Yolanda Holmes: Hello, I am Yolanda Holmes, a Board Certified Dermatologist in downtown Washington, DC. We are going to talk about how to properly care for your skin. Cleansing is important because it removes dirt, debris, secretions and microorganisms from the skin. The skin should be cleansed twice daily, morning and night. There are several types of cleansers. The most common one is bar soap, but there are also liquid cleansers and lipid free or creamy cleansers. Modern soaps are synthetic detergents which are less harsh to the skin than former soaps which were a result of a reaction between fat and alkali. Modern soaps can be moisturizing and are referred to as beauty bars of cosmetic soaps and they are less drying in the irritating to the skin. There are also soaps marketed towards certain skin conditions. For example, medicated soaps that are used to treat acne. These soaps contain benzoyl peroxide and sulfur among other ingredients. Liquid cleansers are desirable because they are easy to use. They are applied to the skin, washed away very quickly with less residue than bar soaps. They are also in body washes that can be used to wash the body.
Creamy cleansers or lipid free cleansers can be washed away with water or wiped away using a towel or cotton ball. These soaps are great for patients with sensitive skin, they are less irritating, less drying and less have a tendency to produce skin reactions. The skin should be cleansed both morning and at night. The proper techniques for cleansing the skin are to dampen the skin with warm water. A small amount of cleanser, virtually a pea size should be applied to the palm of your hands and the cleanser massaged into your skin. The cleanser should be left in place for approximately 30 seconds and then your skin should be rinsed thoroughly using tepid or lukewarm water. The skin can be dried using a very soft towel and wiped or padded very gently. Next, we will talk about how to properly moisturize your skin.