A cleanser is often seen as the least important part of one’s skincare regime. Sure, any old product will do is what I hear from many people of all ages. What you clean your face with is the basis of a good skincare regime. In fact, using the wrong cleanser can damage your skin’s barrier and lead to all sorts of problems such as sensitivity and irritation. Certain cleansers can strip your skin, leaving it inflamed and that all-important barrier is damaged.
THE SKIN BARRIER
The skin barrier is a thin layer which protects the skin. Its role is to keep water in and irritants out. If this acid mantle is broken, it means your skin is vulnerable to irritation. It can become tight, dry, itchy or even inflamed.
Many factors contribute to weakening this acid mantle/skin barrier. Ageing is obviously one. But the environment (pollutants and extreme weather), chemicals in make-up and harsh cleansers or exfoliants can also adversely affect it. In this post, I want to talk about cleansers.
Cleansing, according to many dermatologists, is the most important part of your beauty routine. Your evening cleanse gets rid of the day’s dirt, grime, make-up and, of course, dead cells.. This is important, because if you do not properly cleanse you can prevent your skin from regenerating new skin cells. It also makes your skin more receptive to serums and lotions and potions. Some people feel the need to double-cleanse and that is a personal choice.
It is a good idea to cleanse in the morning also as it prepares your skin for the day.
CHOOSE YOUR CLEANSER CAREFULLY
So the wrong cleanser can do more harm than good. First of all, you need to know your skin type.
Different skin types require different cleansers. For example, if you have oily skin you need a cleanser with a low pH level. Dry skin needs one with a low alcohol content.
Also, it might be a good idea to mix up your cleansers a bit. I use two different cleansers, one in the morning and the other in the evening.
MY CURRENT FAVOURITE CLEANSERS
I have discovered that with ageing dry skin one of the best cleansers for me is a gel cleanser. I had my last facial in early March in Elaine Butler Doolin’s Bespoke Beauty in Morehampton Road, Dublin 4. It was my second visit to Elaine and I have described the facials I have had there as the most pampering facials ever. Elaine introduced me to Simone Mahler’s products and her cleansing Gelee Satin is simply divine. It is both gentle and nourishing and your face feels cleansed and pampered.
You simply apply a small amount of the gel to the face, massage it in all over, even around the eyes. It is brilliant at dissolving eyeshadow and mascara without irritation. The gel now has an oil-like consistency. So you just use a warm muslin facecloth or one of those fashionable cleansing mitts (with lukewarm water, never hot) to remove the product from your face. You will be left with soft, glowing, clean skin.
Elaine also recommended that I use the cleanser to give myself a facial massage. I do so using a jade gua sha which I have for years to do the hard work.
The Seavite products harness the goodness of seaweed and this cleanser, just like their fabulous serum (which I keep in the fridge for when my face is feeling irritated), is particularly calming and gentle on the skin. If you have sensitive skin, then this is particularly good to help calm and nurture it. Following a period of sensitivity last year, I used their cleanser (and serum) and it helped restore the balance in my skin. I have learned that over-use of products and treatments can be detrimental to my skin rather than beneficial. This is called a comfort cleanser for a very good reason.
If you are looking for a cleanser that is budget-friendly and effective then look no further than CeraVe Cleansing Lotion. Created by dermatologists, it contains a blend of three different ceramides (naturally occurring oils found in the skin) to help maintain and balance your skin’s moisture levels.
Ceramides are the building blocks of the acid mantle. If our ceramide levels are low, our skin barrier can become weakened, often leading to dry, itchy and irritated skin.
Also, the range is fragrance-free, paraben-free and hypoallergenic. For a relatively inexpensive cleanser, it is really amazing.
Remember, these are only my recommendations. These are what I have found to work well for me at various times. As I mentioned earlier, you need to know your skin type and choose the correct cleanser for your skin. By seeking the advice of a professional you will avoid making expensive mistakes.
So remember choose your cleanser carefully. If you have a favourite cleanser, please let me know in the comments.
I hope that our July weather in Ireland improves. We have gone from having a hose pipe ban at the end of June to a serious amount of rain so far in July.
Stay safe my friends wherever you are.