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If you are new to skin care, and creating your own daily skin care routine for glowing skin seems daunting, well, you are at the right place. Let us start with the basics.
One of the most important things to set up your face care routine is to figure out your cleanser. You may need to consider 2 to 3 face cleansers, as the truth is that there is just no ONE single ‘best cleanser for face’. You may need a couple of different products depending on the depth of cleansing needed and the products that need to cleansed off.
For example, if you need to remove make up – yes, even kajal is eye make up, then you may need a 2 step cleanse routine. The first step obviously needs to be a make up remover to cleanse the skin off, all make up products. The second step would be to use a face wash that’s able to cleanse off your make up remover, and whatever remnants of make up, that are still left behind.
If you are wondering about the exact difference between a face wash and a cleanser, well, do not worry. Facewashes are typically said to be more deep cleansing and more foaming than cleansers. Besides this simple differentiation, there is not much of a functional difference between a cleanser and a face wash, when it comes to practical usage. You may require one or the both, at different times, for different functions, so don’t worry – you will not go very wrong in choosing one over another. Ideally, you may want to pick one of each.
To start the day, a simple and gentle cleanser like the Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser is all that you need, especially if you have been sleeping in an airconditioned environment, or you live in a cold/ cool place. If you have pimples, or blemish prone skin, a good option to consider is the Cleanance Cleansing Gel, for effective, but gentle cleansing. Another option for you is the Bioderma Sebium Gel Moussant, which can give you good cleansing without drying the skin out.
On the other hand, if where you live is extremely hot and humid, you may want to start the day with a slightly more thorough cleansing with a product like the Avene cleansing foam, or the Cetaphil gentle foaming cleanser. This is ideal for those with oily skin or combination skin, and when the humidity levels are very high, like in peak summer.
Want to strike a balance between the two? Then consider some great options like the pH balanced Cetaphil baby mild bar or Facecare gentle face wash, which can ideally give you balanced gentle cleansing.
Now that you have a basic idea of the products, let us see what fits where, with some real life examples. We already discussed above, on the best face cleanser for your morning skin care routine.
Let us say you are just back home from the gym, what is the best product to use?
Working out increases the sweat, sebum and grime on the face, and so needs some tough cleansing. Consider using one of the foam cleansers, either from Cetaphil or from Avene, to do the job. When working with foams, just take one pump of the face wash, use a gentle and superficial circular motion to spread the product all over the face and the neck. Avoid rubbing the product into the skin, and avoid harsh scrubbing by all means. The idea of using a foam cleanser is to provide good, deep cleansing without much physical damage to the top layers of the skin. Simply put, get done with your cleansing within 30 to 45 seconds. Pat dry with a soft cotton towel, as, just as we discussed above, foam cleansers are pretty thorough and need gentle handling after. Don’t worry too much about getting these skin care routine steps perfect though. You will get the hang of it, once you understand the logic behind these steps and actions.
Now let us talk about integrating your face wash or face cleanser into a skin care routine for oily skin. The difference here, is predominantly about the frequency of using the face wash, more than a change of product itself. The biggest problem in setting up an ‘oily skin’ care routine is maintaining a glow, without the greasy shine from excess sebum. Planning a skin care routine for oily skin must then take into account the harshness of over washing versus inadequate cleansing of sebum. The best thing to do, is to take the help of 2 different cleansers – a foam facewash and a gentle cleanser, say both from Cetaphil. Now let us tackle the frequency. How often should you wash your face? While it depends on your circumstances, for the purpose of setting up a skin care routine, let us say – you need to wash your face thrice daily. In a skin routine for oily skin, these three washes can be done with the deep cleansing foam. Let’s say you do this, when you wake up, mid day, and in the evening when you come home, or are done with work. You can then factor in another wash at bedtime, now with a gentle cleanser. Or you could do 2 deep cleanses, morning and evening, and the other two can be with a gentle cleanser. So basically, the facewash part of your skin care routine, needs to be customized to your skin type, climate and your specific ecosystem – gym vs home work outs, airconditioning versus no air conditioning for your night hours and so on. These factors are not standard, skin types change as do climates and ecosystems. That is why it is important to understand your skin care well, so that you can be empowered to derive your own skin care routines, customized for you, by you!
Before we conclude, let us take a quick look at the other two skin types. It is pretty simple to integrate a face wash or face cleanser into a skin care routine for dry skin. You go for the most gentle of them all, as we just discussed above. It would be gentle cleansers over deep cleansing foams or face washes.
When it comes to a skin care routine for combination skin, literally, all of the above products will work for you. You only need to figure out what goes when. In Chennai, as with most of us in South India, literally everyone has combination skin. Oily skin is common, but dry skin as a separate skin type is pretty rare. So, here’s the plan for the majority of us, with combination skin. "Start with your ecosystem and finish with your product". When you come back from the gym, it’s a foam cleanser. When you are double cleansing after your make up removal, it’s the foam again. For a neutral 'work from home skin routine', it could be the Facecare face wash or the Bioderma Sebium, which are great mid way marks. Or even the Cetaphil Baby mild bar. When you head over to sleep in an air conditioned room, it could be the Cetaphil gentle cleanser.
But wait, would that not be too many products? Oh yes, it would be! That is where you need to revisit your ecosystem and see which of many products you want to start with. Usually, it is a minimum of 2 products, but definitely not more than 3.
So, that’s about facial skin cleansers in some detail. Next week, we will look at sunscreens in a little more detail than we have done here.