It is a common misconception that a face wash will do the majority of the work in stopping new breakouts.
While cleansing is important, it only serves a basic function to remove pollutants and debris. Ingredients in a cleanser are washed quickly so they won't do much as compared to a leave-on lotion.
That said, we see many people get this step wrong. We find that people with sensitive/combination skin often use strong cleansers that overstrip their lipid barrier; forcing their skin to go into overdrive in order to produce more oil.
Cleanse only twice per day: once in the morning and once in the evening using lukewarm water. Use a towel to pat dry. We want to clean off the debris and pollutants but avoid irritating any breakouts on your skin.
If you work out in the early mornings, consider a water-only rinse in the morning, and then a proper facewash after your workout.
Type of Cleanser
Use a gentle, non-foaming cleanser. If you wake up especially oily or if there is a certain area of your skin that is particularly oily, spend more time working in the cleanser on your skin. You will find that a gentle cleanser may be equally effective as a strong cleanser if you just spent more time working it on your skin.
After a good cleanse, your skin will feel refreshed, supple and primed. If your skin feels “squeaky clean” or tight, you have overstripped your lipid barrier and your skin will need to produce more oil to compensate.
If you feel that there are days that you really need the strength, use this cleanser below as it contains salicylic acid and glycolic acid which break down sebum. This Balanced Cleanser is unique in that it contains both and AHA and BHA (most only contain one but not the other) yet it is gentle and does not cause irritation:
Wash once in the morning and once in the evening using lukewarm water and use a cloth to pat dry.
Minimize the use of makeup removers unless necessary. We have seen many women struggle with milia later in life, particularly around their eyes where they had used biphasic makeup removers.
For the evening cleanse, take your time work in a gentle cleanser and it should remove most makeup. Experiment with the duration of your evening cleanse and then run a damp cotton pad across your face to test if you have done a good job removing your makeup.
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Nothing on this article should be interpreted as personal medical advice. For medical related matters, please consult with your dermatologist.