Read any celebrity beauty profile, and the subject will inevitably say two things. First, she drinks a lot of water. And secondly, she never goes to bed without washing her face. That's because healthy skin all starts with cleansing, says our (brand new!!) Well+Good Council member Jillian Wright, a trained aesthetician and indie-beauty guru. Here, she breaks down how to choose a morning and evening routine that you'll actually look forward to doing.
When I had my first kid, I never skipped my facial care routine. I made the time. This was for my sanity, but I also knew taking care of my skin would feed positively into my confidence. I was already sleep-deprived and entering a new phase in my life, so my skin-care routine was my go-to treat—even when all I wanted to do was to go to bed. It really does give you a heightened self-esteem that is important for your overall well-being. And when you care for yourself, you are able to selflessly care for others.
Cleansing your face is as important as brushing your teeth, so you should do it day and night. Cleansing not only removes dirt, grime, excessive oil, and makeup; the actual process is stimulating, too. You’re revving up blood circulation and bringing oxygen to the surface. Cleansing should take only about 20-30 seconds, and that sets the tone for the rest of your self-care ritual.
The small act of washing your face can make you feel better overall. Here's what you should know.
In the morning
While you sleep, dead skin, sweat, and oil form at the surface and need to be removed with a simple cleansing. I know some people like to splash water on their faces as their definition of cleansing, but professionally speaking, that is not sufficient. If you don’t use actual cleanser, the dead skin cell buildup alone will prevent any of your skin-care products from functioning properly. Over time, this will lead to sallow, dull skin.
In the morning, give yourself 20 minutes for your skin and makeup routine. Wash your face, jawline, and neck before applying your skin care. I use a gentle, non-exfoliating cleanser that won't strip my skin of its natural oils. (This is very important during the colder months to help your skin function better throughout the day.) This type of gentle cleansing sets up your skin to accept what follows next.
At night, try an alpha-hydroxy-acid cleanser (which helps to exfoliate) because while you sleep, your skin regenerates itself. You are helping to get rid of the dead cells, leaving fresh, healthy skin to shine and your products better-able to get through your skin.
Which type of cleanser?
There are several types of cleansers, from foams to milks to balms and beyond. Depending on your skin, you can use multiple types: one for the a.m. or the shower and another for night.
In the morning, I like using a gentle cleanser that will not strip my skin of its natural oils. I like my skin to feel balmy and hydrated. I have very dry, dehydrated skin so it loves moisture-binding ingredients such as watermelon seed oil, chamomile, hyaluronic acid, and apricot oil.
If you have oily skin, you may want to choose a natural lathering cleanser to get a slightly deeper clean so you don’t feel greasy. Choosing an oil-free cleanser or one with a bit of charcoal will give you that effect. If you have acne, try a cleanser that is geared towards acneic skin, but avoid harsh medicated ingredients like (think benzoyl peroxide) that might dry out your skin and then trigger it to produce more oil—which in turn, creates an environment to grow even more blemishes.
Your skin is like a baby; it wants to be cared for, nurtured, and loved. And like a baby, your skin loves routine and to "know" what is coming next.
Four cleansers I recommend for all skin types
Osmia Black Clay Facial Soap, $24.
This soap is great for all skin types, including sensitive. It’s made with black Australian clay and Dead Sea mud to balance and tone the skin. Organic almond, avocado, and castor bean oils condition the skin, leaving it soft and nourished. Coconut milk helps create the beautiful, white lather. If properly stored, the soap can last 8 to 12 weeks. Great for the whole family.
If you just can’t get yourself to wash your face in the morning, you can use a cleansing water with a cotton round to remove the dirt, sweat, oil, bacteria and dead skin cells that have accumulated overnight. Under the Waterfall is sourced at depths of 160 meters, untouched by the outside world, pH perfect and infused with Thanaka 8 Extract, wild island kanuka honey, and Balinese virgin coconut oil. It’s not organic, it’s wild...even better.
Infused with neem, amla, and tulsi, it gently removes impurities from the skin without drying off your skin. The gentle foaming action of apple- and coconut-based surfactants cleanse while maintaining the skin's acid mantle.
This formula helps sweep away the day’s pollutants and impurities in the gentlest way. The formula includes ingredients that increase the look of balance and harmony, revealing the appearance of bright, beautiful skin. Marula and apricot kernel oil give a feeling of supreme moisture, Polynesian tamanu, and sea buckthorn oil offer a regenerative effect, and sesame oil makes skin feel detoxified. Your face will be left looking naturally radiant.
What should Jillian write about next? Send your questions and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jillian Wright is the co-founder of Indie Beauty Media Group, producer of Indie Beauty Expo, Beauty Independent and BeautyX Summit. A skin health expert, Jillian owned and operated Jillian Wright Clinical Skin Spa prior to founding IBMG in 2015. During her tenure there she also launched her eponymous skincare line. IBE currently produces 3 multiple-day domestic events in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas, as well as international events in London and Berlin. Wright was recently honored by receiving the INNOCOS' Emerging Leader of the Year award.
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