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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Cleanser for Your Skin

It might be a surprise to hear that the cleanser you are using may be damaging the health of your skin. Using the incorrect cleanser can actually lead to to following skin issues:

  • Increased sensitivity
  • Redness
  • Dry patches of skin
  • Peeling
  • Irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Dehydrated skin
  • Moisture loss
  • More prominent fine lines
  • Persistent eczema
  • Premature signs of ageing 
  • Increased skin texture 

    So what's do you need to be mindful of when choosing the right cleanser for your skin?

    Avoid using a facial cleanser with the incorrect pH level.

    The pH level of your cleanser is one of those things that are easily overlooked in skincare and there's a reason why it is so important to get this right. I briefly covered pH in my previous blog post where I covered 3 Habits That Damage The Skin which is definitely worth a read.

    Your skin is slighlty acidic and the pH of your cleanser can have a direct effect on your skin pH level. If the pH level of your skin gets too high, this will damage your skin barrier and can lead to the skin issues that I listed above so it's super important to make sure that the products we are using are not affecting the pH level of your skin.

    Using a high pH cleanser will strip your skins acid mantle and impair your skin barrier function. So it's crucial to stick to a cleanser with a pH level between 4.5 & 6.5. A pH of 7 is fine as well.

    But where do you even start with knowing the pH of your cleanser? I've got that sorted for you.

    With some rummaging around online, I came across this incredibly comprehensive list of cleansers (many korean skincare brands in there too) with their pH level specified. I'd seriously recommend giving this link a visit to check that you are definitely using a cleanser with the right pH for your skin.


    I've also copied in this fantastic diagram on this website with credit noted on the image.

    This list covers water based cleansers and emulsifying cleansers but what about balm cleansers? I'm talking about cleansing balms that are entirely oil based.

    The good news is that if you use an "anhydrous" oil based balm cleanser (anhydrous means no water in the formula) it will have no effect on the pH on your skin making an anhydrous balm cleanser the perfect and most suitable choice if you regularly have issues with skin feeling dry and tight after cleansing.

    A lot of you use and love The Chocolate Orange Cleansing Balm which is anhydrous and I'll go into more detail on how this is an absolute game changer for sensitive, acne prone skin with a damaged skin barrier.

    As The Chocolate Orange Cleansing Balm is anhydrous, it does not effect the naturally acidic pH of your skin and it also prevents moisture loss from your skin. I absolutely recommend using it as the first step of your PM routine to remove SPF, dirt, grime, makeup and pollutants that have built up.

    The cleansing balm will leave your moisture barrier intact which is crucial to prevent dry, dehyrated skin. I then follow this up with a low pH water based cleanser as I always, always double cleanse. The result? Your skin pH is unaffected, your skin feels smooth and supple and moisture is not lost from your skin.

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