Taking care of your skin is very complicated these days. “Basic” care includes juggling complicated home regimens and frequent visits to a specialist. Do you ever get so confused that you don’t even know where to begin?
At our practice, we are finding many people aren’t even sure how to cleanse anymore – the very first step!
Let’s break it down. Cleansers are used to
1) take off makeup
2) lightly exfoliate surface dead skin cells
3) remove excessive buildup of dirt, oil, sweat
4) remove bacteria.
Depending on your lifestyle some or all may apply, but everybody will benefit by cleansing at least once a day in the evening.
1) If you use a cleanser to remove makeup, choose an oil or cream. These cut through makeup. Dry skin will be soothed by the texture. If you have oily skin or larger pores, finish with a balanced toner or gel cleanser to guarantee residue won’t remain on the skin to clog later.
2) Nowadays there are designated exfoliants (from surface to aggressive) appropriate for every skin type to use. Exfoliation achieved by cleaning is simply a side benefit.
3) If you’ve cleaned a kitchen, you probably know that “oil cleans oil”. For this reason, many people like to use oil-based cleansers to clean the skin of grease and dirt. Modern surfactants in gels and foams also do the job, though maybe not as quickly. Either is suitable, but finish with a toner for oily skin with larger pores.
4) We all have bacteria on our skin – we would be in trouble without it! Still we need to clean the dirt and excess oil that bacteria thrives on to keep things in balance. Any type of cleanser will achieve this (see the last paragraph). People suffering from certain types of acne have a higher concentration of acne-specific bacteria deep in their pores. They can use any type of cleanser to remove the dirt, sweat and oil to keep surface bacteria in balance. Then it is best to use a targeted treatment product that delivers anti-bacterial and exfoliating ingredients far down in the pore where that specific bacteria proliferate.