First off, good work for being here. If this is your first time doing something respectable for your skin, kudos for being on the right path. The skin doesn’t just hold the body together, it is the body — a living thing. Active carbon matter. And as resilient and powerful as it is, it likes being treated nicely rather than poorly. So do your skin a favor: be good to it.
Here are the essential steps for cleansing:
- Wet skin with warm water.
- Apply a nickel-size amount of cleanser to your fingertips.
- Gently massage onto your skin.
- Rinse with warm water.
- Dry with a soft cloth.
Repeat morning, night and anytime you sweat.
Why You Need a Cleanser
Throughout the day and night, the skin on your face is constantly exposed. Sun. Light. Heat. Cold. Dust. Dirt. Sweat. Pollution. And everything else. Between your face and your hands, they encounter a lot. And sometimes they need some help getting back to neutral. Note: bar soap and body washes don’t get you back to neutral.
Conventional soaps are more alkaline than the skin, and they can be drying or abrasive. A dedicated facial cleanser has a pH similar to your skin’s natural pH (around 5.5) and good formulas will aid in clearing daily/nightly debris and hydrate the skin. A cleanser also allows for better absorption of other products you use, like moisturizers, masks, toners or serums. It sets things to rights before you supply the skin with the goods.
We also recommend cleansing directly after exercise, because your sweat glands (sudoriferous glands) can get clogged during and post-exercise. It’s best for the skin to get those clear quickly. Exercise is great — it helps with lymphatic draining, blood flow and toning the skin. But once the workout is done, clear off the sweat and get back to neutral.
What's the Best Cleanser
The key advice here is to choose the right cleanser for your current skin, not the skin you had as a teenager — or any other time of life. Skin changes throughout our lives and what worked then may not be ideal now. Many teens use heavier-hitting cleansers to combat acne — which may be too drying for the skin they have as adults.
Foaming cleansers are often more spectacle than purpose — and some are unnecessarily harsh and drying. Wipes, while portable and convenient, can be dehydrating and irritating, due to the material of the wipe. People also tend to clean less thoroughly with wipes.
Oil cleansers are great, and people often use these as the first step in a two step cleanse or to clear off makeup. They’re less necessary for people who don’t wear makeup, but can be a nice addition to a cleansing routine.
The core product for your cleansing routine should be a gentle, active cleanser with a few natural acids balanced with hydrating ingredients. Ours has citric, lactic and tartaric Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) to work on an enzymatic level with the skin to clear off dead cells and environmental debris and pollution. It's a water-based gel that lightly foams when applied, then rinses off easily.
Methods for Cleansing
For most skincare applications, you use your hands. So start by cleansing your hands. Hand soaps tend to be more aggressive than cleansers and antimicrobial soaps will strip the skin of healthy bacteria — not something we want on the face. The best practice is to use a bit of cleanser to rinse your fingers first.
Then, using warm or room temperature water, moisten your skin. Some people like to cleanse their neck and upper chest as well. Up to you. Then apply the cleanser to your fingertips and begin massaging gently across the face. Key word: gentle. And take your time. Around 30 seconds is a good goal. This should be relaxing. There’s no rush.
A gentle massaging motion can help with lymphatic drainage. Try moving outward from the nose, up the cheeks, and upward and outward on the forehead. Remember: be gentle.
Rinse with warm or room temperature water and dry with a soft, clean cloth. We recommend bamboo, as it’s a gentle fiber and naturally antibacterial, antifungal and odor resistant.
Shower versus Sink
Whatever works is what is best. If you forget to cleanse at the sink, but remember in the shower, then you’re a shower cleanser. If you prefer to do your routine at the sink, then more power to you.
Generally, shower cleansing happens more rapidly, with more moisture and with hotter water, so it can wash off the cleanser more quickly and dry the skin with high heat. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.
At the sink, you don’t have the steam and the running water to hurry you along, so you can really indulge in that full 30 seconds. And, if you’re not showering every morning and night, then you should, by default, be sink cleansing.
One happy medium is to keep the cleanser in the shower, then grab it for sink use as needed. Or find what works for you. This isn’t a mundane obligation. It’s fun. Relaxing. And enjoyable.
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