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A Compilation and Discussion About Cleansers

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Hi guys,

So I've been looking around and I couldn't find a really good unified list of great cleansers. And I thought that it's because I don't really know what people's standards are when they recommend a product. So I thought I would make my own *first* post. If any of you can add to the discussion that would be great. I think acne.org is a really great place for anyone and everyone- so I want to contribute. Here I go!

My standards:

1. So what makes a great cleanser: For me, price and efficiency. Some people say 'you get what you pay for' and I don't entirely believe that. In today's economy people currently have limited funds. On top of that, there are plenty of brands to choose from. So it's quite smart for consumers to pair pricing and efficiency since plenty of brands CAN actually achieve both. Very rarely I dole out cash for Shiseido/Lancome/Estee Lauder cleanser brands when I see brands like Equate/Cetaphil/Neutrogena that works just as well.

2: What makes a trustworthy review: Stop me if I'm wrong, but I don't take reviews from people who've been on their product for only a day. I am very suspicious of raving (and non-raving) reviews from people like these because they haven't given their skin time to really show what the product's really like. Trying on a cleanser is just like dating isn't it? You can't try it for one day (or three) and expect to know all about it.

3. Types: When people recommend products, they should first outline what their skin type is like. Severe acne or moderate? Dry or oily? Sensitive or not? The reason why I think this is a good idea is because I don't want people with almost no acne to waste time from people with cystic acne. And vice versa, what if a particular cleanser is designed to be really aggressive? Etc.

4. Ingredients. Consumers should peruse quickly if not carefully, their products for ingredients that Dan Kern has flagged. I've seen really good reviews for some cleansers but their ingredients list a couple of Dan's flagged items (at the beginning of the list too)- which causes me to question if a person hasn't tried it long enough, or if it's placebo effect or what. I'd like to know that people are informed about what their recommending and they know the risks and still want to recommend their product.

Last but not least,

5. Description of product: What does the label say? What is it claiming to do? what does its claims mean? Did it do what it claimed? (i.e. If it says gentle and leaves skin soft and moist, then I don't expect my face to tighten all of a sudden after washing.)

Anyways. To summarize, if you can please cover the points listed above (Price and efficiency, length of use, type of skin, and ingredients and product description) when recommending a product, that would be so great.

I actually wanted to do one but my dog wants me to walk her, so I'll do it later if people are willing to contribute or are interested (and you don;t have to wait for me since you can start recommending first yourself).

Let the Compiling begin!!!!!!

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For me, the best cleanser is water! Dirt-cheap and doesn't cause any irritation for me. No, what I blow my (limited) money on is on moisturizer. I am *not* taking a chance with drugstore moisturizers when I'm having terrific results with hypoallergenic Clinique.

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For me, the best face wash has always been Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash. I have used this product for years and years and found it to be my favorite above all others.

1. Price: $6.00 and can be found at any drugstore. Cheap and easy!

2. Like I said above I have used this cleanser for many many years and I have never had a problem with it. It came recommended by my dermatologist and she always tells me to keep using it when I go in for check ups.

3. This is a gentle cleanser so my guess is that it works best for people with mild-moderate acne. You can also use it if you have sensitive skin! My acne has gone from moderate to mild to almost non existent.

4. List of Ingredients: Water, PEG 80 Sorbitan Laurate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG 150 Distearate, Sodium Lauroampho PG Acetate Phosphate, Fragrance, Quaternium 15, Tetrasodium EDTA

I have no idea if any of these are "flagged." Keep in mind that ,yes, the ingredients on Dan's list have the potential to cause breakouts, however that doesn't mean every ingredient will effect everybody in a negative way. I do know that this cleanser is highly recommended on the board and possibly by Dan himself? (If I am remembering correctly.)

5. What it says on the bottle: Dermatologist recommended for effective yet gentle cleansing. Cleanses without drying or irritating. This foaming cleanser is 100% soap free so it removes dirt, oil and makeup without stripping or drying like soap can. And it won't sting your eyes so it's ideal for removing eye makeup. It won't clog your pores. Unlike some cleansers Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash is 100% oil-free and non-comedogenic, so it won't clog pores or leave residue. Even those with sensitive skin can use it twice a day for a healthy looking, healthy feeling complexion.

All in all I have found it to be the perfect cleanser!

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Great review esoteric! Actually, I JUST started on that cleanser (one week use by sunday thus far; so i will refrain from posting my opinions). I bought it while buying my old cleanser Neutrogena Gentle Foaming Wash.

Which brings me to my review for Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Wash.

