March 19, 2022

How important is my cleanser and how often should I clean my skin? 

This is a great question and one that I get a lot from new clients in my private practice. The type of cleanser you use is very important since it is the first step in your skin care routine. It is important to use a cleanser that is not too drying for your skin, but will do the job. Your skin should feel slightly taut after cleansing but not overly dry and never irritated. I try to avoid any cleansers that contain sodium laryl sulfate in it, as they tend to be drying and often slightly irritating to the skin. Sodium laureth sulfate, on the other hand, although still a cleansing detergent is less foaming and therefore fine. 


While picking the appropriate cleanser for your skin is very important, it is how you use your cleanser that often gets overlooked. Work the cleanser into your skin for about 60 seconds; count it out loud just to be sure. The massaging action of the cleanser into the skin stimulates oxygen flow to the tissues and encourages waste products to be flushed through the system. Follow with a soft washcloth to thoroughly remove the cleanser from the skin; any remaining residue could cause clogging of the pores. I recommend investing in a few nice, soft washcloths so that you have a clean washcloth preferably for every day of the week. I notice a significant improvement in the tone of my client’s skin when they use a washcloth daily. If you do a proper cleansing followed by a replenishing cream at night, it is not necessary to wash your skin in the morning. Your skin should feel fresh and clean upon waking so all you need to do is a quick rinse; moisturizer, sun block and you are ready to go. 


Depending on your skin type, there are many kinds of cleansers to choose from; oil-based cleansers, gel cleansers, cream cleansers, or face soaps. Regardless of what kind of cleanser you use, it’s important to massage the cleanser into your skin for up to 60 seconds in order to break down surface dirt and make up. Then you want to use a damp washcloth or wet cotton pads to remove the cleanser thoroughly from the skin. This essential step prevents any residue of the cleanser to be left behind on your skin and clog your pores.

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