Cleansing is the first step in any skincare routine and arguably the most important. Not only does it clear away product build-up, makeup, and environmental impurities including pollutants and free radicals, but a proper cleanse gives skin a chance to "breathe".
There are many cleansers on the market and confusion to match. Depending on what your skin needs on any given day, it is helpful to have a few on hand. It may feel like your skin is asking for a lot but it will thank you in the long run. Between testing new ones and my go-tos, I have about 6-8 in rotation.
While you can use a cleanser twice a day, you can get away with a quick water rinse with a washcloth in the morning, but you should NEVER skip your evening application - I'm even a big advocate for a double-cleanse at this time.
Below is a breakdown of cleanser types and what skin conditions they treat:
Oil and Balm Cleansers: These are great for troubled acneic skin. Often times, we think we need to strip our skin of all its oils to combat acne but in reality, it is the complete opposite. Oil cleansers dissolve the excess sebum (oil dissolves oil) and protect the skin without stripping it, keeping the skin balanced. These are also great for makeup and sunscreen removal.
One of my very favorite treatments is to use Environ’s Pre-Cleansing Oil, followed by their Hydrating Clay mask. The oil breaks down the impurities and the clay pulls them out of the skin.
Milky Cleansers: These are good for dry, dehydrated, red or sensitive skin. They are hydrating, comforting and gently support the skin barrier.
Gel Cleansers: These work well for oilier skin. They give you that ‘squeaky clean’ feeling without disrupting the acid mantle. These are great for men as well.
Gentle Exfoliating Cleansers: These are great boosters to incorporate into your routine 1-3x per week depending on what other methods of exfoliation you are using. For instance, if you are using an Environ exfoliating toner, daily, you don’t need to use these more than 1X per week.