You know that catchy phrase “just add water.” While it might work for a few of you out there, the rest of us mortals know that just water won’t help us achieve our skin goals. Cleanser is usually the first step in taking care of your skin; it’s the sponge of the skincare cake if you will. Every day, our face gets exposed to dirt, bacteria, and pollutants. Not to mention that our own oils and dead skin cells build up as well.
As someone who can physically see the oils on her face, I feel icky if I don’t cleanse my face properly. Cleansers make us feel fresh by breaking down all our grime, paving the way for our other products to cleanly absorb into our skin. But more than just creating a nice feeling for your skin, cleansers help keep your skin healthy and fight against irritation and infection.
How to Properly Wash Your Face
I know a lot of us like to wash our face in the shower out of convenience, but it’s time to consider moving your cleansing to the sink. Why? While the hot water cascading down your face may feel nice, the temperature of the water and showerhead pressure can be too harsh for your face.
Those with dry skin are already aware that hot showers can strip your natural oils, leaving your skin barrier feeling parched. And even if you choose to keep your showers short and at a lower temperature, the pressure from your showerhead can still irritate your skin.
Your best bet is to move your cleanser to the sink. Wet your hands and face with lukewarm water, rub in your cleanser, and splash away like Vanessa Hudgens in that Neutrogena commercial. (Or rinse it off normally, that’s cool too.)
Washing Once a Day vs Twice a Day: The Debate
Underwashing your face can lead to dirt and oil build-up, causing acne. Overwashing your face dries your skin out and can also cause acne by increasing oil production. So, what is the correct number of times to wash your face? Well, dermatologists generally agree that you should wash your face at least once per day.
We recommend washing your face twice a day. Overnight, your skin sheds dead skin cells and is exposed to bacteria from your pillow. In the morning, it’s good to have a gentle cleanser with a creamy/milky-like consistency to prevent overwashing. At night time, you want your cleanser to offer a deeper clean.
But life happens and maybe you only have time for one cleansing session. We totally get that! If that’s the case, make sure to wash your face at night time. This option is ideal for those who don’t apply lots of thick products to the skin during the night.
Double Cleansing Will Change Your Life
It seems like an unnecessary extra step, but no joke, double cleansing was the step I needed to up my skincare game. Double cleansing is a technique used in K-beauty. The theory is that our usual water-based cleansers aren’t 100% effective when it comes to removing makeup and oil.
Therefore, we need to first have an oil-based cleanser, as we learned in high-school biology, oil and oil interact better than oil and water. The oil-based cleanser will dissolve your makeup, sunscreen, and excess sebum. Your follow up water-based cleanser will then take care of the rest of the pollutants and impurities.
Double cleansing suited for any skin mood. Just make sure your oil-based cleanser is suited for your skin mood and won’t mess with your skin pH. I highly recommend cleansers from BanilaCo.
Cleansers for Your Different Skin Moods
What? First, use an oil-based cleanser, and now you’re telling me that I need multiple different regular cleansers?
You need to pay attention to your different skin moods, meaning that your skin shouldn’t be confined to a single label. One day, you might be feeling oily. Another day, you might be feeling dry. It all depends on your skin. The best approach to skincare is to be in-tune with your skin’s changing needs.
If Your Skin is Feeling Dry:
If your skin isn’t always leaning towards the dry side, this skin tightness can be a sign of overwashing. It could also just be a sign of dehydration. To balance your skin out, try using an oil-based or cream cleanser for a couple of days. Just make sure they’re non-comedogenic, non-irritating, and hypoallergenic so they’re gentle on your skin.
If Your Skin is Feeling Oily or is Acne-Prone:
Have you noticed extra shine or maybe even enlarged pores? We recommend using gel cleansers that avoid soaps, excess exfoliants, and perfumes. Look for cleansers that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
However, just because your skin mood is oily, it doesn’t mean that you should skimp on moisturizer. If you let your skin become dehydrated, it will only encourage more oil production, exacerbating the problem you were trying to solve!
If your Skin is Red and Irritated:
I’ve been there, and ouch is all I can say. Your best bet is to use soothing products that let your skin breathe. Pick a gentle, hydrating cleanser and a face mist to spritz on. Throw in a face mask and maybe take a break from your harsher products. Avoid any potential irritants such as fragrances, physical exfoliants, and hot water.
To Wrap Up
Again, if skincare was a cake, cleansers are the sponge. But it doesn’t mean the actual cake part is boring. As you can see, the world of cleansers is surprisingly complex. And it deserves that intricacy! While you can probably skip out on some of those fancy serums, make sure you give your cleansers the love it deserves.