Avoid heavy-duty cleansers
Unlike your pots and pans, “your skin needn’t be scrubbed or squeaky to be clean,” says Jeannette Graf, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center. So don’t overdo it. Mild, nondetergent cleansers—milks, gels, foams, or cloths—are your best bet. Scan the ingredient labels of products to see if they contain gentle, plant-derived surfactants (the prefix coco- equals coconut, for example; gluco- equals fruit sugars). “The natural source is often hinted at in the name,” says Jim Hammer, a cosmetic chemist with and product-development manager at Pharmasol Corp.