Cleansing - not that easy as you thing | Oczyszczanie - nie takie łatwe jak się wydaje

Monday 2 October 2017

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What's the most important part of skincare? If you think that moisturising or using sunscreen then you're wrong. Even if every part of skincare is important, products won't work as they should on a dirty canvas. Cleansing is the most basic step but even this simple part of your skincare can go wrong.

Let's be honest - keeping up the hygiene after a long day of work is hard. We do everything as fast as we can because we live in a constant motion. Time doesn't want to help us but sometimes it's good to slow down a little bit. Especially if it comes to cleansing. I'm sure that there's a big group of people who use towels to dry their faces but it's not always the safest way to dry skin after cleansing. If you change the towel every day then it might work - we should change the towel after every use but for me, paper towels are better - I don't have to remember about changing the towel after every use/every day. What I think that most of us do not remember about is... washing hands before we clean our faces. If you wonder why washing your hands should be your first step of your skincare is just because your hands are full of bacteria and your skin don't like bacteria because it's a source of acne, inflammation and many different skin conditions. I think that I don't have to remind you about using fresh water.

To double cleanse or not - what's better?
And the biggest problem of the cleansing - to double cleans the skin or not? I know that double cleansing started to be very popular but too much is also not good. I use double cleansing only during the evening when I need to remove my makeup. I know that some people are scared of oils, especially if you're an owner of oily skin but that's why we have the second part - a water-based cleanser to remove the rest of the oil. So to make it short - double cleanse is good but it's better to not overdo it. 

How to choose an ideal cleanser?
Do ideal cleansers exist? Not really, one cleanser will work for me but it might not work on your skin. If you want an ideal oil cleanser then I recommend you comedogenic rating - for example, the oily skin might not like oil cleansers based on coconut oil - and obviously ingredients because some cleansers have more PEG's than other ingredients. I've made a post about oils for acne prone skin before, you might want to check it. You might also want to check the texture - thicker oils will be better for dry skin while oily skin will prefer lightweight textures. If it comes to water-soluble cleansers then we have to check cleanser pH first. The ideal cleanser should have pH around 5,5 pH, unfortunately, producers do not like to inform us - consumers - about cleanser's pH level that's why there are long lists of cleansers pH made by bloggers & skincare lovers online. If you've got acne-prone skin then cleanser's pH should be a very important thing for you because high pH in a product is an ideal environment for a bacteria. pH also has lots of meaning for our pores. The other thing that we should check is the amount of alcohol in the cleanser - try to find a cleanser without it. Alcohol in cosmetics is not always bad, it can boost other ingredients but it can also make your skin dry. We do not want to see harsh surfactants in our cleanser so SLS is not our friend here. The main problem with harsh surfactants is that it removes not only makeup but it can also harm natural lipid barrier and it might cause inflammation and other bad stuff.

Couple words on micellar solutions
Micellar solutions are great - I like them a lot, but they are usually full of surfactants which aren't that good for the skin. What I found out and what I think I'm not the only one and lots of people do that - it's good to remove micellar water from the skin after using it, so every time I use micellar water I try to wash my face with water. 

What about soaps?
Again, the problem is in pH. Usually, soaps have too high pH level and we can't even check it before we buy it. The ideal pH for a cleansing water-based product is around 5,5, if it's too high, let's say above 6,5 then it's an ideal environment for a bacteria that's why we have to be careful with soaps. 

Remove the makeup first
If you use makeup then removing mascara, eyeliner and lipsticks should go first. There are special cleansers that will help you remove your makeup, all you have to do is to soak the cleansing pad and carefully press it to your eyes or lips for couple seconds and then remove it gently. We do not want to pull skin near this area because the skin around the eyes is more sensitive. What I saw in some beauty programs - you can soak cotton swabs in a cleanser and remove the rest of the mascara with it. After that, I always like to cleanse my eyes with an oil-based cleanser once again. One pro tip if it comes to cleanser - we try to remove our makeup from the inside out - so we start from the corner of the eye and we move our hands in the direction to the ear. 

Couple words on cleansing brushes
Some people say cleansing brushes are great, some people say they are not good. I think that it depends on how often you use cleansing brushes and what kind of brush do you use. The one with synthetic hair that runs in circles work more like a peeling than a cleansing device and this type of brushes can cause micro wounds and as you should know fresh wound is the best environment for bacteria. I prefer sonic brushes but it's better to use it in moderation. 

Overcleansing - too much is bad too 
Unfortunately, it's not a joke - over-cleansing is a thing! We use products based on chemicals which can not only remove your makeup or bacteria from your skin, it might also destroy lipid barrier what can end up with skin dehydration and inflammation. So use the milder product, twice a day - in the morning and in the evening. You can even use a pure water in the morning - I know that some people do that, it might not work on oily skin but for dry skin, if you do not use sleeping masks or heavy creams then you can always try it. The other thing that you should really focus is the amount of product you use - you don't have to use 20 ml of a cleanser every time, a small amount of cleansing gel mixed with water will be enough. 

The recipe for cleansing
There's no ideal recipe for cleansing as well as a recipe for food because we all are different, we all have different taste and we prefer different things but some things should be the same for us all like cleaning our hands.
- Clean your hands first before you start any other skincare activity + remember to clean towels regularly or use paper towels
- Remove the makeup first, try to be gentle
- Time for cleansing or double cleansing (if you use micellar water then remove it with a water after using it)
- Dry your skin with towel or paper towel
- Time for a toner 

Recommended cleansers
I had to make some recommendations, I've checked the ingredients and pH level of the products (if it's a water-based product). If it comes to oil-based cleansers probably the most popular oil is a DHC Deep Cleansing Oil - the list of ingredients is very simple and I'm not a fan of Phenoxyethanol in it, the rest is fine for me. The Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing Oil has nice ingredients in it although there are still some fragrance ingredients which for me aren't a good thing. Whamisa and Klairs are also brands which you might want to check but they both base on natural extracts which might be not the best choice for sensitive skin. Personally, I prefer cleansing balms and creams, couple months ago I've tested Banila Co Cleanser in a version Radiance, it was full of PEG's and preservatives but a version called Purity is way better than the regular one and it smells nice. Aromatica Orange Cleansing Sherbet is a good choice if you prefer eco-cosmetics. My all-time favourite is The Body Shop Chamomile Cleansing Balm it has some flaws like PEG & fragrance ingredients but it's a mild cleanser and I never had an allergic reaction to it - plus the availability is better than Banila Co. 
COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser (pH = 5.5) is probably the most popular k-beauty cleanser, so many of my friends have tried it and I tried it too. The smell is amazing but for me, it is a little bit too strong, it makes my skin very clean, I literally can't feel any oil on my skin. Innisfree has so interesting propositions if it comes to cleansers, for example, Blueberry Rebalancing 5.5 Cleanser (pH = 5.5), I was surprised by the whole series. 

More to read
This topic is quite long and I'm sure it's hard to write down everything that's why I want to share with you some useful articles and resources. 

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