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Cleansing Your Face Without Damaging Your Skin

How to Gently and Effectively Cleanse Your Facial Skin 

Washing your facial skin is a key component of your skincare routine that if done properly will enhance the health and appearance of your skin, or if done improperly will diminish the health of your skin. Safely and effectively washing your face requires more than just the proper technique, it also requires the right cleansers.

Your facial skin is a very sensitive creature, constantly in protection mode, reacting and responding to everything around you in your everyday environment, even though you typically don’t notice it doing so (unless it’s showing visible signs of stress and agitation). Essentially, our skin works tirelessly to protect itself; so much so that it also sheds itself of cells that no longer serve a purpose through a process called desquamation. 

If our skin sheds spent cells, can it also clean itself? The short answer: no, it cannot. While our skin does a wonderful job of alerting us of triggers and stressors in our environment and shedding itself of cells that have served their purpose, it cannot successfully clean itself. We have to aid our skin with this process.

Spent skin cells remain on the skin and do not always fall away. These cells often get stuck to the top layer of your epidermis by sticky protein bonds called desmosomes, whose purpose is to hold cells together. This can trap impurities in our pores. The only effective way to remove impurities lodged in the skin is by cleansing, and this is why you must regularly cleanse your face with a facial cleanser.

The sole purpose of a cleanser is to eliminate the daily buildup of bacteria, pollutants, and dead cells that sit atop the epidermis clogging your pores and follicles. When we don’t cleanse, we’re preventing our skin from being able to breathe, we become more susceptible to infection and breakouts, and we are not getting the full benefit of the skincare products (think moisturizers and serums) that we apply to our skin because they will not penetrate past the layer of dead skin cells unless we cleanse and exfoliate them away. The key here is to remove just the dirt and buildup but not to strip your skin of its natural oils because that will throw your skin out of balance.

That said, the grease-stripping cleansers and scratchy cleansers with large granular beads are probably driving your skin crazy. Products that haven’t been properly pH-adjusted and water that isn’t the right temperature? Also irritating your skin. To properly cleanse, pick a cleanser that best compliments your skin type. As a general rule of thumb, soap-based cleansers are good for all skin types.

Cleansers By Skin Type:
  • Oily Skin: oilier skin types may find that double cleansing suits their skin best, so opt for an oil cleanser to prep the skin to rinse away the excess sebum and follow through with something clarifying to finish the job. Avoid creamy and milk-based cleansers as they can be too heavy. Gel or foaming cleansers are better.
  • Dry Skin: contrary to oily skin, dry skin does not produce oil on its own and requires more nourishing ingredients without stripping what little oil the skin does have. Opt for milky, lotion-based, oil, or cream cleansers to ensure the little oil your skin is producing isn’t compromised and stripped from your acid mantle.
  • Sensitive Skin: those with sensitive skin (a condition one is born with) and sensitized skin (concerns that develop over time due to environmental stressors) need to be especially mindful of the ingredients that are used in their cleanser because harsh chemicals and stripping agents can sensitize the skin further causing harsh reactions. A delicate cleanser or lotion-based cleanser would bode well for sensitive or sensitized skin types.
Remember: the goal is not to achieve a squeaky-clean feeling. When you’ve achieved this, you’ve stripped your skin by cleansing too harshly and it becomes more crucial than ever to replenish some of your natural oils through subsequent products. Toning is a crucial step following your daily cleanse. Here is an ideal protocol for facial cleansing:

The Safe Cleanse Routine

Once you’ve picked the best cleanser for your skin type, wet your skin using lukewarm water and begin to massage the cleanser into your face using your fingertips, and ensure there is contact with the cleanser for at least 30 seconds to one minute. 
  1. Use Luke-Warm Water. Never Hot Water as it will dehydrate your skin. Cold water is fine to use in a pinch and is great for waking up the skin and reducing puffiness, but it may not be strong enough to break up dirt that’s settled deep into the pores. Lukewarm water is always best.
  2. Rinse away the product completely and pat your skin dry with a CLEAN towel. Change your towels daily if you can, as they harbor bacteria. Do not rub the towel horizontally across your skin, the fibers can be irritating to you skin.
  3. Leave a little moisture on your face, and with slightly damp skin apply your facial toner. You’ll notice our toners use reverse osmosis water. Reverse osmosis water can help break down the large molecules of tap water into smaller molecule sizes, which better preps your skin to absorb your moisturizer and allows it to absorb more water for added hydration. The water in your toner is used as a neutralizer to rebalance your skin’s pH (it likes to be slightly acidic, around 4.5-5.5) after using a cleansing product, which is usually on the more alkaline side.
Quick Summary of Cleansing No-No's:
  • No hot water. Water temperature should be no hotter than lukewarm.
  • Do not apply cleanser to dry skin, always wet your skin (unless you are using a cleansing oil or balm!).
  • Avoid using jagged, irregular, or large granule scrubs or body soaps on your facial skin.
  • Gently pat your skin dry with a CLEAN towel. Do not rub vigorously.
  • Do not rely on makeup wipes to cleanse your face. Wipes smear makeup and impurities around your skin ultimately leaving a film; they do not effectively cleanse your skin.
            So, as you can see, cleansing is a crucial part of every skincare routine that should never be skipped. While some people prefer to only cleanse once per day, we think twice daily is optimal. More importantly, the right product and knowledge of how to safely cleanse your skin goes a long way. We hope you found this helpful and learned a thing or two about facial cleansing!

            Our Facial Cleansers And Makeup Remover

            • Organic Delicate Cleanser: Our Delicate Cleanser is formulated with carefully selected wildcrafted and organic oils which are saponified and then blended to create a pH balanced liquid soap: an amazing cleanser that will gently and deeply cleanse your skin without harm. We assume everyone has extremely delicate, hyper-sensitive skin. Delicate Cleanser is formulated with this direct and simple understanding.

            Organic Delicate Cleanser

            • Cleanse And Glow Oil: Our Cleanse & Glow Oil contains a blend of anti-inflammatory oils selected for their linolenic and oleic fatty acid profiles. These fatty acid profiles are excellent at dissolving coagulated sebum and deeply penetrating pores to provide a very deep, gentle cleaning. When used in conjunction with a healthy skincare regime, these oils help minimize inflammation, reduce blackhead formation and control breakouts.

            Organic Cleanse And Glow Oil

            • Cucumber Makeup Remover: Formulated in a base of refreshing cucumber water blended with olive skin extracts, to gently melt makeup away without tugging or damaging your skin, especially in and around the delicate skin surrounding your eyes. Works on all makeup, even waterproof products.

            Organic Cucumber Makeup Remover

            • Organic Cream Cleanser: A rich and gentle facial cleansing cream formulated for ultra-sensitive or dry skin types. This water-soluble lotion applies like a face cream and then easily rinses away for a clean moisturized finish. Melts away makeup. Your face will be cleansed, conditioned, comfortable, and hydrated. Pristine.