Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

How to Use Sodium Laureth Sulfate as a Cleanser for Acne

How to Use Sodium Laureth Sulfate as a Cleanser for Acne How to Use Sodium Laureth Sulfate as a Cleanser for Acne

Overview

Sodium laureth sulfate is a synthetic cleanser found in over-the-counter acne washes and products that claim to help you manage an oily complexion. While some studies show that the ingredient can irritate the skin, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review reported that the cleanser is safe in the concentrations used to formulate these skin cleansers and other cosmetics. New York-based skin care experts Ellen Marmur and Daniel B. Yarosh say you can incorporate products with sodium laureth sulfate into your acne skin care regimen. However, they both caution against long-term use of products with the ingredient because it can have a drying effect on your skin.

Step 1

Wash your face two times a day with a cleanser that includes sodium laureth sulfate and salicylic acid. "The best acne washes contain a strong detergent like sodium laureth sulfate combined with 2 percent salicylic acid," Yarosh says in his book "The New Science of Perfect Skin." The salicylic acid will dissolve oils and flakes of skin that can irritate your pores, he says. Sodium laureth sulfate is a milder alternative to sodium lauryl sulfate, another synthetic cleanser formulated in acne cleansers, Marmur says in "Simple Skin Beauty."

Step 2

Apply a product that contains no more than 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide unclogs pores and prevents the growth the bacteria that causes acne, Yarosh says. Products with this ingredient vary from skin washes, spot treatments and gels that you apply with your fingers or a skin care product applicator. Because long-term use of the antibacterial can irritate the skin, he recommends that you start using the antibacterial every other night, then once or twice a day.

Step 3

Make an appointment with a dermatologist who specializes in acne treatment if after several months of over-the-counter cleansers and treatments you still have acne, Yarosh says. For some people benzoyl peroxide may not seem to have an effect and you may need to see a dermatologist to discuss treatments with exfoliants or prescription drugs, he says.

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