Imagine a morning without coffee, a night without netflix or starting your car without keys. All of these scenarios have missing parts that just don’t make sense. That’s exactly how I feel about a skincare routine with no cleansing. It simply doesn’t work. Cleansing your skin is something that more often than not is done incorrectly. As the first step to your skincare routine it is often skipped over or done way too quickly. In order to have your skincare routine work effectively you must prepare your skin for success. This post is bringing it back to basics to bring you the proper education on how to cleanse your skin.
Step 1- Picking a cleanser! When I ask people what cleansers they use I have been blown away on how this step falls on the spectrum of extremes. Meaning the cleansers are either useless or harmful to the skin. I know that dermatologists “recommend” cetaphil or cerave but I would recommend something more natural and gentle with no parabens or Chemicals. My suggestion would be to have a rotation of 3 cleansers:
- A gentle cleanser for the morning such as Odacite’s gentle rejuvenating cleanser or Tammy Fender’s Cleansing Milk.
- A more active cleanser for 2-3x a week such as Osmia Black Clay soap or May Lindstrom’s The Clean Dirt.
- An oil cleanser for when you need makeup removal or are feeling sensitive. Olive + M cleansing oil and Pure Jojoba oil are great options.
Having 3 cleansers that have different jobs in your arsenal will help you give your skin what it needs in different times of the day and week. Often our skin is compromised due to outside factors so it is crucial to start your skincare routine with the mindfulness that your skin may need more than one option. When in doubt, stick with the gentle option you’ve selected.
Step 2- Once you’ve selected the cleanser you need to start your routine with, set yourself up right with the proper environment to cleanse.
- Wash your hands. Our hands carry so much bacteria and the last thing you want to do is add that bacteria to your face. Think about it, the last thing you probably touched was your phone or a keyboard which are breeding grounds for germs. Give your hands a gentle hand wash and then you’re ready to go.
- Avoid cleansing in the shower. Cleansing in the shower is not the right environment to clean your skin for several reasons. The most important one is because you will not be able to transition into the rest of your routine quickly enough to regulate your PH levels. It’s also very sloppy! If you just let the water run down your face, you will miss a lot of residue and leave your skin half cleaned.
- Keep your water temperature lukewarm to cool. I’m very strict with my clients on temperature because you don’t want to shock your skin during this step. Lukewarm water is great if you are very oily and could use a little bit of warming up to loosen any oil clogs. Cool water is ideal for most people as it will not leave you dehydrated and also work on calming your skin as it cleanses it.
Step 3- Take your time! Don’t rush this process. Would you warm up in your exercise routine for 10 seconds? No! Would you half heartedly wash your food before cooking? I hope not. Cleansing is the best opportunity to really get in tune with your skin. You can truly feel your texture, any bumps or irritated areas. Start by getting your skin damp and gently massage your cleanser on your skin. Take the pads of your fingers and give yourself a gentle lymphatic massage. You will be surprised how relaxed you will feel after taking the time to do this for yourself. The best part is you will also not feel as puffy, bumpy or splotchy after taking this time to care for your skin. Your massage will get your blood flow moving so you look vibrant and youthful. Your skin will be prepped to receive the next step more efficiently too!
Step 4- The “pat dry” or “wipe clean” methods. To remove all of your cleanser efficiently you can do multiple splashes of water until you feel no more residue. When you do this you can take a dry clean towel and maneuver the towel in an upward fashion to absorb any excess product or debris. This method is ideal for someone who is oily, breakout prone and wears a lot of products (makeup or skincare) not for someone who is sensitive. If you are dealing with inflammation you want to use a muslin cloth to absorb the excess cleanser and gently pat dry with a dry clean towel. Both methods are effective you just need to pick according to what your skin is needing.
Step 5- This to me is the most important step. You have to wash your face with love. If you start to dislike your skin and this process entirely, your skin will show it. You can change how you feel about your skin by repeating different mantras to yourself such as “ I am beautiful “ or “ I am grateful for this experience “. I personally take my beauty routine as my ritual to reconnect with my breath. This is perfect for morning and night time so you can truly connect with yourself.
Finding moments in our busy days to connect with ourselves can be quite challenging. Take the opportunity to care for yourself in moments like your skincare regimen. Your routine will always be there so make it a useful and powerful tool towards your overall self care. You deserve the skin you desire so take your time and really love enjoy the process.