Cleansing is a key step to supporting your skin’s health and fending off the harmful effects of makeup, sun damage, and pollution, which is perhaps the worst factor in causing the most common signs of premature aging. Unfortunately, cleansing is also the one step most of us don’t do correctly. Put your skin’s health back on the right track and get your anti-aging skin care regimen working for you by avoiding these top face-washing mistakes.
Beginning your face-washing routine with the wrong cleanser can set your whole skin care routine up for failure and inflict further damage and irritation to your skin’s sensitive lipid barrier—the lipid barrier is the outer layer of skin that prevents toxins, dirt, and UV light from wreaking havoc below the surface. Foaming and gel cleansers are best used on oily or combination skin types, while creamier cleansing lotions are best for normal to dry skin. Cleansing oils may be suitable for oily skin types but they also risk stripping the skin of too much healthy oils. Whatever you use, if your skin feels tight post-cleanse, the product is stripping off too much. As well, always steer clear of formulas that contain sulfate or suds that lather like shampoo—these types of detergents are much too harsh for any skin type.
To ensure your cleanser is actually doing its job, you need to follow the instructions on the package. It might seem silly to have directions, but different ingredients can impact how a cleanser works and how you can get the greatest impact from those ingredients. If you’re using a cleansing lotion, for example, it’s usually best to apply the cleanser to dry skin and gently massage it in for 30 seconds before wetting fingers and continuing cleansing. This allows the cleanser to better break down both excess skin and makeup oils before emulsifying the product and rinsing away all that gunk. For gels or foams, apply the cleanser to damp skin to avoid dehydrating the lipid barrier. Skin hydration is key to smooth, plump, healthy-looking skin. Finally, for those using a specific acne cleanser, let the product sit on blemishes and trouble spots for a minute undisturbed before massaging and rinsing. This allows the active ingredients to better target and remove acne-causing bacteria for a clearer complexion. Of course, these are just some general tips—read the bottle and follow those directions first.
After a long day, it’s much easier to go to bed without washing your face. While cleansing or makeup remover wipes can be a better option than foregoing cleansing altogether, they really are just the first step to a more thorough routine. In fact, for the most part, wipes simply loosen makeup but end up smearing dirt and pollutants across the face, so they’re really not helping all that much if they aren’t followed by a thorough cleanse. Further, skipping makeup removal causes pores and oil glands to become clogged, unable to recuperate from the day’s stressors. This leads to blackheads and breakouts, a dull complexion, enlarged pores that won’t bounce back over time, and, ultimately, wrinkles. So, ensure you wash your face for the full time specified on your cleanser packaging or, if unspecified, for a minimum 60 seconds.
No matter how often you cleanse or exfoliate to try to remove breakouts, you won’t magically end up with normal skin. In fact, while overly oily skin can be frustrating, it’s best to work with your skin type and accept that these oils are simply natural instead of trying to scrub them all off, an effort that will only lead to increased oil production. When the skin perceives an injury, it naturally jumps to activate its repair mechanisms and heal that injury. Over-exfoliating triggers this healing mechanism, which ramps up oil production to moisturize and repair the damaged skin. Steer clear of exfoliating daily and instead cap these scrubbing sessions at two to three times per week.
Just as you can over-exfoliate, it is possible to overuse your cleansers and skin care products, particularly those that contain retinol, which can alter skin’s natural and healthy oil production levels. Some estheticians and dermatologists may suggest that cleansing both in the morning and at night may be too much; however, your skin does a lot of recovery and purifying overnight as you sleep (ever heard of beauty sleep?) and needs a little help removing it all come morning. Instead of overusing products with active ingredients that may be too harsh for skin when used twice a day—and potentially removing too many of those natural, healthy oils—consider substituting in a lighter cleanser in the mornings or simply gently washing skin with a damp cotton washcloth. Organic cotton cloths used for babies are the gentlest and will do the trick perfectly.
It can be tempting to douse breakouts with acne-fighting products to dry them out and beat the blemish. However, most of these acne-fighting products are too harsh and, when used in excess, lead to further irritation and trouble spots. Instead, opt for spot treatments that soothe and treat blemishes and don’t skip out on your regular moisturizer. Skin hydration is necessary for healing.
As for those treating acne-prone skin, it’s important to note here that patience is key with any new skin care routine. Skin takes about 30 days to fully cycle through its renewal process, meaning that it’s best to stick to the same skin care regimen for at least one month (without skipping a night) to best measure the results. If you’re starting a new acne-fighting cleansing routine, be patient, use as directed, and don’t pick at blemishes.
The benefits of choosing the right cleanser for you and following directions to a tee can instantly be erased with just a quick rinse with hot water or a hot damp cloth. It might feel relaxing, but it’s actually a shock to your skin. Hot showers and rinsing with anything but tepid water will only strip skin of its essential oils and lead to broken capillaries, increased risk of redness, and dehydrated, wrinkled skin. And don’t believe that hot water opens pores for deeper cleansing or that cold water can close pores, making you less susceptible to blackheads or breakouts—those are simply anti-aging skin care myths.
One very common miss is to cut corners when removing eye makeup. For some, it may seem logical not to irritate the thin, sensitive skin around the eyes with too much rubbing or pulling, but not removing eye makeup can be particularly damaging. Generally speaking, most eye makeup brands and products feature talc, a drying agent that helps keep makeup in place. To completely remove these products, an eye makeup remover, which is specially formulated to loosen and remove stubborn makeup and talc, is essential. Simply apply eye makeup remover to a soft cotton pad or baby cloth and gently wipe to remove all residue before your regular cleansing step. Doing so will help to keep fragile skin hydrated and crow’s feet at bay.
Visiting a dermatologist or esthetician to help you discover the right anti-aging skin care and cleansing solutions is the first step to resetting your skin care efforts. However, depending on how long you’ve been guilty of these cleansing errors, your skin might need a little extra boost to better absorb all the benefits of that new skin care routine.
Reach deep below the skin’s surface to refresh and rejuvenate while supporting skin hydration with a custom dermal rejuvenation treatment. Utilizing gentle suction, a rotating tip, and ultra-fine jet streams of saline, dermal rejuvenation treatments offer a deep-cleaning solution that opens up pores and removes common impurities, such as daily dirt and debris, dry or dead skin cells, and excess sebum (the natural oils). With the rotating tip and suction, these treatments also help stimulate local micro-blood circulation to enhance the spread of nutrients released from the bloodstream, thereby boosting oxygen delivery to skin cells to counteract dehydration. The result is instantly brighter, clearer, and more hydrated skin.
Start your path to a healthier-looking complexion today with a skin care overhaul and a deep cleanse. Learn more about dermal rejuvenation treatments and discover the perfect anti-aging skin care products for you by locating a certified treatment provider using our search field below.
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