What’s the best way to wash your face? Find out now.
Cleansers are often seen as an afterthought, while serums and treatments seem more beneficial to the skin. But when it comes down to it, cleansers are actually the most important part of your routine. They help to get rid of all of your makeup and any impurities (like sweat and sebum), working to keep your skin clear and refreshed.
But have you been cleansing correctly? We reached out to Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New Your City, for some answers. Turns out there’s a crucial step we’ve been missing. Keep reading to find out what it is.
You should leave your cleanser on your face longer
Sure, you start their routine with a cleanse, but I bet you spend maybe 10-20 seconds massaging your face with your cleanser before hurrying to rinse it away. Don’t worry, I’m guilty of this too, especially on nights when I’m super tired. But according to Zeichner, we’ve been going about cleansing all wrong. “While we refer to these products as cleansers, they really should be thought of as short contact therapies,” he says. Translation: Cleansers should be left on the skin long enough for them to do their job. “I generally recommend applying the product on the skin, singing the alphabet, then rinsing it off,” says Zeichner.
Let’s be real: Leaving your cleanser on for an extra minute isn’t going to provide the same effects as slathering on chemical exfoliants or super potent anti-aging serums but it’ll make sure you’re cleansing effectively. A lot of times we get acne is because we’re not cleansing our faces properly. While double cleansing has revolutionized our approach to cleansing, your water-based cleanser deserves a little more love so that it can deep clean your pores as it’s meant to. Plus, by taking the time to massage your cleanser into the skin you’ll be allowing those active ingredients within it to really do their job effectively.
I find this especially important for cleansers that contain acne-fighting actives, like tea tree oil and salicylic acid. A few extra seconds of scrubbing in your routine could help to keep that acne at bay. For example, if you’re only applying the Erborian Black Soap for 20 seconds, you’re wasting all the benefits of the pore-clearing charcoal that’s in it.
The same goes for intense acne fighting cleansers like the Cosrx Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser. This cleanser is packed with ingredients like tea tree oil, salicylic acid, and saccharomyces ferment to fight acne at its source while leaving your skin hydrated. Taking the time to massage the cleanser into your skin will not only properly cleanse it but allow those actives the opportunity to do their job.
Worried cleansing for a minute will dry out your skin? Well, it really shouldn’t if you’re using the right cleanser for your skin type. For drier skin, try to stick with more hydrating cleansers, like the Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser. You might usually avoid foaming cleansers because they dry out your skin, but this isn’t your typical one. It’s formulated with an amino acid complex that replaces traditional sodium lauryl sulfate, making it super gentle and moisturizing for the skin. It also contains tea tree leaf oil, hyaluronic acid, and aloe leaf extract to soothe and combat signs of irritation. Allowing this soothing cleanser to rest on the skin for a while can help to reduce redness and kill any acne-causing bacteria.
It’s time to stop thinking of your cleanser as a throw away step. Cleansing is the first step to clear skin and keeping up a routine that takes that into consideration will only help to keep your skin clearer longer. Thinking of your cleanser as a treatment is the most effective way for you to use it to your advantage. Next time you cleanse, slow down and give your cleanser a chance to work as it should.