The Art of Cleansing
Everyone in the skincare business agrees that one of the most important things you can do for your skin is to cleanse your face. Depending on your skin type, your lifestyle, and the time of year, this can mean different things for different people. However, universally it means the same thing for everyone. It is one of the tricks to staying beautiful and maintaining youthful and vibrant skin.
What the Experts SayCleansing helps to remove dirt, oil, pollution, makeup, and leftover residue from any skin care products that you used since your last cleanse. Nicki Zevola Benvenuti describes it this way:
- It is extremely important to wash your face...morning and night... Every day your skin is aging. And the very simple process of washing your face before bed is an excellent way to mitigate the external factors associated with aging and to stimulate the internal processes that fight aging. Research has shown that certain physiological changes in the skin do occur overnight. Like many of our organs, our skin can tell night from day. Biological processes vary over 24 hours as a result of time-sensitive "clocks"within our cells, said Dr. David R. Weaver, a neurobiology professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Some evidence exists linking circadian clocks to cell cycle (cells dividing to replenish dead ones) and DNA repair, the natural process by which a cell regularly detoxifies itself. Overnight, the skin needs oxygen to repair itself. And sleeping with your makeup on deprives it of this vital nutrient. "When makeup is left on, it blocks the natural exfoliating process, which can leave your skin looking dull," says Dr. Robins Ashinoff, Director of Cosmetic Dermatology at Hackensack Medical Center in New Jersey.
- Nighttime cleansing is essential for letting anti-aging ingredients work. Nocturnal blood flow in the skin is higher. And when blood flow is increased, so is absorption and penetration of ingredients. So again, if you aren't washing you can't apply actives that will help fight aging (or acne, or whatever your skin condition might be). Thus, If you don't wash your face before bed it's a missed opportunity to do something great for your skin and to wake up with a smoother, softer, clearer complexion.
- Forgoing nighttime cleansing regularly will give you larger pores. First, consider that excess sebum (oil), dead skin cells, and pollution are sitting on your face. Not to mention makeup (and just because you don't wear foundation is no excuse). A cleanser will emulsify all of these and remove them from the surface of your skin. According to Dr. Dennis Gross, M.D., when makeup is left on it can seep deep down, clogging pores. He also says that once your collagen levels start to decline (due to aging), the pores do not snap back as easily once they become enlarged. And, leaving makeup on can lead to inflammation that can generate free radicals and collagen breakdown.
- Nighttime cleansing prevents skin dehydration. Skin temperature rises overnight (Temperature of a Healthy Human) which leads to transepidermal water loss (evaporation). This, in part, causes the skin to lose a significant portion of water at night. According to an article, Nocturnal Itch, by the Departments of Dermatology and Neurobiology & Anatomy at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is significantly increased during the night, which is why our skin can sometimes feel more itchy during this time. Thus, if you don't wash your face, you can't apply a moisturizer which will help hydrate your skin while you sleep.
- Daytime cleansing prevents excess oil production. I know what you're thinking- So why then do I have to wash it again in the morning if I went to bed with it clean? As we just learned, overnight your skin recovers. Which means in the morning you have more dead skin cells to slough off. And more excess sebum to emulsify.
What A Cleanser Should BeAccording to WebMD: Cleansers should not strip the fat from between the skin cells that actually makes the skin supple and soft and your skin should not be scrubbed so hard that it damages the skin's barrier level. This means that if you feel pain when you wash you are hurting your skin rather than helping it. Cleansers that are soap-free are more appropriate for facial use than soaps are. One of the best cleansers on the market is Calysta Labs Restorative Foaming Cleanser. It is gentle and moisturizing and it penetrates the deepest layers of the skin for a clean that leaves the face feeling soft and refreshed, and looking noticeably brighter. It is good for all skin types, including sensitive skin. The active ingredient, DMAE which works as an anti-aging compound, is mixed with panthenol, water and versabase foam.
How to CleanseThe American Academy of Dermatology recommends that your cleanser be used with the following steps:
- Wet your face with lukewarm water and use your fingertips to apply cleanser. Using a washcloth, mesh sponge, or anything other than your fingertips can irritate your skin.
- Resist the temptation to scrub your skin because scrubbing irritates the skin.
- Rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry with a soft towel.
- Apply moisturizer if your skin is dry or itchy. Be gentle when applying any cream around your eyes so you do not pull too hard on this delicate skin. (Calysta Labs Revitalizing Moisturizer is perfect to pair with the Restorative Foaming Cleanser).
- Limit washing to twice a day and after sweating. Wash your face once in the morning and once at night, as well as after sweating heavily. Perspiration, especially when wearing a hat or helmet, irritates the skin. Wash your skin as soon as possible after sweating.