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By Cynthia Bailey MD.

Facial skin care begins by using the best face cleansing creams, gels, scrubs and washes for your skin type.

Cleansers and soaps are often irritating. Most people don't realize that in their zeal to cleanse, they often do more harm than good to their facial skin! Using a soap or cleanser that is too strong for your skin will remove skin lipids and damage skin protein that is important for a healthy skin barrier. Once damaged, the skin barrier gets weaker and weaker with each exposure to harsh cleansers.

The best facial skin cleansing products will get your skin clean without irritation.

The secret is to match the right facial skin cleanser with your skin type and your facial skin treatment program. This means, for example, that if you have rosacea, you won't tolerate a strong acne skin cleanser designed for teens with oily skin.

How do you pick the right facial skin cleanser for your skin type?

You want to use a cleanser that removes built-up oil, dirt, debris, product and makeup. You can also add a little exfoliation to slough off dead cells. What you don't want is to be left with a really 'squeaky clean' dry feel after toweling dry that has you craving a quick application of moisturizer. That feeling indicates that your cleanser was just a little too harsh for your complexion.

As a dermatologist I know that there is no single cleanser that fits everyone. That's why I have a range of cleansers. Clean skin is the important first step in your Dr. Bailey Complete Skin Care Routine, it prepares your skin to absorb the next products that Correct and Hydrate your skin.  

Some of these dermatologist-recommended facial skin care products go beyond the usual face cleansers, cleansing creams and soaps to include skin cleansers, gel wash, exfoliating scrubs, and medicated soaps to treat acne, rosacea, and other common skin problems.

Extremely Gentle Foaming Facial Cleanser  will clean skin without irritating the most sensitive skin or over drying extremely dry skin. It's what I personally use for my sensitive and rosacea prone 60ish year old skin.

Calming Zinc ™ is the best rosacea skin cleanser, and fights facial seborrhea too. I also depend on it for acne-prone complexions suffering from Pityrosporum Folliculitis type of facial acne.

Dr. Bailey Skin Care's Foaming Acne Treatment Cleansers (Foaming Cleanser, and Foaming Cleanser, Extra Strength) are perfect for oily and acne-prone skin, or any tolerant complexion that is prone to clogged pores. They are medicated with salicylic acid and fortified to unclog pores with glycolic acid  They come in two strengths. 

Dr. Bailey Foaming Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Cleanser is the best cleanser for acne skin care if you are allergic to salicylic acid. It is medicated with a full 10% level of benzoyl peroxide to be tough on P. acnes, the acne-causing germ. Benzoyl peroxide also helps to get rid of blackheads. 

Daily Foaming Facial Cleanser is a great cleanser for normal complexions. It foams nicely and my husband loves to use it for facial shaving. 

Naturally Best Bar Soap is naturally made from organic ingredients and rich in skin-hydrating glycerin. It is hypoallergenic and ideal for sensitive complexions.

VaniCream Cleansing Bar is a modern, hypoallergenic soapless cleanser in a bar, and is an ideal bar soap for sensitive skin.

Do you want to exfoliate and brighten your skin while cleansing?

Choose a cleanser with exfoliating properties, and/or add an Exfoliation Facial Sponge  to use with your favorite facial cleanser. It's a simple way to gently exfoliate your skin.  

Exfoliating facial cleansers include:

Dr. Bailey's Foaming Acne Treatment Cleansers, described above

Bamboo and Clay Thermal Exfoliating Scrub removes dead skin cells with rolled bamboo granules that won't scratch the skin or harm the ecosystem. The clay helps pull oil and debris out of pores.

Glycolic Acid Face and Body Wash which has just the right amount of Glycolic Acid to do the job.

Triple Action Exfoliating Cleanser uses glycolic acid, salicylic acid and beads in a gentle and creamy cleanser to exfoliate and brighten skin.

What is the best water temperature to wash your face?

Warm water is the best water temperature for facial cleansing. Hot water will remove too many of your skin's important lipids much the same way it gets grease and grime off the kitchen pots and pans better than cold water. Cold water won't remove oil as well as warm water. The sweet spot is warm water for skin cleansing!

Do you need to use a toner after washing your skin?

Really clean skin is the best base for applying all your other skin care treatment products. Not only will your skin look great, but your products will penetrate better. Get really clean skin by using my Naturally Hydrating Pore Refining Toner after your skin cleanser to remove the last vestiges of oil and dirt before you apply your next skin care step. If you have acne, my Acne Treatment Pads are an excellent skin toner. They also deliver medicated salicylic acid, and are fortified with glycolic acid to deeply unclog pores while they remove oil and dirt left behind after washing.