As an esthetician, one of the first questions I ask my guest is "How does your skin feel after your wash?". The way someone answers this questions can tell me a lot about their skin, how it functions, and how well their other products are working. Unfortunately, cleansers are usually the least thought about product in someone's skin care routine. I mean, face wash is face wash, right? Wrong. Read on to find out why this often dismissed step could hold the key to making your skin look and feel its best.
Preparation is Key
What would happen if you didn't prep your wall before you painted? Most likely, you would end up with an uneven color, bumps, streaks, and probably wouldn't be happy with the finished product. In order to get a beautiful finish you have to mask off areas, clean and sand walls, patch holes, prime, etc. All this has to be done before you even touch the paint color to your wall. Think of your cleanser as your prep work before you layer on all your more active serums, moisturizers, etc. If your skin isn't properly cleansed before you layer on the rest of those products, they won't be as effective and won't lead to the desired results. Also, if you are using the wrong prep, you could actually be making your other products less effective!
No one's skin should be "Squeaky"
Your face is not a window. It should not "squeak" when clean.
Our skin has a delicate balance of oil and water that help provide a perfectly balanced barrier to protect our skin from virus, bacteria and other invaders and irritants. When you disrupt that balance it can lead to breakouts, contact dermatitis, rashes, and sensitivity issues among other things. It is not necessary or advisable to "strip" all the oil from your skin to get it clean. If your cleanser is doing it's job properly your skin should feel comfortable after washing. Yes, you may get some tightening from water evaporating off your skin as it dries, but if it feels as if your skin my peel back and expose your skull, you should look for another cleanser!
On the same note, if your skin feels like it has a layer of film on it after washing, you probably need to switch what you are using and find something that will leave your skin feeling fresh and not leave a residue.
Cleansers are not "One size fits all"
Your cleaning needs may change by season, year or location. The acne cleanser you used at 17 may not be the same blemish controlling cleanser you use in your 30's. The gel cleanser you use in the summer may not be adequate for your skin's needs for extra hydration in the winter. The creamy cleanser you use in Denver may not be the same cleanser you use when you go on vacation to Bora Bora.
Our skin is constantly changing and adapting to changes in our body and environment, so it is important to monitor how your products are working on a regular basis. Just because a cleanser was working for you in one situation or one point in time does not mean it will work for you for the rest of your life. As your skin changes your cleanser needs to change with it. If it has been a couple of years since you evaluated your cleanser or if the seasons have changed, take a moment the next time you cleanse to assess how your face feels after you wash to see if you need an update!
The right cleanser can save you money!!
Everyone wants to save some cash, right? How can using the right cleanser save you money?
Let's say you grab your cleanser in the morning to wash your face. After cleansing, it feels tight and dry, so you grab your extra hydrating serum and put it on your skin. Your skin drinks up the serum, so you put another layer on or, possibly, another serum on your skin. After that, you grab your extra hydrating moisturizer and slather it on.
Because you have used a cleanser that is stripping your skin, you have to use products to bring it back to normal and then extra product on top to address your usually dry skin.
What if you have oily skin? You grab a cleanser that clears off all the oil from your skin, making you feel squeaky clean. You put on your products and head off. A couple hours later the oil is back more than it was before, so you purchase some "oil control" serums / moisturizers/ foundation to help keep the oil under control throughout the day. Now you still feel like you look "oily", but your skin feels dry, so you look for other products to help hydrate but not add oil. Sound familiar?
In both these scenarios, the cleanser is leaving the skin out of balance. Your skin will always try to reach balance, so it will compensate by either absorbing more product, if you are dry, or producing more oil if you are oily. As a result, most people end of spending more money on products to help counteract the effects of what their improper cleanser is doing to their skin initially! If you cleanser keeps your skin balanced from the beginning of your routine, you will need less and your products will be more effective saving you time and $$!!
How do I find the right cleanser?
The right cleanser for your skin is the one that addresses your concerns and keeps your skin balanced! It is different for every person and the best recommendation will come from someone familiar with your skin, such as your regular Esthetician.
If you can't get in to see your skin care professional and want helpful advice and recommendations from a licensed Esthetician, please fill our our skin care consultation form and we can get you personalized recommendations for professional skin care products!