For all of you out there suffering from excessively dry or irritated skin, finding a facial cleanser that doesn't make the problem of dry skin worse can be quite the challenge. In my previous post, I briefly mentioned a type of facial cleanser that is best suited for those suffering from dry skin. Drum roll please .... say hello to the cream cleanser! In case you missed it, CLICK HERE to find out all about facial cleansers. If you're like most people, you don't hear about cream cleansers much because they don't really garner too much attention. My goal for this post is to answer the question " what is a cream cleanser?", who is best suited for this type of product, and how to use it most effectively.
Cream Cleanser ... the background story.
The truth about cream cleansers, is that the name is a bit of a misnomer in that the job of a cleansing cream isn't really to clean your skin. The primary purpose of a cream cleanser is actually to remove makeup, which for many, is only the first step in washing your face. That's why it is no surprise that most formulas are packed with oils and moisturizing ingredients that lift away and remove makeup products, but have limited to no surfactants to dissolve sebum.
Beware Of The Pitfalls
As mentioned above, because cream cleansers have limited to no surfactants to dissolve sebum, you should be warned that dirt and oils can be left behind. For those suffering from dry skin, this may not be that big of a deal, however, for those with normal to more oily skin, the dirt and oil left behind serves only to clog pores and create potential breakouts and irritation.
Not only does some oils and dirt get left behind, but cream cleansers tend to leave a residue behind on your skin despite rinsing with water afterwards.
Since cream cleansers are primarily designed to remove makeup, they may contain several other ingredients that might not necessarily be beneficial or safe to leave on your skin for hours at a time. For example, there might be silicones, mineral oil, and aging polyunsaturated oils to name a few. These ingredients, like residual dirt and sebum, can clog your pores and exacerbate acne.
Since a facial cleanser is typically the first part of a multi-step skin regimen, the last thing you would want to do is use a cleanser that could potentially PREVENT other products in your regimen from being properly absorbed (ie serums, moisturizers, etc). However, many argue that cream cleansers do, in fact, cause other skin products used after application to be less effective.
Dry Skin Types Benefit Most ... When Using Cream Cleansers Correctly
The idea that the moisturizing ingredients in a cream cleanser will stay on your skin for longer periods of time to help nourish is typically best suited for those with dry or sensitive skin. However, some might argue that for those individuals, wouldn't using an actual moisturizer on your skin instead of a cream cleanser be preferable? Some might say yes, of course, moisturizers are preferable, but when used correctly, cream cleansers can be effective in keeping skin hydrated. Here are some useful tips when considering using a cream cleanser:
- Apply the cream cleanser to DRY skin and massage it around for a few moments. Do not wet your skin first.
- Wet your fingertips with water and continue massaging the product onto your skin. This will emulsify it, allowing for an easier removal.
- Now rinse with water --> by this time, most of your makeup should have been removed.
- Clean your skin. Even if you were not wearing makeup to begin with, you STILL need to remove the cleanser residue.
The following are some options you can try for Step 4 above:
- Use a second cleanser: Try to ensure that you choose a gentle, sulfate-free formula.
- Use the cream cleanser twice: If you feel like you'd rather not by a second cleanser, consider using the cream cleanser twice. The second application should allow for a more thorough cleansing than one application alone. Even still, you should still get the residue off with a cloth or toner.
- Use a cloth: Immerse a soft cloth in warm water and drape it over your face for a few moments before gently wiping away the cleanser. The texturizing action from the cloth will take off the cleanser and give you mild exfoliation (killing two birds with one stone so to speak).
When looking at the overall picture, it would appear as though cream cleansers are geared more towards women looking for an adjunct product to remove makeup before using a more traditional facial cleanser for a more thorough cleaning. For those of you out there suffering from dry skin, a trial run with a cream cleanser should definitely be a consideration because cream cleansers are gentler than traditional soaps or regular face wash products.
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