Ok, I know I am an esthetician, so I’m all about skin health and beauty, looking as young as you feel, and of course preventing those dreaded lines and wrinkles and spots (all those things that give away your real age). Well-formulated, professional-strength cosmeceutical creams and lotions and potions do wonders for those of us who desire to keep our youthful glow …. But I’ve got to admit something right here and now: my favorite skin products are cleansers! Lush, rich beautiful cleansers of all kinds (I’ve got seven different cleansers in my shower right now, no kidding).
I love cleansing my skin with a great cleanser, because clean skin is ground-zero for your skincare program. It’s where everything begins: the repair and rebuilding happens with the products that are applied after you’ve properly cleansed your skin. But there is a right way to cleanse, and a wrong way to cleanse. Follow these simple tips to learn how to do it the right way.
- Wash your face. Yes – wash your face! Only 50 percent of women wash their face regularly. Cleanse at least once a day; preferably twice a day, morning and evening. If you only cleanse once a day, do it at night, to cleanse the day off your face and to remove makeup, sebum, or pollution. I like to suggest cleansing right after you get home from your day instead of waiting until bedtime (when you’re too tired). On the other hand – don’t get crazy with over-washing your face, even if you have problem skin. Washing more than three times daily might be more damaging than not washing at all, creating damage and irritation to your protective skin barrier.
How I do it at home: My favorite way to cleanse my skin at night is to cleanse once to remove makeup, and then lightly cleanse again to really clean my skin. I’m a foamy-cleanser kind of gal. Right now, I’m using Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser, Vital-Assist Daily Probiotic Cleanser, or Phyto-Marine Cleansing Gel by Le Mieux. I rub one or two pumps into my clean, dry hands and spread on my dry face, gradually adding small splashes of water to emulsify the cleanser and build up a nice lather.
- Choose a great cleanser for your skin TYPE first, skin condition second. This means dry or sensitive skin may feel better with a non-foaming, creamy cleanser designed to retain a slight moisturized feel to the skin after rinsing. Normal/Combination to Oily/Problem types may prefer a water-soluble (rinses off with water) foaming cleanser. Third, choose a cleanser that you feel comfortable using: if you are a dry skin type and want something foamy, don’t pick a lotion cleanser that you don’t like using. I’ll write more on choosing the right cleanser in a future blog.
- Clean fingertips work best for gentle but through cleansing, and can even provide a light massage that stimulates healthy circulation and lymphatic drainage. Stay away from scrubs made with nuts and seeds, or rough scrubbing sponges and brushes – these types of products can really harm your skin, especially when used in excess. Scrubbing sponges and brushes also harbor bacteria when they are not properly cared for. And – please put down the Clarisonic! I love the Clarisonic, but no matter how soft your skin feels after using it, you only need to use it two to three times per week, MAX. Any more than that and you are creating chronic inflammation in your skin, which leads to more skin damage.
- Lukewarm, not hot, water works best. Extreme water temperatures (too hot or too cold) will irritate your skin and may create broken capillaries.
- Pat dry: no harsh rubbing. Avoid the (bacteria-laden) community hand towel hanging near the sink, and keep a clean, soft cloth handy that you use for your face only. When drying your face, pat gently, as opposed to vigorously rubbing.
Properly cleansing your skin is your important first step toward healthier skin. Do your best to keep it simple and try to follow these guidelines. If you have any questions about skin cleansing techniques, I’m happy to help. Please contact me at the number or email listed on the website.