The Best Facial Cleansers for Women

Laurence Monneret/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Putting your best face forward takes more than a dose of morning makeup. A consistent skin care routine made especially for your skin type is necessary for a woman of any age to have good-looking, healthy skin. A woman's facial cleanser should have ingredients to combat any skin issue she has, including dryness, uneven skin tone, acne, wrinkles or a combination of these. The key to choosing the right facial cleanser for your skin is to understand your skin needs and know which ingredients can benefit your face.

Face Your Flakes

Makeup can look cake-y and age a woman who has dry, scaly skin. The best way to combat dryness is with a hydrating cleanser featuring alpha hydroxy acids that can exfoliate dead skin cells to reveal a smoother complexion underneath. According to California-based, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Bailey, it is crucial you use a face wash that is acidic and has more than 10 percent free glycolic acid. Also, choose a cleanser with ceramides, hyaluronic acid and glycerin, three ingredients that keep skin moisturized, lubricate facial tissue and fill out skin tissue.

Omit Excess Oil

You want your personality to shine, not your skin. The best facial cleansers for people with oily skin and large pores include retinol. This not only helps clear your skin from toxins, but it also works to unclog your pores and make them appear smaller. To control the oil, wash with an oil-free cleanser featuring sulfur and salicylic acid. Sulfur is an antibacterial agent that helps pull out oil and sebum from pores, while salicylic acid neutralizes bacteria in the pores.

Reset Your Wrinkles

It's easier to keep fine lines and wrinkles at bay with a well-hydrated face. Use a moisturizing cleanser that features retinol, an effective anti-aging ingredient found in everything from face wash to spot serums. Another effective ingredient is peptide, which signals elastin production in the skin and causes it to plump up. It's also a good idea to use a cleanser with alpha hydroxy acids. These can brighten dull, dry skin and make the appearance of wrinkles seem less obvious.

Attack Your Acne

Ax out acne with a foaming face wash featuring benzoyl peroxide, an ingredient that kills blemish-causing bacteria and helps pop pimples that already exist. Boston-based, board-certified dermatologist Emmy Grabber suggests starting out with 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide to see how your skin reacts and then moving up to a higher dose if needed. In addition, a benzoyl peroxide cleanser can help acne medications penetrate the skin better. Other acne-busting ingredients to watch for include glycolic acid, a natural exfoliant that works to unclog pores and reduce redness, and kojic acid, which can help fade dark marks and spots caused by acne.