(National-NBC) Aug. 9, 2005 - Thanks to a slew of new cleansing products, the simple act of washing your face isn't so simple anymore. But what's best for your complexion?
Dermatologist Jeanine Downie explains the key, "You want to look for active ingredients and what's really going to help you."
One of the doctor's favorite ingredients is glycolic acid to exfoliate or remove dead skin cells, "The majority of times I use it to help people even out their texture, to improve their tone, to help with acne and to help with fine lines."
Scrubs exfoliate, but don't overdo it. Look for new products with smoother exfoliating beads that won't injure your skin.
Dr. Downie has some tips, "Bobby Brown has an exfoliating cream wash that has jojoba beads in it. Those are flexible pliable beads so it's not going to irritate your face."
Avoid scrubbing tools like facial brushes. Your hands, washcloth, or cleansing pads are a better option.
Sensitive skin requires milder cleansers like Cetaphil that won't strip the skin, "Aveeno has one that's called ultra calming. It's a foaming cleanser that has a new ingredient in it called feverfew that's great for sensitive skin."
Dr. Downie also likes products with soy, "What soy medically does is that it actually evens out the texture and helps a bit with building collagen and helps a little bit with the tone."
There are some other general guidelines. Gel cleansers keep oily skin in check. Creams keep dry skin hydrated. For breakouts, try products with salicylic acid.
And give the product time. You may not see results for at least four weeks. Before using an exfoliating scrub, try the product on the inside of your arm to see how your skin reacts.
And most importantly, Dr. Downie says always apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 after you wash.
Reported by Dawndy Mercer