Wednesday, 7 August 2019

The Basics of Cleansing

Continuing our "Basics of Skincare" series, today we are discussing a bit about cleansing. 
I hope you have read all about Exfoliation in our previous posts - Physical exfoliation HERE & Chemical exfoliation HERE

So let's get into some detail. 

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Why cleanse?

You do not want to be walking around with a grimy face do you? Sweat, pollutants, bacteria, skincare products, makeup and everything else...clean it. 

Why is using a cleanser important? 

Don't you clean your clothes, your vessels and everything else around you? You use detergent or something to keep them clean yes? You use soap/bodywash to clean your body. How is the face any different?
A splash of water on your face is not going to do the job. You need a cleanser! Which ever kind suits you. 


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How often should I cleanse?

I'd say twice a day. Morning & Night. Whether you have makeup on or no makeup on
Evening/Night cleansing is non-negotiable for me. It just has to be done. 
I have been guilty of getting lazy some mornings and just splash water but try using a small amount of your cleanser in the morning too. 

Broadly I'd divide cleansers into:
  1. Foaming
  2. Gel based
  3. Cream based
  4. Oil based
  5. Natural/Homemade
  6. Devices

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1. Foaming Cleansers 

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You'd probably be better off without these. I am personally not a fan. 
The 17 yr old me which super super oily skin & acne has used a few of them - Like this one called Saslic (reviewed HERE) which did help me at that time & age. I have also tried the Neutrogena cleansers (reviewed HERE) and facial soaps too, like the Kama Ayurveda Red Sandalwood Soap (reviewed HERE). But not anymore. I was a newbie to skincare then. Now I know better. 
A lot of the foaming cleansers contain surfactants which make the foam. This can make your skin alkaline and ultimately bacteria likes alkaline. 

Foaming cleansers generally can be quite harsh on the skin - stripping it of all moisture (thus giving you that super duper squeaky feeling). Your skin in turn produces more sebum to try to compensate = you get more oily. It's a vicious cycle. 

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2. Gel Based Cleansers

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Probably my personal favourite category of cleansers. Usually non-foaming. I find them perfect for my combination skin. Neither too stripping nor super moisturising
I like to go for the gentle gel cleansers - they clean effectively but don't leave your skin feeling dry & stretchy afterwards. 
Few that I have liked and used are the Kama Ayurveda Rose Jasmine Cleanser (all time favourite! been using it since 2016!! read HERE) & the Forest Essentials Kashmiri Saffron & Neem Cleanser and Mashorba Honey, Lemon & Rosewater cleanser (reviewed HERE), Kaya Purifying Gel Cleanser (read more HERE).


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3. Cream Based Cleansers

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As you get from the name, these are cream based cleansers, perfect for dry skins, slightly mature skin, or even a combination skin like me espeically during winter. Cleansing milks and lotion-y or moisturisng cream based formulas all come in this category. 
These days you even have cream based cleansers but with added benefits - Charcoal, Glycolic Acid and more
I haven't tried many cream cleansers but I am using and liking 2 of them at the moment - Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser (smooth creamy formula) & GlamGlow Supercleanse (which is creamy but foams a bit & cleanses really well. So I tend to use it when I feeling a bit more oily or when the pores feel clogged). I am also trying out a sample of the Ohria Ayurveda Papaya & Yoghurt Cleanser
Smriti is currently liking the Enn Closet Wipe Out Chlorophyll Cleanser too. 

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4. Oil Based Cleansers

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Oil cleansers usually form the first cleanse in a double cleanse routine (more about that soon) but if you have super super dry skin then you might like a oil based cleanser on a regular day too.
If you wear somewhat heavy makeup you need to double cleanse. If you are wearing sunscreen, you need to double cleanse.  I am currently loving the Bobbi Brown Soothing Cleanser, but there are many brands that make similar products.  

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5. Natural Cleansers

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All time favourite category! Usually in the form of a fine powder which needs to be mixed in with water to form a paste. It gets a bit cumbersome to use, yes. But these are gentle, mildly exfoliating and if used properly and religiously work really well.
Store made ubtans, natural ayurvedic cleansers, homemade DIY cleansers all come in this category.
A few that I like are - Kama Ayurveda Mridul Cleanser (reviewed HERE), Forest Essentials Naragi & Nagkesar Ubtan (reviewed HERE), Forest Essentials Soundarya Ubtan (reviewed HERE), Mitti Se Wild Essence Face Wash (reviewed HERE). 
Or make yourself a homemade one with gramflour (besan) or orange peel powder... whatever suits your skin. 

6. Devices 

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What's the use living in the millenial age and not using technology in our skincare routine?!
There are a number of mechanical aids available in the market today - like the Foreo Luna tool & some almost similar devices (like the one we use). These devices are extremely gentle on your skin and can be used with your cleanser for some deep cleansing

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Some pointers to remember:

  • Try using tepid/lukewarm water to wash off whenever you can.
  • Finish it off with a few splashes of cold water.
  • Use a soft face cloth/flannel to gently dab your skin afterwards. 
  • You can also use the wet flannel to remove the oil/balm cleansers off your face.
  • Choose a cleanser based on your skin type & needs. 
  • SAY NO TO WIPES! Wipes are not cleansers. Wipes are not even proper makeup removers. BIG NO TO WIPES!


There you have it. I hope this post helps you out a bit. If you have any questions or any other points to share, please let us know below or join us on Instagram.