Tips and Tricks on Cleansing That Are So Easy to Miss
Cleansing Can Be Enough to Change Your Skin
Skin concerns can range between everything from constant redness, acne that just never seems to go away to pilling and separating makeup on dry flaky skin. Even though you desperately hope that the best selling moisturizer and serums would magically fix all these problems, the result unfortunately seems to be temporary. If changing your daily make up and skincare products has no effect on improving you skin’s conditions, maybe its important to take a look at your cleansers and you how use them.
The fundamental answer to having great skin heavily relies on proper cleansing. For example, if you have a habit of rushing through your cleansing routine after a long day, the leftover makeup residue, sebum and dust that wasn’t properly cleaned can easily lead to acne and other troubles on the skin. On the other hand, over-cleansing too frequently with extra force can lead to destroying the skin barrier and the natural pH balance of the epidermis, which can lead to extra sensitive skin that is more prone to redness and dryness.
Therefore if you want healthy and well-balanced skin, it is crucial to think about cleansing on a fundamental level. Simply choosing the right cleansing product and methods can be enough to greatly improve any skin concerns.
Which Cleanser Should You Choose?
The ultimate goal is to choose a cleanser that fits with your skin type and condition, so that it wouldn’t interfere with the moisture barrier too much, but still is effective in cleansing.
Cleansers are usually divided into two general categories. One is a surfactant type that needs to be cleansed with water. This type functions by bonding the lipophilic particles in the cleanser with makeup, dust, etc., and bonding the hydrophilic particles with water in order to achieve a cleansing effect. Common examples of these cleanser types include soap, cleansing foam and gel which all creates some kind of bubble or foam.
The other type of cleanser would be solvent-based cleansers. These cleansers don’t require water to wash them off but rather wiped off, and cleanses the skin by breaking down the residue and dirt with the oil-based dissolvents in the cleanser. Examples of these include cleansing water, milk, cream and oil.
Wash Off (Surfactant Type)
1. Cleansing Foam
- All skin type
- Water-based product that creates bubbles
- Low acidity that is less harsh on the skin
- Enough to cleanse water-based product, would need double cleansing for waterproof products
2. Cleansing Gel
- Oily, acne and sensitive skin
- Completely oil free
- Little to no stimulation or irritation, calming effect
Wipe Off (Solvent-Based Type)
1. Cleansing Water
- Oily, sensitive skin, light makeup
- Liquid product (surfactant cleanser+small about of ethanol)
- Light and fresh feeling with no stickiness
- Double cleansing is recommended
2. Cleansing Milk
- Dry, sensitive and mature skin
- An emulsion of oil and water based cleansers (more water content compared to cleansing creams)
- Moisturizing effect, light, minimal irritation
- Double cleansing not necessary as it is easily water-soluble
3. Cleansing Cream
- Mature skin, heavy makeup
- Oil based product
- Highly nutritious to the skin, effective cleansing power
- Double cleansing recommended as the oil can leave stickiness
4. Cleansing Oil
- Dry skin, heavy makeup
- Blend of hydrophilic oils that makes it easy to cleanse with water
- Breaks down the makeup and dirt inside the pores
- Leaves the skin feeling soft and supple with no tightness
- Emulsification process makes double cleansing not necessary
Cleansing Milk and Oil, Are They Suitable for Oily or Acne Skin As Well?
To answer the question, yes, even oily skin can still benefit from cleansing milk and/or oil type cleansers. Most cleansing milk and oil products in the market are created with a formula with a very well-balanced ratio of water and oil, and this means that even the oiliest skin can expect to have great cleansing results as the two parts would work together with the natural oils on the skin. It can also help to balance out the moisture/sebum levels and the pH levels, minimize any irritations or stimulation while getting rid of excess sebum production and filling the skin with moisture instead. These cleansers are also very effective in taking care of white/blackheads as well.
In order to achieve maximum effect, the cleansing oil or milk should be applied on dry skin, and gradually add water until the oil turns opaque and the milk turns transparent. Then slowly and gently rub the product on to the skin and wash off with warm water (Depending on the brand, some product doesn’t require any extra water for the emulsification process).
During the process, it’s even better to focus on areas where there are usually more sebum production such as the forehead, sides of the nose and chin. Often times it may seem like oil cleansers are not completely rinsed as it leaves the skin with a slight tackiness or even a shine, especially compared to cleansing foams that leaves the skin feeling squeaky clean, however this is completely normal as it just means that there are small amounts of water and oil that helps to lock in the moisture.
Good thing about these kinds of cleansers is that they don’t require any secondary or double cleansing. However if it is used on highly inflamed acne skin, the act of rubbing with a lot of force itself can lead to more damage on to the skin and even leave cleanser residue behind, so it is especially important to pay extra attention to the emulsifying process and follow up with a gentle double cleanse using a cleansing foam or gel if needed.
Is It True that Double Cleansing Causes Extra Sebum and Acne?
When dealing with acne prone skin, double cleansing doesn’t always necessary mean the best method of cleansing. It is easy to think that excess sebum production directly leads to acne therefore more frequent and intense cleansing might seem like its the best way to deal with it, but more often than not that would result in cleansing away the helpful elements on the skin as well.
Although most products are created so that it would have minimal damage and irritation to the skin, excessive cleansing could lead to even more sebum production and damaged skin barrier with would eventually result in dryness and increased sensitivity, as well as inflammation on acne skin. So if oiliness and acne is a concern, its actually better to compress the cleansing routine into one step and limit any contact and friction between the skin and hands/cleansing tools as much as possible.
For example, only cleanse the face twice a day; use a low pH cleansing gel or cleansing water or milk in the mornings, and a low pH cleansing foam in the evenings. If the acne is severe, opt for a cleanser that is specifically created for acne prone skin and is approved by professionals. Massaging the lymph nodes near the jawline and down the sides of the neck can also encourage elimination of any impurities within the body, which can lead to the diffusion of inflammation as well.
To Double Cleans or Not to Double Cleanse, In Which Order Should the Cleansers Be Used?
Double cleansing refers to using two different kinds of cleanser and cleaning twice, and it is much more advisable to choose to do so or not depending on how much needs to be cleansed off the skin and the different types of cleansers that are being used rather than the actual skin type.
For example, a surfactant type cleanser such as a cleansing foam is more than sufficient to cleanse minimal, light makeup. However if any waterproof, staining products as well as strong setting sprays, high coverage foundations or sun protection products that are high in SPF and/or waterproof are used, double cleansing is recommended.
Remove any lip and eye makeup using designated cleansers for those products before using a cleansing water/cream/oil to wipe off makeup residue on the surface level. Then proceed to cleanse one more time using a cleansing foam or gel. Because most cleansers in the market are generally more than effective in terms of their ability to cleanse, it might be sufficient enough to simply cleanse the skin with the right cleanser as the first cleanse, then use a cleansing water on a cotton pad to simply wipe away any residue that might be left on the skin, especially for dry or sensitive skin.