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Experts say there’s only so much we can do about having beautiful skin. It’s 50% genetics, and most of the balance is what not to do: don’t smoke, drink, tan, sleep with makeup on, et cetera. As far as what to put on our skin to keep it beautiful, the list is short: sunscreen and seabuckthorn.

Keeping our skin clean is important, but what about the way we cleanse?

Well it turns out that there are a lot of misconceptions about the best way to cleanse. For instance, many people are under the misconception that pads, towelettes, sheets, face cloths or other materials are better at cleansing the face than bare fingers. While it’s true that medicated pads and towelettes are suitable for specific applications, for regular cleansing (even for people with acne, rosacea and other skin conditions), gentle cleansing with clean fingers is best.

There’s also the misconception (among acne sufferers in particular) that harder is better. The reality is, cleansing should always be very, very gentle. Scrubbing may be suitable for getting dried egg yolk off a countertop, but think of your face as being like a piece of fine stationery; when you have something to erase from it, pushing harder doesn’t make the eraser work better, does it? It just rubs a hole in the paper. Rubbing harder does three things: it stimulates the large blood vessels (the ones that make your face red when you exercise), which is bad news for those with inflammatory skin conditions like acne and rosacea; it irritates the skin, which is particularly bad if you have blemishes or papules; and it stretches the skin, which causes :::shudders::: sagging and aging.

A related topic is exfoliation. Exfoliation – removing dead skin cells – is important. However, there are many ways to exfoliate that result in damaged, rather than youthened, skin. Among the worst offenders are scrubs and peel facials, both of which stretch the skin, and scrubs also cause micro-tears that invite bacterial invasion, and promote aging. Such products can also over-exfoliate, which can result in dry, flaky skin.

And that brings us back to cleansing pads, towelettes, etc. What is not so well-known is that human skin is a bacteria antagonist, so clean fingers are actually better than other implements for cleaning. Fingers are also gentler than cloth or paper products, which cause those micro-tears! Your skin is ph-neutral, not acidic and impregnated with irritating chemical residue from processing. Also, it’s difficult to cleanse with a pad or towel without stretching the skin. And, to top it all off, clean fingers are an excellent exfoliant! The smooth surface of your fingertips act like an eraser, gently removing dead skin.

It is important to cleanse the right way, which is why I created a great cleansing programme that you can use with whatever products work best for you. This short, illustrated page will give you simple instructions that will help you have clearer, younger skin. And while you’re at it, check out this article featuring Dr. Michelle Copeland, cosmetic surgeon and author of The Beautiful Skin Workout. I’m happy to say that the good doctor and I are on the same ‘page’ when it comes to cleansing.

3 Responses to “Cleansing: the overlooked beauty tip”

  1. [...] blog resources on rosacea and cleansing, including recent posts My full facial skincare regime and Cleansing: the overlooked beauty tip, and the rosacea category of blog posts. Please check them out for more information; feedback is [...]

  2. mark salem says:

    well, this is really cool especially like me who is really curios when it comes about my skin …….i really learn more how to clean and to achieve beautiful and fear smooth skin.thanks it helps me a lot

  3. Hi mark: Thanks very much for visiting. Good luck with yoru skincare journey.

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