Here Are The Ingredients You Should Be Looking For When Buying A Cleanser

Time to come clean.


Chandré Davids |

Cleansing is arguably one of the most important steps of your skincare routine. Given that our skin is exposed to various conditions, such as make-up, the weather, and air-conditioned offices, how you cleanse your skin is vital. But with so many (read, millions) of cleansers on the market, what should you be looking for when buying a cleanser?

Mariette and Carla at SkinPhD say that when buying a cleanser, it’s vital to get one that “highly effective yet gentle and non-drying”. So, next time when looking for a cleanser, be on the lookout for these three key ingredients that will cleanse your skin without stripping it from moisture.

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Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid (SA), sometimes known as beta hydroxy acid (BHA) is a naturally occurring hormone found in plants, which is why you might also see it listed as ‘willow bark’ as it can be synthesized from willow trees. The reason it’s so great for the skin is because of its ability to penetrate into the pores to unclog them. This quality is what makes it ideal for treating acne — especially blackheads and whiteheads — as it dissolves skin debris and acts as an anti-inflammatory to help reduce red pimples while soothing the skin.

One study found that using a SA cream improved patients skin by 95% within 30 days. Similarly, three other studies have found that SA cleansers “significantly” reduce acne lesions.  Just be sure to not to use it too often, as it can cause dryness and irritation when used in excess.

Find salicylic acid in:

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BHA Blackhead Power Liquid

R 315

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WBEAUTY Enzymatic Cleansing Powder

R 130

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Vichy Normaderm Purifying Pore-Tightening Lotion

R 195

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Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is naturally occurring glycosaminoglycans (long unbranched carbohydrates) found throughout the body’s connective tissue. Large amounts of HA are found in your skin, connective tissue and eyes. Its main function is to retain water which keeps tissues moist and lubricated, as well as playing a major role in healing wounds.

The reason that HA is so loved in the world of skincare is because it can hold 1000 times its weight in moisture, meaning it holds moisture on the surface of the skin, ensuring that the skin stays hydrated, plump and smooth. And given that the amount of HA decreases as we get older, it’s a great staple to add to your skincare routine.

Find Hyaluronic acid in:

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COSRX One Step Moisture Up Pad

R 310

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Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Cleanser

R 115

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Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Cleansing Foam

R 250

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Ceramides

Ceramides are lipids (fat molecules) which help form part of your skin barrier. They are responsible for helping your skin retain moisture and keep your skin soft. And also play an important role in helping protect your skin against environmental pressures like pollution and dry air.

Recent research has shown that having a severe lack of ceramides can be linked to skin conditions such as eczema. Similarly, when you have low levels of ceramides, the skin is prone to dryness and irritation. And just like hyaluronic acid, ceramides decreases as we age, so stock up on it!

Find Ceramides in:

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Vichy Proeven Brightening Cleanser

R 230

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Isntree Sensitive Balancing Cleansing Foam

R 220

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Elizabeth Arden Purifying Cream Cleanser

R 425

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