the bottom line
Cleansing is the critical first step in keeping your skin, well, clean. Here’s why and how.
WHY CLEANSE AT ALL?
Why indeed. Aside from the obvious benefits of removing makeup and the incredible amount of dirt that seems to accumulate on our faces during the day (especially here in New York City - ick), here are a few more good reasons:
- Cleansing is a natural part of the morning routine. Most of us have the incredible privilege of (usually) having warm running water with which to shower. Enjoy this gift and include your lovely mug. She’ll thank you for it later.
- Sweat, grime, and bacteria. No, it’s not the name of a groovy band from the 60’s, it’s the nastiness that accumulates on your skin during your average day. Get rid of it to help prevent clogged pores and breakouts.
- Speaking of pores…Pores look smaller when they’re clean and unclogged. A good aesthetician, visited on a regular basis, can help to keep them clear, but cleansing is the mainstay between visits.
- Your other products will work better. Chances are you’ve spent some good money on your moisturizer and makeup. They will work a lot – A LOT -- better if you clean the canvas first.
DO I REALLY NEED TO CLEANSE TWICE DAILY?
Yes. And you need to brush your teeth and feed the cat twice daily too.
If you’ve been a good girl (or boy) and washed your face the night before, you can get away with a light cleanse in the morning. This doesn’t mean throwing water on your face and calling it a day, it means applying a small dollop of a gel or cream-based cleanser and massaging it in for 60 seconds prior to rinsing off thoroughly. For those of us who are more challenged in the patience department (read: New Yorkers), use a Clarisonic or other nifty mechanical device with a built-in timer that forces you to keep it on your face for what sometimes feels like the longest minute of your life.
At night, devote a solid two minutes to your facial cleanse. Remember – your face has been fighting and accumulating the elements all day. Time to take it all off. If you wear makeup, a double cleanse with an oil cleanser followed by a water-based cream cleanser is spectacular. A bi-phasic cleanser, which has both oil and water elements, is another option. The oil adheres to your makeup, while the water washes away the nasties. While we generally run (screaming) from anything that requires an extra step, this one is worth it; the first time you double-cleanse and see how good your skin looks and feels, you will wonder why you resisted for so long.
Our advice – find a few products you truly enjoy using on a sensorial level, and your nighttime routine will be easier to stomach. Yes, your kids (or partner) will find a way to break or spill something during that critical two minutes that you’re out of the kitchen, but you’ll look great while you’re cleaning up the mess.
WHAT TYPE OF CLEANSER SHOULD I USE?
As we often say: it depends.
- Oil: Lovely at night; excellent for dry, mature skin in anxious and creative types (vata in Ayurvedic lingo) during the daytime too. Dr. Naidu has promised to make one for Anokha® just as soon as she finds someone to write these blogs for her.
- Gel: Gel cleansers can be very nice as well as long as they do not contain sulfates or medicated acne-fighting ingredients (hint, hint – salicylic acid, we mean you). Glycolic acid also tends to get thrown into gel cleansers more often that we like to see. While there is a place for medicated washes, when used routinely they will dry and irritate your skin out faster than…well, fast.
- Cream-based: We favor these most of the time. They are water-based, gentle, and feel really, really good when you’re rubbing them all over your face for that eternity of 60 seconds.
Shameless plug: anokha® carries not one, but two cleansers (we did mention we like cleansers, right?).
- anokha® Oatmeal Cleansing Milk is made of oatmeal extract, milk protein and orange peel powder. While this might sound more like a nice breakfast, it soothes, hydrates, and gently exfoliates those with sensitive or damaged skin.
- anokha® rice bran & pomegranate cleansing oil
All this and more at www.anokhaskincare.com .