Cleansing – the very first step in any good skin care routine. While it may seem like a simple step, this is one that many people actually get wrong.
Are you cleansing your skin in the right way?
Here is everything you need to know to correct and improve your cleansing game.
Use the Right Cleanser for Your Skin Type
Just like many others out there, you have probably spent quite a bit of time staring at the many cleansers available out there, trying to decipher which one you should purchase.
Well, the secret lies in your skin type…
Just like with the rest of your skin care routine, the cleanser you choose should be one that is able to target your specific skin concerns, providing exactly what your skin type needs.
Of course, certain cleansers, such as a cream cleanser, can be used on multiple skin types, but these guidelines are still useful to keep in mind the next time you happen to be cleanser shopping:
- Foaming Cleansers – often the most popular cleanser type, simply because their rich lather feels oh-so-satisfying, foaming cleansers are best used by those with oily skin, as they effectively remove oil from the surface of the skin. This can be too drying for those with dry or sensitive skin, as those oils serve as an additional barrier of protection
- Oil Cleansers – oil cleansers are fantastic for all skin types. They are effective at clearing away just about every type of impurity, even waterproof makeup, but provide some nourishment for your skin at the same time. Yes, even those with oily skin can use an oil cleanser without fears of breaking out, just make sure that the oils used in the formula are non-comedogenic
- Cream Cleansers – gentle, creamy and ultra-moisturizing, cream cleansers are packed with hydrating ingredients, usually featuring plenty of plant oils. These can be a little too heavy when used on oily skin, but they can be a lifesaver
- Gel Cleansers – these usually cleanse deep within the pores, providing a mild exfoliation too. They are great for oily skin, and, thanks to their antiseptic properties, are effective at thoroughly clearing away bacteria
- Micellar Waters – while many cleansers out there are designed for dry and sensitive skin, these can still be pretty harsh. Micellar waters tend to be much gentler, making them a good choice for problematic skin types. They cleanse dirt, oil and makeup too, but don’t delve deep into the pores like some of the other cleansers on this list
As you can see, each cleanser type works in its own unique way, making it important to be aware of all of your many options before choosing one for yourself.
Looking for a cleanser recommendation that works well for all skin types?
Try the OROGOLD 24K Mousse Cleanser. It begins in mousse form but then transforms into a rich and creamy lather, cleansing your skin without drying it out. This is all thanks to the soothing and hydrating ingredients formulated into this blend, such as:
- Organic chamomile extract
- Organic Argan oil
- Marigold extract
- Moringa oleifera seed oil
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Look Into Cleansing Brushes
Just to make things a little more confusing…
Another way to cleanse is to use a cleansing brush. Although these have been available for years, they have become quite trendy now, which is why you’re probably only just hearing more about them.
So, why would you want to use a cleansing brush?
Well, when compared to your fingers, cleansing brushes tend to work a little deeper and more thoroughly. They also provide a mild exfoliation, although this can sometimes be too much for sensitive skin types.
Just like when choosing a cleanser, you need to pick a brush that has been designed for your skin type. For example, gentler and finer bristles will be needed for dry or sensitive skin, whereas oily skin can handle something a little tougher.
Avoid Harsh Ingredients
Ever looked at the ingredients list on the back of your cleanser?
The number of ingredients that are on there that you have probably never heard of may surprise you. However, with more and more people becoming conscious about exactly what they are putting into their bodies and on their skin, certain ingredients have come under close scrutiny…
There are several ingredients out there that are commonly used in cleansers that are actually not doing your skin any favors. Here are a few of the biggest culprits to avoid:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – while this may make your skin feel squeaky clean, it is a common allergen, and also removes too much of the skin’s protective oils
- Parabens – this preservative enters the bloodstream and mimics estrogen, causing hormonal disruptions. It has frequently been linked to breast cancer
- Fragrance – this is an umbrella term that covers hundreds, if not thousands, of different chemicals and chemical combinations, meaning that you will never quite know what is in your cleanser if it contains an added fragrance
- Certain Alcohols – while some alcohols are actually good for your skin, others can be extremely drying and irritations. The ones to avoid are: SD alcohol, ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol
The Perfect Water Temperature
How hot or cold do you keep your water when you are cleansing your face?
Ideally, your water temperature should be lukewarm.
Because warm water will help your cleanser to work deeper into your pores, while cold water would only keep your pore openings tightly closed. However, don’t keep your water too hot – this will only end up dehydrating your skin, and could cause damage to your skin’s delicate protective barrier.
Consider Double Cleansing
Have you heard of double cleansing before?
