Simply put, facial cleansers are formulated to clean our skin. “Cleansers are products we use to remove normal accumulation of dirt and oils, makeup, sunscreen, remains of pollution, and dead skin cells,” says Garnier consulting dermatologist Dr. Diane Madfes. “They aid in unclogging pores and exfoliation of the top skin cells. Their main role is to clean our skin without stripping the top layer.”
Facial cleansers come in different forms, and it’s helpful to choose the one that best works for your skin type and your lifestyle. Cleanser can be anything from “micellar waters, foaming gels, creams, balms, oils to wipes” says Dr. Madfes.
How and How Often Should You Wash Your Face?
To get the right type of clean it’s important that you find the right facial cleanser for your skin type. Consistencies and ways to use a cleanser can vary vastly. You can find anything from water-like cleansers to dense creamy cleansers. Some cleansers require rinsing while others can be used with just a cotton pad.
Cleansing should happen twice a day — once in the morning and once in the evening.
Overnight we sweat and our pores expel oil which makes us wake up with shiny or unclean skin. This is why we should start our day with removing excess oil, sebum and sweat from our skin and start fresh. In the evening cleansing can help remove makeup, oil and dirt that have accumulated on our faces throughout the day. Cleanse off any dirt and residue before you go to bed so that your skin can breathe and renew itself over night. Dr. Madfes recommends washing with “lukewarm water in a circular motion, starting in the center of your face and working outward.
HOW DO CLEANSERS WORK?
The normal pH of the skin is between 4.5 and 6.5. When you cleanse your skin, there is an interaction that occurs between the cleanser, the skin’s moisture barrier and the skin’s pH. Soaps contain harsh surfactants that can alter the skin barrier and increase skin pH—increasing the potential for dryness and irritation. Soap-free gel, cream and foam cleansers are formulated to be as effective, but gentler, causing less disruption to the skin barrier and minimal change to skin pH.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Most of the environmental impurities and cosmetic products our skin comes in contact with are not water soluble, so washing the skin with water isn’t enough to remove them. Skin cleansers remove dirt, sebum, oil and dead skin cells—ideally without damaging or irritating the skin.
Remember, it’s important to cleanse your skin every night, but also in the morning too, to remove any toxins your skin eliminates during the night.
5 FACIAL CLEANSER DOs AND DON’Ts
FACIAL CLEANSER DON’T #1: CLEANSE WITH DIRTY HANDS
If you’re going to touch your face, no dirty hands! Before cleansing your skin, wash your hands—that way you can help avoid transferring bacteria from your fingers to your face.
FACIAL CLEANSER DO #1: WET YOUR HANDS AND FACE FIRST
If you’re going to use a rinse-off facial cleanser, wet your hands and splash your face with water before applying the cleanser to your skin.
FACIAL CLEANSER DON’T #2: BE ROUGH WITH YOUR FACE
Good skin care is all about treating your skin kindly—that means there’s no need to be rough. So, don’t scrub harshly when you’re cleansing your skin.
FACIAL CLEANSER DO #2: TREAT CLEANSING AS A MASSAGE
Is there ever a bad time to fit in a massage? Why not use your cleansing routine as an opportunity to squeeze in a bit of pampering and give yourself a facial massage? With the tip of your fingers, gently massage your face wash onto your skin. Apply with small circular motions and use light pressure before rinsing off with water.
FACIAL CLEANSER DON’T #3: OVER-CLEANSE YOUR SKIN
When it comes to using a facial cleanser, in general, doing so twice a day—once in the morning and once at night—should be sufficient.
FACIAL CLEANSER DO #3: PICK THE BEST FACIAL CLEANSER FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE
Not all facial cleansers are created equal—and what works for one person may not necessarily be the best option for someone else. Just as you might pick a different moisturizer or foundation than your friend, you should choose your facial cleanser based on your skin type. Find our best cleansers for dry skin, oily skin, mature skin, and sensitive skin .
FACIAL CLEANSER DON’T #4: USE STEAMY HOT WATER
While using super-hot H20 to cleanse your skin might feel relaxing, it’s not the best option. That’s because hot water can strip your skin of essential oils, which can leave your skin feeling drier.
FACIAL CLEANSER DO #4: RINSE WITH LUKEWARM WATER
Since you now know that hot water can do a number to your skin, go ahead and turn down the dial the next time you wash your face. Cleanse your face in lukewarm water instead.
FACIAL CLEANSER DON’T #5: RUB WHILE DRYING
Put that towel down! Like we told you earlier, it’s all about being gentle with how you handle your skin. Getting too aggressive when drying your complexion can be irritating, so just gently blot your face dry with a towel
FACIAL CLEANSER DO #5: APPLY MOISTURIZER BEFORE YOU DRY OFF
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the best time to apply moisturizer is when your skin is still damp after cleansing. So, before you even grab your towel, apply your moisturizer. As for what to use, you’ll want your moisturizer to match your skin type—just like your facial cleanser