excessive irritation can definitely do more harm than good.

that sounds like a quote from paula begoun. i followed her advice for years and all it got me was more acne and more tears. not all medicated cleansers are irritating. im so glad i made a decision to use a bar soap(which paula and others say are bad for the skin) and to use a medicated soap(which some seem to believe are not effective because it doesnt stay on long enough)- if not i would not be clear today.

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Not a Paula B. quote, I don't take her very seriously (though I love her BHA!), just what I've found to be true in 15 years of dealing with acne. Throughout high school and my early 20s, I constantly tried to use medicated cleansers, whatever new product at the drugstore that claimed to be for acne, thinking harsh was better. My skin would get irritated and dry, I would get frustrated and stop using whatever I was using, and my acne would never improve. As an adult, doing more research, I realized there was logic behind the idea that cleansers should simply be gentle; let the treatments do the treating. I'm glad for anyone who's found something that works for them, believe me. But I know I personally would never in a million years be able to tolerate the topicals I use if I weren't using the most gentle cleanser possible, and if I were unable to tolerate the topicals, my skin wouldn't be clear.

I'm sure it's different for those with more resistant/tolerant skin, but many of us who are acne prone also have sensitive skin, and many who don't have skin that's sensitive already find that their skin becomes sensitive with treatments they use. If a medicated cleanser works for you and isn't irritating, that's absolutely fantastic. But the majority of the time, I think they do more harm than good.

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Not a Paula B. quote, I don't take her very seriously (though I love her BHA!), just what I've found to be true in 15 years of dealing with acne. Throughout high school and my early 20s, I constantly tried to use medicated cleansers, whatever new product at the drugstore that claimed to be for acne, thinking harsh was better. My skin would get irritated and dry, I would get frustrated and stop using whatever I was using, and my acne would never improve. As an adult, doing more research, I realized there was logic behind the idea that cleansers should simply be gentle; let the treatments do the treating. I'm glad for anyone who's found something that works for them, believe me. But I know I personally would never in a million years be able to tolerate the topicals I use if I weren't using the most gentle cleanser possible, and if I were unable to tolerate the topicals, my skin wouldn't be clear.

I'm sure it's different for those with more resistant/tolerant skin, but many of us who are acne prone also have sensitive skin, and many who don't have skin that's sensitive already find that their skin becomes sensitive with treatments they use. If a medicated cleanser works for you and isn't irritating, that's absolutely fantastic. But the majority of the time, I think they do more harm than good.

im all for gentle cleansers. i agree that some medicated cleaners are harsh and cause dryness and irritate skin especially if you use a harsh treatment right after. however i just wanted to point out that great success can be acheived by using medicated cleansers as well.im proof of that.

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