Girls, we need to talk…about cleansing.
Cleansing of the mind and chakra after a bad break-up? Cleansing of the liver after a good night out? Not today, though that sounds like interesting topics to discuss at a later time.
Today, we need to talk about skin cleansing.
You’re probably thinking, is this even an important topic to discuss? Just tell me which products I need to get my glow on!? I’ve been washing my face all my life, I think I know how to wash my face… I GOT THIS, SALLY – don’t worry.
Oh but, girl… I worry.
Especially in these times with the coronavirus pandemic (literally) knocking on our doorsteps, we have to focus on what we CAN control, and that’s our own self care goals as we sit idle at home. At least we can work on our soon-to-be flawless glowing skin. This not only means cleansing properly and appropriately, but also eating well and exercising!
Of course everyone knows how to wash their face (fingers crossed), and I hope this article will help you stay occupied, entertained, informed, and gain a better understanding of what we need to do to cleanse your way to a perfect complexion without makeup!
A Little Science Lesson…
I’m sure everyone has seen this type of image before on many backs of cleansers at the drugstore (the image on the far left shows a clogged pore, and what the pore looks like on the far left after a cleanse).
Pores. We all have them (sadly), and the best thing we can do for our skin is to make sure they are clean.
In order to achieve glass skin (the end goal here), is to consistently cleanse our skin, and thoroughly. The less we cleanse our skin, the more congested and clogged our pores.
What causes pores to become congested?
A less-than-pleasant combination of the below:
- Dead skin cells
- Oily secretion from our skin (Sebum)
The more we neglect cleansing our face, the more our pores will produce sebum and dead skin cells, becoming increasingly congested. Furthermore, the more we neglect these dirty pores, the more white heads, black heads, acne, and slacking/sagging pores we will have, getting farther and farther from achieving our glass skin goals. The dirtier our pores, the larger and more noticeable our pores will become.
Ultimately, we want our pores smaller and cleaner. The smaller and cleaner our pores, the closer to the glass skin effect we will get.
So, How DO we Cleanse?
Cleansing with the wrong products in combination with using the wrong methods can also further damage your pores.
That means, no home methods to clean the pores! No squeezing, no harsh exfoliants, no peel-off masks that rip the gunk out of your pores (as satisfying as some people might think this is).
I’ve seen the black peel-off nose and face masks become a huge trend about 5 years ago. Let me tell you, it is not a good idea. Essentially what is happening to your pores is, yes, they are being emptied of its nasty gunky contents (yay), but then they are left completely exposed – open for business, for whatever wants to enter and make a home for itself in your pores (not yay). Dirt. Dust. Bacteria.
Not only that, forcefully removing gunk out of pores (by using the peel-off mask for instance) is a short term, temporary solution that leaves our pores larger than they would have been if we had taken long term measures such as a thought out, improved cleansing routine.
There are certainly ways to cleanse better.
First, we have to find a cleanser that cleans well, but also does not completely strip our skin of its natural oils. As some of you may know and as I have learned the hard way, the more you harshly strip your skin of its oils, the more oil your skin wants to produce over a shorter period of time. This means your face will become an oil slick. NOBODY wants this. We want moisture through levels of hydration, not grease.
Second, we make sure to cleanse twice. Yes, TWICE ladies, I did not stutter.
Double Cleansing is KEY
As mentioned in Glass Skin Beauty Routine for Perfect Skin, double cleansing is one of the key steps to glass skin.
By the end of the day, there’s layers of dirt on our faces from being outdoors, from dust and bacteria carried by winds and our hands. Once it hits our face, our face oils like to give these dust particles and bacteria a big hug and propose marriage. Without proper cleansing both morning and night, the dust, bacteria, and our face oils form a passionate polyamorous relationship, resulting in some unwanted children – acne. Weird flex, but true.
Generally, a double cleanse can look like this:
- Cleanse #1: Removing surface dirt and grime off of your face. Often used products for this first cleansing step are make-up removing wipes (if you had make-up on) or cleansing solutions like a micellar water with a cotton pad, or a cleansing oil that you massage onto your skin to melt your makeup and can be cleaned off with a wipe.
- Cleanse #2: Deep cleaning your pores is the second step. Once the surface dirt has been removed, you will need a more robust, often a foaming cleanser that gets deeper into your pores. *FYI* Be careful not to use a very stripping cleanser as you can shock your skin’s natural oil production. I’ll get into this some more in my next blog. Before applying the cleanser, I like to heat up my face with some warm water and to open up the pores. Next, take the appropriate amount of cleanser in your palm, start a lather between the hands and apply to the face in a massaging motion. This step usually requires a couple minutes of massaging the foaming cleanser into your face and rinsing off with warm water. Using hands for cleansing is great and all, but I personally like to use the FOREO Luna Smart Facial Cleansing brush as I feel I get a deeper clean when used together with a cleanser. The FOREO Luna is a vibrating cleansing tool that helps to jostle the gunk out of your pores as it massages. Especially when removing makeup, I feel that wiping with makeup wipes can be too abrasive on my skin, and wiping with my hands don’t take everything off. AH, the frustration – it’s like an aneurism in my type A, clean freak soul. Not only does the FOREO Luna gently exfoliate, it also does not hold bacteria like cleansing cloths do as, it’s made of silicone – a GODSEND from Sweden. If you’d like a more in – depth review of my experience with the Foreo Luna 2, click here!The Foreo option can be a bit costly, and if this isn’t for you, alternatively, you can also use a silicone pore cleansing pad such as the one below to help massage your face and get into the pores.
BONUS STEP: Personally, I like to take an extra step of blasting COLD water to my face immediately after a warm cleanse (after all cleanser has been rinsed off the face). This step ensures that the pores are closed by the shock of the cold water.
Exfoliation is Not to be Missed
Exfoliation does NOT have to happen everyday. Not only because of the extra time that it takes, but also depending on your skin type and the product you are using, this step can be quite stripping and can make your skin red and sensitive.
However, when done right, this is still a very critical step as this removes the excess layers of dead skin that tends to mix with the usual gunk on your face. Skipping the exfoliation step may also mean that your skin has a more dull appearance instead of the bouncy, bright complexion that we are aiming for.
Don’t be a Face Toucher
Now, we can’t avoid going outside or stopping the wind from blowing in our direction.
BUT, we CAN do what we can to reduce exposure by not touching our faces with our hands. If you’re like me, you enjoy a good chat and also enjoy being very expressive with your hands as you speak. I like to wave my arms around very animatedly as I tell my stories, much like one of these guys.
If a serial face-toucher like me can stop touching my face, SO CAN YOU!
With these tips, you can also work towards a perfect complexion without makeup. So, let’s get our glow, girls!