Rebuild Your Routine: The Cleanse

Hello, hello! A big (though belated) Happy New Year to all!

We are just a few weeks into 2020, and I'm so excited to kick off the year with the first in a series of posts devoted to helping you customize and perfect your skin care routine this year!

Each month, I'll be sharing a comprehensive guide for each step of a solid facial care routine. I'm giving you all my favorite tips and recommendations to help you get the most out of every step and choose the right products to do so.

The first step of any good routine is going to be the cleanse, so we are going to being at the beginning. Ready? Let's dive in!

Images by @gagewoodphoto courtesy of Sorella Apothecary


Cleanser 101:

I don't need to tell you what cleanser is, but let's clarify that I mean an actual facial wash product here. Not makeup remover. Not cleansing wipes. Not water and a wash cloth and not any other substitute for actually washing your face. Those things are more like pre-cursors for the big event. We need the ingredients in cleanser to actually lift dirt and impurities from the pores. Even if skipping cleanser doesn't cause you to break out, letting old makeup and product sit in the creases on our skin can exacerbate signs of premature aging. There are plenty of reasons why this step is important.

The Ins & Outs of Cleanser: Most of us know how to cleanse our face, but not everyone knows how to do so effectively. Similar to brushing your teeth, you may want to pay attention to a timer to make sure you spend at least two minutes thoroughly washing all the nooks and crannies of your face. In a facial I aim to spend almost five minutes on each cleanse. You want to really get in there, as opposed to just splashing some water on your face, like they do in commercials. Spend a few minutes mindfully massaging your face and rinsing to ensure that all the cleanser is removed. Ideally, you want to use lukewarm or cold water, as hot water can strip your skin. A good face wash can do wonders for your routine, so don't underestimate the value of finding the right one. Once you get down a daily cleansing routine, I highly recommend you consider using multiple cleansers to address your skin's needs. We'll go over some options for how to do this in a minute.

How Much and How Often:

The how much part is pretty easy: about the size of a quarter in product is enough to cleanse with. You can be a somewhat generous with cleanser in order to get a good lather. How often gets a little trickier. Ideally we should wash our face morning and night. But depending on certain skin conditions (rosacea or sensitive skin for example) once a day might be plenty. Always back off if you feel like cleansing causes your skin to become too tight, dry or irritated. Some beauty cultures are all about aggressive cleansing routines, whereas others use it sparingly. I encourage you to experiment to find what works best for you. What to look for:

Every skin type should look for a sulfate-free cleanser that is non-drying and avoid excess perfume or fragrance. For normal, combination or oily skin, I recommend a gel or foam cleanser. For dry, aging or sensitive skin I recommend a creamy and/or oil-based cleanser. Remembering that your skin changes periodically and you may need a mix of both. Another way to approach it is according to timing. In the morning, opt for a gel cleanser with antioxidants to help protect your skin against the elements, then use a creamier or oil-based cleanser at night to remove makeup, cleanse away impurities and hydrate the skin before bedtime.

Additionally, if you feel like implementing multiple cleansers, it's good to have one "active" cleanser in your routine. An active cleanser is that contains active ingredients like glycolic or salicylic acid. These cleansers tend to be too stripping for every day use, but can make a great addition 1-3x per week.

How to use multiple cleansers:

If you've got your cleanser routine down and are ready to experiment a little, try one of these advanced cleansing routines to spice it up! The Double Cleanse: Just like it sounds. Perform your cleanse, rinse, and then immediately follow with a second round using either the same cleanser 2x or a creamy cleanser followed by a gel cleanser. . The 4-2-4 Method: A favorite in Korean skin care, the 4-2-4 starting with a facial oil or cleansing oil, massaged into the face for four minutes. Add a creamy cleanser on top and massage for two more minutes to emulsify. Lastly rinse for four minutes, starting with warm water and transitioning to cold. This technique is said to promote detoxification and hydration for the skin. Power Cleanse: Think of it as DIY Active Cleanser. Mix a little of your favorite facial scrub in with your cleanser during your first or second cleanse. The cleanser will dilute the scrub but the little bit of exfoliation will enhance your cleanse, getting rid of excess dirt and dry surface skin for a polished finish.

Cleansers i {heart}:

Creamy Cleansers: Apricot Mango Cleansing Milk from Sorella Apothecary, Pomegranate Antioxidant Cleanser from SkinScript RX, Rose Foaming Cleanser from Intelligent Elixirs

Gel Cleansers: Orange You Jelly Cleanser from Sorella Apothecary, Green Tea Citrus Cleanser from SkinScript RX, Refining Gel Cleanser from Intelligent Elixirs

Active Cleansers: Lychee & Willow Bark Deep Clean from Sorella Apothecary, Charcoal Refining Cleanser from SkinScript RX


Now that we've covered all the basics, I can't wait for you to perfect your cleansing routine and I hope you'll let me know how it goes. As always, feel free to send me any additional questions that may have come up for you about cleansing. And be sure to stay tuned next month when talk alllll about exfoliation!

Until next time!

<3 Jenny

About the blog:

This is a blog about everyday skin health. As an esthetician I strive to provide comprehensive skin care advice and knowledge to anyone who wants to know more.

Read on and please don't hesitate to reach out! I love educating people about their skin and am always happy to respond to questions.

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