Thursday, March 8, 2012

Skin Chronicles : - Cleansers

Cleansing is the first and the most primary step  in a skin care regimen. A good cleanser helps clean skin of all dirt and grime, takes away surface oil that could tend to clog pores, wash away any cellular debris that has settled on the skin  and give a clean surface for toners, exfoliators, serum and moisturizers to work better. Cleansing is India is perceived as Cleansing milk (for some unknown reasons) but it actually means any product that cleans the surface of the skin and prepares it.

I believe in gentle cleansing. Gentle cleansing gives the right amount of TLC your skin needs. Cleansing is not about splashing water on your skin or using harsh soaps that leave a tingling drying sensation behind. Harsh cleansers makes skin weaker, strip away all the natural oils skin needs to maintain its equilibrium and leaves it vulnerable to fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes. Harsh cleansing methods like vigorous rubbing of skin doesnt do any good at all too. Vigorous rubbing stimulates skin to purge even more oil on the face making you feel extremely oily within  half an hour of cleansing if not moisturized.

In this post, I am going to highlight some cleansing products I absolutely adore and recommend and my way of doing the right cleansing.........


Right way of cleansing is not just choosing the most expensive cleanser in the market. It is also about using the right methods to keep skin clean in a gentler way. Wrong cleansing methods can be due to use of wrong cleansers or wrong application of them. Most of the times when someone gets a bad bout of acne after cleansing or feels terribly dry or stretched out skin, this is one of the reasons.

We have been taught by the elders or comrades that rubbing the skin vigorously cleans it all through. If we had to imagine our skin as vegetables that need to be washed and cooked, I would love to ask everyone which is that vegetable we clean vigorously before cooking. I haven't seen a single vegetable that is cleaned like that, so why clean our own face in that way? We need cleansers and cleansing methods that work for the skin and not against it.

With a wrong cleansing regimen we could get the following issues: -

  1. Skin irritations and provoking of an allergic response to the ingredients (including fragrance)
  2. Dehydration or loss of water from the skin after cleansing.
  3. If your skin appears shiny without any sebum present on it after cleansing, it means that it is tight and uncomfortable (as opposed to what we think.)
  4. Upset skin oil-water balance resulting into either excessive dryness or excessive oiliness depending upon skin's ability to product oil.
Have you rubbed groundnuts in a tissue paper? Don't they leave a lot of oil? Thats what skin does when we rub it vigorously. Releases oil..
Using cleansing devices like the Clarisonic ones everyday doesn't do good to the skin too as it hampers skin's natural abilities to balance and results in untoward effects. Coming to right methods of cleanse, this is what I follow: -
  • Cleanse with luke warm water instead of cold tap water. Wet face before cleansing.
  • Take the cleanser (currently I am using Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser) on my palm. Gently work into lather and then with small round strokes apply on the cheeks first. Then the forehead, down to the nose and then the rest of the face.
  • With gentle massaging actions (I learnt from a SA in Shiseido) for 30 seconds, I cleanse my skin. And rinse it gently and thoroughly with luke warm water (about 36 degrees).
  • Then I pat my face gently with turkish towel or napkin.
  • In the morning I do this after bathing and shaving (last step) and at night I do it before retiring to bed.

I prefer doing cleansing only twice a day so as not to disturb the oil-water balance and equilibrium of the skin. If I feel oily, I blot my skin with a blotting paper or else use an alcohol free facial wipe and re-moisturize.

What my gentle cleansing regimen do for me?

  1. I stopped getting horrible bouts of acne that I used to get before. I used an anti-acne face wash yet my breakouts never stopped until I changed my cleansing habits.
  2. My skin does not feel taut even after Neutrogena's reputation of drying the skin (as reviews read from other sites, maybe they are not cleansing rightly)
  3. I feel neither dry nor oily for couple of hours after cleansing.

Since I have an oily skin and researched a lot in that category, I would be talking a lot about a lot of cleansers in the oily/combination category. This post will slowly develop tributaries after I do more beauty travelling to find out what suits dry and sensitive skins.These are the cleansers I have used over a period of time and liked thoroughly.
  1. Clinique Liquid Facial Soap in Oily skin formula - wonderfully and gently cleanses
  2. Vichy Calming cleanser - a micellar cleansing water that is very good for on the go cleansing and very gentle to use as makeup remover
  3. Estee Lauder Nutritious 2 in 1 foaming cleanser - deeply cleanses when used on a non wet skin and lather smoothly on wet skin, this is a perfect cleanser to give you that clean effect.
  4. Elizabeth Arden Green tea cleanser - one of the mildest ones with benefits of green tea (effective anti-oxidant)
  5. Elizabeth Arden Intervene 3 in 1 cleanser - which cleanses, tones and primes is one of the neatest ones I have used. Loved it truly.
  6. Shiseido Men's Foaming cleanser - its a must have for any man who is reading this post.
There are many more cleansers that I used but these ones were the ones I loved.

GUY Vs GAL cleanser

This is a small topic I wanted to add to the discussion. Unless you are not human, you can use any cleanser that you and your pocket likes. There's nothing like different skin care for men and its just the packaging that makes it more appealing. Mostly the contents are the same. And if you feel your guy has a strong skin, don't be in that perception for a long time. Men's skins are weakest in comparison to children and women because of continuous wear and tear happening and broken oil-water balance and skin's barrier. This predominantly happens due to enviromental aggression, prolonged sun exposure (which most women are not prone to), testosterone rage and everyday trauma like shaving. So next time you guy says he has tough skin, blatantly deny.

  • First and foremost see your skin type.
  • Check whether you are sensitive to any ingredient.
  • Buy a pH balanced cleanser. Generally most brands have balanced ones but if you have time search for those words.
  • Refrain from buying 'All Skin Type' cleanser unless you have a totally blemish free combination skin. They are more of a mumbo-jumbo.
  • If you have sensitive skin buy products meant for them. If you are not sure, then buy cleansers with least number of ingredients like La Roche Posay Toleraine or Vichy Calming cleansing water. 
  • For acne, acne prone and very oily skins choose foaming cleansers over cleansing milks. 1-2% Salicylic acid is a good addition as it helps gently exfoliate surface dead skin.
  • If you have dry skin, choose emollient creamy cleansers that just clean without stripping any oil. Btw baby oil is not a very good cleanser in case anyone is using it. It may dissolve the makeup and dirt but it can and it does surely clog pores and is not safe to be used near the eye area. I hope no one uses it on their baby's eyes.

There is more to write and less is the space. So this article continues and I will surely update as soon as I get any feedbacks and new launches from brands and all.

Hope you find this article useful.

Till then,


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  1. awesome dr..!! looking 4ward to more. i hv oily skin n currently m using cipla's salicylic acid foaming fsce wash. it's very good..has helped me remarkably wid my blk hds problem

  2. excellent post. loved the details

  3. another gem of article Dr Neeraj..thank you..i m using vichy's currently from the normaderm and totally love it!

  4. Cleaning is very important to all type of skin to maintain it clear and clean. Every skin needs some essential nutrients to stay awake. Here are the tips given to beautify your skin based on the skin type.


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