We all know how important is to cleanse your skin but when it comes to oily skin prone to breakouts proper cleansing has a pivotal role that can make or break the health of your complexion. Having to cope with a problematic face on a daily basis often makes people spring for splurge-worthy products, disregarding basic skin care steps such as cleansing.
“There’s no point in moisturizing or using anti-aging or anti-acne products on your skin if you don’t have a clean palette to work with.”, says Annet King, director of global education for Dermalogica.
That’s why in this article we’ll look at the most common products that women use to cleanse their skin with and see whether or not they can help you score a flawless complexion.
1. Make-up Remover or Wipes
Every woman has a cleansing wipe but if you think you’ll get away with just removing your make-up (usually at night) you’re wrong. Removing make-up is not cleansing! I admit, it’s an important step but don’t forget to use your face wash for deep cleansing after you have removed all that grime from your skin. The reason you want to do that is because removing make-up is a preparatory step for the actual cleansing but too superficial to rely on it only, in the end it’s not just make-up that you want to remove but also dirt and oil build-ups locked inside your pores.
Removing make-up is still a vital step towards a proper cleansing routine and here are some tips on what products to use for oily skin. A make-up remover comes in a lot of textures that vary from very watery to milky or creamy but the truth is that it doesn’t really matter what type you are using if you are going to apply a face wash after it, all traces of greasiness will be gone.
However, for oily skin I prefer a more liquidish texture that does not leave traces of oil, especially on your eyes. Also bear in mind that products with thicker textures tend to last you less than more liquid ones. When it comes to wipes, while a normal skin type may afford to rely on towelettes to wipe off surface impurities and make-up, oily skin is prone to pore clogs and for that reason you should always follow with a face wash.
Pros and Cons
While the majority of the wipes found on the market serve one main purpose, to remove make-up, they are usually cheap and more convenient to use compared to the traditional make-up remover. However, leaving cleansing in the hands of these products is a job half done. You will still need to use a face wash for deep pore cleansing.
2. Facial Wash and Soap
Although the regular facial wash has been a veteran when it comes to deep pore cleansing, as traditional as it may sound this category is progressing each year with new formulations, new ingredients and new technologies. When it comes to oily skin the best daily cleanser should be gentle, alcohol-free and should include relevant active ingredients. Salicylic acid is one of the most common medications used for the treatment of blemishes and many skincare products recommended by dermatologists are formulated with it.
If most of the doctors will recommend a facial wash not all of them have the same views when it comes to cleansing your face with soaps, although they are quite popular.
“Always use a gentle cleanser, since harsh soaps can trigger the skin to increase oil production.” Says April W. Armstrong, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of California Davis. And I agree, as soaps contain thickeners to get them into the solid form, these agents are over-drying and irritating skin thus exacerbating existing skin conditions like acne and excessive oiliness.
Pros and Cons
Try to avoid using soaps if your skin is oily or acne-prone and go for a milder product. You can never go wrong with a cleanser and using a daily facial wash is by far the safest and most recommended way to deep cleanse problematic skin. There is a large palette of options designed for all needs and even if choosing the right product for you is challenging asking for a professional advice will make things easier and rewarding for the health of your skin.
3. Daily Scrub
Scrubs have evolved from a weekly-use concept to a daily product that bests suits the needs of skin with imperfections. Why? Oily skin tends to be thicker and more resilient to abrasives compared to other skin types and can embrace the benefits of daily scrubbing without having to fear irritations.
To fit this purpose brands have adapted and developed less harsh products with moisturizing properties to make up for the dehydrating effect of original scrubs, moreover most companies use round-shaped beads that are more gentle on the skin compared to organic granules, walnut seeds for example, that have rough edges and may cause more harm than good.
Pros and Cons
Using a daily scrub for deep pore cleansing may have a positive impact by constantly clearing out comedones, blackheads and excess oils and helps you maintain a smooth skin surface, which makes the application of make-up easier. On the other hand, for more sensitive skin types daily scrubbing may mean over-scrubbing leading to redness and irritation. If this is too much for your skin then stick to the regular twice-a-week scrub.
