A cleanser is a product used to cleanse something, such as a detergent or industrial cleaning agent.

A popular type of cleanser is a facial care product that is used to remove make-up, dead skin cells, oil, dirt, and other types of pollutants from the skin of the face. This helps to unclog pores and prevent skin conditions such as acne.

Many people use a cleanser once or more times a day as part of their skin care regimen together with a toner and moisturizer.

Using a cleanser to remove dirt is considered to be a better alternative to bar soap or another form of skin cleanser not specifically formulated for the face for the following reasons:

  • Bar soap has a high pH (in the area of 9 to 10), and skin's natural pH is 5.5[citation needed]. This means that soap can change the balance present in the skin to favor the overgrowth of some types of bacteria, increasing acne.
  • Bar cleansers in general, soap or not, have thickeners that allow them to assume a bar shape can clog pores, leading to acne[citation needed].
  • Using bar soap on the face can remove natural oils from the skin that form a barrier against water loss. This causes the sebaceous glands to subsequently overproduce oil, a condition known as reactive seborrhoea, which will lead to clogged pores[citation needed]. In order to prevent drying out the skin, many cleansers incorporate moisturizers.

Types of facial cleansers

Different types of cleansers have been developed for people with different skin types. Active cleansers are more suitable for oily skins to prevent breakouts. But they may overdry and irritate dry skin, thus making the skin appear and feel worse. Very dry skin may require a creamy lotion-type cleanser. These are normally too gentle to be effective on oily or even normal skin, but dry skin requires much less cleansing power. It may be a good idea to select a cleanser that is alcohol-free for use on dry, sensitive, or dehydrated skin.

Some cleansers may incorporate fragrance or essential oils. However, for some people, these cleansers may irritate the skin and often provoke allergic responses. People with such sensitivity should find cleansers that are pH-balanced, contain fewer irritants, suit many variating skin types, and do not make the skin feel dehydrated directly after cleansing. Tight, uncomfortable skin is often dehydrated and may appear shiny after cleansing, even when no sebum is present. This is due to the taughtening and 'stripping' effect some cleaners can have on the skin. One should discontinue use of a cleanser that upsets the balance of the skin; cleansers should work with the skin not against it. Finding the right cleanser can involve some trial-and-error.

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cleanser — Cleans er (kl[e^]nz [ e]r), n. [AS. cl[=ae]nsere.] One who, or that which, cleanses; especially, a detergent or other preparation used for cleaning. Arbuthnot. Syn: cleansing agent, cleaner. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cleanser — O.E. clænsere priest, agent noun from clænsian (see CLEANSE (Cf. cleanse)). Meaning thing that cleanses is from late 14c …   Etymology dictionary

  • cleanser — [n] strong disinfectant, solvent abrasive, abstergent, antiseptic, cathartic, deodorant, detergent, fumigant, lather, polish, purgative, purifier, scourer, soap, soap powder, suds; concept 492 …   New thesaurus

  • cleanser — [klen′zər] n. any preparation for cleansing, esp. a powder as for scouring pots and enamel surfaces …   English World dictionary

  • cleanser — [[t]kle̱nzə(r)[/t]] cleansers 1) N MASS A cleanser is a liquid or cream that you use for cleaning your skin. 2) N MASS A cleanser is a liquid or powder that you use in cleaning kitchens and bathrooms. [mainly AM] …   English dictionary

  • cleanser — UK [ˈklenzə(r)] / US [ˈklenzər] noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms cleanser : singular cleanser plural cleansers 1) a special liquid or cream used for cleaning the skin on your face 2) a chemical liquid or powder used for cleaning kitchens,… …   English dictionary

  • cleanser — noun Cleanser is used after these nouns: ↑skin …   Collocations dictionary

  • cleanser — I (Roget s IV) n. Syn. cleansing agent, cleaning agent, soap, detergent, abrasive, lather, solvent, purgative, deodorant, fumigant, soap flakes, polish, disinfectant, antiseptic, cathartic, purifier, scouring powder, spray cleaner, cleaner, soap… …   English dictionary for students

  • cleanser — cleans|er [ˈklenzə US ər] n [U and C] 1.) a substance used for removing dirt or ↑make up from your face 2.) a substance containing chemicals that is used for cleaning surfaces inside a house, office etc ▪ cream cleanser for the bathroom …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cleanser — noun (C, U) 1 a liquid used for removing dirt or make up (1) from your face 2 a chemical liquid or powder used for cleaning surfaces inside a house, office etc: cream cleanser for the bathroom …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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