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Check your Skin Care IQ: 5 Questions

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
5 questions about skin care. How savvy are you?

Do you think facial products that are expensive are better? Not according to dermatologists. When it comes to taking care of your skin, using a $6 facial cleanser or moisturizer is just as good as a costly one. But you have to use it correctly.

What is the best way to clean your face and when should you do it? Do you know what happens when you wash your face with soap?

1. Do expensive skin product have different ingredients?

If you look at the ingredients on skin product labels, they are all basically the same. According to dermatologists, moisturizer found in the drug store is just as good as what you will find at the top department store cosmetic counter.

Jeffrey Benabio, MD, dermatologist and Physician Director of Healthcare Transformation at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego says if you currently use an expensive face cleanser and love it, there is no need to stop.

But clean healthy skin can also be affordable. His recommendations under $15 include:

  • A $6 jar of Neutrogena foaming face cleanser for normal skin
  • If you skin is more on the oily side, try Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash that contains salicylic acid that is gentle but won’t dry the skin too much. Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Scrub is also a good choice and contains beta hydroxyl acid for skin softening.
  • For dry skin, Dr. Benabio recommends Cera Ve Hydrating Cleanser that costs about $15.
  • If your skin is sensitive, or a combination of dry, oily and normal, Cetafil Daily Skin Cleanser or Oil of Olay Foaming Face Wash for Sensitive Skin should keep your face glowing and healthy. Both are under $10.

2. Should you wash your face with hot water?

Using hot water on your face strips the skin of natural oils. Instead, use lukewarm water. When you dry your face, pat it instead of rubbing.

3. When is the best time to cleanse your face?

Warm water in the morning is usually enough. Use your gentle facial cleanser at nighttime before you go to bed. Night time face cleansing is critical for healthy skin. Once a day face cleansing is adequate, unless of course you've been sweating or playing in the dirt.

4. Is soap good?

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Never use bar soaps on your face. They are too harsh. You face does not have to 'squeak' to be clean.

Additionally, triclosan is in a number of bar soaps, added as an antibacterial agent. There is no evidence that the chemical has any benefits, however Avoiding soaps with triclosan means you will be doing your face and body a favor as well as the environment.

Researchers from the University of Minnesota published findings in January, 2013 that the ingredient is spilling from our homes into the lakes.

The finding that was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology raised concerns about increasing number of chemicals in the environment that have yet to be studied.

Triclosan is just now being reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Animal studies have shown it can disrupt hormone regulation in animals. No one knows yet what it might do to humans. It is also linked to muscle and heart damage.

Triclosan is also thought to raise allergy risk.

5. Does food and drink make a difference?

You bet it does! What we eat is important for a healthy, glowing face.

Ariel Ostad, M.D., a board certified Dermatologist and Cosmetic Dermatologic Surgeon, and Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology tells us avoiding junk food and eating vitamin A, omega-3 and antioxidant containing foods plumps the skin.

Skin nourishing food and drink include:

  • Green Tea and plenty of water
  • Berries
  • Flax Seed oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil a day
  • Low fat yogurts
  • Whole grains

The bottom line is you can be kind to your skin without being unkind to your budget. You can also eat your way to healthier skin and a beautiful complexion. Feel free to leave a comment about how your scored.

Triclosan: What Consumers Should Know
The Derm Blog
Bertelsen RJ, Longnecker MP, Løvik M, Calafat AM, Carlsen K-H, London SJ, Lødrup Carlsen KC. Triclosan exposure and allergic sensitization in Norwegian children. Allergy 2012; DOI: 10.1111/all.12058.
Environ. Sci. Technol.,
January 2, 2013
DOI: 10.1021/es3041797