I do not know how many persons have asked me what to use to cleanse their face in the morning and most of the time they were not using the right product nor the right way. Little changes in your daily skin care habits can lead to tremendous results. The « cleansing » step in the morning is definitely one of them.
The logic behind the cleansing routine in the morning
The rationale behind the cleansing method in the morning is different from the evening. Your skin has to get ready to face the harsh environment of the day ahead. The pollution, the dust, the change of temperature, the variation of humidity, the dreadful UV from the sun and so on… will damage your skin. The stronger your skin barrier (aka stratum corneum + acid mantle) is, the better.
The cohesion of the skin barrier depends on the PH, on a complex matrix of lipids and cell to cell bounds. The process of cleansing your face will alter the cohesion of your skin cells no matter what you use. Any detergent, even the mildest, will affect the health of the skin barrier. For most of us, the use of detergent is detrimental for the integrity of your skin in the morning.
Why do you need to prep your skin in the morning:
Your morning routine has to focus on shielding your skin from the outside. A harsh cleansing habit in the morning will weaken your skin. Nonetheless, appling cosmetics on bare skin after a night of sleep is not optimal. Why? Because the layer of sebum mixed with the cosmetics of the previous night has oxidized and this layer preventing your skincare to penetrate. Removing this oxidized layer is essential to prep your skin to anchor your products within your stratum corneum deeply. I prefer to refer to prepping the face rather than cleansing it.
Prep your skin according to your skin type:
Like always, what will determine what the best method, is to choose one fitting your skin type. Experiment with it for a solid week before committing to it.
Normal skin type:
Normal skin is the perfect balance skin type. A splash of water is an excellent way to ready your face for the day. Lightly rinse your face without massaging your face, then lightly tap your face with a towel and voilà.
Combination skin type:
Well, well, well combination skin is the most often skin type. Cheeks are dehydrated or normal while the T zone (forehead, nose, and chin) is more oily. I also recommend a gentle splash of water all over the face.
However, if the T zone is very oily you likely need to use an acidic water-based cleanser. An excellent water-based cleanser for the morning is the iconic Eau micellaire from Bioderma. Soak a cotton pad with it and pass it on the oilier part. Don’t add pressure. You do not want to exfoliate your skin in the morning. Finally, rinse your face with water (yes, you do need to rinse your face even with cleansing water)
Oily skin is a curse and a blessing. At the end of the day, the face is shining and « wet » from all the sebum. However, know that oily skin is always well moisturized and more protected than the other skin type. In my book, it is undoubtedly an advantage. You do not want to strip the skin from its lipids but balance it. Use a gentle acid cleanser such as the foam cleanser from Hada Labo. Rince it with plenty of lukewarm water and pat your skin with a clean towel.
Dry skin feels tight, rough and absorbs all moisturizers in a second. Dry skin has by itself an impaired skin barrier, so the last thing to do is to remove any precious lipids from it. The best way to prep it is to use a moisturizing toner (aka essence in #kbeauty) that contains lost of humectants to infuse the skin with natural moisturizing factors such as hyaluronic acid. An absolute favorite of mine is the Hada Labo Gokujyn premium is an absolute must. Drench a cotton pad with it and press it all over your face.
-If your tap water contains lost of chlorine or pollutants, use filtered water, mineral water, or spray water.
-Always drench a cotton pad with cleansing water or a tonner. The common mistake is to put too few of it. Add more, if the cotton pad feels rough.
-After tapping your face with a towel immediately applied your skincare. Do not wait for your face to dry completely.
Remember that the lipids of your skin are beneficial and essential for the physiology of the stratum corneum.
Thank you for your time,