Caring For Your Skin At Home, Pt 1: Cleansing

When taking a shower, do you use a cleanser on your body?  Would you just stand under the faucet?  You probably answered no, yet it amazes me how many people will not cleanse their face, especially at the end of the day.  Cleansing your skin is an important step in keeping your skin healthy and radiant.  Just as important, however, is choosing the right cleanser.

If you choose a cleanser that is not appropriate for your skin type you may cause problems.  No matter what type of skin you have, you never want to use a cleanser that will make your skin feel dry and taunt.  Although it may be tempting to get that squeaky clean feel, that cleanser will strip your skin of the good oils — making your skin react by producing even more oil!  Always choose a cleanser that is pH balanced.  If your skin is sensitive choose a cleanser free of fragrance, even essential oils.  If it is dry, choose a milk or cream cleanser.  For those with oily skin and acne choose a gel cleanser but as mentioned above, make sure it does not leave your skin feeling tight and taunt.  Another cleansing method that has become very popular over the last few years is the oil cleansing method.  I love this type of cleansing but it is important that you are using the correct oils for your skin type, just as with any other cleanser.  I will be discussing the Oil Cleansing Method in an upcoming blog.  However, the best way to choose the perfect cleanser for your skin type is by an Esthetician's recommendation.  In the last number of years many companies have added alpha hydroxy acids or beads to their cleansers.  I strongly urge you not to use these types of cleansers.  While exfoliation is an important step in a good skin care regime, over exfoliation will cause inflammation, dry skin and possible irritation. And please never, ever use bar soap on your face, especially mass produced, even if it says non drying or moisturizing.

The most important time to cleanse your face is in the evening.  Even if you do not wear makeup your face is continually covered with bacteria, pollutants, and dirt. Many of us are so tired by the time we get ready for bed that we decide to skip cleansing our face.  Here's a little tip I tell my clients:  If you are not going out for the evening, as soon as you get home from work cleanse your face and apply your moisturizer.  This way it's done no matter how tired you are later.  Oh, and please remember, you must apply moisturizer after you cleanse....more about that in Part 3.

So, now you are on your way to beautiful, healthy radiant skin.  Coming next:  Toners