A smiling woman is cleansing her face with a super foamy facial cleanser.

The Ultimate Guide to Facial Cleansers

Benefits of Using a Facial Cleanser | Types of Facial Cleansers | How Often Should You Wash Your Face? | How to Cleanse Your Skin

A facial cleanser should be an essential part of your daily skincare routine. Cleansers help remove dead skin cells, dirt, and other debris from your complexion. Clearing the skin prevents breakouts caused by harmful bacteria and dirt trapped in your pores. Balance is key, however, because over-cleansing damages your skin barrier and strips away moisture.

Benefits of Using a Facial Cleanser

With long-wearing makeup and exposure to environmental stressors and pollution, thoroughly cleansing your skin at the end of the day is necessary. Cleansing removes makeup and impurities and prepares your skin to better absorb the active ingredients in toners, serums, masks, and moisturisers. Here are the main benefits of facial cleansers:

Removing Build-Up

Daily cleansing removes grime, oil, and makeup that accumulate throughout the day, which is essential for healthy-looking skin. The skin on your face is continually exposed to pollution, dirt, bacteria, and skin cell buildup. Failing to wash your face means prolonged exposure to a layer of sweat, dirt, and grime, which can trap debris in your pores and lead to breakouts.

Allowing Sebum Oil to Reach the Surface

Sebum is the waxy, oily secretion produced by tiny sebaceous glands under your skin. These glands use hair follicles to let oil reach the surface, keeping your hair and skin moisturised. Regular cleansing clears away blockages and buildup, allowing sebum to reach the surface, which reduces the chance of breakouts.

Maintaining Hydration

Cleansing helps manage the pH levels of your skin, keeping it hydrated and balanced, provided you’re using a pH-balanced cleanser. Using a hydrating cleanser ensures your skin maintains proper hydration, preventing dry skin.

Presept Gentle Skin Cleanser is formulated to purify your skin by removing dirt, makeup, and excess oils while preserving your skin's natural, protective barriers. Unlike ordinary cleansers, our unique blend ensures your skin maintains its optimal pH balance, leaving your complexion feeling irresistibly soft and conditioned—never dry or tight.

Types of Facial Cleansers

Gel Cleansers

Gel cleansers have a gel-like consistency and are designed to unclog pores, remove excess oil, and eliminate acne-causing bacteria from your skin. They are ideal for oily skin types.

Cream Cleansers

Cream-based cleansers deeply nourish and moisturise the skin while removing makeup and impurities. They are ideal for dry or sensitive skin types because they rehydrate the skin without stripping it of natural oils.

Foam Cleansers

These lightweight products create a foamy lather when dispensed from a pump. They remove excess oil effectively and are great for combination skin. However, they can leave dry skin feeling tight and dry.

Cleansing Oils

Cleansing oils easily remove oil-based products like makeup and sunscreen while keeping your skin smooth and silky. Oils dissolve other oils quickly, making them effective for removing oil-based products. I recommend Jojoba oil neat as a superficial cleanser to remove makeup, followed by a skin-specific cleanser for a deeper clean.

Exfoliating Cleansers

Exfoliating cleansers can be physical or chemical. Chemical exfoliating cleansers contain a small percentage of acid to cleanse and gently exfoliate the skin. Physical exfoliating cleansers have tiny granules that slough off dead skin cells while providing a cleanse.

How Often Should You Wash Your Face?

You should wash your face every morning and night. If you can only wash your face once daily, do it before bedtime to avoid trapping dirt and oil in your skin while you sleep. Those with dry skin may prefer cleansing once a day to avoid dryness, but should instead use a cream cleanser to hydrate at every level.

Cleansing should never cause irritation. If your skin feels tight and dry after washing, you might be overdoing it.

Over-cleansing (three or more times a day) or harsh cleansers, like soap, can weaken the skin barrier and cause dryness, dullness, or irritation.

How to Cleanse Your Skin

I recommend the following steps for cleansing correctly:

  1. Dampen your skin with lukewarm water, then apply your cleanser (around the size of a 20c piece) to your face and neck, gently rubbing it in with your fingertips.
  2. Use a Dermabrush to work your cleanser into your skin, paying attention to the edges of the nostrils. Avoid scrubbing with anything other than a Dermabrush to prevent redness and irritation.
  3. Wet a clean facewasher with warm water and wipe away the cleanser, then pat dry with a clean, soft towel.
  4. Apply a hydrating serum, followed by moisturiser, and SPF – especially if you have dry or itchy skin.
  5. Limit washing to twice daily, although you can wash your face after sweating profusely.
  6. Follow the instructions on the cleanser bottle for the best results.

How many times a day do you cleanse? Need help deciding which cleanser is right for you?

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