If your persistent acne calls for the use of prescription strength retinoid like Retin-A — a topical medication that comes in both gel and cream form — it can be hard to tweak your skin care routine to address any irritation induced by those derm-approved products. The best face washes to use with Retin-A, for instance, are gentle, non-medicated, and hydrating. They work to balance out the unwanted symptoms associated with Retin-A (like dryness, redness, etc.) so that the medication can clear your acne without causing any unnecessary skin damage.
If you're unsure where to start re: face washes and your prescription acne treatment, take the advice of board-certified dermatologist and CEO and founder of Curology Dr. David Lortscher. When asked about the kinds of face washes Retin-A users should seek out, he gave Bustle the lowdown on what not to do. He said, "Avoid cleansers with any harsh exfoliating or drying ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, BHA [salicylic acid], AHA [glycolic acid or lactic acid], and physical exfoliators such as rotating brushes until skin has fully adjusted to the treatment."
Instead, Dr. Lortscher obviously recommends using gentle and hydrating formulas since "dry skin may have a weakened barrier and becomes more easily irritated and inflamed by products." You want to nourish your skin and use the right cleanser with Retin-A in order to minimize the chance of bacterial growth (aka more acne).
Need some ideas that fit Dr. Lortscher's recommendations? Below, find five super gentle face washes that won't aggravate your medicated skin — or cause more pimples.