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Experts say a good facial cleanser should rinse off easily without clogging pores. It shouldn't irritate, burn or dry your skin, or leave a greasy residue behind. Instead, a good cleanser should make your skin feel clean and remove makeup without the need for scrubbing. Although cosmetics companies would like you to believe that you have to pay more for quality skin care, experts say that's not true. Reviews indicate that some brands are just as good as those at the department store -- often containing the same or similar ingredients.

Overall, experts say consumers with normal, oily or acne-prone skin should look for basic water-soluble cleansers that remove all traces of dirt and oil without stripping the skin of moisture. Dry and sensitive skin types require formulas that use gentle detergents, such as cocamidopropyl betaine, and emollient ingredients like glycerin, beta glucan and jojoba oil. Those who prefer a natural option should look for organic ingredients and limited preservatives, with no parabens.

Cleansers that produce a lot of lather are no more effective than those that don't. Furthermore, ingredients included to produce lather can sometimes be irritants.