What is Cleansing?
When I hear the word cleansing, other words like basic and staple immediately comes to mind. It’s a skincare step you don’t put much thought on, but if done poorly could lead to catastrophic results for the skin. Mind you, using shampoo suds on your face cleanses it but good luck to how your face responds to that.
The world of skincare has indeed come so far because back in the earliest times, our ancestors used a piece of bone or stone to scrape the skin. Some civilizations after used the extracts or essences of botanical plants with water to cleanse the skin. After the second world war, the development of detergents that are synthetic became a breakthrough, as it’s now the basis for our modern-day cleansers.
Why Do We Need It?
Many of the environmental factors that clog up our pores or damages our skin are water-insoluble, which means that water alone is not enough to penetrate through these substances, that’s why water alone is not enough to remove it. Cleansers are substances that can break down the dirt, the natural and cosmetic oils, the microorganisms, and the outer parts of the skin in an emulsified form. An ideal cleanser should be able to remove all this without disrupting the skin’s moisture barrier which normally has a pH of 4 – 6.5.
The Good and the Bad Ways to Cleanse
1. Know your skin type
In all of the products that you use, take extra care to note that it is for your skin type. As a general rule for cleansers, people with dry skin should avoid products with alcohol, people with oily skin should look for products with lower pH levels and people with sensitive skin should look out for fragrance and additive-free products.
2. Know your cleanser type
Just as important as the qualities of the cleansers you use, it’s also important to take note of their form. Cream-based cleansers work well for dry skin, gel or foamy cleansers for oily skin types, non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) works well for those with an active lifestyle, and gentle cleansers for those with sensitive skin.
3. Remove the make-up or the oil-based products from your skin
Before, I thought double cleansing is just for girls (because of make-up) but then again, using oil-based cleansers removes a lot of other icky stuff such as sweat, grime, polluted particles, and even the oil-based products you use like sunscreen. Anyway, double cleansing is a cleansing method that is worth trying out. I might have to write another post about it soon.
4. Bar soaps are synonymous with harsh
Bar soaps are usually drying for the skin so beware of using this one. The only time you can use a bar soap is if it’s specially formulated for the skin on your face.
5. Use lukewarm or cold water
Your face is not a door so there’s no way the pores will close or open up depending on the water temperature that you use. However, hot water can strip essential oils, and shifting from one extreme temperature to another might shock and dry out the skin. Always remember, in everything, moderation is always the key.
6. Your jawline and neck should be part of your routine too
Many people, including me, usually forget to care for the skin on the neck but it’s just as delicate and as prone to environmental damage as it’s as exposed as the skin on your face. So move a little bit down and let that goodie cleanser pass on its blessings to your neck and upper chest area (especially if you are prone to having breakouts here).
7. Do a weekly cleanse
Do a weekly deep cleanse- that is exfoliation! I wrote another post about exfoliation, tackling its nitty-gritty and you can read it here.
8. Do massage your face
Remember the definition of cleaning as the process of breaking down the daily grind’s grime on your face to have a clean slate for your skin routine? Well, you won’t have that when you just swipe the suds of your cult-fave cleanser on your face! Go on and massage your face a little bit (at least 20-30 seconds) to make sure that the product gets to break down the impurities and off away as you rinse the day’s worries with water.
9. Don’t over-wash or over-exfoliate
I told you already that in everything, moderation is key. And yes, over-cleansing is possible! One sign of it is increased skin sensitivity, having flushed skin, more frequent breakouts, and that stinging feeling when you use products. Nasty, right? Moderation.
10. Stick with the good and gentle cleansers. The G spots of cleansing
Avoid bar soaps, perfumed soaps or cleansers, harsh foaming cleansers, and those nasty daily exfoliating cleansers as it takes to not only clean away the dirt or impurities but it disrupts the natural moisture barrier of your skin as well.
CLEANSING IN ACNE:
The things to look for in finding your holy grail cleanser are that it should be: non-comedogenic, non-acnegenic, non-irritating and non-allergenic, and fragrance-free that can be rinsed immediately.
Cleansing Tips: scrubbing your skin with soap and water several times a day will reduce oiliness but may aggravate the acne condition. A side-effect of anti-acne treatment includes dryness and irritation on the skin, so gentle cleansing is important in this group of patients.
Final thoughts about cleansing
Overall, skin cleansing has evolved a lot in its form and function. From scraping the outer layers of the skin to using cleansers as gentle as air, and from doing it for hygienic purposes to looking your best, one thing remains the same- cleansing will and should always be a part of your skincare routine, if not of who you are.
CHECK THESE CLEANSERS OUT: