How To Cleanse your face like a Pro
How To Cleanse your face like a Pro
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This is my complete nighttime skin routine. When I’m feeling really lazy about it, I remember how much of a gift it is to myself, to cleanse and wash away the whole day’s bullshit and dirt (even on a good day). I like to treat this as some serious self-love. Just me, some running water (seriously, we’re so lucky folks!), and my near and dear bottles of skin magic. Bear with me, this isn’t for the “quick to give up on yourself” kinda human. Truly removing all the gross from your face takes time and energy. Allow yourself the space to create your own skincare self-love ritual. Doing this will benefit your mind, body, and spirit.
Let me preface this post with an immediate PRO TIP. Washing your face in the shower isn’t the best. Most of us like to get into a steamy shower and that is just asking for dehydration. If you must wash your face in the shower, do so with cooler water. This will ensure less water-loss from your skin.
Here we go:
Wash your hands — What’s the point of washing your face/neck without ensuring your hands are clean. Get in there and give them a scrubbing before you give your face some loving!
Oil Cleanser — If you’re a makeup wearer, gym sweater, or heck! If you are a human who steps outside of the house (hello pollution!), an oil cleanser is my favorite way to take off most surface sludge so your actual cleanser can do its thing and wash ‘yo face! You see, throughout the day all that stuff on the surface of our skin, makeup, impurities, sweat, etc. It all mixes with our skin’s natural oils. Well, you know when science told you, “LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE”, here it is folks! Plain old water just isn’t gonna cut it. Using an oil cleanser will gently dissolve the dirty sebum (oil) and makeup from your face, leaving behind clean, nourishing oil. That good good, if you will. The stuff that will help protect skin, lock in moisture and keep you looking younger!
If you’re a normal skin type, (you lucky thing you) this is especially important for removing makeup completely without drying out your skin (like face wipes can do). This will ensure your skin does not become more susceptible to dehydration.
If you’re an Oily skin type don’t be afraid of this step! Like I said before, “like attracts like”. Cleansing with oil will actually help stabilize your oil production. It will help lock in hydration, allowing your sebaceous glands (oil glands) to relax and realize it’s all good. No need to work in overdrive to produce oil.
If you’re a Dry skin type this ‘ish is just the beginning to your prayers. Starting with this step with help your skin retain more oil from your other products. It gives it a little somethin’ somethin’ to stick to.
HOW TO: Start with dry hands and a dry face. Starting at the chin, apply oil cleanser in small circular, upward/outward motions to loosen up dirt and oil. Continue these gentle circles around your cheeks, mouth, nose, eyes, and forehead. Work your way around your face a few times to really get the gunk off, then rinse completely.
PRO TIP: Bring your cleanser down your neck and across your decollete (upper chest) to get a thorough build up bye-bye! Additionally, pay super close attention to your hairline. It’s easy to miss when you’re trying to protect your hair from getting wet. This area can easily end up with clogged pores.
Please Note: No skins are exactly the same. Your skin may go through an adjustment period. Give it a couple months before you make a decision on whether this works for you. Be mindful when choosing an oil cleanser, some have a larger molecular size and may hinder your skin’s absorption capabilities. Do your research!
Rinse — Let’s talk about the right way to rinse our faces. Removing is just as important as putting the stuff on. If you leave any particular product behind, it may hinder the next step in your skincare routine. There was once a time in my life that I thought just using water and my hands to rinse my face was great! Um, no. Utilize a face cloth or facial sponge to gently exfoliate the surface while completely removing excess oil, dirt, and product from your skin.
HOW TO: Dampen a clean cloth or sponge with lukewarm water. Starting from your chin, moving from the center of your face, lightly wipe across your skin in an outward/upward motion. To be sure you’ve rinsed completely, do this twice before moving on to your next skincare step.
PRO TIP: For sensitive skin, baby washcloths are super soft and will smoothly assist in taking it all off. Also, if you buy professional compressed sponges, you can wash them in a small lingerie bag in the washer, then throw them in the dryer to completely sanitize, making sure any and all germs are gone.
Cleanser — Whether you’re skipping the oil cleanser or not, you gotta wash your face properly. Face wipes are only your friend when you don’t have access to running water like on camping trips, 3rd world international travels or you know, when you’ve had a late night out with your gal pals and a wipe is all you can muster up energy for (insert speak no evil monkey emoji here). Finding a cleanser that works for your skin is key. You don’t want to use anything too strong that can cause any damage to your Acid Mantle (the protective surface barrier of your skin), resulting in sensitized skin that can be easily damaged. Believe it or not, A LOT of cleansers on the market can and will do damage in the long run. Sadly, it’s undetectable to the naked eye, and you won’t realize it until you either see an Aesthetician or Dermatologist (if you’re lucky this will happen early in life) and they’ll tell/educate you, or later when you’re old and full of deep set lines and wrinkles. SIGH. We’ll all be there someday, but we can slow down the process by taking the steps to treat our face with lots of love and respect. It’s the only one you’ve got!
