Facial Cleansing 101
We thought it would be good to do a little “how to” facial cleansing post as while we know it seems pretty straightforward… you may be missing a step or two!
When Should You Cleanse?
Twice a day, every day… morning and night!
Cleansing in the morning removes oil produced throughout the night as well as dead skin cells (our skin is constantly shedding itself!), and the products used the night before. Cleansing in the morning gives you a clean slate, allowing your AM serums, moisturizers, SPF, etc to more effectively penetrate the skin. It also allows your makeup to go on smoother and stay on longer!
Cleansing in the evening removes makeup, oil, environmental pollutants and debris from your skin; reducing pore blockage and allowing your skin to breathe!
How Should You Cleanse?
First thing first, your cleanser is not a makeup remover! Wait… what?! It’s true! Your cleanser may not be capable of removing all of your makeup, particularly water resistant makeup. So, to receive the benefits from your cleanser; you should remove your makeup prior to cleansing. You can do this with a makeup remover wipe, micellar cleansing water, or a product like Environ Dual Action Pre-Cleansing Oil, or Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover.
Next… it takes more than a couple of seconds to effectively cleanse your face. Really work the cleanser into your face for about 60 seconds, using this as an opportunity to multitask, think facial cleanse & massage! This allows the active ingredients to penetrate the skin and do their job! Take this as an opportunity to multitask, think facial cleanse & massage!
Now it’s time to rinse! Hot water makes everything cleaner, right? Not so fast! Hot water is damaging to the skin and can not only dry it out but also cause inflammation! Warm or tepid water is best when rinsing your face.
Finally, it’s time to dry! Instead of rubbing your face with a towel, try patting it dry. Rubbing the skin can be harsh and irritating. Rubbing disrupts the skin’s protective barrier layer (acid mantle), and can cause the skin to be dry or dehydrated. Patting the face dry wicks the water away without stripping or irritating the skin.
What Cleanser Should You Use?
Ever heard someone say they use bar soap for their face? They may appear to have nice skin for a period of time… but bar soap is not exfoliating and it’s extremely drying. The “nice” skin you see is likely just a layer of dead skin hiding the issues the bar soap has created underneath. These issues can be dehydrated skin, clogged pores, and even keratosis pilaris (those tiny little acne like bumps on the skin). Bar soap is alkaline; it throws off the balance of the skin, which disrupts the protective barrier layer (the acid mantle). Disrupting the acid mantle can lead to skin sensitivities like dermatitis and Rosacea.
Ok, so what SHOULD you use!
If you have oily, acneic, or acne prone skin; a cleanser with salicylic or glycolic acid is ideal and we recommend Environ Sebu-Wash Gel Cleanser. The acids help decogest blocked pores and rid the skin of excessive oil and bacteria, while Tea Tree Oil helps to soothe inflammation.
Around the age of 25 to 30 is when most people begin to see the early signs of aging. This is a good time to incorporate a glycolic cleanser, such as Environ Concentrated Alpha Hydroxy Toner combined with Hydra-Intense Cleansing Lotion into your regimen. Glycolic cleansers not only rid the skin of excessive oil, but also help speed up cellular turnover. Glycolic acid breaks down the desmosomes that bind skin cells together. In the upper layer of the skin, this allows the dead skin cells to slough off and make room for new cells.
For normal skin types, use a balancing cleanser such as Environ Mild Cleansing Lotion. Mild Cleansing Lotion is an advanced preservative free moisturizing formula that gently, and effectively removes makeup, surface impurities and environmental pollutants from the skin while assisting in maintaining skin’s natural moisture barrier. This non-foaming facial cleanser is composed of moderate levels of Alpha Hydroxy Acids, olive-oil derived emulsifiers and the emollients Dicaprylyl Carbonate and Hydrogenated Polydecenem, as well as Jojoba Seed Oil that assist in moisturizing the skin while cleansing thereby providing a soft, luxurious, velvety after-feel and making it safe for use on extremely dry or sensitive skin as well. It also contains a mild surfactant – Lauryl Betaine which together with the emulsifiers gently remove makeup and environmental impurities as well as a natural humectant that assists in keeping the skin supple and hydrated.
What About Exfoliation?
Exfoliating, beyond the exfoliation provided by your cleanser, should be done around twice a week (a little more if you have oily skin, a little less if you have dry skin). Exfoliation can help normalize the skin. It also helps rid the skin of dead cells and unclog pores.
However, more is not necessarily better when it comes to exfoliation! Over exfoliating can strip the skin of it’s natural lipid barrier and upset the balance of the acid mantle. The skin can become overly sensitive and dehydrated due to the loss of its barrier.
There are lots of at home exfoliation methods, both chemical and physical exfoliants. Incorporating a manual soft bristle brush is good for dry or sensitive skin, while a chemical exfoliant may be be better for oily or acneic skin. We recommend Environ Hydrating Clay Masque for oily skin, Sebu-Lac Lotion for acne prone skin, or C-Quence Energizing Masque for a more intensive treatment to perform double duty and also soften fine lines. You may need to experiment to find what works best for you.
Hopefully this post has taught you a thing or two you may not have known already, or inspired to you add something new into your current routine!
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