Basics of Cleansing and How to Choose Best Product for Your Skin
Jun 14, 2021 - Abida -
Cleansing is the most important thing in your beauty routine to keep your skin healthy, glowing, and protecting from different skin issues. It is understandable to clean properly your skin which can be damaged from the harsh environment, sun exposure, chemicals from products, makeup, etc. Even the treatment products like acne, anti-aging need to be removed properly at the end of the day. The cleanser will remove all the impurities from the skin while also eliminating the micro-organisms from the environment and potentially improves the barrier function of the skin. Resulting in giving the natural glow to your skin and a chance to really shine through.
Talking about cleansing, one can easily be confused with what sort of product should be used for this purpose. There is a wide range of cleansing products on the market including bar soaps, foaming, and non-foaming cleansers, cleansing milk, toners, scrubs, micellar waters, and oils. Now though you can have personnel preference like using foaming products make you feel cleaner than non-foaming ones, but at the same time, if you have dry or sensitive skin, these products might be harming your skin in the longer term. Before buying any product think and analyze your skin and don't go running behind the marketing stunts and buy the luxurious-looking tube which might not be suitable for you.
The commercial bar soaps can often be harsh for delicate facial skin and have the ability to interfere with normal skin function. They can strip out fats or lipids in the upper layer, affecting the skin’s barrier. If the barrier is compromised, water loss through the skin is accelerated, leading to dryness. For dry and sensitive skin, it is best to avoid these for cleansing. However, if you are into organic and natural products, you can find bars which are free from any chemicals and have good oils and herbs.
Foaming and non-foaming cleansers
Foaming cleansers are good for oily or blemish-prone skin types. The product is mixed with water and lathers up when wet. They give you an instant clean feeling. While non-foaming cleansers are a milder alternative and do not lather when mixed with water. They are helpful for dry or sensitive skin types. Their main problem is that they can leave a residue on the skin and many people feel their skin has not been cleaned thoroughly as a result.
Cleansing milk and toners
Cleansing milk and toners are used to cleanse with a cotton pad rather than using water. Cleansing milk dissolve oil and dirt and are suitable for dry skin. They can leave moisturizing agents on the skin which improves symptoms of dryness. Toners have had much popularity over the years and are often used to clean the skin and reduce apparent pore size. Toners are usually alcohol-based and can be used on oily or acne-prone skin. They are usually used after cleansing rather than as a stand-alone product. The
alcohol content can sometimes result in dryness and irritation so should be used with caution.
Micellar waters have been on the cleansing circuit for some time now. They use tiny micelles (small balls of cleansing oil molecules) suspended in water to draw out skin impurities. They can be useful for all skin types but my feeling remains that they are most useful as a cleansing option when there is no water available. To use these as a primary cleanser after removing make-up and sunscreen at the end of the day requires a lot of time and product. They can, however, be useful as a second cleanse to remove any excess grime after the main cleanse has been carried out with another product.
Facial oils have gained much notoriety in recent years. They are touted as being good for all skin types – oily skin included. The theory is that ‘like dissolves like’ and, therefore, the oil will dissolve oil. I have seen little evidence to back up the claim that facial oil is good for those of us prone to spots and my advice would be to steer clear of these unless you have dry or very dry skin. Oils on the skin can promote the formation of blackheads, leading to spots.
The concept of double cleansing has become more common in recent years. For the more cynically minded, it is yet another beauty fad invented to make us part with our hard-earned cash. Double cleansing in the traditional sense involves the use of two different cleansers. The first cleanse is to remove make-up and SPF and the second is to clean more deeply and ensure any residue has been removed. Many people will recommend an oil-based cleanser followed by a foaming cleanser. In actual fact, as with most things, it is difficult to be so prescriptive. For many people (e.g. those with acne or blemish-prone skin), I would recommend staying away from an oil cleanser, micellar water may be more appropriate. For those with dry or sensitive skin, double cleansing may result in over-cleansing and irritation. Choosing the right products for your skin type is absolutely vital but common sense is also needed. Double cleansing can be useful at night to remove heavy make-up but may be unnecessary otherwise. Many people already double cleanse without realizing it. If you use make-up remover followed by a foaming wash, that is still an example of a
double cleanse. In its most basic form, it simply means you are cleaning the skin twice. The benefits of double cleansing are ensuring the skin is completely clear of make-up, SPF, and other skincare products layered during the day. Further, it prepares the skin for any other topical treatments that are used afterward.
The Five Rules of Cleansing
- Cleanse your face both morning and night. The evening cleanse is particularly important to remove make-up, sunscreen, and particles of pollution we have come into contact with during the day. Failing to do this can result in break-outs, blemishes, and potentially even premature skin aging.
- Face wipes are always a no-no unless you’re using them as a last resort at the gym or on the go. This is because they can cause skin irritation, and mainly just smear dirt, make-up, and oils across the skin’s surface, you don’t end up with a thorough cleanse.
- If using water, the temperature should always be warm to lukewarm. Avoid using very hot or cold water, cold water is less effective at removing oils from the skin and hot water can leave the skin dry and irritated.
- Never, ever apply a facial cleansing product directly to dry skin. It can lead to sensitivity.
- Always use a towel to pat the face dry. Do not vigorously rub the skin as you dry it as this can lead to unnecessary irritation.