Monday, 18 February 2013

How to: Wash Your Face! 6 ways!

You need to wash your face!
So I feel like this is another forgotten category of skincare. Most people think I they can use whatever as long as their skin gets clean. Not true. I have even had people tell me they wash their faces with head and shoulders!  No wonder your face hates you (hint, it’s not your quality moisturiser. Washing your face gets all the pollution and dirt off your skin that can be aging and cause uneven skin. Think of proper cleansing as prepping the skin for all the great products you are going to put on after like your pricey serums and moisturisers.

Often, a lot of people with sensitivities find switching up their cleansers to make a big difference. The culprit sodium lauryl sulfate, the cleaning, foaming agent in many facial, body and hair products can be very irritating because it literally strips the skin of all its natural defences including its natural pH levels. That squeaky clean feeling isn’t always helping you out, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin. Even if you aren’t sensitive why mess with a perfectly good system? The whole point of cleansing is to get the grime (including makeup) of the day off, to maintain your healthy skin. So I am going to go through six different ways to wash your face, without irritating it, and truly getting the grime off.

Oil Cleansers

So this type of cleanser is great for those of us who wear a ton of longwearing and waterproof makeup (aka me) or have dry skin. This type of cleanser is massaged into DRY SKIN until the majority of makeup has been removed off your skin and lashes and then rinsed off with water. It is great for those of us who have sensitivity issues with makeup removers and/or are lazy (me all over) because it removes makeup on eyes, lips, and face. I am currently using this one from Biotherm because it removes makeup very well and rinses quite clean:

Biotherm Biosource Cleansing Oil

This is not natural at all, and the majority of it is mineral oil, so that’s not great, but I have yet to find a natural alternative that works as well that you can use around the eyes (if you have any suggestions let me know). I am too afraid to try coming up with my own natural cleansing oil concoction though because of all the horror stories on the net. I use cleansing oil as part of a double-cleansing method I totally stole from Beauty Editor so I always follow up using this cleansing oil with one of my great natural cleansers, so any residue left on my face is hopefully scrubbed off. If you have dry skin, it does rinse very clean so you could probably use it by itself, I am just paranoid about breaking out.

Exfoliating Cleansers

This is what I usually follow my cleansing oil up with.  If I am going to exfoliate, which can’t be used around my eyes anyways, the double cleansing doesn’t really add an extra step. I usually use a daily type scrub, because I am all about routine, and I am quite oily and acne prone. My current favourite is a Korres one (shocker, I know), it smells great and is just the right amount of scrubby for me:

Korres Wild Rose Daily Brightening & Refining Buff Cleanser
Korres Wild Rose Daily Brightening & Refining Buff Cleanser

If you are drier, you might want to only use an exfoliating cleanser a couple times a week, or use more of a micro-bead one. Same goes if you happen to be using some sort of chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid. Or use one of the cleansing brushes that works great with…

Foaming Cleansers

These are usually the worst for having the sodium lauryl sulfate in them because most of the time it provides the foaming action so be careful. A lot of people will like these even if they don’t have the sulfates in them because they rinse the cleanest and provide the squeakiest feeling clean. They are better for people with normal to oily skin, and it usually isn’t great to use them around the eyes because we don’t want to cause any wrinkles to the delicate eye skin. It is best when using a foaming cleanser to build up the foam in your hands or on your cleansing brush (which I am getting to) before using it on your face. This was a bit of a revelation for me that I didn’t know until about a month ago. Who knew this was how they were designed to work? Lathering it first allows it to remove dirt better while not stripping as much. Learn something new every day. My current favourite is another Korres recommend that makes a great lather, isn’t too harsh, and removes makeup in a pinch.

Korres Milk Proteins Foaming Cream Cleanser
Korres Milk Proteins Foaming Cream Cleanser

Now, I will tell you about cleansing brushes, which are really the best way to use a cleansing foam. Long before Clarisonic, there were these babies. I personally can’t afford a Clarisonic so if you can, good on you but I am sure these work just as well with a bit more arm work. They are mildly exfoliating, so they are a great way to exfoliate for dry or sensitive skin. It also helps people with acne in conjunction with fairly often scrubs. Same idea, as with using it with your hands, put the cleanser in your palm and then swirl the brush in a circular motion to build up a lather, then work it across your face in circular motions. Super cleansed! The best is really Shiseido, the inventors of the thing. A seriously good investment for about $26 bucks.

Shiseido Cleansing Massage Brush
Shiseido Cleansing Massage Brush

Gel Cleansers

Usually the recommend for sensitive skin, they don’t foam at all. They just gently dissolve the grime while giving non-greasy moisture. I don’t find these take off makeup all that well, even if they say they do, so makeup remover at least around the eyes is usually necessary. They do maintain the most natural pH so if you are having serious issues, these are worth a try and are often recommended by dermatologists. A favourite of mine is the Spectro gel, which now comes in many incarnations for different skin types and is relatively inexpensive.

Spectro Gel Cleanser

Cream Cleansers

Again, applied to DRY SKIN, creams are worked into the skin to remove grime, and some can remove mild amounts of makeup. They can then be rinsed off, or removed with the toner of your choice which is usually optimal. So they can be used without a sink around. They usually work better for people with dry skin, though the one from Clarins is quite nice and they make one version for each skin type, including one for oily/combo skin.

Cleansing Milk With Gentian - Clarins
Clarins Cleansing Milk With Gentian

Micellar Cleansers

 So this is a crazy French concept that has only recently hit Canada. The premise is that it is a technology where water molecules dissolve and trap dirt and oil within them. I dunno if it’s true, but it removes non-waterproof makeup amazingly well. I use it in the wintertime a lot in the morning instead of doing a full face wash, after the gym, or if I am going to re-do my makeup before going out (or after coming back in and I am too lazy to wash my face). It is oil-free and totally pH balanced so it works well on everyone especially sensitive skin. If you are sensitive or dry you can get away using one of these without a toner afterwards because they are so pH balanced. Generally, I think everyone needs one of these kicking around. My favourite is unfortunately Canadian made, but they ship. Or there is the original French one call Bioderma which works.

Neostrata Micellar Cleanser
NeoStrata Micellar Cleanser

How do you wash your face?
What are your favourite products?
Do you have any recommendations for natural cleansing oils?


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