When we were younger things were much simpler. No calculus, no exams and no complicated skincare! Cleansing, exfoliation, toning, treatments, actives and blah blah blah. There's just so much! But don't worry. Let's talk about the most basic and essential steps of a skincare routine - cleansing and exfoliating.
You thought science was complex, but these two steps have many confused. For a lot of people, cleansing and exfoliating mean the same thing. They don't.
After a long, hard, sweaty and tiring day, the last thing anyone wants to do is clean the face. But your nighttime routine is crucial to maintaining healthy and fresh skin so it's a cardinal sin to skip! Cleansing is the first step of your skincare. It involves taking off all the makeup, sunscreen, oil, dirt, pollution and all the other grime. Once your face is clean, you can move onto other parts of your skincare.
The Double Cleanse
With Korean beauty becoming super popular, the beauty world is abuzz with a new term - double-cleansing. What is it? As the name suggests, double-cleansing involves two cleanses. Now, you may think that washing your face might dry the skin out completely but hold your horses. For the first cleanse, use an oil-based cleanser or a balm. With the first cleanse, you remove your sunscreen and your makeup. Then comes the second cleanse. Here, you can go in for foam or gel-based cleanser. In case you've got any leftover grime, with the second cleanse, it'll all be gone!
The idea behind the double cleanse is that, throughout the day, our skin goes through a lot (the mind does too) and a single cleanse just won't do it.
Why Squeaky Clean is Bad
Doesn't it feel great when you've washed your face, wiped it with your towel? That squeaky clean feeling is amazing, right? Wrong! Cleansing can sometimes strip away the natural oils of the skin. This can lead to problems such as irritation, redness or even excessive sebum production! So be sure to wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
The reason why double-cleansing is all the rage right now is that a single gentle cleansing may not do the trick when it comes to cleaning your face. Two cleanses are better, albeit more time-consuming.
Also, never ever wipe your face! Always pat it dry! Be gentle with your skin. Treat like you would a baby!
Now comes the second step - exfoliation. Don't you just love running your hand over a smooth surface? Only a few things in the world are better than smooth skin! Exfoliation helps with improving skin texture. It removes the dead skin cells, leaving brighter and fresher skin.
A lot many people also refer to this step is scrubbing. You won't hear that a lot anymore because nowadays there are chemical exfoliants in the market too. Chemical exfoliants such as AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids such as glycolic acid) and BHAs (beta-hydroxy acids) have become very popular because of a lot many scrubs use nano-beads that are harmful to the environment and can be too harsh on the skin as well.
The Risk of Over-exfoliation
A lot many of us are guilty of over-exfoliating our skin and not realising it. A common example is using a physical exfoliant or a scrub almost every day. You may say that everyone's skin is different, but you also must realise you're being far too harsh! When you're in your teens or your 20s, your skin will withstand all the trauma. But what a lot of people don't realise is that excessive scrubbing or over-exfoliating causes microtears. These become problematic as you age because your skin can become dull and loose! So, if you must exfoliate, do it thrice a week at the maximum. At Myra Veda, we have two great organic and natural scrubs that are going to leave your skin fresh and glowing. They're mild exfoliants so they're not too harsh on the skin and get the job done too!
With chemical exfoliants, it's rather easy to spot signs of over-exfoliation. Your skin will become red and irritated. With chemical exfoliants, there isn't a hard limit. It depends on how well your skin tolerates the product. The moment your skin starts reacting, stop immediately and take it slow!
What comes first?
You'll find a great many articles on the internet for why you should exfoliate your skin before cleansing, but that's wrong and here's why. Think of a canvas that's a bit dirty. Pour some liquids and grains of sand over it. Now you have two options. Either remove the sand and dirt or just clean the canvas with all of it on. If you opt for option 2, you might end up damaging the canvas because all the particles will rub against the canvas. This is also what happens to your skin! So, remember, cleanse first and then exfoliate!