How to Get the Most out of Cleansing
by Freya Drohan
If you’ve already bailed on your New Year’s resolution to *clean up your act* — don’t stress; at least now you can make sure you’re washing your face like a pro thanks to Milk Makeup’s brand new Vegan Milk Cleanser.
While everyone is out here on Amazon Prime adding silk pillowcases to their cart in the name of good skin, we’ve bottled the secret sauce to a complexion that’s nourished and calm. But before you turn in for the night to get your forty winks of beauty sleep, let’s talk about how to make sure your face is as clean as a whistle. Because life can be harsh enough at the best of times, we wanted to create a soft, cleanser that is gentle-yet-effective and sulfate-free to leave you with juicy, bouncy, and balanced skin that doesn’t feel stripped bare.
For some sound advice on pre-and-post-pillow time cleansing, we reached out to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Sperling and learned that being extra gentle with your delicate self is the name of the game.
PSA: Cleanse with intention, but not aggression
“The goal is to be gentle with your skin. Rinse with warm water and gently massage [a dime-sized amount of] cleanser into your face using circular motions and then rinse again,” Dr. Sperling explained.
Dr. Sperling added that double cleansing has a time and a place, and if you’re wearing heavy-duty makeup, then you should def employ this method to make sure every last trace of it is gone.
Meanwhile, certified aesthetic nurse specialist and licensed aesthetician Genevieve Vielbig, aka Nurse Gigi, also gave us her two cents on how to approach skin cleansing in the AM and PM.
“The ideal cleansing routine would be a single cleanse in the morning and double cleanse in the evening,” she explained. “The double cleanse should start with a cleansing oil, then either a foaming or creamy cleanser, depending on your skin type.”
Nurse Gigi added: “When cleansing with oil-based or creamy cleansers, starting with a dry face is best. Gel cleansers need a bit of water to emulsify and foam up in order to clean the skin effectively. Using clean hands is best, or a cleansing brush such as a Clarisonic can be beneficial to make sure all makeup is removed.”
Vegan Milk Cleanser is a cream cleanser that forms a gently milky lather thanks to something called Desert Milk™, a blend of Kalahari melon, baobab, jojoba, and aloe vera for the satiny smooth skin of your dreams.
One thing that absolutely will not fly on either expert’s watch is being too abrasive or rough (we’re leaving all that aggressive energy behind in 2019, people.)
“You need to be very gentle,” Dr. Sperling repeated for effect. “Some people are too excessive by exfoliating every day. Rubbing and tugging too hard can cause irritation, and when you’re too rough with your skin there’s a chance you could cause damage.”
Yes, Karen, it is possible to over-cleanse
“You need to have the right balance in your skin because there are oils in your skin that you need,” Dr. Sperling said. “By washing and drying your skin out too much, it will start to irritate it and this will begin to strip your skin of its natural oils. These oils are essential in keeping your skin looking healthy.”
Speaking of oils, Vegan Milk Cleanser is also brimming with grapeseed oil and olive-derived squalane to help seal in moisture and provide antioxidant protection for even the most sensitive of skin types. As if that wasn’t enough of a guestlist, vitamin-rich fig milk, shea butter, and crowd-pleasing oat milk are also involved to care 4 u.
While your cleanser should get rid of dirt and impurities (…. and maybe memories of your ex? LOL JK) you don’t want to go so hard that your poor lil’ face is left red and agitated.
“There are a ton of different reasons as to why your skin can be red after cleansing,” Dr. Sperling said.
“It could mean that the water you’re using is too hot or too cold. It could also mean that you have sensitive skin and the product/cleanser you’re using doesn’t agree with your skin type or it may be too rough with your skin.
What’s up with sulfates and pH?
“You need to be careful with the sulfates and fragrances in cleansers too because they could cause allergies and irritation, rashes, or even breakouts,” she concluded.
Agreeing with Dr. Sperling, Nurse Gigi stressed that, like opening UberEats at 4 AM, sulfates are to be avoided if you know what’s good for you.
“Sulfates attract both water and oil and breakdown the dirt, but they are usually too harsh and strip the skin of the natural PH leaving your skin feeling ‘squeaky clean’ — which is not a good thing,” she said.
Something that Nurse Gigi sees often which drives her bananas is when people “strip their acid mantle.” And yes, it is as scary as it sounds. This refers to the skin’s natural barrier which protects itself from bacteria and pollutants. Ergo, going ham with chemical exfoliants can and does lead to skincare woes… **womp womp womp**
“Patients with oily skin tend to over-cleanse and strip their acid mantle (which has a natural pH balance of about 5.5) by using harsh, drying products. They also don’t apply their moisturizer directly after cleansing which is key to lock in moisture,” Nurse Gigi warned.
A lot of cleansing agents tend to have pH levels of 9-10, which is why they can sometimes feel like they’re drying you out like a drought. That stripped bare feeling ≠ the goal.
Obv, your skin functions and looks best when pH levels are balanced (cheat sheet: normal skin tends to have pH levels between 4.5-6, while oily skin has lower, more acidic pH levels and dry skin has a higher pH level.)
We don’t like to ~ humble brag ~ but this is exactly why we formulated our Vegan Milk Cleanser to have an ideal *chef’s kiss emoji* pH balance between 5.5 and 6.5 to clean without drying or irritating.
Both Dr. Sperling and Nurse Gigi had one parting piece of advice for y’all: Post-cleanse, the best thing to do is to pat your moneymaker dry with a fluffy, soft, clean towel before applying your other lotions and potions pronto.
Remember those lofty resolutions you made on NYE after too many cans of White Claw? Scratch ‘em. Here’s your new and improved mantra for 2020: Just be gentle with yourself… with both your skincare and your life in general.