Our skin’s pH (potential hydrogen) level is between a 4.5-5.5. Using harsh cleanser can shift this level into too much acidity or alkalinity, which is a big NO NO. When shopping for a cleanser, try to find out the product’s pH level if possible. If you can’t find it, you’ll probably be able to tell if a cleanser has dried out your skin just by the way your skin feels. Squeaky clean and tightness is never what you want to feel after washing your face, no matter what you’ve heard. This feeling will lead to more dehydration (water loss) in the skin and that leads to more issues in the future.
HOW TO: Like our oil cleanser, you want to be gentle with your skin. Working in small outward/upward circular motions will allow the cleanser to do its job. Be sure to go-slow and treat each section of your face with love and care. Really concentrate on areas you tend to get some clogging. Be mindful of any acne prone/inflamed spots. Don’t over do it in an area that is super sensitive. If you’ve already done an oil cleanse (or 2!), once over with your cleanser is good. If not, don’t be afraid to go at it twice.
PRO TIP: Again, like our oil cleanser, bring this product down your neck and decollete, and don’t forget your hairline.
For Normal to Dry Skins-
For Normal to Oily Skins-
Exfoliate — This should be done a few times a week. The number of times will really depend on your skin type and age. The best way to determine how often YOU should be exfoliating is by going to see a professional Aesthetician or Dermatologist. A general rule of thumb would be to exfoliate 2-3 times a week, depending on your skin type and conditions (sensitive skins, ex: rosacea/eczema, beware of exacerbating the condition). The main benefit of exfoliation is that instant glow you get. It sloughs off the surface dead skin cells, leaving the fresh newbies to be showcased. Exfoliating also make way for your follow-up products to be better received into your skin. Yes you can over exfoliate, so use caution when you’re scrub-a-dub-dubbin. Your goal with exfoliation should be to assist the skin’s natural shedding process (keratinization) along, not to eradicate your healthy living skin and protective barrier. Be gentle and conscience when using any form of exfoliant. This includes all of those “fancy” cleansing brushes. I’m looking at you Clarisonic! They are not meant to be used daily and could damage your acid mantle (protective barrier).
There are 2 type of exfoliation you can do:
Physical (what i just spoke about ^, aka the manual scrubbing of the surface of your skin) OR Chemical (acids and enzymes that do magic while you sit and wait — please seek a professional!). Read about Physical vs. Chemical exfoliation here.
HOW TO: Gently move your exfoliant of choice in a circular motion around your face, just like you did when cleansing. Be sure not to push down and rough up your skin with too much pressure. Let the product do the work for you!
PRO TIP: Mix it up! Try different exfoliants to see what your skin loves best. I use an AHA exfoliant product twice a week and a more traditional scrub once a week in between.
Limelife's SKIN POLISH (scrub & mask in one)
SEXAPEEL™ INSTANT EXFOLIATION SPRAY (AHA & BHA’s)
Mask — My wellness favorite. Nothing says “treat ‘yo self” like a good mask session. I feel like it’s a slumber party every time I put one on my face! Whether you choose a cream, clay, gelle, or sheet mask, I want you to embrace the girly goodness of this experience. Maybe it’s the fact that I can actually get other things done while I have a mask on that makes it my fave. The ultimate luxury mask moments I experience are the times I allow myself to smear on the excellence and zen the eff out! Masks can be applied to the skin 1-3 per week, but I try to make it a point to do nothing with one on once a week. This is newer part of my wellness plan and pretty much my favorite (next to walking in the morning with my beau). I hope you try to sincerely treat ‘yo self with a mask once in a while. It’s a woman’s right to indulge in such a delightful treat!
HOW TO: If you’re choosing a sheet mask, just unseal and apply to your face lining up the eye, nose and mouth holes accordingly. With creams, clays, and gelles, use a spatula to remove the product and apply a generous layer to your skin, avoiding eyes, nostrils, and mouth. Follow manufacturer’s directions, as products vary in consistency and timing.
PRO TIP: For Oily skin, use clay based masks to assist in oil absorption. Normal skins do great with gelles, as they maintain hydration & your natural glow. Dry skins crave the moisture cream masks provide. There is also a sheet mask for everything so have fun with them! I bring them with me when I travel and ALWAYS wear one on the plane ride home!
Toner — The glue that bonds everything together. You’ve thoroughly cleansed and treated your beautiful skin, now it’s time to lock all the nourishment in. Toner on a pad or in a spray version is a wonderful thing. I think of it in two ways:
It’s removing any and all final residue on my skin without dehydrating it
It’s grabbing a hold of, and locking in whatever I will place on top of it.
