Cleansers are the first and most crucial part of any skincare regimen. Cleansers can efficiently remove all the impurities and oil from the skin surface, and primarily act as the foundation for enhancing the complexion, and keeping the skin protected from pollution!
Here’s Why You Should Use A Cleanser…
Some of the great benefits of maintaining a daily cleansing ritual:
- Maintain radiant and healthy skin.
- Cleansing helps to de-clog pores, thereby freeing the follicles present in the skin and paving the way for the sebum oil to reach the surface of the skin.
- Well-cleansed skin is also well hydrated and avoiding excess oil secretion, which can lead to creation of pimples and acne.
- Cleansing helps keep the skin youthful and elastic.
While this sounds pretty straightforward, there is more to applying cleansers than what meets the eye. According to Joshua Zeichner, MD, Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, "Using the wrong cleanser can disrupt the skin's outer layer, resulting in inflammation." Hence, it is essential to use the right cleanser for the skin and keep in mind various dos and don'ts before using a cleanser.
How Do Cleansers Work?
Cleansers contain ingredients called 'surfactants' that help remove unnecessary particles lying on the skin’s surface. The surfactants vary in nature based on their strength and effectiveness.
However, harsh surfactants damage the skin by stripping the skin of its natural oils. Hence, many cleansers are now available with gentle natural ingredients, and some even have moisturizing effects that are ideal for combination skin types.
What’s The Difference Between A Face Wash And A Cleanser?
While both cleansers & face washes help keep the face clean, unlike the face wash that needs to be washed well, a cleanser is non-foaming and can just be wiped off.
One can choose to have a cleanser if one has oily skin, or one sweats profusely, as a cleanser helps rid skin of grime, dust and excess oil more effectively compared to a little face wash.
Steps To Choose The Right Cleanser
While cleansing, it must be remembered that not all areas of the body are equal. The skincare required for the face is different from that needed for the rest of the body. Also, the cleansing pattern and the type of cleansers keep changing, depending on the weather and type of skin.
Hence, one must choose a proper cleanser that helps to retain the delicate pH balance of the skin while at the same time helps in removing excess oil and impurities gently. Here are some tips for choosing cleansers:
1. For Dry Skin:
Opt for alcohol and soap-free cleansing ingredients. Choose cleansing formulas that contain hydrating agents like glycerin, allantoin, etc. as they help to augment the water content of the skin and thereby aid healthy radiant skin.
2. For Sensitive Skin:
Opt for lightweight cleansers devoid of chemicals that can irritate the skin like cleansers containing synthetic fragrances, alcohol, dyes, etc. Cleansers that come packed with hydrating ingredients like glycerin, help to retain moisture levels.
3. For Oily Skin:
Oily skin often poses a challenge as many ingredients that help fight oil tend to dry the skin. Hence it is better to avoid alcohol-based cleansers that can lead to dry skin.
Gel-based cleansers are an excellent alternative as they enable targeted exfoliation by way of formulated acids.
4. For Those Prone to Allergies And Sweat:
Individuals prone to skin allergies can opt for cleansers based on natural botanicals as against those containing synthetic ingredients. For those inclined to sweat, opt for cleansers that de-clog the pores.
Types Of Cleansers
1. Cleansing Oils:
Cleansing oils are becoming a popular option when it comes to cleansers. Traditionally, oils and oil-based products were considered to be suitable only for dry skin types; however, this trend is changing now. Various oils like jojoba, coconut oil, argan oil, etc. are being tested by multiple companies to resolve various skin issues.
Cleansing oils have a gentle surfactant similar to traditional cleansers, and these surfactants help to maintain the moisture balance of the skin through various natural oils.
2. Exfoliating Cleansers:
Exfoliating cleansers eliminate the necessity to use an independent scrub or a peel. Exfoliate cleansers can contain micro particles like small beads or coconut husks. They may also include chemical exfoliates. Such exfoliating cleansers help to remove dead skin.
However, they have to be used with caution as overuse can remove the natural oils present in the skin leading to dryness.
3. Acne Cleansers:
Certain cleansers come with acne-fighting properties and are available in two types: one that is devoid of active ingredients that irritate the skin, and another that contains select chemicals like salicylic acid, etc. that help fight acne. However, acne-fighting cleansers must not be used too often as they can dry and irritate the skin.
So before buying a cleanser, re-read the ingredients listed on the label carefully and choose the cleanser that suits your skin perfectly.
Dos and Don’ts When Using a Cleanser
- Avoid Dirty Hands: Prior to using cleansers, wash hands thoroughly before touching the face. This will prevent impurities in the fingers and hands from being transferred to the face.
- Splash Water and Gently Pamper the Face: In case one is using a rinse-off cleanser, it is advisable to wet the face well with water first. Pay attention to the jawline and chin, as they are prone to dust accumulation. Rub upwards, massaging gently in a circulatory motion over the jawline and skin to allow the skin to remain tight.
- Wash Gently and Pat Dry: Avoid scrubbing the face roughly and harshly when cleansing. Harsh exfoliation can lead to hypersensitivity of the skin, followed by irritation and skin breakouts. Wash gently with water first and pat dry with a good antimicrobial towel. Drying the face with a good antimicrobial towel is very important because if water remains dripping on the face, then it may lead to excessive dryness as opposed to hydration. Be gentle when wiping sensitive areas like under the eyes.
- Do Not Over Cleanse: Try limiting the cleansing procedure to not more than twice a day, once in the morning, and once before going to bed.
- Watch out for the Exfoliating Ingredients in a Cleanser: Before using a cleanser, pay attention to the ingredients listed in the pack. Look out for cleansers that contain powerful exfoliating components like alpha-hydroxy acids and beta-hydroxy acids and try to avoid them. Powerful exfoliators are harsh on the skin and can cause hypersensitivity due to over-exfoliation. Cleansers containing botanicals like willow bark extracts, fruit extracts, etc. are more skin-friendly.
Use Only the Recommended Dosage: Quite often, one may find that the cleansers do not work as promised. In such cases, pay attention to the quantity you are using.
For expensive cleansers, there is a compulsion to use a minimal amount to save money. This must not be done at any cost. It is advisable to read the dosage instructions mentioned on the label and use it accordingly. Companies usually indicate the required dosage on the label after testing the dosage through numerous trials to arrive at the optimal, efficient dosage.
A Few General Tips For That Perfect Cleanse…
- Free the face of hair.
- Take a little amount of cleanser on your palm and massage gently on the face starting from the cheeks, chin, followed by the forehead and neck.
- Massage gently in a circular and outward movement.
- When in a hurry, use a cleanser with water or muslin cloth.
- Complete the cleansing with a proper toner and moisturizer.