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It’s important to start and end your day with clean skin. Clean skin goes beyond simply splashing soap and water across your face; you need to take into account the skin science behind what you use to wash your skin with – and when you should switch it up. Foaming, gel and cream cleansers all, at a basic level, remove dirt and oil from the skin, but they also cater to other skin needs.
Many people let their skin type determine what cleanser they use – but really you should focus on your skin’s needs at a certain place and time and the skin science behind the cleanser that match your skin’s needs. It’s rare for someone to only experience one skin type throughout a lifetime. Actually, most will experience dry, oily and combination skin at different times throughout one year alone. The weather, your environment, stress levels and a multitude of other factors can affect how your skin behaves and, in turn, what it needs to stay clean and fresh. For example, humidity and hot temperatures can increase your skin’s natural sebum production. Sebum, your skin’s natural oils, keep your skin moisturized – but too much natural sebum release can result in an oily or shiny complexion. On the other hand, cold environments and dry air produced by indoor heat can dry out the skin, causing it to require extra moisture and replenishment.
To have beautiful skin, you have to start with a clean base. That means you should remove oils that build up overnight and wash away dirt, pollutants and sweat that collect on your skin throughout the day. Using the right cleanser at the right time will work to better keep your skin clean, in place of sticking to one cleanser despite the fact that your skin’s needs may change.
For times when you find yourself in hot, humid environments look for foaming or gel cleansers. The foaming action cleans the skin by cutting through grease and oil build up that can occur from sweaty situations and increased sebum production levels. Foaming and gel cleansers are also smart to use at night to remove makeup – that is if you only plan to cleanse your face once. It’s important to look at makeup removal as a separate step from washing your face – with either a facial wipe, oil or makeup remover. That being said, a foaming cleanser will act to cut through your makeup and better clean it away than a cream cleanser by itself. Sebum production can also increase if you find yourself in a stressful period of time – it might benefit your skin to take notice and switch to a foaming or gel cleanser to better tend to the extra oil.
In winter months or cold climates it can be wise to switch to cream cleansers. Cream cleansers are soft to the touch and don’t have sulfates, which can strip the skin of natural oils that it needs to stay moisturized in especially dry environments. Stress can also affect dry skin and increase its dryness, as can other skin care products you may be using. Cream cleansers work to gently wash the skin and will only remove excess oils that build up and won’t strip the skin of the oils it needs.
Keeping both a foaming and creamy cleanser available at all times is really the best way to tailor your skin care efforts to your skin’s needs. You may even find you use both options in one day – say a cream cleanser in the morning and a foaming option at night to cut through your makeup and built up dirt and oils. The important thing to remember is that your goal is clean skin, but also healthy skin that has its special needs addressed – no matter what time of year, location or mindset you find yourself in.