Last updated: 1.45pm, Tuesday 9th February 2016
How often do we see and hear magazines and websites instruct us to scrub our faces more often and more vigorously? It is almost enough to believe that an average person forgoes basic hygiene, should they be left to their own devices for a day. An entire industry has sprung up within the cosmetics world that churns out devices, potions and other tools, all targeted at getting your skin as clean, as humanely possible. Loofahs, gels, soaps, balms, waters (no, not your regular H2O but other waters), sponges, flannels, rapidly pulsating face brushes and more are here to help you out.
Do we really need them all? Can we not achieve crystal clean skin without employing heavy artillery? Is there such a thing as “too much cleansing”?
Well, the answer lies somewhere in between and varies…But then, you did not expect a “yes or no” response, did you?
In short, not everybody will require heavy-duty tools to cleanse their face and even those that do, will likely need to rotate and alter them, depending on circumstance.
Oily skins may be tempted to cleanse thoroughly, daily and nightly, using astringent products and buying sponges or brushes, designed specifically for oily skin. The flipside is that over-cleansing oily skin is something that is bound to exasperate the sebum production. The more your scrub it dry, the more oil your glands will produce. Not only that, but beware misdiagnosing your skin. The presence of an oily T-zone and breakouts are not synonymous with oily skin, as it could be an indicator of combination or any other type of skin that is simply prone to blemishes. In addition, oily skin can also be dehydrated, as we mentioned before.
Our advice? Get a professional to diagnose your skin type and ensure that your cleansing routine is not targeting one aspect, at the cost of everything else. Oily and combination skins are also in need of hydration and can be irritated with harsh ingredients. Alternate medicated and gentler cleansers throughout the week and exfoliate regularly, rather than rely on daily use of stripping products.
And when it comes to driers skins, perhaps skipping a morning cleanse altogether is the way to go. If your night time skincare regime is in line, then there really isn’t much your skin needs cleaning from upon waking. Splash it with water in the AM and save your cleansers for the evening. However, do not skip toner, as it does more than merely cleanse your skin.
Whatever your skin type is, should you be a fan of makeup, or even favour really thick sunblock, you may need to invest into a dedicated makeup remover. Foundation, concealer and powder, let alone a nice physical sunblock are unlikely to budge with a light foaming gel. If you put in eye or lip makeup into the equation, your cleansers might not manage to remove the visible signs of it, let alone what evades the eye. And you can guarantee that the effect will be magnified, should you pick waterproof formulations.
Dry, combination, normal or oily, do invest into a nice emollient makeup remover. Do not try to strip makeup off by applying cleanser twice. Instead, remove your makeup with a speciality product, and then follow up with your favourite cleanser to remove all traces of the often thick or oily consistency.
So to sum up, listen to your skin and do not follow instructions blindly. Do not enter into a tough trade-off between cleanliness and other skin concerns.
Thankfully, we live in a world, where you dictate the rules of your skincare.