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The Importance of Cleansing

Of all the steps in your skin care routine, we bet cleansing isn’t one of your favourites. Few people look forward to washing their face, but cleansing is one of the most important steps in your daily routine and we’re here to help you fall in love with it.

Keep It Clean

The whole point of cleansing is to properly remove all the unwanted substances from the surface of the skin that could cause it to become inflamed, congested, dry or irritated. So far, so boring. But your skin accumulates a lot of different substances during the day and overnight while you sleep, and if all of these nasties stay put on your face, you’re going to have to deal with everything from acne to blotchiness. Let’s start with your morning cleanse, the one most people are likely to skip because how much gunk could really be on your skin after spending eight hours asleep in bed? Actually, quite a lot. Cell turnover almost triples while you sleep, you sweat more and your skin secretes toxins and sebum during its nightly purification processes, which means waking up to a complexion laden with dead cells, sweat, dirt and oil. Nice!

When it comes to your evening cleanse, removing a day’s worth of impurities is even more important. Along with sebum and bacteria, your skin is exposed to a huge amount of irritants that can linger on the surface for hours. We’re talking pollution, pollen, dirt, more sweat and everyday chemicals, not to mention what’s left of your sunscreen and the layers of make-up you applied before you left the house. Nobody wants to go to bed with all that still on their skin. But cleansing isn’t just about cleanliness; it can seriously improve the efficacy of the rest of your skin care routine. Cleansing the skin before applying any other product essentially wipes the slate clean, creating an environment that is perfectly primed for your favourite serum or cream to penetrate and get to work without anything standing in its way. Imagine applying your serum to a complexion that wasn’t clean; it would have to pass through layers of impurities and dead cells before reaching the true surface of your skin, by which time there wouldn’t be much usable goodness left.

Do the Double

Years ago, the only cleansing options that were available were a basic gel, a weak lotion or an alcohol-soaked wipe, but brands have stepped up their cleansing game in recent years, offering multiple options that cater for every skin type and need. Everything from oils, gels, balms and milks to lotions, micellar waters, powders and foams makes the cleansing landscape one of the most diverse sectors in skin care. As a rule of thumb, the lighter textures will work best for oily and sensitive skin, while richer and heavier formulas provide the best results for dry and ageing complexions. However, oil cleansers and micellar waters tend to work across the board so, if you are stuck, make a beeline for one of these. You’ll know whether a new cleanser is going to work for your skin after the first wash; if your face is left feeling tight and tingly, steer clear. If it feels clean but still supple and comfortable, you’re on to a winner. Cleansing in the morning is easy – just massage, rinse and pat the skin dry – but in the evening, double cleansing is the only way to go, especially if you wear make-up or live and work in a busy city.

Double cleansing is essentially the art of cleansing the skin twice, using one or two different formulas to ensure the deepest clean. It might sound high maintenance, but bear with us. Your first cleanse is dedicated to removing the very top layer of impurities and make-up, the stuff that gets in the way of your serum the most, and your second cleanse focuses on removing bacteria, toxins and sebum while treating your particular skin type. It’s important to spend as much time as you can double cleansing in the evening so that your skin can perform its nightly tasks more efficiently. Blood flow to the skin increases during slumber, so any active serum or cream you apply to it in the evening will penetrate deeper if you properly cleansed first.

Gone in 60 Seconds

Can a product that only stays on the skin for less than a minute really make much of a difference to the quality of your complexion? With the innovative crop of formulations on the market, the answer is a definite yes. Along with their universal skin-cleaning expertise, many cleansers now have additional ingredients to treat and care for the skin from the very first step of your routine. Great examples of this are the Medik8 Calmwise Soothing Cleanser which contains ingredients to reduce cell sensitivity and inflammation, the NeoStrata Skin Active Exfoliating Wash which uses PHAs to soften rough patches of skin, and the Cosmedix Benefit Clean Gentle Cleanser which works to strengthen the lipid barrier to help prevent moisture loss. So next time you think about skipping the cleansing step of your routine, we recommend that you think again.

Article from Skin Health Magazine

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