Photo: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
Sometimes blemished skin gets angry. Acne scars and red patches from too-strong products can cause all kinds of trouble -- and that's on top of the zits. Luckily, gentle facial cleansers with a mix of rough-and-tumble acne fighters and soothing botanicals will keep your skin clean and calm.
Keep Oil Out
To effectively fight acne, you need an oil-free, noncomedogenic face wash. Whether your skin is dry or oily, it's partly your skin's natural oils that cause breakouts -- so keep oils out of your cleansers. Noncomedogenic is a fancy word that means the cleanser won't clog pores. Keeping your face wash oil-free and noncomedogenic ensures your pores have plenty of room to breathe.
When it comes to zapping zits, you want to do two things: get rid of bacteria and keep it out of your pores. Benzoyl peroxide is an anti-bacterial ingredient. Because it tends to dry out the skin, it's smart to include it in your rinse-off cleanser rather than layering it on your face in a lotion. The ingredient you'll usually find as the active agent in cleansers is salicylic acid, which cleans our your pores, keeping them clear of bacteria, oil and the grime build-up that lead to breakouts. If you prefer a natural oil-buster, the Real Simple website recommends sulfur, known for its gentle way of clearing blocked pores.
Soothe Angry Skin
Sensitive skin is prone to irritation, but breakouts can lead to acne scars and redness, too. Tone down your skin's temper tantrums with soothing ingredients, such as soy, rose, aloe, lavender and chamomile. You can also gently exfoliate your skin with blueberry seeds, according to New York dermatologist Dennis Gross, Ph.D., in "Marie Claire."
Some ingredients inflame skin, causing redness and a case of the itchies. Make sure your cleanser is free of alcohol, preservatives and fragrances. Don't let odorless cleansers fool you, as they sometimes include chemicals that eliminate odors; only fragrance-free washes definitely steer clear of irritating perfumes. Getting rid of these harsh ingredients will keep your skin care routine laid back and gentle -- and that means less redness as you banish breakouts for good.