Cleansing is an indispensable step of any skincare routine regardless of your skin type. Starting with a perfectly clean face remove irritants and prep your skin to absorbs all the goodies from your essences, toners, serums (aka ampoules in ko), moisturizers and so on.
Why cleansing your skin is so important in the evening?
All along the day, our skin accumulates dust from the atmosphere, pollens, particles from cars and other pollutants that get trap by the lipid layer that our skin naturally produces. Not to mention, that sebum, the skincare (sunscreen included) and makeup get degrade by the oxygen from the air and the natural bacterias.
PS: If you want to know more about the effect of population on the skin check this beautiful article from Alain Ko.
How do cleansers work?
The most common way to remove all the impurities is to use a water based cleanser (aka foam cleanser) on damp skin. Foaming cleanser contains detergents (or surfactants) that are molecules that bind oil and water, hence they cleansing abilities. Soap is an excellent example of a strong detergent that has been used to do laundry. Sodium lauryl sulfate (or SLS) is another example. Those harsh detergents deplete your skin from its precious lipids (bye-bye glorious ceramides) and worth of all increase your skin PH towards 8 ! Healthy skin has an acidic PH of 5.5.
Thankfully, cosmetics brands have developed mild cleansers that are gentle and acidic at the same time. They do not dry out the skin (hi ceramides) and respect the acid PH of your skin. Unfortunately, they are far too weak to properly cleanse your skin after a day of labor.
Hence, the glorious double cleansing routine:
Double cleansing in the evening is pretty popular in Asia like in South Korea. It is a dual process where an oil-based cleanser is first used followed by a water-based cleanser. By doing so, you can use the gentlest of the water-based cleanser.
The lipids from the oil-based cleanser transfer all the impurities (makeup, sunscreen and the rest) into the oil phase that is then removed by the water-based cleanser.
So how to double cleanse your face?
1: Apply the oil cleanser on dry skin and massage it all over your face, eyes included.
2: Rince it with lukewarm water (a quick rinse is sufficient)
3: On your hand, apply a pea amount of foam (or gel) cleanser and make bubbles. Then, apply it to damp face and massage all over.
4: Rince it thoroughly with lukewarm water.
5: Pat it dries using a clean towel.
Here are some of my current favorite cleansers.
The famous Banila co clean it zero. It is a generous balm with a sweet smell. The texture is firm but dissolves with the warmth of your hand into a smooth, velvety oil. It dissolves stubborn sunscreen and makeup in a second. It emulsifies well with lukewarm water.
My current favorite second cleanser is an oil from Muji the oil cleansing. I have been into it quite recently. The texture is quite slippery, and the oil glides onto your skin. This oil is perfume free and emulsifies entirely with water. It is a perfect choice if you have sensitive skin.
The first one is from the French brand Avene it is the Nettoyant nutri-fluid from the Trixera line. Avene has a long experience with sensitive skin prone to dryness and eczema. This gel cleanser doesn’t foam and is suitable for children and adult. It comes in 100 to 400ml. If you have sensitive skin, this one is a must. It doubles as a perfect hand cleanser also.
My current obsession is the Blueberry bounce gentle cleanser from Glow recipe. This one is a more high-end cleanser. Glow recipe has just revamped the packaging. It is a gel that glides onto your skin and leaves a healthy hydrating film after washing it. The smell is quite lovely (aka blueberry) but discreet which I love.
My Pro tips:
-Do not forget to clean your neck.
-Do not apply pressure on your face. Only use the tip of your fingers. No rubbing, no tucking.
-Do not use cold water. Lukewarm water helps to wash away the cleansers and condition your skin for the next steps.
-Do not rub your face and your neck with the towel.
-Applied your skincare immediately after patting your face with a towel.
-Double cleansing your skin even if you did not wear makeup or sunscreen (even though you should have 🙂 )