Perfectly Clean Face
Did you know that you have a great deal of control over the
texture, clarity, suppleness and long-term health of facial
skin just based on how and how often you cleanse? Whether youâ€™re
young or old, man or woman, you can do your skin a big favor
by cleansing correctly.
Cleansing is arguably the most important part of your basic
skincare routine. Proper cleansing gets rid of old surface skin
cells, dirt and dust, grime, make-up and bacteria, and keeps
skin pores free of clogs and able to breathe freely. Cleansing
also aids circulation and prepares the skin to receive topically
applied nutrients and lipids.
Here are some tips for proper facial cleansing from the 5,000-year-old
healing tradition of Ayurveda:
1. Cleanse twice a day, no more. Unless you have exposed
your skin to excessive dust, grime or pollution, twice-a-day
cleansing is more than adequate for any skin type. Cleansing
too often strips your skin of precious natural oils. Not cleansing
regularly, particularly before you retire for the night, may
lead to build-up and eruptions.
2. Choose a cleanser that is appropriate for your skin type.
Do not use soap on facial skin: it can be too harsh and drying
and damage skin over time. A too-rich cleanser can clog pores,
while a too-dry cleanser can irritate the skin. A cleanser for
dry skin should contain nourishing herbs and oils. One for oily
skin should include herbs that balance oil production and support
clarity. Sensitive skin benefits from an ultra-gentle, fragrance-free,
Traditional ayurvedic cleansers are made fresh with natural
ingredients such as ground oats, lentils or chickpeas, complexion
enhancing or clarifying herbs such as turmeric, Amalaki, Neem
and sandalwood, emollients such as milk, cream yogurt or honey,
and floral or citrus waters for pure healing fragrance. You
can make your own by mixing the dry ingredients to last a week
or two and blending the mix with milk or cream right before
use. Otherwise, look for a natural cleanser thatâ€™s gentle and
fortified with skin-friendly herbs.
3. Always cleanse with tepid water. Hot water dries and damages
skin over time, and cold water wonâ€™t dissolve and take away
embedded dirt and grime as well as lukewarm water.
4. If you use sponges or washcloths, make sure they are clean
and soft. They are not necessary for effective cleansing: your
fingertips can do just as good a job.
5. Wash your hands thoroughly before you cleanse your face,
or you will be working dirt into facial skin. Use a headband
to secure hair away from the face.
6. Start by splashing tepid water on your face and neck.
7. Apply the cleanser with your fingertips or a soft sponge,
using gentle circular massaging strokes and moving upward on
the face and neck. Do not scrub too muchâ€¦gentle massaging strokes
are enough to help improve circulation as well as loosen grime
and old surface skin cells. Too much scrubbing will stretch
skin and irritate it, especially the delicate skin around the
8. Rinse with lots of tepid water. Donâ€™t forget to rinse
off cleanser from the neck and hairline. Cleanser residue can
clog pores and attract dirt.
9. Gently blot off excess water with a soft towel. Do not
scrub dry or drag towel along skin.
10. Follow immediately with a water-based toner and a moisturizer
appropriate for your skin type to seal in surface moisture and
offer nourishment when skin is receptive.
For Further Reading