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By Shilpa Bhim
Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse! It’s one of the core parts of your skincare routine, and it was probably drilled into you before you even got your first mobile phone (… if you’re a millennial that is – kids these days have no idea!)
But have you ever stopped to ask yourself why cleansing is at the heart of every skincare routine? What’s its purpose? Most importantly, does one cleanser do the trick for everyone?
We’re asking the critical questions as we head into 2021, Zovers. We caught up with Dr Sam Ellis, Board-Certified Dermatologist, to break down the what, why, when and how behind cleansing. And as always, we’re sharing the answers with you.
WHAT’S THE POINT OF USING A CLEANSER?
To clean your skin. Yep, it’s that obvious.
“Cleansing is important for removing dirt, sweat, pathogens (like bacteria and viruses), make-up, excess oil, and other debris from the skin,” says Dr Ellis.
She also notes that cleansing can promote exfoliation of dead skin cells and prepares skin for the application of other products that support skin’s health and appearance. Hello skincare! A pro-tip from Dr Ellis is to apply moisturiser within 5 minutes of cleansing, to get the maximum skin-hydrating benefits.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE USE A CLEANSER?
We recommend cleansing twice a day. Cleansing in the morning helps with removing any dead skin cell build up overnight. It also refreshes & prepares your skin for the skincare or make up you’ll be using in the day.
The evening cleanse is helpful to get rid of all the gunk that’s built up on your face during the day.
Even if you don’t wear makeup, environmental factors like air pollution can build up on your skin leading to a build-up of dirt and debris.
Dr Ellis notes that cleansing in the morning is particularly important for those with oily skin. “Those who have particularly oily skin may find that cleansing their skin in the morning is helpful for removing excess oil that builds up overnight.”
HOW DO I GET MY SKIN TO FEEL (AND LOOK) GOOD?
Dr Ellis breaks down what to look for in cleansers based on your skin type:
Oily skin – try a foaming liquid cleanser, “they often aid in the removal of excess oil without being overly drying.”
Dry or sensitive skin – non-foaming cleanser that contains additional moisturizing ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or ceramides if your new bff! If you’ve got really sensitive skin, Dr Ellis suggests avoiding cleansers with fragrance or active exfoliating ingredients such as hydroxy acids.
Acne-prone skin – use a cleanser that contains acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide.
Finally, Dr Ellis highlights that cleansing after sweating, exercising, or getting dirty is recommended – regardless of your skin type. If you’re cleansing multiple times a day, she notes it’s “extra important to use a gentle cleanser.”