4. Cleansing Oil
Another way of washing away impurities is by using an oil cleanser or a mixture of different oils that you’d normally get from the drugstore. The increasing popularity of oils used to clean oily skin has shaped an entire new skin care philosophy, new in the western eyes, called OCM, short for Oil Cleansing Method.
Originating from the Asian world, this technique is based on the concept that only an oil can effectively remove oils resulted on our skin and having an added moisturizing effect, in comparison with other harsh and drying washing products. But splurging your face with a greasy oil that is assumed to get rid of sebum and pimples sounds more like a fantasy story for many skincare professionals.
Expert Emily Moosbrugger, MD, a UC health dermatologist explains for HealthNews:
“Oil is not something dangerous to use on your face, but if you are prone to breakouts it’s something I would avoid.” She adds that oil can clog your pores instead of cleaning them and it may aggravate skin conditions like acne.
Pros and Cons
While the OCM may feel as if it brings improvements to our complexion for some of us, and in this case I don’t argue with success stories, most of the dermatologists are reluctant to believe in it. In the end, OCM lacks research and for the medical world it is just a very popular but unjustified skincare rumor.
5. Cleansing Pads
As the market for cleansing wipes is estimated to have a $2 billion dollar increase this year washing your face has never been cheaper, more convenient and more effective. Most of the cleansing pads are designed for oily, acne-prone skin their original formulation being based on Alcohol. Although a lot of pads are still formulated with harsh alcohols companies have come up with medicated alternatives containing salicylic acid and these are the most appropriate for problematic skin.
Pros and Cons
If the name may be a bit misleading, the pads soaked in purifying essence are more appropriate to be included in the serum category rather than as a first step cleansing product, as most of them should be applied after the skin has been thoroughly cleansed with a face wash. The use directions differ from brand to brand, some of them require an after-rinse others are leave-on treatments and most of them should be used around 3 times per day.
6. Power-Up Cleansing Brushes
Revolutionising the market for at-home skincare tools during the past 2 years, electric cleansing brushes are not new on the beauty market, their use has been employed in professional saloons since 1960. However, it’s been only in the last years that their popularity boomed like mushrooms after rain. The market’s leaders Clarisonic, Neutrogena and Olay comprised about 40% of the market for skin care tools for home use back in 2011.
“These devices take cleansing one step further. I like to think of them as a means of mechanical exfoliation.” said Dr. Bowe for NY Times.
Clarisonic in particular started its innovating journey by claiming considerable improvements concerning the management of oily and acne-prone skin. Its Deep Pore Cleansing Brush Head is designed to answer the needs of oilier and thicker complexions with enlarged pores being more efficient in removing excess oils, debris and preventing breakouts than other traditional product.
Pros and Cons
When it comes to entering the new age of electric cleansing devices dermatologists are divided. On one hand, the prospective of using at home what used to be a professional tool may save you the money spent on beauty visits to the doctor or esthetician, on the other hand, others believe we are exposed to too mush exfoliation that will just make us end up in tears.
If you come to think about what your skin is experiencing on a weekly basis, mechanical exfoliation twice a day, masks with chemical peels, daily enzyme and acid anti-aging products, as variety of products enlarges maybe the best way of caring for your oily skin is by not doing too much.
7. Other Cleansing Systems
If 2012 brought power devices into our homes this year it’s all about enhancing abrasives while coupling it with a regular face wash, a 2-in-1 system to suit even the most humble pockets.
We are starting to see it in L’Oreal and Garnier brands for combination, oily or acne-prone skin, they’ve introduced traditional facial washes with a twist, they’ve incorporated a brush to the bottle to improve the cleansing process. The brush comes with the bottle, it’s not detachable, the whole cleansing process is done manually and after you’re done with it you may go spring for the next bottle.
I haven’t seen other major brands launching similar products yet and I’m not sure if this type of products are going to be the next beauty trend but for sure bloggers love them.
Pros and Cons
Having a scrublet incorporated into your face wash may look attractive however there is no major research to show that this works better than using your fingertips. All in all it is a matter of preference and if you do feel that tiny little plastic heads will help your complexion, by all means you should try it if not for the results at least for the fun of it.
With so many options on the market it’s important to be well informed and have an adequate approach of caring for your skin. Which of these products would you say it’s a must have for people dealing with problematic oily skin?