The Most Important Skin Care Step: Cleansing
Ever on the hunt for the perfect skin care regime, whether anti-wrinkle, anti-bag, anti-sag, and anti-fill-in-the-blank, we usually bypass this most important part of any routine. The one step that dare I say most of us skip at night – the horror! The most important step and product in everyone's skin care and beauty regime should be your cleanser.
First the obvious, it removes dirt, excess oil, grime and pollution from the face and more importantly the pores (for those with oily skin). Even with dry skin, it is a must as the effects of the day, pollution and dirt, can be found on the skin. Not only does cleaning remove dirt, but with the manual motion it also removes dried loose skin that is hanging on for dear life (which may cause the skin to look dull).
Second, removing that grimi, dirty layer off the skin will allow skin care creams to penetrate without having to fight with a dirty face. And you are not smearing dirt and grime all over the face when applying a lotion / serum. Having a primed skin for the next step in any beauty regime allows your creams to get to work.
CLEANSING THE RIGHT WAY
Morning and night especially for those with oily skin types. Those with severe dry skin can skip the morning if the night was not skipped. Having said that using a gentle product means cleansing does not have to be skipped. And forget about the misconception that all cleansers strip the skin. If after washing, dry scaly patches appear then that particular cleanser is too high in sulfates and too harsh for you.
TIP: Sulfates can be found in cleansers for the hair, body and face. Look for products that are free from or are low in Sulfates. Sulfates are detergents and remove oil (good and bad) which disposes the natural skin barrier causing redness, dryness and cracked skin.
More and more companies are adding anti-aging, moisturizing, exfoliating ingredients to cleansers so not only do they clean but they work double duty. A cleanser will not take the place of our regular but will act as a spring board.
2-1's cleanse and remove all appearance of makeup while leaving the skin soft and balanced. Look for Neroli Oil (Citrus uranium) from the blossom of the bitter orange tree is used in skincare to improve elasticity, soften wrinkles and scars. And the scent is said treat negative emotional conditions and is an aphrodisiac.
Another dual-action super cleanser. Exfoliating and cleaning is the job of this cleanser. Look for Lactic Acid as the exfoliating ingredient, it works to smooth, retexturize and clean the skin. Lactic Acid is a alpha-hydroxy acid (one of the gentler AHA's) which helps the skin turn cells over quicker (great for a mature skin).
DRY SKIN CLEANSERS
For dry to sensitive skin types. Look for Almond (Prunus amygdalus var. Dulcus) and Calendula oils to moisturize. Almond oil is easily absorbed, balances the moisture in the body and helps restore moisture loss.
OILY SKIN CLEANSERS
Look for cleansers formulated with Tamarind extract, an African Fruit high in AHA and enzymes that works to help cell turnover and is an elegant astringent.
And a few last words, sometimes, it takes a while to find the perfect cleanser so try and keep on trying. Companies are always updating their configurations with new ingredients and technology for harder working products. And if the product does not live up to your expectations bring it back.