It’s a technique that is popular in many Asian countries, but has been becoming quite trendy all over the world recently.
Wondering what it actually is?
It simply consists of cleansing twice. The first cleanser you use would need to be an oil-based cleanser, as this will clear away excess oil, along with pollutants. A water-based cleanser is used second to cleanse the skin of dirt and sweat.
This may seem a little over-the-top, but, so long as you use the right cleansers, double cleansing can be beneficial for all skin types.
Give it a try – you may find that you really enjoy how your skin looks and feels afterwards!
Be Wary of Over-Cleansing
Cleansing every day is so important, but there is also such a thing as cleansing too much. Your skin’s outer layer consists of protective oils, and taking away too much of this can be detrimental, even for those with oily skin. Oily skin only ends up compensating for this by producing even more oils, making your problems worse.
So, how do you know if you have been over-cleansing?
If your skin feels tight or dry after cleansing, this is a big sign. Any patches of redness or areas of sensitivity could also point to your skin being over-cleansed.
What should you do if you have been over-cleansing?
There are two things you could do:
- Look for a milder and gentler cleanser, and make sure that it has been designed for your skin type. Take a look at the first section of this article again for a guide on choosing a cleanser type
- If you usually cleanse twice a day, cut this back to once a day, preferably at night
Never Exfoliate Before Cleansing
Ever wondered whether you should be exfoliating first or cleansing first?
The answer is simple…
Your cleanser comes first, followed by an exfoliant once your skin has already been cleansed.
Why does it need to be this way round?
Because an exfoliant is designed to clear out your pores, giving them a good cleanse. However, if the surface of your skin contains dirt, makeup residue, oil and other impurities, the exfoliant you use will not be able to reach into your pores. Using a cleanser first clears all of this away, leaving an easy path for the exfoliant you use to then work its magic.
Take Your Time
Is cleansing something you usually rush through, or do you take your time with it?
Most people would answer with the first, hurrying to get their skin squeaky clean so that they can move on to the rest of their skin care routine.
However, there are actually some benefits that come from taking your time with cleansing…
Try gently but firmly massaging your cleanser into your face the next time you cleanse. Take your time to work all of those facial muscles that lie beneath your skin. Not only will this help your cleanser to penetrate slightly deeper into your skin, but the mini facial massage you are treating your skin to will boost lymphatic drainage and boost your circulation.
This will help to give your skin a natural rosy glow, while also improving the rate at which your skin rids itself of toxins, keeping it looking clearer and brighter in the long run.
Facial massages are also said to help with anti-aging efforts. By releasing any tension in the muscles beneath your skin, it allows your skin to relax, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Re-Balance with a Toner
If you don’t already use a toner, this is a product well worth considering adding into your skin care routine.
Because even the best of cleansers usually end up disrupting the skin’s natural pH balance. This usually cannot be helped, because the ingredients needed to clean the skin have a different pH level from the skin itself.
Why does pH matter?
Because if your skin’s pH level is off-balance, your skin will react. The symptoms are varied, making them difficult to pinpoint, and therefore fix, exactly what may be causing your skin problems.
A few signs that your skin’s pH level is off-balance are:
- Dryness and sensitivities
- An increase in fine lines and crow’s feet
- Painful breakouts
This is where a toner comes in…
Toners are designed to re-balance the skin’s pH level after cleansing. They also clear away any residue that your cleanser may have left behind, and usually provide additional hydrating and antioxidant ingredients to the skin too.
Again, make sure you pick a toner that has been designed for your skin type. Although most toners will help to re-balance your skin’s pH level, their ingredient blend will contain ingredients that target particular skin concerns. For example, a toner for dry skin will likely contain nourishing oils, whereas a toner for oily skin will contain ingredients that help to slow down the amount of sebum that the skin produces.
Never Leave Freshly-Cleansed Skin Bare
The one thing that you should always remember after cleansing is…
Never leave freshly-cleansed skin bare.
Because, no matter how gentle your cleanser may be, your skin will be more vulnerable and delicate after cleansing. It won’t be quite as capable of retaining moisture, and will need a little bit of help to do this effectively again.
What should you apply to your skin after your cleanser?
This depends on the products you usually use in your skin care routine. For some, serums would be the next step, whereas others may skip straight to the moisturizer stage.
Ideally, try to apply your next product while your skin is still damp. This will help to trap all of those extra water molecules underneath the product you apply, ensuring that they end up in your skin rather than evaporating into the air.
Cleansing may seem like a simple step in your skin care routine, but there is actually quite a bit to it. By understanding exactly how you should be cleansing, and where you may be going wrong, your skin will be all the more better for it.