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Having acne-prone skin can sometimes pose a challenge when you're selecting a good facial cleanser. You obviously want a product that dries excess oil and clears the pores yet doesn’t irritate the skin and cause a breakout. Most dermatologists recommend using gentle cleansers. Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Cleanser can fall in this category, but it does contain at least one questionable ingredient that’s not often the best for acne-prone skin.
Sodium laureth sulfate — a common cleansing agent in many shampoos and facial cleansers — is the only ingredient that poses any problem with using Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Cleanser on acne-prone skin. Although generally considered safe, sodium laureth sulfate can lead to skin irritation, at least according to the Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances. Cleansers that irritate the skin can worsen acne, so this product may not be your best option, especially if you’re currently dealing with a breakout.
On top of the potential skin irritation, sodium laureth sulfate is often listed as mildly to moderately comedogenic. Something that’s highly comedogenic almost always clogs the pores, whereas ingredients that are mildly to moderately comedogenic can contribute to a partial blockage of your pores. For some people, this can lead to a breakout, but you may find that Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Cleanser doesn’t have this effect on your skin. Sometimes, a little trial and error can help you find a cleanser best suited for your skin type.
Some of the best cleansers for acne-prone skin tend to contain salicylic acid or glycolic acid. Both ingredients promote sloughing of dead skin cells and drying of excess oil, which can reduce your chances of a breakout. Even if you have sensitive skin, cleansers with salicylic acid, for example, won’t dry out your skin but still keep the pores clear, making acne less of a problem.
Besides choosing a good, gentle cleanser, you should invest in an acne cream. Over-the-counter acne creams containing benzoyl peroxide can further help dry excess oil and remove dead skin cells known to contribute to breakouts. Acne creams made with salicylic acid, resorcinol or sulfur can also help. Apply a thin layer of acne cream along those areas of the skin that are most problematic.