Beauty/Skincare Skincare

Cleansers 101 | What do You Need to Know About Cleansing Your Face

February 18, 2019

Cleansing your face is the foundation of a good skincare routine and great looking skin. Usually, it’s people’s introduction to skincare. This is why it’s so important to know as much as you can from finding the right cleanser based on your skin type to knowing the “why” behind the process. As a skincare fanatic, I have read and watched all that I could to compile this post for you in hopes that you can learn more about the cleansing process or hop on board.

To start, cleansing your skin is crucial to the rest of your skincare routine. Without properly cleansing your skin, you aren’t giving the rest of your routine a clean slate to work with! Also, side note, if you do not even cleanse, PLEASE START!!  

Cleansing has MANY benefits including, but not limited to:

  • removing dirt and all the nasty germs on the surface of your skin : think about all the places that you go throughout the day and all the dirt that lands on your face! so cleansing is the mechanism that helps you remove all of the gunk that is on your face – it can also remove all the excess skin layers, leaving your skin brighter and clearer
  • helps maintain hydration levels : clearing your skin of all the excess debris and impurities can allow for your skin to breath and re-generate its necessary oils 
  • prime the surface for the rest of your skincare routine : without cleansing your face, you might as well waste anything else you put on your face! so clean and prep for your skin to the rest of your products can work properly

Next, how many times should we clean? Optimally, it should be twice a day: morning and night. Cleaning more than necessary can lead to over cleansing which is BAD!! Over cleansing can make your skin much drier, leading to your skin to over produce oil to make up for the dryness. This oil will lead to sebum (oily secretion) to fill your pores aka hello breakouts! A good indication of your skin being over cleansed is an extremely tightening feeling. However, if you have drier skin, cleansing once at night will suffice, BUT only if you keep your pillows clean! A morning cleanse will remove all the excess oil that produced throughout the night. Thus making this better for oilier skin people. The most important cleanse is at night because your skin regenerates at night.

Next, there are several types of cleansers in the market:

  • foams : the most cleansing of all and like what it’s called, foam cleansers foam up with water – it works up to a lather like suds! the consistence is more airy and light but able to break down trapped debris 
  • gels : these are more refreshing and feels like…welll gel…it has less of a “deep” cleanse than a foam cleanser – it’s great for lifting surface oil and acne causing agents
  • milk & creams : perfect for removing makeup and moisturizing your skin while cleansing – they are usually lighter and gentler 
  • oils & balms : these balms work with “oil attracts oil” by using oil to break down oils on our faces all the while still nourishing the skin
  • exfoliating : containing small beads to help do two jobs at once – while cleansing and exfoliating, they help remove day to day surface debris
  • micellar water : a totally different cleanser type in my opinion (wrote an entire post on it here), it’s great to remove all oils and makeups
  • active : usually consigning specific enzymes, these cleansers are great for treating specific conditions – strong enough cleansers require prescriptions from your dermatologist 

Cleansers to use based on skin type:

  • dry & sensitive : cream, milk, oil, gel, micellar
  • oily & acne-prone : oil, gel, foam, micellar, cleansers with sulfur
  • combo : gel, oil, milk, micellar

Tools to use while cleansing: 

  • muslin cloths : i wrote an entire blog post on these – you can read about their benefits here
  • clarisonic : these brushes have really evolved over the years and now have an entire line of brushes to fit to your skin type and needs
  • konjac sponge : great for exfoliating when wet, but need to be replaced often
  • hands : your good ‘ole hands will also do the trick if you don’t want to splurge on any devices at the moment 

And other tips I would include are:

  • water temperature : make sure you are using LUKE WARM water – too cold and your pores won’t open up for the cleanser to work, too hot and your skin will be irritated
  • double cleanse : using two different cleansers is great to make sure your skin is continuously working and it ensures your skin is thoroughly cleansed
  • switch out your cleanser : our skin often gets “used” to a cleanser and won’t react to it anymore so if you switch out your cleanser after 2 or so months, it can give you skin something new to react to
  • time : do not rush the process – without the right time, the ingredients in the cleanser won’t activate properly to work effectively so it’s as if you didn’t even use it
  • upward circular motions : use upwards circular motions regardless of what tool you use because we do not have time for aging 
  • hairline: pay attention to your hairline and hair area – with the circling motion, we are often pushing dirt and debris up to those areas







A million and one thanks for reading – until my next lil’ thought then!

xx jen

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  • Reply Grace February 21, 2019 at 8:27 am

    wow, Jen, thank YOU! such a helpful blog post. I just switched my cleanser two weeks ago and this definitely helps me choose the next one for my skin. x
    have a lovely day!

    • Reply lilthoughtswithjen March 2, 2019 at 11:48 am

      omg thank you so much for reading grace – this means so much to me!
      xx jen

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