The foundation of any great skincare routine (and great skin) is a proper cleanse. Whether you are cleansing once or twice a day, it is important that you are cleansing the skin thoroughly. This will allow any products you apply to the skin after a chance to penetrate the skin without having to compete with layers of dead skin, dirt, and makeup. If you are not properly cleansing then you are doing a disservice to your skin and can actually cause acne, blackheads, and overall dull skin. Once your skin is cleansed and prepped it will receive the toner, serums, oil, and moisturizer benefits properly. Proper cleansing of the skin will of course depend on your particular skin type and any skin conditions, always be sure to take your own skin into consideration. One tip I always share when it comes to any skincare routine is; wash your hands before you touch your face. You don’t want to start a routine by spreading bacteria onto your face.
There are many different types of cleansers on the market today and my suggestion is to do your research to find the product that is right for you. The right products are essential for a proper cleanse. If you wear makeup it is imperative that you are removing your makeup before cleansing your face. An oil/balm cleanser as a first step cleanse is ideal for removing makeup. When cleansing with an oil or balm cleanser you want to apply it directly to dry skin and massage into the skin very lightly with the tips of your fingers in circular motions. Massage the oil/balm into the skin in an upward motion. If your skin is not too sensitive you can take a soft damp flannel and gently remove the cleanser in and upward and outward motion. Do not press firmly, there is no need as you will be following up with a second cleanse (gel, milk, beauty bar etc). I think that sixty-ninety seconds of massaging into the skin is sufficient time. Sometimes I even leave the balm/oil cleanser on my skin for a few minutes if I am feeling particularly dry that evening. It will provide the skin with a bit of extra conditioning.
Start with damp skin if you are using a gel, milk, or beauty bar as your only cleanse or as a second cleanse. For those who wear makeup, this will be what actually cleanses your skin. You will then want to apply the cleanser to your finger tips and gently cleanse in a circular motion. Make sure to not apply too much pressure as you may irritate the skin. The massaging technique of your second cleanse is really meant to remove any trace of the balm/oil and any traces of dirt/oil/makeup left behind. If you are someone who doesn’t find a double-cleanse necessary then you will want to splash your face with lukewarm water and apply the desired cleanser to your fingertips and do the same massaging technique. I also highly recommend an electronic cleansing tool that best fits your needs. I find that these are great for all skin types (especially sensitive) and help to ensure a deeper cleanse than if you were just using your fingertips.
Along with proper face cleansing techniques comes some very important tips that I want to make sure to include:
Acne Prone Skin:
*Use a different cloth each time you dry your face off. Do not use the same towel you dry off with after a shower to dry your face off. These can harbor bacteria that will cause more breakouts.
*Be sure to wash your pillowcase weekly as bacteria and sweat can harbor here and cause more breakouts.
*Harsh cleansers with acne-fighting ingredients probably won’t do your skin any justice other than causing dryness and irritation. Find a gentle cleanser and fight the acne with a treatment such as a serum/mask.
*Do not skip cleansing twice a day.
*Gently pat the skin dry, do not rub.
*Avoid foaming cleansers as they can tend to dry the skin out.
*Don’t be afraid of hydrating cleansers, they can actually help to balance your skins oil production.
*Do not over cleanse, this will not fix the issue of oily skin.
In conclusion, the most important part of proper cleansing is selecting a cleanser that is appropriate for your specific skin type; investigate ingredients and formulations that work best for your skin. It’s also important to understand that cleansing is meant to cleanse the skin and prep it for the rest of your routine. Do not look to fix all your skin issues with a cleanser. Let the cleanser do what it is intended to do, don’t expect it to do things that toners, serums, and moisturizers are meant to do.