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April 09, 2021
Cleansing is an often overlooked part of a healthy skincare routine. Yet, it's one of the most important steps. In fact, if you don't get cleansing right, you will sabotage the results of your other skincare products.
In this article, I'm going to share five tips that will take your cleansing routine to the next level. I challenge you to apply these tips and watch your skin respond with renewed health.
Be picky and precise about the cleanser you choose. This means carefully examine the ingredients in the skincare product you've chosen. Don't buy it just because your best friend likes it. She may have very different skin than you do. If you're using a cleanser that isn't right for your particular skin condition, you won't be giving your skin what it needs to be ready for the next step in your skincare routine.
Become a fanatic about cleansing your face morning AND night. It is NOT true that because you wash your face before you go to bed that you do not need to wash it in the morning. Here's why. As you sleep, your skin is shedding dead skin cells. Gross, right!
Some of these dead skin cells will stick to the surface oils on your face, and some are sloughed off onto your pillow. (Bonus tip: Wash your pillowcase OFTEN!) Washing your face in the morning will remove these skin-clogging gremlins and prevent breakouts. The bumps and flakiness you're blaming on other products could be because you didn't give your skin the clean start needed to ensure other products can do what they were formulated to do. And of course, washing at night removes any makeup, grim, and debris.
Lighten up! Be GENTLE with your face. You're not scrubbing a dirty sink so go easy. Use gentle pressure with your hands or cleansing cloth. Let the cleanser do the work. Much of the redness and irritation I see is caused by overzealous scrubbing. Human skin can suffer from micro-tears. Micro-tears gradually weaken the skin's barrier, making skin more prone to dry, flaky patches, redness, and signs of sensitivity.
Every time you wash, do a double cleanse. The first wash gets the surface dirt. The second wash goes deeper and cleanses the pores. You can use the same cleanser twice, or you can mix it up by using a gentle exfoliating cleanser first, which will get all the grim from the day or those dead skin cells in the morning, and then finish with a nourishing cleanser to leave the skin feeling refreshed - and don't forget to use a pH balanced cleanser.
The water you rinse with matters! Nearly every water source in the United States has been treated with a variety of chemicals. The most common being chlorine. If you're washing your face with a quality cleanser and then you're rinsing it with unfiltered tap water, you are piling on hard water minerals and chlorine, and potentially other chemicals and contaminants.
Using tap water to rinse can cause breakouts, dryness, and irritation on your skin. It could also make dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis worse. If you suspect your tap water is stressing out your skin, pick up some distilled water or attach a filtration system to the facet you use. An inexpensive pitcher filtration system such as Pur ($14.99), ZeroWater ($19.99), Brita ($15.99) makes it easy to keep chemical-free water at the bathroom sink.
Cleansing is an important step - the first step - to a healthy skincare routine. Take it more seriously by giving it the thought and attention it deserves.
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