Your clients come to you to look and feel fabulous. Most beauty professionals understand the importance of incorporating a facial cleanser into their beauty regimen, but did you know that choosing the correct cleanser for your client based on their skin type is equally important? And let’s face it, there are a lot of cleansers out there. When a client comes to you to achieve that youthful, dewy glow everyone is after, the last thing you want is for them to leave with irritated, red or blotchy patches on their face.

Choosing the appropriate cleanser is a crucial first step for estheticians as the right product assists in eliminating dirt, makeup and other impurities while leaving skin feeling fresh, clean and ready for treatment. Generally, the ingredients in a cleanser don’t spend a lot of time on someone’s skin, so that being said, the most important part of a cleanser is to balance the pH and not strip the skin’s natural moisture.

As a skin care professional, the first step to selecting the appropriate cleanser for your client is to identify their skin type. For example, if a client has dry or sensitive skin, using the wrong cleanser could exacerbate the already tenuous condition. Here are some tips on selecting the right cleanser based on your client’s skin care needs:

  1. Dry skin. Those with naturally dry or mature skin may experience uncomfortable scaling, itching, and cracking. Using harsh cleansers on this type of skin is problematic because it can strip the face of its natural oils. Instead, use warm water as opposed to hot along with a mild, moisturizing cleanser, such as our Gentle Cream Cleanser followed by our Timeless Moisture, which is full of rich emollients.
  2. Oily skin. If your client needs to blot up excess oil or wash their face multiple times throughout the day, there’s a strong chance they have oily skin. Instead of using harsh cleansers which can irritate the skin, encourage your client to use a gentle, pH balanced cleanser twice a day to reduce oil and soap buildup, such as our Grapefruit and Glycolic Cleanser. Finish up with our Purity Toner, and be sure to use an oil-free moisturizer like our Hyaluronic Acid Serum.
  3. Combination skin. This skin type can be a little tricky. Combination skin is often dry in some areas while oily in others, such as the nose, forehead and chin. This poses a challenge because you don’t want to over-hydrate or strip the skin of its natural oils. Try using our Purity Plus Cleaner, which works for all skin types. Wait 15 to 20 minutes and you’ll start to notice oiliness in certain areas of your client’s face while others remain dry. Go over the t-zone with a cleansing brush or toner. Finally, apply a moisturizer like our Repair Gel, and encourage your client to use blotting sheets on problem areas throughout the day.
  4. Acne-prone skin. Use products containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide for clients with acne-prone skin. Be sure to use a gentle cleanser like our Repair Bar for normal skin or our Clear Skin Cleanser for oily skin, as irritating breakouts can cause scarring. Follow up with a noncomedogenic moisturizer like our HA Serum.
  5. Post-procedure skin. Treatment for skin following lasers, surgery or chemical peels is a specific case.  In this setting, new skin is being generated and you need to be extremely gentle.  We recommend using a non-soap glycerin based bar that is very gentle for clients with post-procedure skin.

Theory versus practice: While the esthetician’s job is to suggest products specifically suited for each client, sometimes it’s important to be a bit flexible and to consider information other than textbook scenarios.  In other words, when should you deviate from recommending “the perfect product?”

For example, while we almost always recommend cream cleansers for dry or mature skin, some clients just don’t like a cream cleanser, and don’t think their skin feels clean enough after use.  Fair enough. So, in addition to knowing what is theoretically best for your client, we recommend asking them practical questions about their cleanser preference.  If they just don’t like cream cleansers, then even if they buy one, they may not use it.  In this case, you can suggest a very mild gel cleanser like our Purity Plus Cleanser and tweak the moisture routine a bit to be sure they are staying in balance.

What’s most important is that the client uses the product. Be sure you know their tendencies, and work with them to help them feel good about their own personal preferences while achieving the aesthetic goals you are working toward.

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