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Cleanser, Explained: The Facts You Need to Know Before Washing Your Face

Cleanser, Explained: The Facts You Need to Know Before Washing Your Face

Published by Melon & Starfish on 8th Jul 2021

A good facial cleanser should always be the first step in any skin care ritual. Specially formulated to purify and cleanse, these products utilize surfactant ingredients, which interact with the skin’s natural barrier and disrupt the pH balance. This effectively works to break down dirt, excess oil, bacteria, pollution, dead skin, makeup and any other impurities on the surface of the skin.

Additionally, cleanser is a critical step because it helps to prepare the epidermis for your other cosmetics. Skin that is not freshly cleansed will have a harder time absorbing serums, masks, moisturizers and other active skincare. So let’s get started!

By now, most of us know how to cleanse our face, but not everyone knows how to do so effectively. Because this step is the foundation of our whole skin care routine, it’s important to be thorough and not rush the process. Don’t be afraid to really get into all of the small crevices where makeup and debris like to hang out.

Using gentle pressure, you’ll ideally want to spend at least two minutes mindfully massaging your face before rinsing to ensure that all of the cleanser is removed. Also be sure to use lukewarm or cold water, as hot water can strip the skin. If double cleansing is a part of your routine, you can repeat this process for a deeper cleanse.

Every skin type should look for a gentle cleanser that is non-drying, and avoid excess perfume or fragrance. For normal, combination or oily skin types, we like a gel or foaming cleanser. For dry, aging or sensitive skin, we recommend a cream or oil-based cleanser.

Another thing to consider is the time of day. In the morning, you could opt for a gel cleanser with antioxidants to help protect the skin against the elements, then use a creamier or oil-based cleanser at night to remove makeup and hydrate the skin before bedtime.

When implementing multiple cleansers, it's good to have one "active" cleanser in the routine. An active cleanser is one that contains an active ingredient such as salicylic acid. These cleansers tend to be too stripping for everyday use, but can make a great addition 1-3x per week.

For Acne-Prone Skin

For Ageing Skin

For Dry Skin

For Oily Skin

For Sensitive Skin


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