HOW TO: In the morning, I like to spritz my toner on with a spray bottle. At night, I prefer to pour some onto a cotton pad and wipe it on. I do so by starting at my chin and swiping upward/outward on my left side followed by the right side of my face. Don’t press hard. Light tension is perfect and effective.
PRO TIP: When I’m on the go, I love to spray it all over my face, neck and chest, to refreshed up my makeup, and legit my overall mood. If your favorite toner doesn’t come in a spray bottle, buy a travel size empty and fill her up! I have a few different size spray bottles I like depending on what bag I’ll be carrying with me.
Serum — THIS IS IT! The one you’ve been waiting for! If you only take one thing from this blog it’s this. Serums are PLA-TI-NUM! These juicy goodies are jam packed with the best of the best stuff. The molecular structure of serums are teeny tiny so the product can really penetrate into your skin. This is exactly why serums tend to be higher priced items in every skincare line. I promise that this is also the product you don’t wanna cheap out on. Serums WILL make the biggest difference in your skin. These nightly treatments absolutely do what they say they’ll do. Anti-aging, here you come!
HOW TO: Squirt 1-2 pumps into your hands (or manufacturer’s directions). Making sure you’ll evenly distribute the serum, gentle pat into the skin. I press each hand on both cheeks, then on my forehead and chin, and finally onto my nose. Once I feel product on each region of my face, I continue to nestle this liquid gold all over. Allow to completely saturate before moving on to the next step.
PRO TIP: Like I said, these bad boys are worth the money because they pack an amazing punch! Don’t skimp on these babies. Be sure to use them morning and night!
Eye Cream — The skin around your eyes is different from the rest of your face and body. It is definitely thinner and much more sensitive. Everyone should be using eye cream… EVERYONE. Starting eye creams in your early years will undeniably slow down creping under the eyes, as well as, impede the inevitable “crows feet”. I love to smile, so I completely understand that I will have lines around my eyes, and I can appreciate it to a small degree, but, if I can postpone deepening those suckers, I will. So eye cream it is! Because that skin is different, you have to treat it with gentler products. Eye creams are specifically formulated to treat that special skin. Other products just won’t cut it. Eye creams can likewise revive dark circles. Be sure to look for some with a tint if you’d like to disguise the shadows without having to use too much concealer.
HOW TO: A pea sized amount of product goes a long way. Use your ring finger to attentively dab the eye cream in. Starting at the outer corner and working your way inward below the eye then up and around the brow bone.
PRO TIP: Do not apply eye cream any higher than your orbital bone. These creams tend to slowly but surely creep upward. If you put it to close to your lash line, it may seep into your eye and burn. Ouch!
Moisturizer — We’re almost done! This is your water-loving, all the good-good, skin sealant. Your final layer of hydration and skin preservation. Moisturizer will inhibit your serums and eye creams from dissipating from your skin. It helps balance your skin’s moisture. I’ve had people ask me if their serum is enough of moisturizer, and the short and super simple answer is NO. You need a moisturizer to fasten all your products into your skin.
HOW TO: Using a spatula if your moisturizer is in a jar, or squeezing into your hand, take about a dime to nickel size amount of moisturizer and like the serum, pat onto the different zones of the skin. Spread evenly, and voila! Don’t forget your neck and chest!
PRO TIP: Use a heavier moisturizer at night to genuinely penetrate and lock in moisturizer. If you’re on the dryer side, try to find moisturizers with more oil than water and vice versa for oily skin.
BONUS!!! I know this is my night time routine, but I wanted to stick this NOT TO MISSED morning routine step! Sun exposure is the #1 reason for any damage to our skin so I can’t just not mention it.
Sunscreen — Never leave home without it. Part of my consultation with any skin client is “How much sun exposure do you get?”. To me, and the rest of the dermatological community, anything more than to and from the car is damage city. The sun is stronger than ever before and that isn’t changing. By now, we all know better, but I’m here to tell you to DO BETTER. No one is free from potentially developing Melanoma. I wish I knew then what I know now, is a complete understatement. I promise to go into detail in a different blog post because there are endless words for this topic but I encourage you to go out there and do your research!!!
HOW TO: Just like your moisturizer, lather it on!!! The thicker the better! Proper application is 2 milligrams per cm2. We obviously can’t easily measure this on our faces, so I just like to remind everyone to be more generous with it. Please, please, please, do not forget your neck and chest! UV's radiation doesn’t discriminate between body parts.
PRO TIP: Use a physical sunscreen, ALWAYS! You need active ingredients such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide to ultimately block the sun’s rays from invading your gorgeous skin cells. A minimum of 9% is also key when buying sunscreen. Stay away from chemical sunscreens, as they actually absorb and trap the UVA rays in the epidermis (upper layer of the skin).
MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITES: