Long gone are the days of reaching for a face cloth or a no-frills make-up remover in an attempt to get rid of a day’s worth of heavy-duty mascara. As our beauty regimen has expanded, as have our cleanser options: balms, oils, micellar waters and jellies are a handful of next-generation formulations that are quickly becoming staples in our cabinets.
Deciphering the plethora of new cleansing options can be overwhelming but Janet Curmi, Elizabeth Arden vice president global education and development says gentle cleansing oils and creams are a great choice for normal to dry skin. “If you have oily skin it is important not to overuse exfoliating products which can irritate skin,” she explains. Curmi says don’t rule out oil cleansers.”It may seem counterintuitive to use an oil cleanser on oily skin, but by nature, oil attracts oil to remove dirt and impurities.”
Whatever cleanser formulation you decide on, it’s important to settle on one and use it regularly. It’s not just make-up, excess oil and unwanted debris we need to think about removing either explains Janet Curmi, Elizabeth Arden vice president global education and development. “Throughout the day we are exposed to bacteria, pollutants, viruses and dirt; many pollution particles are twenty times smaller than the diameter of a pore on your face,” she says. “Daily facial cleansing removes these impurities to give the skin a fresh look.” But it also prepares our skin for the following steps in our routine; without cleansing, it’s difficult for our skin to absorb products efficiently she explains.
While cleansing more frequently might seem like a quick solution for oily skin, there is such a thing as over cleansing. “Many people have the concept that skin needs to be squeaky clean, but that means you’ve been too aggressive and you could cause irritation to the delicate skin barrier,” says Curmi. Skin, she explains, should never feel too dry or too greasy after cleansing.
Reaching for your favourite cleanser too frequently can strip skin of its natural oil which it needs to keep complexions lubricated and hydrated. Skin also needs a good balance of microorganisms to stay healthy. “If we cleanse until our skin is squeaky clean we end up killing off many of both the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ species of bacteria and other microorganisms. Then our skin becomes deficient in what it needs to stay healthy and balanced.”
So how often should we really be lathering up? “You can definitely over-cleanse your face,” says Curmi. “Depending on your skin type you should wash your skin no more than twice a day,” she recommends. Once a day is a must-do for everyone – skin that’s on the oilier side can benefit from twice a day –, and Curmi says nighttime is the time to do it. “It’s important to remove makeup and any impurities that have built up on your skin’s surface throughout the day.”