1. I found this at Walmart for $5.00 (rounded after tax) and Smiths (3.00 since it was on sale). In my opinion and experience this product's worked quite well for me and the price is almost unbeatable.

2. I've used this since November and hadn't stopped until two weeks ago and has been going on and off about a year before that.

3. My skin type is a little strange, my T zone is particularly dry often times but my cheeks are normal, and so is my chin, I'm also fairly sensitive. I have broken out on a lot of raved cosmetics (MAC and Estee especially). However, I my breakouts are concentrated primarily on my cheeks (it started pitting so i STOPPED all cosmetic uses). My acne is light on forehead and chin and moderate on both my cheeks- especially on my right cheek.

4. Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Lauryl Glucoside, Decyl Glucoside, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycereth-7, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Cocoyl Sarcosinate, Glycol Stearate, Cocamide MEA, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Tetrasodium EDTA, DMDM Hydantoin, Fragrance

I didn't really see any of Dan's flagged ingredients, except for Fragrance, but it was listed last so I thought to forgo it especially since the results have always been the same when I used this product.

5. I primarily found this product attractive because it's supposed to remove makeup AND be a cleanser at once. My experience overall was pleasant but I did notice a few things. For instance, this cleanser didn't remove mascara and eyeliner fully. So I WOULD get raccoon eyes (even though their site said you wouldn't). After I cleansed I would just used some lotion or oil to remove the remaining eye makeup. Also, when I washed with this my face would feel clean, but when I got on the Regimen (used this w/ regimen for 1 1/2 mo) after I washed my face would dry up REALLY bad and shine- like leather.

Wow I just made one of my faves sound terrifying. I say, this is a good deal still since its only problems arose when using inconjunction with BP. If you rub it (gently) on foundation it takes it off. It smells nice and it IS refreshing. It's creamy, and you just add water and can get a really good foam going. Plus my face was soft (before BP) and actually felt (comfortably) clean. Packaging is well done and lasts for quite some time 3-7 weeks (more if using 1 pump only).

My last thoughts? Since skin type varies, use it if you're not on the regimen. Or when your skin gets used to BP (I had less tightness/dryness problems after 4-5 weeks w/ bp).

Hope that helps!

Edited by anon91

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My favourite cleanser of all time has been Cetaphil Daily Cleanser. I've used SO many cleansers:

Clean & Clear

St. Ives





The Body Shop

Just to name a few. And every single time, I come crawling back to Cetaphil.


It varies from 7 to 9 dollars for a 16 Fl Oz pump bottle. This stuff lasts forever. One pump bottle can last me a good 5-6 months, because you only need one or two pumps.


I've used Cetaphil Daily Cleanser (and the gentle formula) for about 3 years. Even when I act stupid and decide to stray from it to try something else, I always come right back. My skin has never felt tight or dry when using this product, ever.

It seems that every time I try a different Cleanser, it almost always breaks me out (also, I can't use anything with Salicylic Acidin it, breaks me out in whiteheads every time I use a product with the ingredient). But as soon as I come back to Cetaphil, it just cleans the mess right back up C:


My skin is normal, but my skin TYPE varies from normal to slightly sensitive. I don't get specifically dry anywhere, kinda oily in the T-zone, like any other teenager. I have very light to moderate (because I do get an occasional cyst during my ToM, so I figured that bumps it up to moderate? They're almost all hormone related, though) acne. Cetaphil is so gentle, and it never irritates my face, even when using BP or any other harsh product.

I don't wear makeup aside from mascara and occasional eyeliner, so I can't account for it's efficiency in removing face makeup.


Daily Cleanser Formula

Water, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Acrylates/Steareth-20 Methacrylate Copolymer, Glycerin, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Butylene Glycol, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Phenoxyethanol, Masking Fragrance, Panthenol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben.

Gentle Cleanser Formula

Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben.


Daily Cleanser Desc.

Cetaphil® Daily Facial Cleanser for normal to oily skin is effective for normal, combination or oily skin. Its non-irritating formula is designed to remove surface oils, dirt and makeup without leaving skin feeling tight or overly dry. This foaming skin cleanser leaves skin with a fresh feeling, doesn't leave behind irritating residue and is non-comedogenic

Gentle Cleanser Desc.

Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser is great for daily makeup removal. Originally formulated for dermatologists, this cleanser is gentle on your skin and sensitive to your skin's needs. Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser will not strip the skin of natural protective oils or emollients, or disturb the skin's natural pH balance. Recommended for years by dermatologists, it is fragrance-free and non-comedogenic. Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser is gentle enough for children, teens and adults.

Edited by ForQuestions

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