Cleansers vs. Exfoliators: Why Do I Need Both?

BY:  Amber Grace

Washing your face is extremely important. I can go out for a night on the town and maybe have an extra martini or two. I have made washing my face such a habit that even in my extra martini stupor I still manage to wash before I go to bed. I wake up and look in the mirror and want to high-5 myself for remembering to wash.

water splashing on face

In the words of Gigi Jara, licensed esthetician and makeup artist, "The reason for washing your face at night is it removes all the impurities from the day, ie dirt, smog, AC, pollution etc. If you sleep with your makeup on it will clog pores and cause acne and enlarge your pores because their is gunk on your face. The body and skin (the largest organ of the body) does the most work at night, so without washing your face from impurities and makeup you're not allowing your skin to go through it's own metabolic process". It is important to get a good face wash that will deep cleanse the skin and not just wipe the top layer of dirt or makeup off. Exfoliating is important as well. A good exfoliator should be used about twice a week with at least two days in between uses. The best time to exfoliate is in the morning. The cells in the skin overturn while you are sleeping hence the morning being the best time. Exfoliating gets rid of the dead cells that can't be washed off. Chemicals like glycolic, lactic acid or retinoids are chemicals that loosen the glue that holds the dead cells to the surface of the skin. You can't bring them back to life so exfoliating them off allows all the skincare to penetrate completely and allows the new skin to breath correctly. My good friend Nancy Weimer, a licensed esthetician, uses this analogy to explain the reason for exfoliating. "Before you water your grass, you need to rake up the dead leafs so the grass gets all the water the dead leafs would have been blocking". Nancy explains that there is more then one kind of exfoliator. Chemical exfoliation is about an ingredient that does the work for you. Physical exfoliation is when it requires manual manipulation to stimulate removal. You never want to use anything too harsh to exfoliate. Your face is very delicate and the same exfoliators you would use on your feet, or elbows should never be used on your face.



In my previous blog I told you I would tell you about my favorite products, so here you go, these are a few of my favorite things...

Face Washes (I love!) Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Cleanser: I love this face wash cause it's light weight and I have a KS-2deep clean feel after. I apply a small amount to a wet face. I usually use it with my Clarisoniccleansing brush. I keep this face wash in my shower and use it in the mornings.

Rodan and Fields Reverse Deep Exfoliating Wash: This is a great 2 in 1 face wash I like to use when I'm in a hurry. It's a quick one step and go. It's a light exfoliant and face wash in one. I feel as though it makes my skin feel smooth and clean. This is also a face wash I keep in the shower to use in the morning. Rodan and Fields Unblemish Acne Treatment Sulfur Wash: This is a face wash I like to use at night before I go to bed. I still am a little prone to breakouts even in my adulthood. I feel as though this keeps those breakouts at bay while melting my makeup off.



Exfoliators (I love!) Kate Somerville ExfoliKate: This is one of the #1 selling exfoliators you can buy. I apply a thin even layer to a clean wet face massaging in a circular motion for about 30 seconds. I then let it sit while i shave my legs and get all washed up. Then I go ahead and rinse it off using a light face wash. Arcona Cranberry Gommage: This is a purifying exfoliant. It tones and decongests enlarged pores. It has sulfur in it and sulfur helps with breakouts as well. I like to apply a generous amount to a damp face using light upward and outward circles. Love, love!


Remember, everyone's skin is different and what works best for me may not work best for you. These  are products I use and have made a difference for me. They can work for you as well but I recommend you try them and see for yourself. Try only one new product at a time so if there is any kind of irritation you can pinpoint it easier. If you try a new skincare I suggest that you use it consistently for a minimum of 3 weeks before you decide if you love it or hate it. Be patient and consistent, because sometimes after starting a new regimen you can breakout due to the fact that your skin is purging what was congesting, it and doesn't mean it's not working! If you have continued skin concerns, consult a dermatologist.


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