You’ve spent hours putting together the perfect Halloween costume and even more time watching Youtube tutorials to get your spooky make-up look on point for the scariest day of the year. But after the party, when you’re standing in front of the bathroom mirror, with smudged eyeliner and half your falsies dangling awkwardly on one corner of the eye, there’s only one question going through your mind: How do I get this stuff off my face?
With the massive range of different cleanser on the market, this shouldn’t really be much of a problem, after all, you can choose from oil/balm cleansers, gel cleansers, cleansing tissues, cleansing waters, cleansing foams/mousse, bubbling foams, all-in-one cleansers and many, many more. But how do you really use all of these products and most importantly, which ones should you be using? In this post, we’ll explain a bit more about the different types of cleansers that are often used in the Korean skin care regimen.
In the end, which cleanser suits you best and how many cleansing steps you need (or did you really think just a regular cleansing foam would do the trick. They?) depends on your skin type and concerns, but we can all agree that proper cleansing sets the foundation to clear, healthy skin. Let’s get started!
1. Cleansing Water
Recently, micellar waters have been getting a lot of attention. They’re a quick, gentle way of removing make-up. The idea behind micellar water it is that the micelles are attracted to oil and dirt and will draw these out without being too harsh or drying on skin. For some, this would normally be the only cleansing step. Cleansing water is also used in the Korean skin care routine to remove make-up (such as eyes and lips), but would usually be followed up with a cleansing foam or toner. In the morning, a cleansing water may be used as the only cleanser. Some brands have made their cleansing waters more interesting by adding leaves or flower petals to it, while other’s completely ditched the water and instead used botanical extracts for extra skin-benefits.
2. Cleansing Tissues
Cleansing tissues are great for those who don’t have time or patience for a complete cleansing routine. Just take a tissues, swipe it across your face, and you will soon find most of your makeup on it. They’re a great and inexpensive way to get rid of stubborn make-up and dirt after a long day, however some of them contain ingredients like alcohol that can potentially be drying and irritating with prolonged use. In addition, if not used carefully, the friction and motion used to cleanse the face with a cleansing tissue could contribute to premature wrinkles.
3. Cleansing Oils/Balms
Cleansing oils or balms (oils in solid form) are a great, gentle way to remove makeup. The oil allows you to dissolve the make-up without tugging at your skin while at the same time drawing out impurities. Some people even swear their cleansing oil helps them remove blackheads! Though many manufacturers will say using the oil/balm as standalone cleanser is possible, it’s best to follow-up with a water-based cleanser to eliminate any residue that could possibly block the pores. There’s also no need to worry if you have oily skin and feel this could bee too heavy. There are plenty of cleansing oils for different skin types, some are dry oils while others are more nourishing, some might also be based on mineral oils while others have a more natural approach and use olive, almond or coconut oil as a base. Again, it’s important to find the product that has the right ingredients for your skin type and won’t make you break out.
4. Water-based Cleansers (foams, gels etc.)
Here is where the fun begins. There are TONS of cleansing foams, gels, cleansing bars and more on the market. Many people go through countless bottles and brands, from high-end to drugstore brands, until they find they holy grail cleanser. Others like to change their cleanser according to skin condition or climate for example. Independently of what second-step-cleanser you prefer (in other words, the next cleansing step after your oil cleanser), what you should be looking out for is the pH it has. Skin is, by nature, slightly acidic, so it can ward off and defend against harmful bacteria, but a lot of the cleansing products out have a pH that’s usually way too high and could strip your skin of its protective acid mantle, leaving it dry, sensitive and more susceptible to break outs. Quite the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve with proper cleansing, no? In addition to that, some products, such as vitamin C, AHA’s and BHA’s won’t work as well on skin with a high pH. Look out for water-based cleansers that have a pH between 4.0 and 5.5 to make sure your cleanser won’t be too harsh or disrupt your skins pH balance.
6. Chemical Exfoliants
Albeit not necessarily an everyday cleansing step, chemical peels such as AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) and BHA (beta hydroxy acids) are a great way to keep your pores and outer skin layers clear and even-toned. While BHA’s work deep in your pores to get rid of sebum and blackheads, AHA’s basically ‘dissolve’ the most outer layer of skin, getting rid of debris and revealing a fresh, healthy layer underneath. Because of these functions, they could be considered an extension of a normal cleansing routine. It’s extremely important to find out how often a week or month your skin can tolerate chemical exfoliants, but if used regularly, they can even help face scars, fine lines and reduce redness.
7. Bubble Cleansers
Although Bubbling/Carbonated Cleansers are slight newer on the market, they have been hugely popular. A few minutes after being massaged into skin, the bubble cleanser or mask will foam up and create bubbles that can cause a slightly tingly sensation. The oxygen contained in these is said to get rid of dead skin cells and ‘lifting’ dirt and oil trapped inside pores. Because of that, some of them can also have some exfoliating properties. Added bonus: They are insanely fun to use!
8. Multitasking Products
Cosmetics companies out there know what we are getting busier and busier and that many of use simply don’t have the time or energy to dedicate over 5 minutes to thorough cleansing after a long, exhausting day. This is why there are more and more products emerging that combine multiple skin care steps in just one application, like cleansers that also work as masks, cleansers that also tone, exfoliate and even hydrate during the day or daydreams that also serve as sleeping packs or make-up primers.
Which of these cleansing steps do you follow and how many products have you integrated into your routine? Is there any cleansing product you can’t live without? Make sure to let us know in the comments below!