Cleansing and moisturizing in acne patients

Am J Clin Dermatol. 2009;10 Suppl 1:1-6. doi: 10.2165/0128071-200910001-00001.


Affecting over 80% of adolescents, acne is a widespread condition with substantial negative physical and emotional effects, and significant societal cost. Cleansing the acne patient involves several considerations, including matching skin type to the right type of cleanser, optimal times and methods of cleansing, treating parts of the body other than the face, and patient perceptions of the cause and treatment of acne. Moisturizing prevents and alleviates skin irritation, soothing the skin by slowing the evaporation of water. Many liquid face cleansers also moisturize, which may be all that is needed for a patient with oily skin. Protection from sun and environmental damage is important for all patients. While sunscreens are often irritants, the best options for young, oily, acne-prone skin tend to have a water or light liquid base. Moisturizing sunscreens are appropriate for patients with dry, sun-damaged skin, as well as those who wear makeup, have other skin diseases, or are easily irritated by products. Overall, treating acne patients should include education in patient-friendly terms and promoting healthy daily skin care practices, including cleansing and protection against environmental damage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / prevention & control*
  • Acne Vulgaris / therapy*
  • Adolescent
  • Cosmetics
  • Detergents / administration & dosage
  • Detergents / adverse effects
  • Emollients / administration & dosage
  • Emollients / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Skin Care / adverse effects
  • Skin Care / methods*
  • Soaps / administration & dosage
  • Soaps / adverse effects
  • Sunscreening Agents / administration & dosage
  • Sunscreening Agents / adverse effects


  • Cosmetics
  • Detergents
  • Emollients
  • Soaps
  • Sunscreening Agents