Monday, December 2, 2013

facing MONDAY | cleansing

To scrub or not to scrub seems to be the ever looming question with regards to cleansing.  For many years, I lived with the mindset of "no pain, no gain."  My cleansing process was harsh and raw skin meant it was clean.  Even thought I would occasionally get some good results (ie. clear skin) it was painful to get there, literally.  

In my mid-twenties, I threw down $200 for the Clarisonic.  Convinced that spots should not be happening to someone my age I bought the "it" item for skincare.  It was great until it wasn't.  The first few months went splendidly, as the reviews claimed.  Then, I proceeded to get the worse cystic acne breakout of my life. While I am prone to blemishes and spots, cystic acne is extremely rare for me...maybe one or two big painful spots a year, maybe.  This was 5 or 6 at once and lasted a few months.  It was bad...

Through trail and error I found my way to the gentle side of cleansing.  I've also completely nixed manual exfoliation, as chemical exfoliation is much more kind to my skin.  These two realizations have done wonders for me.  I've also stopped using products that only market themselves has "acne prone" since I have more than one skin type.

How often you cleanse your skin is another biggie.  Most will recommend once in the morning and once at night.   I've opted to add a third "dry" wash into my routine since I really like getting my make-up off right when I get home work.  Something else that may seem a little different is that I cleanse twice.  The first to get make-up/product off and a second to really clean the skin.  My products depend on the time of day and the state of my skin.  The only thing that is consistent with these products is that they are all gentle - no burning, no hard scrubbing pain!

Since this is getting to be a bit long I've thought it would be easier to include this chart instead of trying to explain everything.  Don't forget your neck and'll thank me! The skin in these areas (for me) is pretty similar so I like to treat them as such, and at the same time.
"Dry" Washing.  
Simply put, this is cleansing your face without using water.  I'll give you a minute to process that...

This is something that still seems a bit left field for my brain to process but it can do wonders if you're dealing with some serious dryness.  I mentioned last week that water seems to dry my skin out.  Since I wash my face 3x's a day, I'll usually make the second wash (after I get home from work) a "dry" wash.  I use Bioderma to remove most of my make-up then Cetaphil or No. 7's Cleansing Balm for the "dry" wash.  I just work the product around a little bit and then use a cotton pad to wipe everything off.  The No.7 Balm is great for my super dry stints but for normal skin days I stick with Cetaphil.

Here's a quick review of each product pictured above:

This is a great, affordable product for those with dry skin or experience dry spells, like myself.  I do not use this regularly as I find that it can be a bit excessive when my skin is behaving. 

If you're looking for instant gratification with spots, this is one of my favorites.  I'll use this when I first notice spots trying to break through.  Immediately after rinsing, I can already tell a difference.  The power behind this product comes from the AHA's it contains which "loosens the glue" that binds dull gunk to the surface of the skin.  I'll only use this once or twice a week due to it's exfoliating powers.

This stuff is amazing for removing make-up, however it is a bit pricey.  I just soak a cotton pad and hold it on my eye and lightly pat.  After a few seconds make-up wipes away without any pulling or tugging.  I can typically use one side of the cotton pad for both eyes and then I do a quick swipe of my face, with the other, to get the bulk of my foundation and/or concealer off.  This is typically my first wash after I get home from work.

This stuff is Cetaphil on juice.  It has done wonders for me when it comes to regulating the oil production in my t-zone.  I also find this really preps the skin for whatever serum or moisturizer your going to follow with.  My skin absorbs products so much better when I use this as my second wash.  Since this is a little expensive I opt to use Cetaphil as my first wash and Dr. H as my second.  

Out of everything, this is the product I've been using the longest.  It's also the most versatile when it comes to handling my skin.  There are very few times where this doesn't cut it.  The fact that you can use this with or without water makes it seem like you are getting two products in one.  If you're looking for soft, supple skin this is for you.  This is a "holy grail" product for me!

Woah...that's a bit wordy, my apologies. What are your thoughts on this?  Any holy grail products out there that I need to try?  

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend!


  1. I've been thinking forever about getting a clarisonic and just can't bite the bullet - I appreciate your honest feedback about it!

    1. No problem! I'll still occasionally use mine (once every three or four weeks) but it just didn't work for me. The reviews are amazing and there seems to be a lot of people who have had great experiences but I just wasn't matter how hard I tried to be.


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