Skincare for Beginners: Cleansing Tips From a Dermatologist

Do you know how to cleanse your face correctly? Are you using the right type of cleanser? In this article, we give you a sneak peek from one of the episodes of the Skincare Masterclass, where board-certified dermatologist Dr. Teo Wan Lin shares cleansing tips and introduces the fundamentals of cleansing. Including excerpts from Skincare Bible: Dermatologist’s Tips For Cosmeceutical Skincare.

Cleansing tips

The way you cleanse and apply products on your face can make a difference to the effectiveness of skincare and absorption. Follow these cleansing tips to keep your face looking healthy:

  • Use a gentle, effective cleanser that is oil emulsion-based to remove makeup pigments. Follow up with a lathering cleanser which contains natural alternative emulsifiers such as Honey, or Soy. Instead of heavy Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) – laden formulas.
  • Wet your face with lukewarm water and use your fingertips to apply cleanser. When removing makeup dissolved in the cleanser, use the softest, smoothest cloths (such as microfibre) or moist cotton pads to gently wipe off.
  • Traditional scrubs with beady rough material may make you feel “clean”. However, in reality your skin will become sensitive and irritated with time.
  • Rinse with cool, lukewarm water rather than hot water.

There is a right way to apply moisturiser.

  • Apply it liberally on moist skin right after cleansing to ensure optimum product absorption. For cream or emulsion based moisturisers, a liberal amount means applying at least a palm size amount of product over a single unit area such as the face. With appropriate increments of such if on larger surface areas such as the body.

An emulsion-based moisturiser, the Radiance Fluide Hydrating emulsion is specially formulated for a light-weight feel to impart a radiant glow without make-up.

Be gentle when applying any cream around your eyes.

  • Use the ring finger to gently blend product onto skin so you do not tug too hard on this delicate skin. For contact lens wearers, master the art of not tugging on the lower lid when inserting. As this will contribute to skin laxity and eye wrinkles as one ages.

Limit skin cleansing to twice per day.

  • If you do sport in the middle of the day, do cleanse off sweat after exercise with an oil-emulsion based moisturiser. Rather than directly with a lathering cleanser because this can cause increased skin dryness. Perspiration, especially in a humid climate, mixed with skin oils and grime becomes a hot-bed for bacterial and yeast overgrowth, can worsen acne and fungal folliculitis. If your sport requires you to wear a cap or helmet,  take care to launder or disinfect (with a skin-safe disinfectant such as chlorhexidine or isopropyl alcohol) these regularly as they can harbor heavy bacterial growth.

Choosing a cleanser for oily, acne-prone skin

From a layperson’s perspective, it is rather important that a facial cleanser leaves their skin feeling clean. In particular, this is especially important for those with acne-prone, seborrheic skin.

One tip when choosing your cleanser for oily skin is this. If your cleanser leaves your face feeling squeaky clean, you can be sure that it is way too drying for your skin. This sort of astringent effect is common among most commercial face washes. This is because it satisfies the desire to feel cleansed. But from a dermatologist’s perspective, it is important, instead, to focus on gentle cleansing. 

What are the different types of cleansers?

When you’re trying to remove makeup, there are two main cleansers that do that. Firstly, a micellar formula. This relies on hydrophobic and hydrophilic elements to interact with the makeup pigments. The oil soluble pigments will then dissolve in the micellar base before it’s rinsed off with water. However, what I usually advocate is using an oil emulsion. Oil emulsions are commonly referred to as cleansing milk. It dissolves the pigments, which you then physically rinse off with water. I prefer using an oil emulsion because the efficacy of the oil emulsion in removing heavier formulas such as eyeliner and mascara is more effective than a micellar formula. 

The Le Lait Milk Cleanser provides gentle and effective cleansing for sensitive skin. Suitable for removing makeup, including eye and lip.

Gentle cleansing

If you are using a cleanser that requires you to rub your eyes several times just to get the pigment off, you’re actually inducing some form of mechanical stress to the delicate eye area. I have faced that issue before, so now, as one of my cleansing tips, I’m sharing this with you as well. 

Choosing the right cleanser

The other aspect of cleansing is with the use of lathering cleansers. A cleanser can lather up generally because of an emulsifier known as sodium lauryl sulphate, or ammonium lauryl sulphate. We know from research and testing that sulphates disrupt the skin barrier and can cause barrier deficiency, or irritant dermatitis over a period of time. Cleanser technologies have evolved. The use of amino acid surfactants, for example, are low pH systems that can effectively and gently cleanse the skin. The use of botanical emulsifiers such as medical grade honey and soya have the innate properties of emulsification, and are much gentler than its chemical equivalents. 

The Miel Honey Cleanser incorporates medical grade honey that has natural emulsification and antibacterial functions.

Learn directly from our founder, Dr. Teo Wan Lin, board certified dermatologist in this series of digital skincare masterclasses to fine tune your skincare regimen. Dermatologist pearls which are usually shared in-office consultations only are now available in a digital format for you to learn in the comfort of your own home. Dr. Teo teaches the maximalist approach to any skincare minimalist- by making every step count.

The Skincare Masterclass packages comes with FREE fully redeemable vouchers for our skincare products. First 50 sign-ups will receive free access to the first episode, and a full sized Sunprotector.

Sign up for a Skincare Masterclass package now.

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