Today’s blog post is a special one from the awesome Lylysa!!! Before I had a blog, I pretty much lived on BeautyTalk, and my favorite person for makeup and skincare discussion is Lylysa. She’s got so much great information that I’ve always thought it’s a shame that she didn’t have a blog. Hundreds of email chats later, I finally asked if she would like to be my guest blogger and share her skincare knowledge with us. So without further ado, I’ll hand it off to the first guest blogger of ChicDabbling, Lylysa!
Hello there, WordPress world! I want to thank my dear friend ChicDabbler for allowing me to write as a guest blogger on her page. As she mentioned, her and I first met through the wonderful outlet of Sephora’s forum known as BeautyTalk and right away, her affinity for skin care and beauty struck a chord with me. I’m perhaps most known in Beauty Talk for my elaborate posts and break-downs regarding all things beauty and I’m very grateful for being allowed the opportunity to share my knowledge on a new platform!
This will be part 1 of of a 5 post series dedicated to breaking-down skin care regimens! My focus will be to cover what may typically go into constructing a skin care regimen (or routine) by detailing out formulas and product types per each step, and by doing so, hopefully give some insight as to aid anyone reading who may be questioning what they may actually need or want to incorporate.
Cleansers will generally be the first step in a regimen because they will aid in creating a “blank slate” so that the products used after aren’t hindered by traces of oil, bacteria, pollutants, and any grime that skin may have at its surface. While cleansers today come packed with beneficial ingredients to treat and nourish skin, it’s still a product that gets washed down the drain, so try not to bank on them solely to obtain dramatic results in skin care. Cleansing use to be based on a “twice a day” concept (morning and night); however, many folks don’t require a morning cleansing. Unless you wake and skin is slicked with oil and heavy with shine, forego the cleansing step in the day time and move to a refreshing mist or even treatment then your SPF/moisturizer. Even though oil production doesn’t stop as you sleep, waking up a bit dewy isn’t cause for alarm or to break out a heavy-duty cleanser, even if you’re using a gentle cleanser, over-cleansing isn’t going to do your skin any favors. In fact, doing so can cause skin to either dry out or overcompensate for the rapid loss in oil by over-producing oil as the day continues and then you’ll have a new issue on your hands. If the idea of not washing your skin in the morning is just repelling and you may not have any want or need for a facial mist, feel free to just rinse with cool or lukewarm water or wipe down with a damp wash cloth.
To help navigate the multitude of formulas, here’s a quick list of common types you may run into (of course, key into the ingredients of specific formulas to see if it may suit your needs, for example – just because there’s a gel formula, doesn’t mean it can’t ever be used for dry skin, if that particular formula also as humectants, it may be suitable for use):
- Gel-based cleansers, these are generally geared toward oily or combination skin as gels break down and bind to oils on skin quicker than a cream based cleanser and may have a slightly translucent appearance
- Cream-based cleansers, these are generally geared more to dry or normal skin types and may also aid in imparting more moisture or be more conditioning in nature with typically a more opaque appearance
- Milk cleansers, these thin/fluid-like cleansers are great for sensitive skin and are more delicate and tend to have anti-inflammatory properties to ease redness
- Oil cleansers, these types have made a huge splash in the skin care world, they’re packed with fatty acids to hydrate, easily remove surface oils and can aid in regulating/rebalancing oily skin types, and aid in emulsifying makeup (especially waterproof/long-wear formulas) very quickly
- Foaming cleansers, the term “foaming” may describe how a formula develops once introduced to skin and water or may be used to describe a formula with a pump-action dispense nozzle that produces an actual foam, the texture of the later tend to be very light weight and give a more basic level of cleansing
- Micellar cleansing water, is another form of cleanser that has also more recently taken the skin care world by storm, micelles are minute oil molecules suspended in soft water that do not yield any greasy feel and can be found solely in liquid form or in saturated pads and wipes, these micelles bind to debris to help lift them from skin delicately and often require no additional rinsing from the skin
- Bar soap or solid cleanser, bar soaps have gotten a bad rep over the years as their pH levels don’t exact equate to what the face needs and in turn can be quite harsh, but formulas of today that are dedicated to the face are much more considerate and even getting a revamp in their look as many brands have gone from a traditional soap block to conveniently packaged twist up sticks to make them easier to use and even travel with
- Cleansing wipes/cloths, perhaps the most laid-back of all cleansing methods as they are great for late nights when you just can’t find yourself making it to a sink or even post-workout, these towelettes are saturated with a liquid cleanser and are passed along the surface of skin directly; however, these do run the risk of merely “pushing” debris back along the skin as they’re not always followed up by a rinse
But what about the “S” word????
Sulfates are lathering agents/detergents that are used in cleansers to give that bubbly visual we associate with “being clean”; however, developments in the skin care world show that a cleanser isn’t necessarily made any more efficient or effective with the incorporation of sulfates, and in fact, an excessive use of them can be harsh, stripping, and drying. Bottom line, decide personally if this is a make-or-break deal for you, some folks have no issues if a cleanser has sulfates, others wish to avoid them just because there are so many sulfate-free options that they’re not limited, while others steer clear for the sake that it may throw off their skin’s moisture balance and cause issues.
Taking the proper and necessary time to work a cleanser or even makeup remover on the skin is also crucial. At the bare minimum, seek to at least massage cleanser for 45 seconds along the skin, if you have a fuller face of makeup or just heavier makeup than normal, even take a minute or minute and a half before rinsing. For eyes, using a separate makeup remover is great as this area is so delicate. Try to hold a cotton pad saturated with cleanser/makeup remover on closed lids for 15-20+ seconds to break down makeup (even longer if you’re wearing waterproof/long-wear formulas) before wiping so the cleanser is allowed time to break down makeup without you having to work so hard at the removal and minimize being too rough to the area.
There are many options available now to help support allotting enough time for cleansing via devices like the Clarisonic Facial Cleansing Brush and the Foreo Luna T-Sonic Cleansing Device (both brands have a wide array of version types that cater to specific skin types and concerns). These devices across the board (be it electronic or manual cleansing brushes, or even facial cloths and sponges) tend to share the commonality that they are not to be used with granular cleanser formulas or face scrubs. This means if your face wash has any added physical element, do not use them with your device as this can cause damage to the integrity of the device body at the point of contact with skin. The combination can also wreck havoc on skin as the amped up cleansing provided by said-tool paired with the physicality of that particular formula can be too abrassive on skin. Clay-based or oil-based formulas are often looked upon to be avoided as well because of how thick and rich clay formulas tend to be (this may gum-up a brush head and just make a mess of things) while oil formulas are just too thin and can slip between brush bristles or sink to the very base of a device. Venturing into the foray of cleansing devices isn’t a requirement, but if you do invest in a tool, be sure the one your choose will aid in your overall skin care goals and is used in conjunction with the rest of your items in a balanced way. There is no rule that mandates you use your cleansing device daily, and if upon daily use you suddenly feel like skin is becoming too overworked, take a break and span out usage to maybe just a few times a week. Slowly incorporating a device or tool into your regimen may also be of great help to prevent shocking your skin and perhaps causing new issues such as purging or even mild inflammation.
Stay tuned for next time as I’ll be covering aspects of a skin care regimen and routine such as facial mists, toners, and essences in part 2!