A medicated cleanser is a facial wash that contains an active ingredient with an effect that goes beyond basic cleansing. Beauty aficionados generally don’t want to waste more expensive active ingredients in a wash because those ingredients quickly go down the drain. However, there are a few cases where a cleanser is more beneficial than a leave-on product:
- You have sensitive skin and simply can’t tolerate active ingredients for extended periods of time
- You don’t want lasting side effects (if I use any leave-on acidic product, my skin is Flake City for the next three days)
- You’re extremely busy and won’t get around to using additional products
- Your skin is toughened and needs an extra punch in your regimen
Beauty Without Cruelty AHA Complex 3% Facial Cleanser
AHAs remove dead cells from the uppermost layer of skin and that exfoliation gives you that new baby skin glow. BWC AHA Complex Cleanser uses a mix of glycolic, lactic, and malic acid so that it offers mild exfoliation at varying levels (glycolic exfoliates at the deepest level, then lactic, then malic). The texture of this product isn’t the best—it’s extremely runny and you’ll waste the whole bottle if you aren’t careful. You also need to shake it before each use to prevent the natural ingredients from settling. Use this after removing makeup for a quick exfoliative wash.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Medicated Gel Acne Cleanser
If you have blackheads and clogged pores, salicylic is the only acid with a small enough molecule size to actually get into the pore and dissolve the clog. But salicylic acid cleansers are a dime a dozen and most negate salicylic acid with an inappropriate pH balance. The other problem is that salicylic acid is not particularly lipophilic (oil-loving), so sometimes it gets into the pore but can’t dissolve a really hardened oil clog. Enter La Roche Posay Effaclar Gel Cleanser which contains a mix of salicylic acid and lipohydroxy acid. Lipohydroxy acid more lipophilic so it can help salicylic acid get into the pore and then dissolve it completely.
Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser
Targeted toward rosacea suffers, Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Cleanser has lichochalcone A which has anti-inflammatory effects on prostaglandins and leukotrienes implicated in red rosacea skin. Lichochalcone A also has mild antibacterial and anti-parasitic effects. This cleanser does use sulfates, so it cleanses well enough to remove makeup in one go.