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Cleansing vs. Exfoliating: The Differences All Men Should Know!

by Rishi Sharma |

If you are Men’s Grooming Enthusiast, you must be aware of the importance of cleansing and exfoliating your skin. But the question is - do you know that they are both meant for completely different purposes? And, are you doing them, right? 

To get them right, you need to know how exactly they help your skin. Read on to know how these two steps keep your skin young, healthy, and fresh (even if you’re someone who doesn’t have a skincare routine)!

What Is Cleansing?

Cleansing does mean washing your face, but it is more than mere washing, but cleaning your skin thoroughly. Soaps and body washes are not suited for your face because their composition is not suited for the delicate skin on your face. Your skin might be tough, but not rough enough to handle harsh chemicals!

Here is where a facial cleanser comes in It is gentle on the skin but strong enough to clean your face. It is available in different forms, including creams, gels, and so on.

You should buy a cleanser that suits your skin type, that is, products made specifically for dry, oily, normal, or sensitive skin. Remember to buy products specifically made for men, because women’s products will not be as effective!  

Why Is Cleansing Necessary?

1. Removes dust, dirt, and pollutants:

The increasing pollution contributes to premature skin aging. Dust and dirt keep accumulating on your face every minute, along with strong pollutants and chemicals from the atmosphere. Simply washing of your face will not help.

You should use a cleanser. It contains ingredients that help clean your face thoroughly, removing not just dirt and dust, but even the hardcore pollutants and chemicals.

You will be able to see the difference in your skin in just a few days of using a cleanser. The cleanser your face is, the lesser will be the appearance of pimples, acne, and wrinkles.

 Using soap on your face while bathing will not only make your skin dry, but they are harmful in the long run. A cleanser is mild and contains ingredients effective enough to remove dirt and dust from your face.

Cleansers for men are formulated with such ingredients that work wonderfully to remove even stubborn dirt and dust.

2. Kills bacteria:

Did you know that acne, blackheads, and other problems on your face are the handiwork of some nasty bacteria? A good men’s cleanser can help remove such bacteria and keep them off your face, thus keeping your skin acne-free.

What Is Exfoliation?

Exfoliators are products that contain small particles or granules to help exfoliate the topmost layer of your skin to remove dead cells.

Why Is Exfoliation Necessary?

Every day, hundreds of cells from your skin complete their life cycle. Most will fall off your skin, but those that remain are often too stubborn to get rid of! Shaving removes some of them, but you will still need to exfoliate your skin to ensure your skin is always fresh and healthy.

 Exfoliation can help remove the dead skin cells and reveal younger and healthier skin. There are many ways to exfoliate your skin, physically or chemically. It is better to try physical exfoliation first using a face scrub.

Products containing salicylic or glycolic acid are potent exfoliators as these ingredients help loosen up the bonds between dead cells, helping them fall off from your skin. 

When you include exfoliation in your skincare routine, you can say goodbye to damaged skin, blemishes, clogged pores, and dullness.

How To Use A Cleanser And An Exfoliator?

Both, the cleanser and the scrub, are used in the same way.

  • First, clean your face with lukewarm water. Wipe the face gently with a muslin cloth.
  • Take a few drops on your palm and rub both your palms together.
  • Then massage your face with both hands for 20-30 seconds. Use gentle movements.
  • If you have a beard, then make sure the product touches your skin.
  • Then, use lukewarm water to clean your face, and remove the product completely.
  • Pat dry your face. Then apply a moisturizer.

Cleansing vs. Exfoliating: Should You Prefer One Over The Other?

Increasing pollution and an unhealthy lifestyle take a toll on everybody. Sparing a little time for your skin will not make you less of a man, but will keep your skin healthy and slow down the aging process too. So, be patient and follow the cleansing-exfoliation routine.

Though cleansing and exfoliating sounds almost the same, that is cleaning up your skin, there are major differences between the processes.

1. Functions:

Both are beneficial as well as essential for your skin. A cleanser cleans your skin, removing impurities and dust.

On the other hand, an exfoliator removes the dead cells trapped on your skin’s surface to reveal younger and healthier inner skin layer.

2. When to use:

You can use a cleanser daily irrespective of what your skin type is, at least twice a day. Use it only once, if you have oily or sensitive skin.

Your skin needs exfoliation only once or twice a week and maybe just once a week for those having oily or sensitive skin.  Again, it depends on your skin as to how frequently you exfoliate. Try twice or thrice a week, but if your skin gets too dry or irritating, then reduce the frequency.

Every time you exfoliate, be gentle. Dead skin aren’t hard nails that will need all your energy to scrape off! Take care of your skin, and it will thank you with its glow and health.

What Goes First - Cleansing or Exfoliation?

Different people say different theories about this. Some experts advise exfoliating your skin first and then cleansing it, as they liken it to repairing mold on your tiles. You remove the mold and then proceed with the cleaning of the tiles. Similarly, you remove the dead skin cells first and then cleanse it.

If you are confused, here is what you can do.  The method that we recommend is to cleanse the skin first then exfoliate next. You need to ensure is that you include both cleansing and exfoliation in your skincare routine. Follow up with a moisturizer and possible an eye cream or serum on your face.

Today, you can choose between countless cleansers and exfoliating products. Use products meant specifically for your skin type and with natural ingredients.

 Look for natural ingredients and paraben-free products because they help balance the pH levels of your skin, and thus, are skin-friendly. Your skin is a priceless asset, so invest in quality products, even if it calls for opening by the wallet a little wider. Skincare needs time and patience like Gary Vee says to love the process. 

Well-maintained skin not only makes you look more handsome, but it also beaming of vitality and confidence.  Think of the compliments that will come to your way and confidence will you gain! What further motivation do you need?

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