Skin Cleansing: A Simple but crucial step in your RoutineBy Arcadian / March 17, 2019 / Uncategorized / 0 Comments
Lisa Bova, Founder Arcadian Winds Beauty March 2019
Have you ever tried to apply a decorative decal to your wall? Instructions typically call for "washing the wall with mild soap and water for a clean surface before applying". So you get up on your ladder with a soapy concoction and a sponge and upon close inspection of said wall, you gasp a little. Years of debris, spider webby things, and splotches of....lasagna? While the wall decal's intention is to pretty up your wall, without that good cleanse not only won't it stick, but the raised debris will hinder a smooth application. Ok, I'm sure there are tons of better examples to emphasize the importance of skin cleansing, but you get the picture. All those gorgeous serums and active ingredients are like that decal. Intended to improve and beautify skin but unable to do so on a grimy canvas.
While skin cleansing is a super important step, it certainly does not have to be complicated or expensive. In fact, when it comes to facial cleansers, the simpler the better. Facial cleansers serve one purpose, and that is to effectively remove surface dirt and debris. They should be gentle and NEVER leave you with tight skin or that "squeaky clean" feeling. This feeling typically signifies a cleanser way too high in alkalinity and that "squeak" is actually your skin screaming bloody murder from it's precious and protective acid mantle being stripped away. Cleansers with more gentle surfactants that have a lower pH are best for all skin types (be on the lookout for a low pH cleanser soon to come from Arcadian Winds Beauty!) And yes, men and women can use the same cleansers. To imply that they cannot is just another marketing tactic.
If you are paying more that $15 for a face cleanser you are paying too much, and here's why. Cleansers are on the skin for an average of 30 seconds! We'll get into why this time length needs improving, but let's think about this. This is not a product that is left on the skin in any manner. Once rinsed, there is nothing absorbed and nothing left behind. Aside from possible light conditioners, no properties remain on the skin to provide any benefit as opposed to a leave-on product such as a serum or moisturizer. So, that $40 cleanser that contains all those fancy anti-aging ingredients to warrant such a price tag is literally being washed right down the sink just seconds after applied.
Now, back to that 30 second matter. It's so important to spend some time with your cleansing routine, especially before bed. I've always advocated the double cleansing technique and used this for many years in the treatment room. Using a cleansing OIL (my personal favorite here) as your first cleanse ensures the removal of virtually all surface debris and applications. Because like attracts like, any emollient(oil based) products applied during the day will literally melt away with an oil. This includes all foundations, powders, eyeshadows, stubborn SPFs and mascara. Now just imagine how much more effective your daily face wash will be on that second cleanse with all that surface gunk already gone! Your cleanser can go straight to actually CLEANING your skin by getting to your pores without having to work at REMOVING anything. Essentially a single, 30 second cleanse is only doing half the work. It can only get to the removal but never achieves the cleansing as indicated by a pillowcase with residual makeup on it the next morning.
This double cleansing technique is beauty industry standard and, if you find yourself with constant bumpy congested skin, a true game changer. It will add more time to your nightly routine to be sure, about a solid minute per cleanse, but the change in your skin will be darn near miraculous. Not only will the skin naturally clear itself of congestion as pores are being stripped of any blockage but a radiant glow will appear as well. Additionally, like that wall decal, anything you apply to that fresh clean canvas will go on smoothly and just work better.
Bottom line here is this: A facial cleanser should be gentle, able to remove surface debris and leave skin feeling nourished and balanced. Try not to be enticed by expensive cleansers claiming amazing results or aging reversal. This is not the product you want to invest any real money in. Spend that money instead on the serums, moisturizers and retinols that actually go to work for you. And for heaven's sake, reassure your dude that he won't sprout boobs if he uses your cleanser.