So you think you are cleansing your skin correctly?

So you think, I know all about cleansing my skin, I do it most nights and always in the morning in the shower…..

Well, to start off with, cleansing thoroughly at night is more important than cleansing in the morning. Besides removing makeup at night, you are removing dirt, dust, pollution, and oils. You go to bed with those and they settle into the skin causing congestion, pimples, and blackheads.

Cleansing your face alone is just not going to cut it. Your skin should be cleansed from your forehead down to under your breasts with the correct cleanser if you are going to keep face, neck, and décolletage looking good.

Cleansing wipes are not cleansers, they help, but do not actually do much at all. Look at them as baby wipes, they clean the baby’s bottom, but you would not use them alone would you? You would still wash baby’s bottom that night in the bath, so why would you think that a facial wipe will clean your face thoroughly from the day’s dirt?

There are a variety of cleansers on the market, if you use the incorrectly suited one for your skin, you are actually going to cause more problems for your skin in the long run.

Cleansing the skin properly and with the correct cleanser is most probably the most important step in keeping your skin healthy, without correct cleansing, the moisturizers will not work, the scrubs will have too big a job to do when you use them – and NO scrubs are not cleansers! They should not be used more than 3 times per week.

Many people love the feeling of a foam cleanser as it makes their skins feel “clean”. Others use soap for the same reason. Even if your soap has moisturizer in it, it will strip your skin and leave a film on it. This film covers the skin like

This film covers the skin like Glad wrap. Apply moisturizer over this, and it will not penetrate the skin. Over cleansing your skin with a stripping cleanser such as a foaming cleanser for problem skin when you do not have an excessively oily skin will cause your skin to become dehydrated. Dehydrated skin becomes congested, as the skin does not function properly removing dead skin cells and dirt. You hear of

Dehydrated skin becomes congested, as the skin does not function properly removing dead skin cells and dirt. You hear of sixty year old women who still break out in pimples because they are still using a foaming cleanser so they are so dehydrated. They will not change to a cream cleanser more suited to them as their skins are still breaking out – shows what a vicious cycle it is!

If the skin is moist and plump, the skin will renew and regenerate itself effectively, so for most skins, a cream cleanser is more suited for them than a foaming cleanser.

Glycolic cleansers are very popular for congested skins. In the short term, they work highly efficiently at breaking down the dead skin buildup, but over a long period of time, they cause the skin to become dehydrated and uneven, so I am not a big fan of these at all, I personally prefer salicylic acid or lactic acid. The latter really exfoliates well, rehydrates and restores equilibrium to the skin, but over a period of 3 months the skin will stop responding to the treatment. This is fine if the skin is dehydrated and congested, but not so good if it is problematic.

Another popular product in cleansers for problem skin is benzoyl peroxide. This dries out the oil and strips the skin. The skin looks and feels clearer, but the problem is still there under the surface. Unless the bacteria is lifted out, it will keep lifting its ugly head and you will spend the rest of your life fighting the problem.

So how do you know which cleanser suits your skin?

Problem skin which breaks out, is oily (not just shiny, oily) should use a foaming cleanser with a salicylic base in it. This will break down the dead skin cells, unclog the pores and kill the bacteria.

Problem skin that breaks out, and is shiny but not very oily. A gentle foaming cleanser with a salicylic base in it, but gentle being the operative word. I personally recommend my dehydrated acne skins to use a light cream cleanser which is non-comedogenic (which means does not create comedones – in laymen’s terms, does not create pimples)

Oily T zone, with dry cheeks. A gentle foaming cleanser in summer, or one with Lactic Acid in it (the lactic acid is rehydrating) and a cream cleanser in winter for normal to oily skins. If you live in a colder climate where your summer is not very hot, stay on the cream cleanser and use the foaming one on hot days, or when you have been somewhere dusty and dirty.

Dehydrated or dry skin. There is a difference here. Dehydrated skin lacks moisture, dry skin lacks oil and moisture. You need to work out if your skin is dry or dehydrated.

Dry skin is fine and smooth, and feels a little like crepe paper. Dehydrated skin looks like the desert, is rough, uneven and often heavily congested, with blackheads.

Dehydrated skin needs a light cream cleanser and regular exfoliating.

Dry skin needs a thick creamy cleanser, which can either be washed off or wiped off depending on how dry the skin is.

At night if you work in the city or outdoors, you need to double cleanse your face. I personally feel that you may as well jump into a warm shower, and use the steam of the shower to open your pores whilst you wash your body and then to double cleanse the skin, instead of hanging over the basin in the bathroom.

Apply a generous amount of cleanser and massage thoroughly into the skin on your face, neck décolletage and breasts, always massaging upwards. Don’t stroke, massage as it gets the blood flowing to the skin and muscles. Rinse and repeat!

In the morning jump again into the shower and rinse your face under the warm water and once out, just wipe a toner over to prepare it for your moisturizer and makeup.

Unless the night was really hot and humid, you do not need to cleanse in the morning, as you are not out in the dirt, smog or dust. If you live in the city even, a face washer under the shower and a toner are really all you need to remove what the skin has detoxed overnight. Three times per week, you would exfoliate your skin under the shower first thing in the morning so that your skin can continue the renewal process throughout the day.

A cleanser will not thoroughly remove eye makeup.

Actually, most eye makeup removers will not remove mascara! The best ones are those who either are oil based (you can see there is usually a line between the water and oil) or cream based. Although I DO NOT support animal testing at all, much to my shame I must admit the best product on the market for eye makeup is L’Oreal’s waterproof eye makeup remover. I know that this product was not tested on animals as it was manufactured by a company that I used to work for and they made it based on another good product, which I gave them to use as a guideline.

Soak your pad in eye makeup remover and wipe, wipe, wipe till all of your eye makeup is off. It does your lashes no good being left covered in mascara at night, nor the skin around the eyes to be covered in shadow or liner. Personally, I find it easier to remove the eye makeup residue after you have cleansed the area first. But in so saying, if you are using a cleanser for oily problematic skin, it could be too drying for the dry sensitive eye area every day, so if you have not used eye makeup that day, do not cleanse the eyes with cleanser first.

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